Critic Reviews



Based on 27 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
With its intimate focus, Menashe avoids indicting the strict logic that stifles its anti-hero’s individuality (though secular viewers can reach their own conclusions). Instead, it succeeds at showing how his challenges are more universal than judgmental viewers might think.
Menashe is a warm, relatable and tender tale about parental love, religion and belonging, told humanely and with vivid authenticity.
Menashe Lustig brings warmth and a lumpen charisma to Menashe’s lead role, giving life to a film based in part on his own experiences.
The film (shot mostly in Yiddish) has an unpolished intimacy, peeling back the surface exoticism of a cloistered faith to reveal the poignantly ordinary struggle of being an imperfect person in the world.
Joshua Z. Weinstein's charming Menashe immerses us in an authentic environment of ultra-Orthodox Judaism and makes it relatable by weaving a sweet story familiar in its general contours, of a single father struggling to hold on to the son he loves.
In a bittersweet film like this, you wouldn’t call that magical, but you could call it real, as if the Dardennes came to Brooklyn, only funnier. That mood succeeds thanks to understated performances by Weinstein’s cast of mostly non-professionals, who seem to be working according to a life-script that they know well.
Though the fate of his journey isn’t terribly well communicated, it’s a privilege to have observed Menashe’s world from the inside.
Menashe works as both a rare introduction to a way of life largely unseen (or exaggerated by those outside of it) as well as a touching depiction of fighting for what’s most important in life.
Slant Magazine
Striking throughout are the seemingly caught-on-the-wing moments that subtly enrichen the film’s characterizations.
The film ends up getting stuck in a no man’s land between fiction and documentary, never quite coming together as a complete narrative.

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