Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (2011)
Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 70
Fresh: 65 | Rotten: 5
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 8.1/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 2
No consensus yet.
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 5,499
In the dead of night, a group of men - including a police commissioner, a prosecutor, a doctor and a murder suspect - drive through the tenebrous Anatolian countryside, the serpentine roads and rolling hills lit only by the headlights of their cars. They are searching for a corpse, the victim of a brutal murder. The suspect, who claims he was drunk, can't remember where he buried the body. As the night draws on, details about the murder emerge and the investigators' own secrets and hypocrisies
Jan 4, 2012 Limited
Jun 26, 2012
The Cinema Guild - Official Site
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Ceylan's own growing reputation will, I hope, continue to grow. He uses the realistic film as an avenue to what lies around and beyond the realism.
A movie of such dark, smoldering intensity that it's easy to forget that half of it takes place in near darkness.
A police procedural as existential inquiry, set in a remote dreamscape of mystery and foreboding.
Ceylan's visual style is less heightened, more down-to-earth than the more stylised 'Three Monkeys', but still some of the night-time scenes look like careful paintings, such is the precision of their lighting and composition.
Ceylan doesn't slap us with big dramatic moments, but allows us to live along with his characters as things occur to them.
This is a very slow-moving movie, but it also has its attractions, such as its beautiful cinematography by Gökhan Tiryaki, particularly the wide angle shots showing the vastness of the Turkish landscape.
The literal "once upon a time" of a series of disillusioned men who no longer think about the future because they obsess over the past.
It's a masterpiece crime story that tells us as much about searching for the truth in modern Turkey as it does about violent criminals and those who prosecute them.
You can't expect a slow burn drama to payoff spectacularly unless it burns slowly, and this is precisely what Turkish auteur Nuri Bilge Ceylan orchestrates in this masterful murder-mystery.
It's a unique film that is best enjoyed knowing very little about it - so go and take a look
Mesmerising cinema... This is a film that deserves your attention. It may be slow and the plot points obtuse, but the rewards are great
Once Upon a Time in Anatolia is a film that stays on the mind days after the credits role. While quiet in tone it is rich in character and atmosphere.
Nuri Bilge Ceylan uses a matter of life and death to look at the mundane, human nature, and the mystical effect of women on men in his sixth feature film, a masterpiece.
With its wide-open setting and taciturn, macho characters, it's a film that earns the right to use the "Once Upon a Time" title that Sergio Leone made so perversely famous.
The denouement offers a satisfactory conclusion to a drama that, in its scope, rigour and discipline, confirms Ceylan as a contemporary master.
Ceylan doesn't offer much in the way of resolution, but his oblique approach does cumulatively imply much about ripple effect the crime has on all those who come into contact with it.
Audience Reviews for Once Upon a Time in Anatolia
- Commissar Naci: It's the kids who suffer in the end, doctor. Everyone pays for the things they do. But kids pay for the sins of adults.
- Commissar Naci: You're not human.
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