Everything is Illuminated
Everything is Illuminated (2005)

Tale of a young man's quest to find the woman who saved his grandfather in a small Ukrainian town that was wiped off the map by the Nazi invasion. What starts out as a journey to piece together one family's story under the most… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: March 21, 2006
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Critic Score: 66% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Although it excises much from its famously dense source material, Everything is Illuminated is a quirky, ambitious debut film from Liev Schreiber.

Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel

It's funny and warm, with the sting of the horrific event that triggered the trip giving it a melancholy feel.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

[Schreiber] has managed something of a feat ... in spinning a single charming story out of Foer's yarn ball of a novel, which spanned 200 years, multiple stories and various protagonists.

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Cole Smithey

The lamentable influence of Dave Eggers' oh-so-precious post modern literary devices from "A Heartbreaking Work Of Staggering Genius" (2000) are glued all over a bullet proof piece of magical realism...

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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle

It's profound in the way that life is profound in hindsight, its view of the past both fixed in history and mutable in the telling. And it's exquisitely tender.

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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald

Schreiber effectively incorporates some of the novel's humor, most of which revolves around Alex's amusingly improvisational English, but never comes close to mining the book's true substance or heartbreak.

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Brandon Fibbs

What begins in quirks and idiosyncrasy moves into a dark place where profound sadness and profound closure co-exist side by side.

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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution

This isn't a frivolous film or a dumb one. Mostly, it feels like a mistake -- the wrong director matched with the wrong material.

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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

A movie that wraps a story of mass murder in a package of whimsy, and prefers to focus on our commonality rather than any collective complicity in the crimes of history.

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Anton Bitel
Eye for Film

while the film, concerned as it is with the brotherhood of man, is undoubtedly humanist in its philosophy, there are enough shades of grey to cast long shadows over its apparently sunny outlook.

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More reviews for Everything is Illuminated

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Bob Stinson
Broad ethnic humor and mawkish sentiment supposedly held together by Woods' blank expression and very meaningful fades to white.
Daniel Perry
I resisted seeing this before reading the novel on which it's based, but I finally caved when it was on IFC... so glad I did. In the early going, director… More
Red Lats
An unusual film - part comedy, part drama. Elijah Wood plays a young man who travels to the Ukraine to remember what he could about his Jewish… More
Jameson Worley
A very interesting little film. I liked it...
Kevin M. Williams
A Ukrainian road trip of self discovery begins when a man decides to unravel the family secret that breaks his dying grandmother's heart ... giving us the… More
Melvin White
Alex: I was of the opinion that the past is past, and like all that is not now it should remain burried along the side of our memories.  "Leave Normal… More