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The Ottoman Lieutenant

Lillie, a determined American woman, ventures overseas to join Dr. Jude at a remote medical mission in the Ottoman Empire. However, Lillie soon finds herself at odds with Jude and the mission’s founder, Woodruff, when she falls for the titular military man, Ismail, just as the war is about to erupt.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

25

IndieWire by David Ehrlich

A limp and lifeless historical melodrama that aspires to be the “Pearl Harbor” of the preamble to World War I and still falls well short of that ignoble goal, Joseph Ruben’s The Ottoman Lieutenant tries to snatch a love triangle from out beneath the Armenian Genocide but fails to get any of the angles right.
30

Variety by Dennis Harvey

Though the film ultimately hinges on a “forbidden” Muslim-Christian romance, almost nothing is made of the enormous hurdles that would be present in this time and place.
40

Los Angeles Times by Gary Goldstein

This well-intentioned, sumptuously shot tale of love and war, directed by Joseph Ruben, lacks the emotional depth and romantic grandeur to fulfill its epic ambitions.
25

Slant Magazine by Keith Watson

More conspicuous than its rote melodrama is the way the film elides the concurrent genocide of ethnic Armenians by Ottoman forces.
20

Austin Chronicle by Marjorie Baumgarten

Ultimately, this is a movie that’s more about the Ottoman Lieutenant’s Woman than The Ottoman Lieutenant himself – another example of the film’s epic misdirection.
30

The New York Times by Neil Genzlinger

The Ottoman Lieutenant is an overwrought nurse romance merged with a history lesson, a combination that is hard to take as seriously as the film wants to be taken.
38

Movie Nation by Roger Moore

What we’re left with is a botched romance saddled with an over-arching, over-reaching message, one that only the Turks will be quick to embrace.
40

The Hollywood Reporter by Sheri Linden

The by-the-numbers story never achieves its aimed-for grandeur or intensity, and the striking Turkish locations prove far more interesting than the characters.

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