Critic Reviews



Based on 10 critic reviews provided by
The Film Stage
There’s no better way to show these power dynamics than via long takes. By letting the events play out, Hania refuses to let her lead off the hook emotionally. Al Ferjani is therefore thrown into the fire, her Mariam an exposed nerve reacting on impulse to everything that occurs.
Beauty And The Dogs is a forthright and accomplished film which deals with its controversial subject matter without flinching. Tautly plotted, it has a pace and tension which mitigates the exhausting spectacle of watching a vulnerable young woman getting bullied and browbeaten by a selection of utterly horrible men.
The filmmaking is so striking — and Ms. Al Ferjani so movingly, indefatigably resolute — it’s impossible not to persevere right along with her.
A film that’s an emotional rollercoaster and socio-political tract rolled into one.
Village Voice
Director Ben Hania has a rhythmic, urgent sense of filmmaking, but she makes the odd creative decision of dividing her film into nine chapters, each a single take.
Washington Post
By the end, the outcome is still unclear, leaving viewers hanging. Such ambiguity might work for pure fiction, but given that there’s a real-life incident behind the story, the lack of closure is unsatisfying.
Ben Hania’s decision to divide the film into 9 chapters, each seemingly orchestrated in a single take, works on a cerebral level, but the form doesn’t serve the story, and while the overall choreography of actors and camerawork is impressive, it never fully satisfies.
Chilling Kafkaesque encounters give way to portrayals of thuggish cops bordering on caricature. In distractingly blunt ways, the film emphasizes what's already powerfully clear: the monstrousness of Mariam's situation and her courage.
Slant Magazine
The film savors its obviousness and cruelty as badges of honor, reducing itself to a technical polemic.
This tale of a young rape victim further brutalized by officialdom never lives up to its potential.

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