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Paradise Now

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Palestine, France, Germany · 2005
Rated PG-13 · 1h 30m
Director Hany Abu-Assad
Starring Ali Suliman, Amer Hlehel, Hiam Abbass, Ashraf Barhom
Genre Crime, Drama, Thriller

Two Palestinian men attempt to carry out a suicide bombing in Tel Aviv. After being pursued by border guards, one man retreats while the other crosses over into Israel with explosives. When they are eventually reunited, only one man remains committed to the mission as they each try to persuade the other.

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What are critics saying?


Variety by Derek Elley

Handsomely shot in widescreen, mostly on actual West Bank locations, and well-played by the cast, pic lays out the issues in an accessible but rather too over-correct way, seemingly eager to please all parties at the expense of real passion.


L.A. Weekly by Ella Taylor

Abu-Assad, who made the lovely 2002 film "Rana's Wedding," is a far more gifted observer of the everyday than he is an action director, which is why, in Paradise Now, he productively sidetracks into a persuasive and often very funny portrait of the irrationalities of life under occupation.


Village Voice by J. Hoberman

Paradise Now suffers from some odd continuity glitches and takes a few too many narrative curves en route to an overly convoluted ending, but the heart of the movie is as tense as the bus ride in Hitchcock's "Sabotage."


The Hollywood Reporter by Kirk Honeycutt

While nothing truly new or shocking emerges, the film does bring clarity and compassion to its depiction of an act that baffles, angers and sickens people the world over.


Entertainment Weekly by Lisa Schwarzbaum

Of all the shocks in the riveting and timely political thriller Paradise Now, the most unsettling may be the dignity bestowed on a pair of prospective Palestinian suicide bombers.


Christian Science Monitor by Peter Rainer

The film is better than the recent "The War Within," which tried for the same things, but ultimately, and perhaps unavoidably, we are left face to face with the unknowable.


Rolling Stone by Peter Travers

Shot in the West Bank, the film radiates authenticity. Even when he plays the action like a thriller, Abu-Assad is in search of a deeper truth.


Film Threat by Phil Hall

Filmmaker Hany Abu-Assad, who helmed the excellent "Rana's Wedding," missed the boat on this one. He may have hoped to give a human voice to the suicide bombers, but instead he gave them a misfired movie.


The A.V. Club by Tasha Robinson

While "War Within" takes a deeper, more personal look at its protagonist, Paradise Now is a more ambitious film that better contextualizes its central characters and their politics.

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