The interlocking series of setups, punch lines and non sequiturs add up to something touching, provocative and wonderfully strange.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Dean Essner - Guardian [UK]
No matter what your political sensibilities, you can't deny this movie's striking originality.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
It's an effective, arresting and terribly moving picture, even when Suleiman's polemical points are ambiguous.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
Simmering, sharply observed work.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
A movie of long, expressive silences, Divine Intervention articulates things that have never been articulated, at least on the screen.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
It makes for an intriguing example of how to use art, rather than bombs, to make a sustained political point.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
Suleiman's argument seems to be that the situation between Palestinians and Israelis has settled into an hopeless stalemate, in which everyday life incorporates elements of paranoia, resentment and craziness.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
A film whose eerie blend of deadpan wit and inner angst upset all your expectations.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
Veers uneasily and unsatisfyingly from kitschy, agitprop surrealism to a laconic spareness that is less profound than tedious.
Jonathan Foreman - New York Post
The visual puns, sight gags and the little parables told by the few speaking characters are rarely laugh-out-loud funny. But they provoke thought, debate and diverse interpretations.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
A divinely absurdist comedy.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
It's impossible not to be impressed by the resourcefulness of Palestinian director Elia Suleiman's new film, Divine Intervention, which actually manages to find humour in the condition of living in Arab Israel.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
This Competition film achieves a level of artistry and firm control over a clear, concise vision that makes it worthy of festival honors.
Kirk Honeycutt - Hollywood Reporter
The film offers up simultaneous critiques of Palestinian and Israeli extremism, but the most radical thing about it is that it's often disquietingly funny.
Manohla Dargis - Los Angeles Times
Mark Halverson - Sacramento News & Review
Elia Suleiman is a talented man who made a striking film to voice the sorrows of his people and there are sorrows to be lamented, but his film is drawn from an ugliness and intellectual dishonesty that besmirches any lesson that could possibly be extracte
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Dean Essner - Time Out
Dean Essner - Film Threat
A mordantly amusing black comedy about life among the Arab citizens of Israel.
Josh Ralske - All Movie Guide
Life in the Arab-Israeli region has a random and arbitrary unintelligibility, if this surreal stylization validly reflects it. But, validity comes into question.
Jules Brenner - Cinema Signals
Dean Essner - Apollo Guide
...a non-narrative film that mixes agitprop with Pythonesque silliness and an almost stately, rueful kind of slapstick that recalls Buster Keaton in tone if not physicality.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
El director hilvana sensaciones, alegorias, representaciones mas bien absurdas, e inspiradas en el cine mudo o la comedia fisica de Buster Keaton o Jacques Tati.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
Suleiman works in slow, poetic scenes that build to hilarious climaxes.
Jurgen Fauth - About.com
Provocative yet self-reflective, hilarious yet heartbreaking chronicle of love and pain.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
A hard film to get, but an enjoyable one to watch.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Some of Suleiman's symbols are maddeningly obtuse, while others -- like the final shot of a pressure cooker -- are ridiculously obvious.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
As the film progresses, it becomes considerably more focused . . . even though it doesn't always make sense.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
From the first scenes -- a sorry-looking Santa huffing and puffing his way up a hill to flee a gang of Palestinian youths -- Divine Intervention intercedes to offer the most unexpected of film experiences.
Laura Kelly - South Florida Sun-Sentinel
Elusive but fascinating.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
A brilliant comic cry of pain, a surrealistically piercing protest at what its maker sees as brutal oppression and chooses to attack with satire rather than rocks or bombs.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
a film to be studied and analyzed. Too bad it's not accessible enough to connect on an entertainment level.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Jim Shelby - Palo Alto Weekly
It's ridiculous and smart, hilarious and terrifying, difficult to swallow and probably a necessary antidote to the cacophonous history of a land that all too often seems anything but holy.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
[A] sly and corrosively funny political comedy.
Jean Oppenheimer - Dallas Observer
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
While its deadpan comedy recalls Jim Jarmusch, and its deep humanity might remind you of Abbas Kiarostami, Divine Intervention is calmly unsettling in a way that feels entirely new.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Suleiman's exquisite anguish is evident.
Susan Green - Boxoffice Magazine
Existence under these conditions is difficult and unpredictable at best. But Suleiman has also found the funny and poignant aspects, using satire and absurdist comedy to make his points.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Don't try for Buster Keaton deadpan effects unless you have Buster Keaton.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
It succeeds because Suleiman applies the same kind of minimalism and silent comedy that made Tati's films ... always so winning.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
May be too culture-specific for most Americans, but international film lovers should seek it out
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
Elia Suleiman is an international filmmaking talent to watch.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Elia Suleiman ... shows a real knack for getting to the human foibles upon which great political turmoil are built
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The movie can be labored and sometimes obvious, but it's the work of someone who's trying to find ways to express alienation, longing and a pervasive sense of frustration.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
A pleasant surprise.
John Monaghan - Detroit Free Press
Becomes oppressive as Suleiman relies on pro-Palestinian propaganda.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
An almost irresistible work of art.
Jonathan Curiel - San Francisco Chronicle
Biting irony and an unusual combination of grounded reality and quirky fantasy, occasionally slipping into puzzling obscurity.
Arthur Lazere - culturevulture.net
Presents, in its collagelike way, a sad socio-psychological study of a people whose hatred for a mutual enemy is turning in against themselves and eroding whatever is left of civil behavior a little bit more each day.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
A collection of repetitive, seemingly unrelated vignettes, as symbolic as they are self-consciously waggish.
Ella Taylor - L.A. Weekly
Wonderfully effective, funny and yet horrific.
Donald J. Levit - Film Threat
Some scenes are just meant to be amusing, while others are calculated specifically to give some psychic satisfaction to Palestinian viewers.
Joshua Tanzer - Offoffoff
The movie is so busy being clever, in ways that don't fit with each other, that it is unable to communicate.
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
A film of bits and pieces, of sly humor and quiet realizations of deeper meaning.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
Elbert Ventura - PopMatters
Elia Suleiman's wry, sometimes unsettling comedy is a political allegory in deadpan black-out sketches worthy of the Theater of the Absurd...
Sean Axmaker - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Suleiman serves up another winning deadpan comedy set in the tense, violent world of the Middle East.
Eric Monder - Film Journal International
Aside from getting a unique opportunity to view daily life in Nazareth, this film has little else to offer that's appealing.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Dean Essner - FilmFour.com
Suleiman creates a sense of profound disorientation and somehow comical psychic wounds with immense skill, and silences teeming with insight into his uniquely tragic universe.
Prairie Miller - Long Island Press
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Neil Norman - This is London
What to make of it? Call it a red balloon lofted into the collective imagination to unsettle, to haunt, even, perhaps, to arouse faint dreams of possibility, if not hope.
Gene Seymour - Newsday
Laughing at the cruelty of man, of one neighbor's inhumanity to the other, Suleiman uses comedy to dig under the skin. The film's subtitle is, after all, A Chronicle of Love and Pain.
Jeremiah Kipp - Filmcritic.com
The Dr. Strangelove of the Palestinian-Israeli conflict, bringing barely acknowledged fears to the surface so they can be understood.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Something of a rarity: A wry, mordantly funny black comedy that boldly embraces fantasies of Palestinian power.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide
Unfortunately the gags here vary enormously in their effectiveness.
Tom Dawson - BBC
Equally absurd and despairingly angry, the result is simply Divine.
Dean Essner - E! Online
A mixed bag of angry social satire, as scattershot as an Uzi, hitting many of its targets with about as much subtlety.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Women take on a role of auxiliary endurance... the only character[s] to confront the camera head-on, in close up, or direct stares.
Jon Lap - Apollo Guide
An imaginative and daring Palestinian film about the fights and feuds in Nazareth that have shredded community life and banished civility under the terror of Israeli occupation.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Divine Intervention is very clear that the conflict in the Middle East is all one big farce.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
Frequently hilarious and frustratingly underdeveloped at the same time.
Kim Linekin - eye WEEKLY