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Free Zone

Hana Laszlo won a Cannes Best Actress award for her portrayal of Hanna, an Israeli taxi driver, in this drama. Headed to the Free Zone to collect money owed to her husband, Hanna picks up Rebecca (Natalie Portman), a frazzled American who begs to come along. But retrieving the money won't be easy; the two wind up on a strange journey with a Palestinian woman (Hiam Abbass) who reveals that Hanna's debtor has vanished, along with all of his loot.
Netflix Rating: 2.6
Rotten Tomatoes: Rotten 26%
Critics' score: 26   Audience score: 26   Rotten Tomatoes page
Top Rotten Tomatoes Critics

A rambling road movie with noble intentions and an excess of speechifying. full review

Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times

[The] set-up is given a human face by fine performances and a physical journey that's often more interesting than the characters' emotional ones. full review

Derek Elley, Variety

A minor movie on a major subject, a drama with an almost unbearable lightness. full review

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe

The movie -- a metaphor for the tangled, impossible state of Israeli/Palestinian relations -- only intermittently clicks.

Robert Denerstein, Denver Rocky Mountain News

Without fail, Gitai's determination to churn everything into metaphoric mud prevails. full review

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

Too slight as a metaphor for the larger catastrophe of the Mideast, too preachy to work as an emotionally compelling drama. full review

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail

Much of the dialogue is didactic and pedantic. And when not didactic and pedantic, it's plodding and dull. full review

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News

The message is made clear within the first 10 minutes, leaving us with about 80 minutes of thematic repetition. full review

Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Visually, Free Zone resembles a home movie in which an overly enthusiastic vacationer records every moment of a mundane trip.

Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter

Free Zone suffers from too-much-information syndrome, stalling out now and again from its tangled narrative wiring and an overload of emotional freight. full review

Jan Stuart, Newsday

It's a nice crying jag by Natalie Portman, but there's not much else here to recommend. full review

Jack Mathews, New York Daily News

The film is diluted by the use of flashbacks superimposed over present-time scenes. The result is visual chaos.

V.A. Musetto, New York Post

Amos Gitai's long-winded essay revolves around the interaction of three women, an American, an Israeli and a Palestinian, on a car trip from Israel to Jordan.

Stephen Holden, New York Times

Per usual, Gitai largely eschews exposition, but his reticence sits awkwardly beside his penchant for saddling his deliberately stereotyped figures with trite, unwieldy speeches and symbolic-ironic biographical data. full review

Jessica Winter, Village Voice

[A] fractious film from thorny filmmaker Amos Gitai. full review

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly
full review by Atlanta Journal-Constitution, Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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