The Perfect Candidate

critic Reviews

, 92% Certified Fresh Tomatometer Score
  • A message movie admirable for its subtlety as well as its execution, The Perfect Candidate faces oppression and powerfully advocates for change.
  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Amy NicholsonFilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles)
    It really liked it. It's not a doom and gloom movie -- it's about "how can you use your influence?"
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Claudia PuigFilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles)
    What I appreciated about this was the subtleties -- she's doing things in small victories.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Ann HornadayWashington Post
    Mansour gives audiences a candid, often wryly amusing glimpse of life inside the Saudi kingdom, which is so often cloaked in opacity and menace.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Tomris LafflyRogerEbert.com
    The Perfect Candidate lacks a distinct visual grammar ... but as a film that recognizes the giant strides small wins can make for women, it feels significant.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Anthony LaneNew Yorker
    The pleasure of the film rests not in the plot, which is so placid as to be anti-dramatic, but in the minutiae; as ever, Al Mansour homes in on the everyday workings of condescension and conformity.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Jocelyn NoveckAssociated Press
    Most of the value in this film comes from the peek it gives us into life as a Saudi woman - a life that is changing, Al-Mansour points out, albeit too slowly for some.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Roger MooreMovie Nation
    Avoiding melodrama and the well-worn tropes of "woman taking on a man's world" stories, director Haifaa Al-Mansour and co-writer Brad Niemann immerse us in a culture that might be evolving from a Kafkaesque nightmare into a milder Kafkaesque bad dream.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Sadaf AhsanNashville Scene
    [Haifaa al-Mansour's] connection to her home country shows - there's a familiarity to al-Mansour's lens.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Calum ReedIn Review Online
    Even if Al-Mansour plays to an audience she knows is already on her side, The Perfect Candidate is still telling a story that ought to be told.
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  • , Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Sandie Angulo ChenCommon Sense Media
    Director Haifaa Al-Mansour once again explores the complexities of being a woman (or girl) in Saudi Arabia through a charmingly direct and confident main character who subverts the status quo.
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