The Painted Bird

critic Reviews

92% Fresh Tomatometer Score92%
  • Brutally uncompromising in its portrayal of Nazi Germany, The Painted Bird is a difficult watch that justifies its stark horror with searing impact.
  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Robert AbeleTheWrap
    It's always starkly compelling as a reminder of why war survival stories are essential to our understanding of innocence and beastliness.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Raphael AbrahamFinancial Times
    With more restraint this could have been a masterpiece; as it is, it's one only for arthouse connoisseurs with very strong stomachs.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Xan BrooksGuardian
    I can state without hesitation that this is a monumental piece of work and one I'm deeply glad to have seen. I can also say that I hope to never cross its path again.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    David JenkinsLittle White Lies
    It's tough to amply describe the film's relentlessly brutal pleasures, but those who have seen films like Andrei Tarkovsky's Ivan's Childhood, Robert Bresson's Mouchette or Elem Klimov's Come and See might have an idea of the grim terrain we're on here.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Deborah YoungHollywood Reporter
    Adapted from Jerzy Kosinski's 1965 novel of the same title, The Painted Bird receives its ideal film treatment in Vaclav Marhoul's heart-wrenching Czech Republic/Ukraine/Slovakia co-production.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Guy LodgeVariety
    "The Painted Bird" is inarguably effective and immersive, its hard, unyielding gaze backed up by the muscularity of its craft.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Alexandra Heller-NicholasAWFJ Women on Film
    It's a difficult film; upsetting, cruel, vicious and absolutely harrowing. But it is also probably a masterpiece
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Ian Thomas MaloneIan Thomas Malone
    Marhoul possesses a masterful grasp of the unspoken, crafting a quiet, harrowing epic.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Rich ClineShadows on the Wall
    The remarkable [Petr] Kotlar delivers an expressive, mostly wordless performance that's seriously demanding.
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  • Fresh Tomatometer Score
    Alistair HarknessScotsman
    As this never-named child encounters monster after monster, he ages before our eyes, but the cumulative effect of the relentless savagery to which he's subjected functions in the end as a hardcore affirmation of the resilience of the human spirit...
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