Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)
"Bir zamanlar Anadolu'da" (original title)

Not Rated  |   |  Crime, Drama  |  23 September 2011 (Turkey)
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Ratings: 7.8/10 from 24,438 users   Metascore: 82/100
Reviews: 91 user | 172 critic | 21 from Metacritic.com

A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.


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Cast overview, first billed only:
Doctor Cemal
Commissar Naci
Taner Birsel ...
Prosecutor Nusret
Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan ...
Driver Arab Ali
Ercan Kesal ...
Erol Erarslan ...
Murder Victim Yasar
Ugur Aslanoglu ...
Courthouse Driver Tevfik
Murat Kiliç ...
Police Officer Izzet
Safak Karali ...
Courthouse Clerk Abidin
Emre Sen ...
Sergeant Onder
Burhan Yildiz ...
Suspect Ramazan / Zanli Ramazan
Nihan Okutucu ...
Yasar's wife Gülnaz
Cansu Demirci ...
Mukhtar's Daughter Cemile
Kubilay Tunçer ...
Autopsy Technician Sakir


In the rural area around the Anatolian town of Keskin, the local prosecutor, police commissar, and doctor lead a search for a victim of a murder to whom a suspect named Kenan and his mentally challenged brother confessed. However, the search is proving more difficult than expected as Kenan is fuzzy as to the body's exact location. As the group continues looking, its members can't help but chat among themselves about both trivia and their deepest concerns in an investigation that is proving more trying than any of them expected. Written by Kenneth Chisholm (kchishol@rogers.com)

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis


Crime | Drama


Not Rated | See all certifications »


Official Sites:


Release Date:

23 September 2011 (Turkey)  »

Also Known As:

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia  »

Filming Locations:


Box Office

Opening Weekend:

$10,652 (USA) (6 January 2012)


$138,730 (USA) (1 June 2012)

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


Sound Mix:


Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »

Did You Know?


Turkey's official submission to the Best Foreign Language Film category of the 84th Academy Awards 2012. See more »


Naci speaks to his wife on the mobile phone. When his wife hangs up angrily, a dial tone is heard. No dial tone is heard on mobile phones. See more »


Referenced in At the Movies: Cannes Film Festival 2011 (2011) See more »


Alli Turnam (Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da)
By Neset Ertas
See more »

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User Reviews

Totally Unexpected Take on a Police Procedural
17 December 2011 | by (Canada) – See all my reviews

I think this is the best movie of 2011 so far. A very different, but brilliantly conceived three part police procedural that is really a character study of two men and how they each deal with the past. In many ways, I had a similar experience here to what I have when I read a really good novel. The characters are rich and complex, often funny, and thoroughly believable. Nothing is crammed down the audience's throat, yet there is so much detail and nuance that it becomes easy to see the two men for the basically good, complex people they are. This is a movie that respects the audience's intelligence. It is also a movie that is easily among the best shot and edited of the year. In fact, it is hard to think of a single thing that I would suggest to improve the film. I have seen other Ceylan films, but nothing of his has ever had the depth, nuance and humanity of this one.

56 of 72 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

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