Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys) (2008)


Critic Consensus: Exploring the effects of a family's dealings with an underhanded politician, this crime drama avoids showing the violent outcomes of its characters' misdeeds, resulting in a lingeringly potent film.


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Movie Info

Set in the areas of Istanbul rarely visited by foreigners, director Nuri Bilge Ceylan's strange detective story traces the journey of a family that is suddenly dislocated when minor shortcomings explode into exorbitant deceptions. Now their only hope of remaining together is to cover up the truth, but can ignoring the hardships and responsibilities that would be impossible to endure ever really invalidate the existence of the truth?


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Critic Reviews for Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (17)

Three Monkeys... is the latest eyeful from director Nuri Bilge Ceylan, one of a handful of international directors deserving of the title artist.

Jul 17, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/4

An elegant exercise with four characters trapped by class, guilt and greed.

Jul 16, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

There are enough ponderous moments that you may find yourself resisting the heavy mood.

Jun 26, 2009 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

This is powerful filmmaking for discerning viewers.

May 1, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

With Three Monkeys, Nuri Bilge Ceylan trains his cool, detached sensibility on a ripe and pulpy melodrama that might have originated in a James M. Cain novel.

May 1, 2009 | Rating: 3.5/5

Calling Three Monkeys a genre detour is putting it charitably; it's a downbeat dead end that reduces its talented maker to a mere shadow-play stylist.

Apr 30, 2009 | Rating: 2/6

Audience Reviews for Üç Maymun (Three Monkeys)

Ceylan only seems to confirm the reservations I had about his previous film, as he goes even further than before in terms of aesthetics with a splendid cinematography but employs his pretentious, self-indulgent direction in behalf of an empty story that has nothing to say.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Found out after wasting my money on a rental that I actually had already seen this film during the Film Festival. It is a wonderful concept and it is well executed. Good on you Turkish film industry!

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer


Not as intense as 'Climates' but still filmed with an exquisite painterly eye. The routine plot is shaken alive by two striking scenes which left me gasping and add a star to the score alone - I won't spoil the surprise by saying any more.

Gordon Anderson
Gordon Anderson

Super Reviewer


[font=Century Gothic]In "Three Monkeys," Servet(Ercan Kesal) is a politician who has just been involved in an apparent hit and run. Fearing the effect this could have on his upcoming election, he persuades his driver Eyup(Yavuz Bingol) to take the heat and a six month sentence. In exchange, he will continue receiving his salary and get a lump sum at the end of his sentence. Meanwhile, Eyup's grown son Ismail(Rifat Sungar) cannot bring himself to move far from the couch. Upon learning that Ismail needs a car for a promising job, his mother Hacer(Hatice Aslan) goes to Servet to ask for an advance on the lump sum.[/font] [font=Century Gothic][/font] [font=Century Gothic]While at least intriguing enough to let the audience draw their own conclusions, "Three Monkeys" is also very much dramatically inert in trying to answer the eternal question of how much you can tell about a person from her ring tone. Otherwise, this is a tale of loss, almost unbearably so, since it has been simmering for years and has sucked the life out of a household which is represented by the desaturated color scheme. However, there is the occasional sign of life and the color red makes a welcome appearance in a key scene.[/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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