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Rosewater is based on The New York Times best-selling memoir "Then They Came for Me: A Family's Story of Love, Captivity, and Survival," written by Maziar Bahari. The film marks the directorial debut of "The Daily Show" host Jon Stewart, and stars Gael García Bernal. Rosewater follows the Tehran-born Bahari, a broadcast journalist with Canadian citizenship. In June 2009, Bahari returned to Iran to interview Mir-Hossein Mousavi, who was the prime challenger to president Mahmoud Ahmadinejad. As Mousavi's supporters rose up to protest Ahmadinejad's victory… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 74%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The main question Rosewater grapples with is whether Stewart can hack it as a filmmaker. The answer: sort of?"
‑ Esther Breger, The New Republic
"This is Jon Stewart's directorial debut; the talk show comedian has a handle on the material and conveys it clearly."
‑ James Berardinelli, ReelViews
"Even though the Daily Show host shouldn't give up his day job as a result of this debut, he hits more than misses in a film about one man's trials and the risky, crucial work journalists do."
‑ Anita Katz, San Francisco Examiner
"Has great moments, not so great moments and some pretty old hat moments, but it's unfailingly interesting."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"For all the desperation it reveals, Rosewater is also suffused with hope and even joy."
‑ Cynthia Fuchs, PopMatters
"Rosewater certainly has merit as an act of atonement on Stewart's part and a tribute to people like Bahari... In the end, however, the movie needs to stand on its own, apart from its noble intentions and the popularity of its writer-director."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"Rosewater ... has an urgency that's all about the storytelling smarts of its first-time writer-director."
‑ Bob Mondello, NPR
"Taking the path of least resistance, the result is a missed opportunity, a lightweight approach to some very heavy material."
‑ Gary Dowell, Dark Horizons
"Unfortunately, despite Rosewater's earnest and intelligent approach, it remains a shallow treatment of a topic that deserves much more."
‑ Jeff Meyers, Orlando Weekly
"It plays to our most primal instincts of survival in the face of death, armed only with your wits and your wit."
‑ Al Alexander, The Patriot Ledger
"The hard-focus clarity of the images (Bobby Bukowski did the cinematography) leads to an intimacy with anguish that passes into expressionism."
‑ David Denby, New Yorker
"Stewart does a credible job of maintaining the story's immediacy, but I must say I felt relieved that the film wasn't a masterpiece. If it was, we'd have more reason to fear Stewart will leave The Daily Show."
‑ Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor
"It sometimes feels like Stewart is afraid to immerse us in the true horror of Bahari's isolation."
‑ Margot Harrison, Seven Days
"Stewart handles this change of tone like a veteran director, never allowing the snide humor to undermine the gravity of Bahari's situation."
‑ Frank Wilkins, Frank's Reel Reviews
"'Rosewater' is a decent enough film, but one that doesn't really tell us anything that we didn't already know."
‑ Mathew DeKinder, Suburban Journals of St. Louis
More reviews for Rosewater on Rotten Tomatoes