Nair has found a real gem in Riz Ahmed, who anchors the film with a charismatically watchable performance. He's in virtually every frame and you hang on his every word.
Bruce Demara, Toronto Star, 2013-05-16
There's much to enjoy in 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist': fine photography, juicy supporting turns from Kiefer Sutherland and Om Puri, and a powerfully sustained sense of a man adrift in a world going mad.
Tom Huddleston, Time Out, 2013-05-08
This sure-handed adaptation of Mohsin Hamid's international best seller shows Nair at her best.
J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, 2013-05-03
Deliberately ambiguous, "The Reluctant Fundamentalist" provides just enough answers while leaving us with more than enough questions.
Richard Roeper, Richard Roeper.com, 2013-05-03
Handsomely crafted and smartly performed, the film works on its own terms. But in expanding the story's canvas, it dilutes rather than translates the power of the book.
Michael Upchurch, Seattle Times, 2013-05-02
It's a dogged, thoughtful and well-acted movie that might have been more effective if it kept a narrower focus.
Tom Charity, CNN.com, 2013-04-26
Timeliness is certainly on the side of Mira Nair's uneven but fascinating The Reluctant Fundamentalist.
Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor, 2013-04-26
It's a timely narrative subject, but its treatment in The Reluctant Fundamentalist is fundamentally flawed.
Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail, 2013-05-17
Ambiguity is at the heart of the novel, but Nair is never quite sure what to do with it.
Ty Burr, Boston Globe, 2013-05-10
As a culture-clash story the film works well enough, but as a character study it's a bit of a scramble.
Tom Long, Detroit News, 2013-05-10
It most disappoints as a thriller, the flashbacks and voiceovers and romantic entanglements so dominating the proceedings you forget that someone is bound and gagged in real time.
Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic, 2013-05-09
Despite the charismatic efforts of the British actor Ahmed, The Reluctant Fundamentalist gets bogged down in proselytizing and plot.
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, 2013-05-03
Takes [the book's] riveting tale and flattens it, blunting much of the nuance that made it a great read.
Claudia Puig, USA Today, 2013-05-03
Fairly insightful as a drama, but barely adequate as a thriller. Ahmed is pitch-perfect as the conflicted hero, but he's in two movies that cancel each other out.
Rafer Guzman, Newsday, 2013-05-02
Nair's film draws a clear parallel between violent Islamic fundamentalism and job-destroying capitalist economic fundamentalism, and firmly rejects both. If only good intentions made up for heavy-handed dramatics.
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, 2013-05-02
Nair is so busy making sure we never lose sympathy for her handsome and charming protagonist that the film ultimately founders in a tangle of humanist platitudes.
Dana Stevens, Slate, 2013-04-28
Alas, the film's relevance - and ultimately sane upshot - is buried beneath a meandering and oft-implausible plot.
Sara Stewart, New York Post, 2013-04-26
By literalizing the idea of American military aggression and all that it implies Ms. Nair doesn't just invest Mr. Hamid's story with Hollywood-style beats, she also completely drains it of ambiguity.
Manohla Dargis, New York Times, 2013-04-25
The movie's failures are all the more unfortunate because they detract from its central and conspicuous success, the performance of Riz Ahmed in the title role.
Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal, 2013-04-25