Critics Consensus

It has a lot on its mind, including a timely storyline with real-world significance; unfortunately, Zaytoun's reach exceeds its grasp, partly due to the presence of a miscast Stephen Dorff.



Reviews Counted: 36

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User Ratings: 284


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Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.4/5

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Movie Info

In 1982, amid the Lebanese Civil War, Israeli pilot Yoni (Stephen Dorff) is shot down over Beirut and is taken prisoner by inhabitants of a Palestinian refugee camp. Among the captors is ten-year-old Fahed, whose father obsessively tends to his prized, but sickly olive tree, refusing to replant it until they return to their ancestral land. Despite his deep-rooted hatred for Yoni, Fahed realizes he can use him to get past the border and into "Palestine" to plant his father's olive tree. The two embark on a harrowing and dangerous journey - one that tests the very boundaries of humanity. ZAYTOUN is a story of survival, reconciliation and friendship. (c) Strand Releasing

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Critic Reviews for Zaytoun

All Critics (36) | Top Critics (12)

We've ... got to admit right up front: Part of our interest was simply to see what Stephen Dorff is doing playing an Israeli POW.

Oct 24, 2013 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
Boston Globe
Top Critic

It's probably best viewed as a fable that tries to strike a hopeful note amid the many woes of the Middle East, but the blunt filmmaking and the near-sentimentality make it hard to buy into.

Oct 17, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

The resolution is a bit Hollywood, but then who says all films about the Middle East have to be relentlessly grim? "Zaytoun" dares to find common ground and hope amidst political confusion.

Oct 4, 2013 | Rating: B- | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

A trek that is occasionally very unlikely, but moving nonetheless.

Oct 3, 2013 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

It's just all too breezy to have any real effect.

Sep 26, 2013 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

Given how much Zaytoun follows the playbook, the pic's portentous ending is extraordinarily subtle, and will resonate best with those who know the history of the region.

Sep 23, 2013 | Full Review…
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