Theeb (2015) - Rotten Tomatoes

Theeb (2015)

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Critic Consensus: Led by an outstanding performance from Jacir Eid Al-Hwietat in the title role, Theeb is a startlingly assured first effort from director/co-writer Naji Abu Nowar.

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In the Ottoman province of Hijaz during World War I, a young Bedouin boy experiences a greatly hastened coming of age as he embarks on a perilous desert journey to guide a British officer to his secret destination.

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Critic Reviews for Theeb

All Critics (65) | Top Critics (20)

An inversion of Lawrence of Arabia -- a film told from the perspective of Arab bedouins rather than colonial adventurers, a scrappy coming of age story rather than a grand tale of epic, colonial ambitions.

February 22, 2016 | Full Review…

The effectiveness of the story hinges largely on Al-Hwietat, whose performance is both convincing wide-eyed and complex.

February 20, 2016 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

The burden rests on Eid's shoulders, and he more than carries it. He's a natural, showing us Theeb's curiosity, loyalty and ingenuity while still retaining the innocence of a boy who has been sheltered from the world outside the desert.

January 14, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

First-time director Naji Abu Nowar rehearsed his largely nonprofessional cast for almost a year before shooting began, and as the title character, Jacir Eid beautifully conveys a mix of emotions, from wonder to fear to determination.

December 10, 2015 | Full Review…

The further this strikingly assured debut feature by the British-born director Naji Abu Nowar goes along, the more it seems a metaphor for fierce self-determination - an origin story for Middle Eastern discontents.

December 3, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

A disarmingly complex boyhood adventure with no shortage of tension or harsh beauty, "Theeb" marks a winning debut feature for co-writer and director Naji Abu Nowar.

November 26, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Theeb

A tense and powerful debut feature set against the breathtaking vastness of the Jordanian desert and with a deliberate pacing, an evocative score and assured performances by its non-professional Bedouins that are proof of Naji Abu Nowar's talent in directing actors.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

This has its quotas of violence and sentiment, plus landscape shots, but it is nothing special. A film entirely about men, possibly for men, it gives the impression that women did not exist in this world. The boy's cuteness is too trite a device and he does not come of age as suggested in the blurb; rather he is a fortunate and plucky survivor throughout. Mostly well made, it is not though always logical, and is predictable. The camels are interesting.

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