Critic Reviews



Based on 31 critic reviews provided by
Superb acting and authentic details energize this rare Iran/Iraq coproduction.
Turtles Can Fly has little space for mawkishness, and the kids are far too cussed to be cute. It is, in every sense, the more immediate achievement: it hits and hurts the eyes (the rainy days are lousy enough, but the skies of royal blue, above such grief, feel especially insulting), and it also seems to bleed straight out of the headlines.
Ghobadi in this pic displays a complete command of his art as he shifts between -- and even blends -- wrenching tragedy and amusing comedy.
Ghobadi's genius seems supercharged rather than weighed down by his higher calling, and his imagery is so boilingly alive that we come away from it feeling exhilarated rather than depressed.
It is a heartbreaking film, and cruelty sometimes seems to be not only its subject but its method. Like the child on a high cliff that is one of its recurring images, the film walks up to the edge of hopelessness and pauses there, waiting to see what happens next.
Chicago Reader
There's no denying his (Ghobadi's) talent for suspense or his ability to get riveting performances from nonprofessionals.
The Hollywood Reporter
Heart-wrenching as well as spirit-raising.
Village Voice
Amid the muddy scrubbery of the camp and its hinterland surroundings, Ghobadi catches some striking compositions.
The A.V. Club
Turtles Can Fly creates a haunting reminder that collateral damage can't always be measured in casualty rates, and that it goes on long after the news cameras have left the scene.
Ghobadi uses the lack of resources and the surfeit of drama that had been the lot of the Kurds throughout Hussein's dictatorship and both Gulf wars much in the way De Sica and Rossellini used the European tragedies of the '30s and '40s,

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