Total Film - 06/01/2011 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] densely plotted, morally complex marital drama....Impressively shot and acted..."
Sight and Sound - 07/01/2011
"A SEPARATION invites us into an intricate web of social, ethical and religious dilemmas....It's a film that pays us the compliment of letting us make up our own minds."
USA Today - 12/30/2011
"Sophisticated and universal yet deeply intimate, A SEPARATION is an exquisitely conceived family drama that has the coiled power of a top-notch thriller."
Movieline - 12/29/2011
"The performances here, particularly those of Hatami and Maadi, are subtle and quietly heartfelt."
Wall Street Journal - 12/30/2011
"Thematic sweep and dramatic specificity are the movie's hallmarks, with the one always growing out of the other."
A.V. Club - 12/29/2011
"Beyond the impeccable performances and direction, it's foremost an exceptional piece of screenwriting, so finely wrought that the drama seems guided by an invisible hand."
New York Times - 12/30/2011
"It is a rigorously honest movie about the difficulties of being honest, a film that tries to be truthful about the slipperiness of truth."
Los Angeles Times - 12/30/2011
"It's a thrilling domestic drama that offers acute insights into human motivations and behavior..."
Entertainment Weekly - 01/13/2012
"In a movie of flawless acting, it is Moadi -- terse, proud, angry, haunted -- who shows us that rare thing: a soul in transition." -- Grade: A
Rolling Stone - 01/19/2012 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "The actors do wonders, uncovering rich depths in their characters. A SEPARATION is a landmark film."
Chicago Sun-Times - 01/25/2012 4 stars out of 4 -- "The writer-director, Asghar Farhadi, tells his story with a fair and even hand....That a director can make such a sympathetic film in such a troubled time is a tribute to his strength of character."
Box Office - 01/30/2012 4 stars out of 5 -- "[W]riter/director Asghar Farhadi's elegant family drama represents something of a Neorealist departure from the more lyrical films of the Iranian New Wave period."
An Iranian couple plans to flee the country with their young daughter, but finds their marriage suffering after their plans fall through due to an unforeseen complication. Simin; her husband, Nader; and their daughter, Termeh, are all set to leave Iran when Nader impulsively cancels the plans to care for his ailing father. Incensed, Simin attempts to sue for divorce, but finds herself forced to move back in with her parents when the family court rejects her request. In a na´ve attempt to reunite her fractured family, Termeh subsequently moves back in with her father as her grandfather slips deeper into the throes of Alzheimer's disease. However, when the demands of caring for his father become too great a burden for one man to carry, Nader hires Razieh as a nurse. At first Razieh seems like the answer to all of Nader's prayers; little does he realize she is carrying a child, and that she's been keeping her career a secret from her husband. Then, one day, Nader returns home to find his father bound to a table and Razieh nowhere in sight. In the explosive confrontation that follows, Termeh sees a side of her father she never knew existed, and Nader's rage threatens tragic consequences for all involved.