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Persepolis Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… a moving, intimate, complex, visually beautiful black-and-white story. Read full 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

    Cinematic poetry in black and white. It also is a deeply affecting tale of the power of resilience and an unflagging sense of humor through the worst of situations

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie sparkles with witty self-awareness.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    While so many films about coming of age involve manufactured dilemmas, here is one about a woman who indeed does come of age, and magnificently.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A dazzlingly smart and entertaining animated feature by Marjane Satrapi and Vincent Paronnaud, looks like a black-and-white graphic novel come to life.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The filmmakers were right to believe that a live-action version of this story would have failed to achieve the universality Persepolis does.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Persepolis reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 14+

Animated coming-of-age tale is poignant, mature.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that although this film -- an adaptation of graphic novelist Marjane Satrapi's critically acclaimed memoir about growing up in Iran during the Islamic Revolution -- is animated, it's aimed at adults. There are many references to the atrocities (mostly executions and bombings) of life before, during, and after the revolution. Several scenes involve secret parties during which secular Iranians drink and smoke; as a teenager living in Europe, Marjane also drinks, smokes, tries hash, and sleeps with two guys (at one point, feeling suicidal, she also takes lots of pills). If teens are interested, they'll learn a lot about the harsh realities of life in an oppressive culture. It's worth noting that there are two versions of the film: The original is in French with subtitles; the other is dubbed in English.

  • Families can talk about how "the West" is portrayed in the film. Why is American pop culture banned in Iran? What makes it threatening?
  • How is Marjane's family different? How does Marjane "betray" her heritage once she's abroad? What did you learn about Iranian history and culture from the film?
  • Do you think that animation was an effective way to tell Marjane's story? How would it have been different if it was live action?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Marjane tries to keep her grandmother's promise to be true to herself and to honor her roots despite all the changes going on around her.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: Several characters die, either by firing squad, public hanging, or falling while running from the police. Blood is depicted as black, oozing from a shadowy/black figure. Other scenes portray bombings, revolutionary battles, and dead victims. Marjane's mother reveals that since it's illegal to execute a virgin, unmarried female prisoners are forced to marry soldiers and have "their virginity taken" first.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Marjane kisses and hugs a couple of characters and catches a boyfriend in bed with another young woman. She admits that she's not virgin and tells her virgin friends back home that sex is good depending on the guy.

  • language false3

    Language: Language includes "bastard," "s--t," "dick," and "ass" (dialogue is in French with English subtitles).

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Bruce Lee poster, Bee Gees album, Iron Maiden album, the song "Eye of the Tiger."

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A suicidal Marjane takes a lot of pills, and Marjane and her parents attend secret parties where the adults tend to get drunk. As a teenager, Marjane drinks and smokes cigarettes and pot/hash. She also drinks and smokes cigarettes as an adult.