Theeb Reviews

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February 22, 2016
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 20, 2016
The effectiveness of the story hinges largely on Al-Hwietat, whose performance is both convincing wide-eyed and complex.
January 14, 2016
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.
December 10, 2015
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 3, 2015
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.
November 26, 2015
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 25, 2015
As the quiet, compact vessel for roiling fears and ambivalence, Al-Hwietat's Theeb winds up being a strikingly memorable character, whose deceptively simple tale possesses both haunting power and a whiff of prescient pessimism.
November 12, 2015
A modest classic.
November 12, 2015
A cautionary tale about survival - and keeping one's enemies in their place.
November 9, 2015
The desert in Theeb feels intimate, rough, real. You can run your hands through the sand and feel the flies on your face. That realism extends to the characters as well, thankfully.
November 6, 2015
The film retains its own distinctive storytelling sensibility.
November 6, 2015
If it is more art-house than epic, Theeb is classic enough - watching the final scene, somewhere Sergio Leone smiles and whistles weirdly.
November 5, 2015
The themes that Theeb explores are the clashes between modernity and decay, brotherhood and legacy, innocence and survival. There is little exposition about the colonial struggle, not that it is needed.
November 5, 2015
Nowar ... has described "Theeb" as "an Arabic western" in the tradition of Sergio Leone. The movie is that and more.
November 5, 2015
The film's delights ... include nods to classic Westerns and David Lean's Lawrence of Arabia.
November 4, 2015
A simple, old-fashioned adventure story, combined with a coming-of-age tale, that could stand to be considerably less simple.
November 3, 2015
A young Bedouin boy has to grow up fast if he's to survive practically alone in the 1916 Arabian desert in Theeb, the confident debut feature of U.K.-born, Jordan-based filmmaker Naji Abu Nowar.
November 3, 2015
The palpable affection for each other conveyed by Eid and Salameh (real-life cousins) has a cinematic intensity that quickly wins over viewers.
November 3, 2015
Novice actor Hwietat is terrific in the lead role, and even if we go in knowing the historical backstory, we still discover it all from his point of view - and never stop wondering how the wolf will survive.
August 13, 2015
Nowar tells an intimate story of betrayal and survival in a wide-open space, while rewriting an especially contentious chapter of movie history.
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