Zaytoun Reviews

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August 28, 2019
An overly sentimental film that tends to overstep the bounds of realism.
April 10, 2019
It's possible to make humor work under the weight of war, but it requires more finesse and tact than Riklis and penner Nader Rizq exhibit.
February 7, 2019
Zaytoun is surprisingly short on tension, with each and every potential danger evaded though a collection of jarring edits or implausible events.
September 26, 2017
Spoken plainly, the olives of Zaytoun are bland to the taste.
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.
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.
September 30, 2013
... never strikes the right balance of comedy and melodrama, and winds up trivializing the plight of his characters in the process.
September 27, 2013
Lively characters and a series of offbeat events make this movie watchable, except that we never believe anything that happens.
September 26, 2013
It's just all too breezy to have any real effect.
September 19, 2013
In grabbing for the heart this one-size-fits-all fable sadly ignores the mind.
Top Critic
September 19, 2013
Congeniality isn't necessarily honesty ... and Riklis regularly fudges.
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.
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.
September 17, 2013
By the end ... the director's ambivalence is overwhelming, obscuring an important story with undeniable modern parallels.
September 15, 2013
It misfires in tone, depth, and political tact, dumbing down rather than providing new insights into the Israel-Palestine conflict.
December 30, 2012
A piece of ecumenical wish-fulfillment.
December 27, 2012
The premise of this drama about a deal a Palestinian boy cuts with an Israeli pilot may be sweet, but it doesn't convince.
December 27, 2012
These characters never really existed, we feel, in any place/time except Wish Fulfilment Land.
December 21, 2012
Lively characters and resonant interaction make this film enjoyably watchable even though it's impossible to believe anything that happens.
December 20, 2012
The result feels dramatically and emotionally unconvincing, and a step backwards from Riklis's poignant allegory Lemon Tree.
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