Critic Reviews

74

Metascore

Based on 14 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
88
Naji is an expressive actor, and so are the wonderful young non-pros who play his children.
80
Although The Song of Sparrows has some of the trappings of a naturalistic drama, it is really a series of strict moral lessons pieced together into an austere Islamic sermon.
80
Salon.com
This latest film from Iranian director Majid Majidi has the same combination of quiet contemplation, whimsy and tragedy that made his "Children of Heaven" an international smash a decade ago.
75
It's easier to find enjoyment in Sparrows on a moment-by-moment basis than to swallow its message whole, but that method squares just fine with Majidi's aesthetic, in which tiny, quiet joys are the best kind.
75
As usual with Majidi, the cinematography is super (best scene shows Karim, disguised as an ostrich, in pursuit of an escaped bird) and the acting is realistic and low-key.
70
Low-key, realistic performances from a mostly nonpro cast keep the story running smoothly. His face visibly stressed-out and hardened from loneliness as he detaches himself from family and friends, Naji gives the film a strong center.
70
Variety
Beautifully crafted, often sentimental, sometimes humorous.
70
The film is pleasingly meandering, till the more typically Majidian soulful and teary-eyed climax.
70
The Song of Sparrows becomes a parable of corruption, catastrophe and eventual redemption. Mr. Majidi's tale wasn't meant to be timely, of course, but the shoe fits, and the film wears it well.
70
I can't help but be struck by the stark cultural differences in the portrayal of family life, particularly the relationships between women and men. The characters Majidi draws of children and their fathers are rich: sometimes combative, always loving and textured. But the mothers never truly emerge from the background.

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