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® Scores
Movie Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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A rambling road movie with noble intentions and an excess of speechifying.
Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times  full review
A minor movie on a major subject, a drama with an almost unbearable lightness.
Wesley Morris, Boston Globe  full review
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.
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star  full review
Too slight as a metaphor for the larger catastrophe of the Mideast, too preachy to work as an emotionally compelling drama.
Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail  full review
Much of the dialogue is didactic and pedantic. And when not didactic and pedantic, it's plodding and dull.
Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News  full review
The message is made clear within the first 10 minutes, leaving us with about 80 minutes of thematic repetition.
Desson Thomson, Washington Post  full review
[A] fractious film from thorny filmmaker Amos Gitai.
Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly  full review
Free Zone suffers from too-much-information syndrome, stalling out now and again from its tangled narrative wiring and an overload of emotional freight.
Jan Stuart, Newsday  full review
It's a nice crying jag by Natalie Portman, but there's not much else here to recommend.
Jack Mathews, New York Daily News  full review
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.
Jessica Winter, Village Voice  full review
Visually, Free Zone resembles a home movie in which an overly enthusiastic vacationer records every moment of a mundane trip.
Duane Byrge, Hollywood Reporter
[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.
Derek Elley, Variety  full review
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