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Horses of God(Les chevaux de Dieu)

Hamid, a drug dealer, is imprisoned for two years after throwing a rock at a police officer's car. While his younger brother Yacine learns to get by without him in the slums of Morocco, Hamid returns with a newfound devotion to Islamic fundamentalism, setting the brothers at odds.
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WHAT ARE CRITICS SAYING?

90

Salon by Andrew O'Hehir

Horses of God is one of the most forceful entries in a growing body of cinema that interrogates the causes and effects of terrorism, nationalism and fundamentalism in the Arab world.
80

Village Voice by Chris Packham

Director Nabil Ayouch depicts the sprawling, ramshackle Sidi Moumen slums with fluid camera movements... He finds the humanity and the hopelessness in its narrow streets, its fields of rubble, monstrous trash dumps, and grim marketplaces.
80

The Hollywood Reporter by Deborah Young

This is less a film about terrorists than an intimate portrait of boys growing up in a toxic environment. All the non-pro actors turn in natural performances, but the dark, brooding Rachid gets under the skin in the main role.
75

Slant Magazine by Elise Nakhnikian

Nabil Ayouch's film allows us see how young suicide bombers--"horses of God," as the man in charge of their mission calls them--might deserve our pity.
70

Variety by Jay Weissberg

Ultimately, the training and suicide mission are less interesting to Ayouch than the initial forming of character, and the fundamentalist cell members are only stock figures; what’s important is the group’s sense of disenfranchisement and the lure of inner peace.
60

The Dissolve by Mike D'Angelo

What keeps Horses lively is its sharp young cast—especially the two Rachids, who are also brothers in real life, and do an expert job of showing how Hamid and Yachine slowly change places.
83

The A.V. Club by Nick Schager

Aided by three-dimensional performances that exude a convincing mixture of bitterness, selfishness, desperation, and hate, Ayouch film casts a sharp gaze on tragedy, and the larger socio-economic issues that beget fanaticism.
70

The New York Times by Stephen Holden

In its demystification of these youthful slum dwellers, the film makes their embrace of terrorism frighteningly comprehensible. Because it follows its main characters over 10 years, from childhood into adulthood, it gives their fates a sense of tragic inevitability

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