The shift from philosophical parrying to actual combat doesn’t make Tangerines more compelling; on the contrary, it suggests that the filmmakers didn’t have the confidence to tell their story without falling back on genre tropes.
What are people saying?
What are critics saying?
Slant Magazine by Clayton Dillard
For all of the potential, historically specific revelations regarding nation and religion, Tangerines elects to become bathetic hokum.
Urushadze’s excellent cast imbues their thinly drawn characters with a great deal of life, but the roles are so transparent that the film feels like more of an advertisement for peace than it does an argument for it.
With nearly five-decade screen veteran Ulfsak setting the wry, soulful tenor, Tangerines balances humor and seriousness in deft fashion, its delicacy abetted by all thesps and design contributions.
New York Post by Farran Smith Nehme
Ivo’s farmhouse looks leftover from another century, which gives a timeless feeling, as does the regal bearing of Ulfsak and the dry humor of the script. The film telegraphs its pacifist message early on, but it’s still deeply affecting.
Village Voice by Marsha McCreadie
Interior scenes focus theater-like on the dining room table-as-vortex: Threats and insults whip about, but, finally, so do forays of friendship.
Too blunt and didactic to convey the futility of war with the complexity the subject demands, Tangerines works primarily as a showcase for its trio of lead actors, who work hard to make their characters’ gradual yet quick thaw seem not just credible, but inevitable.
A simple tale, sharply drawn and smartly told, a portrait of a people, a place and a centuries-old conflict that this wise yet myopic citrus farmer cannot get his mind around any more than we can.
The Hollywood Reporter by Stephen Farber
The film turns out to be highly effective, thanks to the skills of the actors and director Zaza Urushadze.