Wadjda - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Wadjda Reviews

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R. Kurt Osenlund
Slant Magazine
September 10, 2013
It doesn't play like reality, but like boilerplate filmic fantasy, and its novel setting and inception struggles seem positioned as a beard--or veil, if you will--to mask its mediocrity.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Dan Schindel
Movie Mezzanine
April 8, 2014
There are important films and there are good films, and the two do not necessarily always overlap. Wadjda is both important and very, very good.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Rebecca Jacobson
Willamette Week
December 10, 2013
On the most basic level, Wadjda is a wonderful piece of filmmaking. It's a tale that's delightful and insightful and gently transgressive, and Al-Mansour tells it with economy, lyricism and terrific warmth.
Brian Viner
Daily Mail (UK)
December 10, 2013
Simple but charming.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Oliver Lyttelton
The Playlist
September 13, 2013
The film doesn't sugarcoat the situation in Saudi Arabia-far from it-but by the end, it makes clear in that in the likes of Wadjda, there are real hopes for progress and change in years to come.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Rebecca Ellis
Little White Lies
July 18, 2013
The film never struggles under the strain of its weighty subject matter, delivering an enjoyable and heartfelt tale which combines elements of exhilarating comedy and tense drama that never detract from its bravely articulated subtext.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
September 13, 2013
What makes the movie so delightful is that Wadjda isn't trying to make trouble; she's just being herself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Hannah McGill
Sight and Sound
December 10, 2013
Haifaa al Mansour's debut merits recognition for its fresh-feeling take on the trope whereby the travails of a child protagonist mirror those of a wider society.
Andrew Lapin
The Dissolve
September 12, 2013
An expertly crafted piece of filmmaking...Wadjda is an object of stark beauty, an oasis of free-spirited cinema emerging from the desert.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
T'Cha Dunlevy
Montreal Gazette
August 2, 2013
A story about a girl who wants to buy a bike doesn't sound particularly groundbreaking. But base the story in Saudi Arabia, and that bike becomes a vehicle to venture into sensitive territory.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
September 10, 2013
A simple, solid, deeply affecting film, Wadjda is something rare: the work of a female Saudi filmmaker, Haifaa Al Mansour, and a feature from a country that has long outlawed cinemas.
Daniel Walber
Film School Rejects
December 10, 2013
Films like Wadjda do not come around very often.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Shaun Munro
What Culture
October 14, 2012
The mere completion of Al-Mansour's film is a towering achievement in itself; that it's also got charm and heart to spare is icing on the cake.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Violet Lucca
Film Comment Magazine
September 3, 2013
Haifaa Al Mansour's debut feature presents a firm but understated social critique in the form of an endearing coming-of-age story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
September 16, 2013
What keeps Wadjda from devolving into a sort of heavy-handed cultural show-and-tell is its title character.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
September 19, 2013
Though writer-director Haifaa Al-Mansour doesn't break new ground aesthetically, she relates the experience of a Saudi Arabian girl's coming of age clearly and unsentimentally, which alone makes this a must-see.
Matthew Toomey
ABC Radio Brisbane
March 28, 2014
This is a film to be admired for both its on-screen and off-screen story.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Philip Concannon
The Skinny
February 20, 2013
A satisfying and skilfully made film is always something to celebrate, but largely due to the circumstances from which it arose, Wadjda feels like one of the year's most vital.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 5, 2013
... a glimpse inside a relatively affluent society (Wadjda and her mother live comfortably, despite enduring financial hardship) where most people abide in the interstitial territories between secular Western decadence and Islamic fundamentalism.
Full Review | Original Score: 88/100
Graham Young
Birmingham Mail
August 2, 2013
The moment Wadjda's heart leaps when she spots a bicycle on the roof of a moving car that's hidden by a wall is the scene of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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