Zaytoun - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Zaytoun Reviews

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Louis Proyect
February 8, 2014
Despite its "The Defiant Ones" liberal Zionist pieties, there's solid drama and performances.
Jared Eisenstat
Film Comment Magazine
November 4, 2013
Zaytoun is relatively successful in tiptoeing through the political minefield of the subject matter, and it offers out the promise of hope and possibility without raising expectations.
Top Critic
Tom Russo
Boston Globe
October 24, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
October 24, 2013
It's a powerful drama that works on a couple of levels.
| Original Score: 3/4
Brian Orndorf
October 24, 2013
The movie means well enough, yet Zaytoun doesn't do enough to upset expectations, trusting in the power of warm orchestral strings and softening demeanors to coax the viewer into a deceptive comfort zone.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Top Critic
Walter V. Addiego
San Francisco Chronicle
October 17, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nora Lee Mandel
October 11, 2013
Visually operatic street scenes, panoply of characters, Dorff brusque to paternal, talented ensemble of Palestinian/Israeli-Arab actors [make] this crossing worth traveling.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
October 4, 2013
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.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
John Anderson
October 3, 2013
A trek that is occasionally very unlikely, but moving nonetheless.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Todd Jorgenson
September 30, 2013
... never strikes the right balance of comedy and melodrama, and winds up trivializing the plight of his characters in the process.
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
September 27, 2013
Lively characters and a series of offbeat events make this movie watchable, except that we never believe anything that happens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Robert Abele
Los Angeles Times
September 26, 2013
It's just all too breezy to have any real effect.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
John Anderson
September 23, 2013
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.
Top Critic
Stephen Dalton
Hollywood Reporter
September 23, 2013
The film's facile message of cross-cultural unity owes more to fairy tale than reality, but the action is slick and the story gripping.
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
September 19, 2013
In grabbing for the heart this one-size-fits-all fable sadly ignores the mind.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
September 19, 2013
Congeniality isn't necessarily honesty ... and Riklis regularly fudges.
Andrew Lapin
The Dissolve
September 19, 2013
Though Dorff isn't the only thing wrong with Zaytoun, he is still its biggest liability, and the rare case where one miscast role ruins a film's essential premise.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
September 17, 2013
Zaytoun wants to milk a historical moment as a plea for tolerance; its only accomplishment is to channel the forgettable foreign-film exotica of decades past.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
John Oursler
Village Voice
September 17, 2013
By the end ... the director's ambivalence is overwhelming, obscuring an important story with undeniable modern parallels.
Tomas Hachard
Slant Magazine
September 15, 2013
It misfires in tone, depth, and political tact, dumbing down rather than providing new insights into the Israel-Palestine conflict.
Full Review | Original Score: .5/4
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