7.8/10
26,338
93 user 174 critic

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)

Bir Zamanlar Anadolu'da (original title)
Not Rated | | Crime, Drama | 23 September 2011 (Turkey)
Trailer
1:36 | Trailer
A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.

Director:

19 wins & 25 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

Learn more

People who liked this also liked... 

Three Monkeys (2008)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.4/10 X  

A family suffers from a major communication breakdown during their struggle to get through their hardships.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Yavuz Bingol, Hatice Aslan, Ahmet Rifat Sungar
Winter Sleep (2014)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.3/10 X  

Aydin, a former actor, runs a small hotel in central Anatolia with his young wife Nihal with whom he has a stormy relationship and his sister Necla who is suffering from her recent divorce.... See full summary »

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Haluk Bilginer, Melisa Sözen, Demet Akbag
Distant (2002)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.7/10 X  

After his wife leaves him, a photographer has an existential crisis and tries to cope with his cousin's visit.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Muzaffer Özdemir, Emin Toprak, Zuhal Gencer
Climates (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.3/10 X  

A dowdy university instructor Isa is an inattentive husband to his younger, TV-business wife Bahar. Self-absorbed and selfish, Isa only communicates in the most rudimentary way, while she, similarly, detaches into crying jags and juvenile behavior.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Ebru Ceylan, Nuri Bilge Ceylan, Nazan Kesal
Clouds of May (1999)
Comedy | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.6/10 X  

This is a movie within movie, which is almost recursive, i.e., the movie inside looks like director Ceylan's previous movie, Kasaba. It is about the movie director, Muzaffer, going back to ... See full summary »

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Emin Ceylan, Muzaffer Özdemir, Fatma Ceylan
The Town (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.1/10 X  

The story of a family living in a small godforsaken town in Turkey seen through the eyes of children and dealing with the growing complexity when one becomes an adult.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Emin Toprak, Havva Saglam, Cihat Bütün
Innocence (1997)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.4/10 X  

Yusuf is released from prison after serving a ten-year sentence. He is scared of life outside as he goes to an address given to him by another prisoner.

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Güven Kiraç, Haluk Bilginer, Derya Alabora
Destiny (2006)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8/10 X  

Bekir is in love with Ugur, who loves Zagor who loves to commit crimes.

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Vildan Atasever, Ufuk Bayraktar, Engin Akyürek
Cocoon (1995)
Short
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7/10 X  

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's first Movie. Dram.

Director: Nuri Bilge Ceylan
Stars: Emin Ceylan, Fatma Ceylan, Turgut Toprak
Inside (2012)
Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 7.2/10 X  

A man's life, thoughts, feelings and his very own darkness... Adapted from Dostoevsky's novel "Notes from Undergroud", Demirkubuz follows Muharrem as he gets himself invited to a party ... See full summary »

Director: Zeki Demirkubuz
Stars: Engin Günaydin, Serhat Tutumluer, Nihal Yalcin
Yol (1982)
Drama | Romance
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

A harsh portrait of Turkey, its people and its authorities, shown through the stories of five prisoners given a week's home leave, and the problems they encounter in adjusting to the world ... See full summary »

Directors: Serif Gören, Yilmaz Güney
Stars: Tarik Akan, Serif Sezer, Halil Ergün
On Board (1998)
Crime | Drama
    1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 8.2/10 X  

The sailors who were duped by woman sellers, want to steal their capitals to retaliate from them. There are four men and one woman in a ruined boat. Four lazy and dissatisfaction sailors. ... See full summary »

Director: Serdar Akar
Stars: Erkan Can, Haldun Boysan, Yildiray Sahinler
Edit

Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
...
Doctor Cemal
...
Commissar Naci
Taner Birsel ...
Prosecutor Nusret
Ahmet Mümtaz Taylan ...
Driver Arab Ali
...
Ercan Kesal ...
Mukhtar
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
Edit

Storyline

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

Genres:

Crime | Drama

Certificate:

Not Rated | See all certifications »
Edit

Details

Official Sites:

Language:

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)

Gross:

$138,730 (USA) (1 June 2012)
 »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

2.35 : 1
See  »
Edit

Did You Know?

Trivia

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

Goofs

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 »

Connections

Referenced in Taxi Tehran (2015) See more »

Soundtracks

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

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

Good and slow, as expected from Ceylan
8 October 2011 | by (US) – See all my reviews

Ceylan's films always get criticized for being too slow, and yes, they are slower, sometimes much slower, than what the flickering-advertisement generation is used to today. In Turkey, he is heavily criticized for being "too artsy," inaccessible, and boring. I, on the other hand, marvel at how non-Turkish audiences can actually watch and like his films; it speaks volumes for his brilliant talent in making something so foreign and different a universal piece for everyone to appreciate. The untranslatable colloquial language, the lives of people in remote parts of Turkey with petty worries, a murder investigation that happen in snail pace, the local politics of small, mud-brick villages all become accessible. Combined with his impeccable sense of cinematography and some stellar performances, especially from Yilmaz Erdogan, whom we are more used to seeing in comedic roles, the film shines.

Why a 7/10, then? Well, I have seen all of Ceylan's films. They all execute the story arc well. They do not have Hollywood endings where everything is neatly resolved, of course, but they usually have some progress and movement through the arc. Somehow, this film lacked that. I felt like the main story arc was not fulfilled. I cannot really explain it; perhaps it was that too many things were left untold, or some "hints" were too vague and just when you thought they will lead somewhere, they didn't? Nevertheless, Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is another cinematic gem from the Turkish master. Highly recommended for those who do not have to have action packed scenes and formula-bound stories to enjoy a film.


33 of 45 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Why it won the Grand Prix in Cannes Thesan
Meaning of 'Arab' for the Fellow Driving the Police Chief? film_ophile
Questions flipya4real
Women in 'Once Upon a Time . . .' SurrenderToto
Golden Globes missed it! Still going for Oscar? hamster_can
my take munirislam2002
Discuss Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for:
?