The Kite Runner Reviews

  • [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

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