Towelhead
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Six Feet Under creator and American Beauty screenwriter Alan Ball makes his feature directorial debut with this screen adaptation of author Alicia Erian's controversial novel Towelhead. Jasira (Summer Bishil) is a 13-year-old Arab-American who's contending with the pains of adolescence when her life takes a sudden and unexpected turn. Sent to live with her stern Lebanese father, Rifat (Peter Macdissi), by her self-absorbed mother (Maria Bello), Jasira finds herself struggling to adjust to life in the suburbs while contending with racism and hypocrisy at every turn. Rifat lives in a… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 48%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As a director [Ball] amplifies the flaws in his own writing; his supporting characters are too broadly pitched to take seriously, and he tends to smack you in the face with the point of every scene."
‑ J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader
"This movie will challenge you on a number of levels, including some beliefs you'd never thought you'd question."
‑ Ben Mankiewicz, At the Movies
"Towelhead isn't a movie, it's a loaded gun."
‑ Kelly Vance, East Bay Express
"Few may have paid attention during its theatrical run, but DVD should offer a whole new life to a smart, engaging film that genuinely has something worthwhile to say."
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"Ball drops the poisonous little voodoo dolls he mistakes for characters into a ... realistic environment, as though that will somehow render his story more "serious.""
‑ Andy Klein, Los Angeles CityBeat
"There is hardly a scene that does not produce exquisite discomfort and a strong desire to be somewhere else."
‑ Jonathan F. Richards, Film.com
"It is certainly possible to make a transgressive movie about children in sexual jeopardy, and to do so in ways that realistically and intelligently depict the abuse while not revelling in it."
‑ Peter Howell, Toronto Star
"The discomfort zones of a young girl cry for sympathetic toughness, not Ball's snickering at pubic hair and clammy suburbanites"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Towelhead makes "American Beauty" look like a quaint suburban drama."
‑ Christian Toto, What Would Toto Watch?
"An empty provocation that's about as classy and subtle as its title."
‑ Sean Burns, Philadelphia Weekly
"It wasn't enjoyable at any level."
‑ Ben Lyons, At the Movies
"It's impossible to look away."
‑ Tasha Robinson, Chicago Tribune
"A philosophy of the appeal of innocence and perversion in a repressed world..."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"Deftly sidesteps the muckraking and instead serves up an affecting drama about a lovely child who can't seem to catch a break from most of the adults surrounding her."
‑ Matt Brunson, Creative Loafing
"It is a multicultural Lolita that searches for, but still manages to miss, any redemptive core its source material may boast."
‑ Jim Slotek, Jam! Movies
More reviews for Towelhead on Rotten Tomatoes

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