The Reluctant Fundamentalist
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The Reluctant Fundamentalist
We begin in 2011 in Lahore. At an outdoor café a Pakistani man named Changez (Riz Ahmed) tells Bobby (Liev Schreiber), an American journalist, about his experiences in the United States. Roll back ten years, and we find a younger Changez fresh from Princeton, seeking fortune and glory on Wall Street. The American Dream seems well within his grasp, complete with a smart and gorgeous artist girlfriend, Erica (Kate Hudson). But when the Twin Towers are attacked, a cultural divide slowly begins to crack open between Changez and Erica. Changez's dream soon begins to slip into nightmare:… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 53%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a timely narrative subject, but its treatment in The Reluctant Fundamentalist is fundamentally flawed."
‑ Robert Everett-Green, Globe and Mail
"As a culture-clash story the film works well enough, but as a character study it's a bit of a scramble."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"A provocative, ambitious drama about the unconsidered assumptions that power our cultures, for good or ill."
‑ MaryAnn Johanson, Flick Filosopher
"The film seems to dance around the idea of being really critical of America-of analogizing American "exceptionalism" with Islamic fundamentalism-and instead resolves itself with an ending more befitting of a beauty pageant contestant's speech."
‑ Meredith Slifkin, Film Comment Magazine
"A notable cast - and noble intentions - can't elevate what is a very ordinary film."
‑ Simon Miraudo, Quickflix
"Nair has found a real gem in Riz Ahmed, who anchors the film with a charismatically watchable performance. He's in virtually every frame and you hang on his every word."
‑ Bruce Demara, Toronto Star
"It most disappoints as a thriller, the flashbacks and voiceovers and romantic entanglements so dominating the proceedings you forget that someone is bound and gagged in real time."
‑ Barbara VanDenburgh, Arizona Republic
"Despite some promising moments, it never quite coheres into a convincing story. It's worth seeing... but it ultimately feels like a missed opportunity - like a pedant groping for a profundity beyond his moral ken."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The film's international intrigue is unlikely to resonate too closely with today's headlines because of a conventional approach that alternates between a mechanical thriller and a shallow if provocative character study."
‑ Todd Jorgenson,
"The film from writer William Wheeler and director Mira Nair ("Monsoon Wedding') is smart and complex, as unwilling to cling to one ideology as its protagonist."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"Ambiguity is at the heart of the novel, but Nair is never quite sure what to do with it."
‑ Ty Burr, Boston Globe
"There's much to enjoy in 'The Reluctant Fundamentalist': fine photography, juicy supporting turns from Kiefer Sutherland and Om Puri, and a powerfully sustained sense of a man adrift in a world going mad."
‑ Tom Huddleston, Time Out
"Reasonably thoughtful, moderately engaging material dealing with some thorny issues. It may be a catalyst for intelligent conversation, which is more than you can say for most movies."
‑ Eric D. Snider,
"The very fact that Nair -- who is very at home on the subject of culture clashes -- tackled a thriller is noteworthy, as is the fact that she doesn't blow it."
‑ Ken Hanke, Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
"A confronting and compelling look at post-9/11 racism in America."
‑ Tom Glasson, Concrete Playground
More reviews for The Reluctant Fundamentalist on Rotten Tomatoes