“Very Very Good!”
“Very Moving And Personal!!”
[A] pretty good adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's pretty good 2003 best-seller.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Mr. Forster has been soundly defeated by The Kite Runner. Despite the film's far-flung locations, there is remarkably little of visual interest here; the setups are banal, and the scenes lack tension, which no amount of editing can provide.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
A workmanlike, if decaffeinated version of Khaled Hosseini's bestselling novel.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The Kite Runner is a compelling and uplifting tale that exposes the viewer to an unfamiliar, fascinating culture and a family dynamic that is recognizable and nuanced.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
A film of exhilarating, redemptive humanity, conveying an enduring sense of hope.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
The Kite Runner will be loved by many moviegoers for its taste and humanity, but for all the places Forster takes us he doesn't show us anything we haven't seen.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Armed with a capably hands-off screenplay by David Benioff, [Forster] made a drama as bland and beige as its tasteful palette, whose pacing wouldn't look out of place in the Sunday-night slot on PBS.
Ella Taylor - Village Voice
The movie has two extraordinary characters and performances. Non-pro Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada breaks your heart as the innocent, wide-eyed child Hassan, and Homayoun Ershadi makes Amir's father a model of intuitive decency.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
In a movie about a storyteller (Amir as an adult in America is played by Khalid Abdalla) the storytelling pace moves between deliberate and sluggish.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
The Afghan boys' kite-flying contests are the emotional core of the film, and Forster and his crew bring the camera into the sky and make it dip and soar along with the kites.
David Edelstein - New York Magazine
The movie's heart is certainly in the right place -- it's a quietly outraged work -- but I wish there were more excitement in it from moment to moment.
David Denby - New Yorker
How long has it been since you saw a movie that succeeds as pure story? That doesn't depend on stars, effects or genres, but simply fascinates you with how it will turn out?
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The Kite Runner feels authentic in its ethnic tensions, even when the narrative itself, with its handily reappearing and easily avenged villain, undermines that authenticity.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The powerful themes of loyalty, shame, and redemption tend to be muted by the same glass-table treatment Forster brought to Finding Neverland.
J. R. Jones - Chicago Reader
A heartfelt saga of cruelty redeemed by belated love.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
A respectful adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's 2003 novel.
Jeff Strickler - Minneapolis Star Tribune
If The Kite Runner flies only to flutter and fall a bit, at least it flies for a while.
Tom Long - Detroit News
[It] boasts one of the best performances by a child actor, ever.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
Nuanced perfs and standout production design convey story in cinematic terms, preserving the narrative's emotional power and historical sweep as it spans continents and decades.
Alissa Simon - Variety
This is more an entertaining than a profound film.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
Visually arresting, politically controversial, perhaps its greatest virtue is its simple message of making wrong right.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The Kite Runner has become that most unfortunate of awards-season Hollywood casualties: a worthy bore.
Geoff Pevere - Toronto Star
The Kite Runner is dramatically and visually sumptuous
Jonathan F. Richards - Film.com
Sure, the movie doesn't have the heart of the book, but it does have a solid mechanical pump, strong enough at least to keep a robust story on two-hour life support.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
Maudlin, implausible and dull.
Andrew O'Hehir - Salon.com
At times brutal, at times touching, the movie stands out as one of the better 'prestige' productions offered for cinematic consumption during the waning weeks of 2007.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
The film feels totally convincing in all its technical aspects, including its use of Chinese locations to double for the story's Afghan setting.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
If nothing else, though, The Kite Runner does succeed in providing a vibrant window into a region of the world we might not have known and might have felt daunted to seek out.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
I won't deny that the film is sometimes rushed, oversimplified and skimpy on the details of Afghan culture that informed the book. But the tale still takes hold.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
The Marc Forster-directed version of the Khaled Hosseini novel does one part of the story so well that its success underlines what's lacking in what remains.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out
A remarkable story with tremendous human interest, about people we think we've figured out, but about whom we actually know next to nothing.
Kelly Vance - East Bay Express
Faked compassion, bland visuals, metaphors dropped like anvils
Fernando F. Croce - CinePassion
...a good but not classic movie of a good but not classic novel.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
Bob Mondello - NPR.org
- St. Louis Post-Dispatch
- Atlanta Journal-Constitution
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Entirely too epic for its own good.
Heather Huntington - ReelzChannel.com
Jonathan Kiefer - Sacramento News & Review
Forster na synehizei na psahnei ti Hora toy Pote stin paramythenia Kampoyl toy protoy meroys, prin perasei sto deytero kommati tis istorias, opoy i prospatheia toy Afganoy metanasti na brei thesi sto Neo Kosmo kai bima na pei tis istories toy, ginetai syn
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
Es un poco inevitable sentir que la pelicula transcurre casi como un tramite, sin permitirle al espectador una aproximacion mucho mas sensible a la historia.
Enrique Buchichio - Uruguay Total
A skilfully made and subtly powerful film, with a disarmingly human protagonist whose efforts seem all the more real, given his weaknesses and the movie's authentic feel.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
The Kite Runner will no doubt warm the hearts of its intended audience, but its nature is one of dubious flattery.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
The two young boys are definitely the highlight of the film. Their friendship is truly felt, which makes the tragedy that befalls Hassan all the more powerful.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
The Kite Runner is solid and competently made, but then those are words one always uses when a piece of art falls short of greatness.
Brandon Fibbs - Colorado Springs Gazette
Moments feel disappointingly scripted, so it's especially good news that many of its characters do not.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
Hosseini's over-done melodrama that doesn't so much open our eyes to Afghanistan as reinforce everything negative we've already suspected.
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
Friendship, loyalty, tragedy, and politics are themes sensitively and sometimes terrifyingly examined. But the film's hopeful spirit hits home despite the differences in our culture and language.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
A heart-wrenching tale of lost friendship and redemption, "The Kite Runner" is as memorable as a movie as it is a novel.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
Uma admiravel montanha-russa emocional.
Pablo Villaca - Cinema em Cena
- Sydney Morning Herald
The Kite Runner is a film that both soars like its kite metaphor on the air currents of good storytelling, and falls to earth when its credibility is cut out from under it.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
Alternately chilling and thrilling, The Kite Runner tugs at some emotional strings not often yanked with such frankness.
Larry Ratliff - San Antonio Express-News
The narrative is a tapestry entwined from personal and political threads; the result is emotionally overwhelming
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
The Kite Runner is a curiosity in that it is a film driven almost entirely by its story, to the point that all the actors - save the fiercely patriarchal Homayoun Ershadi as Amir's father- seem purely functional, if not negligible.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
...the film is entertaining with superb acting, But a far cry from making the impact that the book did. Why it minimizes the brutality of the Taliban is mystifying.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
It's a brutal second act, really.
Gabe Leibowitz - Film and Felt
Forster's self-important direction submarines a film that begins well, but slips into melodrama and plods towards anti-climax.
Dan Jardine - Apollo Guide
The film's belief in the power of redemption and its subtle assertion of the need for moral courage in personal (or political) conflict, is never allowed to get in the way of its boldly told, intelligent, informed and affecting story.
- Time Out
Based on Khaled Hosseini's highly regarded novel, this story of exile, ambition and betrayal has an emotional power that outstrips its occasional implausibilities.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
A cracking final 20 minutes leave you realising what an evil bunch of idiots the Taliban really are.
- Sun Online
Showcasing a welcome lack of big-budget attitude, The Kite Runner makes up for its small flaws with an engaging, thought-provoking story and a willingness to tackle some very dark issues.
Saxon Bullock - Film4
There's something timid and tasteful about the filmmaking which struck me as pretty mendacious, in a story about a blood bond severed by rape and mended, a generation on, by a rather too tidy act of atonement.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
The film deftly spans the cruelty of Afghan history, from the Soviet invasion to Taliban desolation.
Matt Mueller - Total Film
Perhaps he might have been tougher but that might have rendered the film less digestible.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
It would take a viewer with the aesthetic skills of an Olympian to overcome the horrendous hurdles placed in entertainment's way by this well-meaning but misguided adaptation of the famed bestseller.
Bill Gibron - PopMatters
An enthralling piece of cinema.
James Christopher - Times [UK]
The third of the film given to the boys' childhood adventures is excellent, both kids fully convincing as pals who'll never part.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
Forster takes few liberties with Hosseini's novel: it's a straightforward, anadorned adaptation with the much of the dialogue in Persian and a capable non-starry cast.
Elliott Noble - Sky Movies
The measured mise-en-scene is fine for the boyhood scenes. Character-building alternates with brief bursts of image music, such as the kite-flying contest that fills the Kabul sky with darting, colourful fabric-birds.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
Impressively directed and superbly written, this is a moving emotional drama with strong performances from its two young leads.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
An engaging melodrama whose less convincing plot points are superseded by some astonishingly affecting performances from the mostly unknown cast.
Dan Jolin - Empire Magazine
The part of the film set in Kabul (actually filmed in China) is fascinating, breathtaking and exciting.
Jeanne Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
'The Kite Runner' is certainly one of the better films in a year of very good ones.
David Kaplan - Kaplan vs. Kaplan
[The filmmakers] sensitively handle the breakdown of Amir and Hassan's friendship [and] grasp the tension between the hardship of those who remained in Afghanistan and the guilt of those who fled.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Director Forster always works wonders with children. It's what made Finding Neverland a near-classic. It's what redeems the intermittent obviousness and flatness of this film about escaping an unforgiving fatherland.
Michael Sragow - Baltimore Sun
The Kite Runner is actually a lyrical and understated portrait of life's journey come full circle, within the context of the immigrant experience.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The Kite Runner is earnest and sentimental and formulaic and obvious. Watching it, I could understand the fuss over Khaled Hosseini's bestselling novel, but the film didn't make me want to read it.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
An example of how good intentions don't necessarily make for a good movie.
Steve Davis - Austin Chronicle
The filmmakers go by the book in The Kite Runner, a literate, if occasionally listless adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's best-selling novel.
John Monaghan - Detroit Free Press
Some plot turns in The Kite Runner feel predictable and contrived, but there's nothing false about the film's overall redemptive flight.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
This is no experimental tale, but a gripping yarn, and the issues it confronts are complicated ones, with many sides.
Beverly Berning - culturevulture.net
Director Marc Forster and screenwriter David Benioff fail to capture the full impact of Khaled Hosseini's mega-best seller The Kite Runner.
Carla Meyer - Sacramento Bee
A glossy and admirable condensation of the immensely popular novel...
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
A completely captivating and powerful moviegoing experience, a heartwrenching but redemptive story that deftly intertwines the personal and the political.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Both tender and brutal, the sweeping story touches upon such lofty themes as religious fundamentalism, the ravages of war and the overwhelmingly desolate nature of regret.
Donald Munro - Fresno Bee
Afghanistan is a nation tortured by history, but the core feeling in The Kite Runner is heartburning love of the place, its proud people and dusty, rugged beauty.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
This is one of those stories that, on some primal level, goes straight to the heart.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
A dark tale of gnawing lament and an all-consuming yearning to atone for lifelong shortcomings.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
By the time it arrives at its final kite-flying scene back in the Bay Area, The Kite Runner has soared occasionally, but remains too grounded for its own good in the book from which it was supposed to spring.
Bruce Newman - San Jose Mercury News
The movie version of The Kite Runner succeeds in at least one respect: It does make you want to check out the source material to see what has been glossed over.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Everything good about the book has been removed from the film, and everything trite and unconvincing in the book has been left as the core of the drama.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
Director Marc Forster and writer David Benioff might seem odd choices to adapt a book about such a place. But they have respectfully transformed Hosseini's novel.
Lawrence Toppman - Charlotte Observer
There have been exemplary movies imported out of the Middle East and the surrounding region for well over a decade now, which is perhaps why this U.S.-born-and-bred adaptation ... never exudes the raw, authentic power that such a story demands.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Doesn't rank quite up there with Marc Forster's best work, but it still shows him as one of the best filmmakers at work today.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Afghani newcomer Ahmad Khan Mahmidzada's portrayal of the doting servant Hassan is an absolute revelation
Marlow Stern - Manhattan Movie Magazine
Whilst some of the vivid detail in Khalid Hosseini's best-selling novel does get lost in translation, director Marc Forster hits all the emotional high notes.
Stella Papamichael - BBC
Tepid at best.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
A good, sprawling yarn that covers a lot of miles and a lot of years.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
A film of deadly serious conviction but undeniable convention...
Todd Gilchrist - IGN Movies
It's a haunting story.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
...an affecting, downright riveting piece of work.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
How often does a single movie seem to capture the very essence of what it means to be alive and aware and imperfect in so simple a story? This is one of the very best films of 2007...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The screen throws the story's weaknesses into sharper relief than the printed page did, and despite the obvious dedication and craftsmanship, the film finishes as a near-miss.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The film has the same weaknesses and strengths as the novel. And its greatest weakness is that the main character is the least interesting and just about the least sympathetic.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
You've got to appreciate getting to live in a city or suburb. Things are totally run down in the good areas. The things that make these people happy would make the Super Sweet 16 kids kill themselves.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
Dolefully faithful to its source in the broad strokes, almost none of the book's cultural engagement sneaks through.
Michelle Orange - Reeler
Manipulative filmmaking, to be sure, but director Marc Forster manipulates us so well, we overlook the fact in the viewing and forgive it in the memory.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
I wonder what a different director and screenwriter would have done with the source material.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Compelling story, well rendered.
Boo Allen - Denton Record Chronicle (TX)
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
There's a lethargy and a reverence about this film that seem misplaced, as though Forster and screenwriter David Benioff thought they were adapting a sacred text and forgot they were making drama.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Dave White - Movies.com
There is a compelling movie in this somewhere, but the film as made lacks a certain momentum.
Peter T. Chattaway - Christianity Today
This Kite soars to rare heights.
Chad Greene - Boxoffice Magazine
It's the childhood scenes, and the truthfulness of the boys' performances, that you remember.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
A humane and enriching motion picture experience that soars and takes flight as a first class piece of filmmaking.
Pete Hammond - Maxim
The young actors are quite good, as is Homayoun Ershadi as Amir's intellectual father.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
The actors, and the many cultural specifics the movie imparts, overcome the script's deficiencies.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
It may not pack the emotional punch that it could, but it's an interesting story that's worth a look.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Faithful to the bestselling novel on which it's based, The Kite Runner is a thoughtful, often heart-wrenching story about betrayal and redemption.
Betsy Bozdech - Hollywood.com
What happened to the Marc Foster who made the compelling indie Everything Put Together?...a bland, Hollywood production that tells the story the novel's author outlined without giving it any but the most obvious themes...
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
The Kite Runner doesn't just make us watch the battling kites in the skies over Kabul; it makes us truly see the people below, in many ways for the first time; that's the film's greatest achievement, and ultimately the best reason to see it.
James Rocchi - Cinematical
Fans of the book are unlikely to be disappointed and people new to the material may find a small film that lingers in their memory much longer than the hyped big ones.
Brian Tallerico - The Deadbolt
...comes off as the simplistic Oprah-approved gush it always was...
Rob Gonsalves - eFilmCritic.com
The movie never connects emotionally. There's something false about the storytelling; much seems black and white, morally, and there's a hole where the heart of this thing should be.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
This movie never gets started.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Kite Runner remains an effective, deeply felt meditation on forgiveness, and when it stays near the characters, it's some of the best filmmaking Marc Forster has ever accomplished.
Brian Orndorf - OhmyNews.com
Like the source novel, Marc Forster's film is frequently contrived and melodramatic.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
A sweet and masterful story of survival, transcendence, loyalty and friendship told with striking cinematography. A spiritual piece of work.
Ron Wilkinson - Monsters and Critics
The movie slides downhill after its fine portrayal of childhood bonds and cowardice in Afghanistan twenty-six years in the past.
Donald J. Levit - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
The decidedly small-scale finished product doesn't quite measure up to the epic scope of its story. Fortunately, the film's heart remains very much intact.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
The power of the film's key scenes can make you forget the long, long, long trip it takes to get to them.
Chris Farnsworth - E! Online
Khaled Hosseini's engaging best-seller cries out for a film treatment on an epic scale. But with his uneven, awards-baiting adaptation, Marc Forster seems a tourist both culturally and dramatically.
Ben Kenigsberg - Time Out New York
Yet another coming-of-age story, with complex emotions and developments distilled into simplistic cliches; it's as middle-of-the-road as they come.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
...the most cinematic elements of the novel are the weakest parts of the movie.
Josh Larsen - Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
The film version of Khaled Hosseini's novel is so portentously sincere that you may feel like a cretin for embracing it with anything less than a full heart.
Jan Stuart - Newsday
It is a big, important work.
Janos Gereben - Entertainment Insiders
An absorbing story in a setting that is both exotic and universal.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
A memorable and moving drama about the pain of lost friendship, the yearning for forgiveness, and the freedom that comes from making amends.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Calls into question why Hosseini's novel was such a chart-climber in the first place other than being one of the first published pieces of fiction to use the Taliban as a subplot after 9/11.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
A positive and uplifting story about the kind of interpersonal loyalty that not even a terrorist organization can destroy.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
relies heavily on gimmicky turns in the action leading toward teary crescendos
Chris Barsanti - Filmcritic.com
The film has its moments of purity and at times they are exquisite (they almost seem accidental in their innocence), but it is the story and its ultimate disingenuousness that overturns the cart.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
A qualified success.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Hampered by a dull leading performance, Marc Foster and screenwriter David Benioff's adaptation of Khaled Hosseini's hugely popular novel skimps on the book's real value in favor of bland melodrama and absurd dramatics.
Ken Fox - TV Guide's Movie Guide