Desert Dancer
Desert Dancer (2015)

Set in Iran, this powerful and unbelievable true story follows the brave ambition of Afshin Ghaffarian. During the volatile climate of the 2009 presidential election, where many cultural freedoms were threatened, Afshin and some friends… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: April 10, 2015
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Critic Score: 31% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews
Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail

There would seem to be only one thing that the act of dancing cannot free the characters in Desert Dancer from, and that's the movie they're in.

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Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times

Reece Ritchie brings heart to the lead role, particularly in the decisive solo performance that caps the film. But that sequence is as expressive and alive as the rest of the supposedly movement-loving drama is static.

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Todd Jorgenson

... too earnest and cliched - with awkward English dialogue, considering the setting - and tends to oversimplify Afshin's true-life struggles.

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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star

Desert Dancer strays too frequently into melodrama to have much sticking power.

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Andy Webster
New York Times

"Desert Dancer" explores fascinating aspects of present-day Iran but suffers mightily from simplistic and sentimental tendencies.

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Scott Renshaw
Salt Lake City Weekly

By the time Desert Dancer heads for its shades-of-Argo climax, it's hard not to wish there had been a bit less melodrama, and a bit more desert dancing.

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Mary Houlihan
Chicago Sun-Times

In his feature film debut, director Richard Raymond keeps the story moving despite some dramatic cliches.

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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic

It's all over the place. All these are fine places to be when it comes to movies. It's just exhausting to try to be in all of them at once.

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Matt Prigge

The characters are thin and the villains are one-note, but one gets worked up anyway, much as one gets played by a solid romance - or a dance movie.

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