The Past Reviews

  • A wrenchingly intimate tale of lives torn asunder by forces within and without them.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • The narrative complications can be distracting, at times exasperating, but they're finally irrelevant because Mr. Farhadi's filmmaking is so fluid, and the performers, Ms. Bejo, in particular, are so attractive.

    Manohla Dargis — New York Times

  • Almost hypnotically compelling, spinning an intricate web of predicaments, emotional reactions and resolutions in a domestic drama that leaves the viewer reeling by its conclusion.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • "The Past" has something important and powerful to say about the past. It doesn't shape or haunt the present. In a sense, Farhadi suggests, they exist alongside each other.

    Michael O'Sullivan — Washington Post

  • An impeccable work that moves forward steadily and without much dynamic modulation, it's a movie not for people who want to escape the world but for those who want to understand it better.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • Bolstered by performances that convey profound grief and remorse without look-at-me histrionics, The Past is steeped in the believable micro details of its scenario while also expanding to universals.

    Nick Schager — Village Voice

  • "The Past" is not as nuanced as its predecessor - and not as impactful, either. But this is still far more complex than most family dramas.

    Elizabeth Weitzman — New York Daily News

  • The layers have layers in Mr. Farhadi's narratives. The title itself is layered with irony; the past is never past, but always shaping the present.

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • What a teller of domestic truths Asghar Farhadi has become.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • [Farhadi's] gift for pulling us deep into the story, and for conveying the major burdens of these supposedly minor lives, is unimpaired.

    Anthony Lane — New Yorker

  • Iranian writer-director Asghar Farhadi creates detailed characters in distinctive circumstances, bypassing script cliches of domestic tension.

    Bill Stamets — Chicago Sun-Times

  • Even with a bit of dramaturgical clunkiness "The Past" is fluid, intimate cinema.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • A thickly knotted and compelling tale, set in an unglamorous, working-class Paris, it churns with complex emotions, suspense, guilt, and regret.

    Steven Rea — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • The Past is a compelling mystery tale wrapped in a riveting family drama, with the death throes of a marriage cloaking deeper, fouler things.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Farhadi has pulled off the dysfunctional family mystery trick twice now, brilliantly, and perhaps three times in a row would be too much. But it's doubtful he will leave behind the fertile ground of family ties and modern messiness. He sees so much there.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • Farhadi again burrows deep into his characters to tell an achingly intimate story, spinning grand tragedies out of minor lives in which the past lingers in the air, a perfume that haunts long after its wearer has left the room.

    Barbara VanDenburgh — Arizona Republic

  • If "The Past" doesn't equal the masterpiece that preceded it, it's still an exceptional film from a man who is clearly one of the best working directors.

    Farran Smith Nehme — New York Post

  • Farhadi works like a master poker player, carefully revealing his cards and building tension with each new bit of information.

    Peter Howell — Toronto Star

  • Gossipy and hand-wringing, but graceful enough for you to safely call it art.

    Jordan Hoffman — Film.com

  • Farhadi's new work confirms his unique ability to explore how constant chatter and anguished outbursts obscure the capacity for honest communication.

    Eric Kohn — indieWIRE

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