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A Separation Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Sophisticated and universal yet deeply intimate, A Separation is an exquisitely conceived family drama that has the coiled power of a top-notch thriller.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Farhadi is no mere formalist. His film is a spiritual investigation into the rise of women and the descent of male privilege in Iran, and a look at the toll that has taken. In a movie of flawless acting, it is Moadi - terse, proud, angry, haunted - who shows us that rare thing: a soul in transition.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The members of the cast represent ensemble, naturalistic acting at its finest.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    As in all the director's work, the cast is given top consideration and their realistic acting results in unusual depth of characterization.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 16+

Intense but rewarding Iranian drama has complex characters.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that A Separation is a powerful Iranian drama with mature themes, including marital troubles and miscarriage, plus lots of tense, angry arguing. There's some strong language (in English subtitles) and some adult situations. In one scene, a very religious woman must decide what to do when, while caring for an old man, she finds she needs to clean him, despite the fact that her religion doesn't allow her to see him naked. Though none of the content concerns are individually all that age inappropriate for younger teens, overall, watching A Separation is a pretty intense experience.

  • Families can talk about the movie's arguments and intense situations. Do they fit with the movie's story? What purpose do they serve?
  • How do culture and religion play into the decisions the characters make? Does the movie portray their influence in an expected way?
  • According to this movie, what are some of the differences between Iran and America? What are some similarities? Do you agree?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: A Separation illustrates how communication and telling the truth can solve a lot of problems, while lying and covering up can create more -- though it demonstrates this through a negative example rather than a positive one.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Most of the characters are willing to lie and cover up their knowledge to make things "easier" on themselves. Characters mostly communicate through arguing.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: There's a minor scuffle as an enraged man tries to eject a woman from his home. Also discussion of a miscarriage. Many shouting matches and tense arguments.

  • sex false0

    Sex: A woman realizes she must clean an old man who has wet himself, even though it's against her religion to see the man naked. The old man is shown in his underwear.

  • language false3

    Language: Aside from angry, tense arguing, there's some swearing in the subtitles, including one use of "f--k," plus "a--hole," "bastard," and "hell."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Cigarettes can be seen in one scene, but there's no actual smoking.