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Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (15)

Crime, Drama

A group of men set out in search of a dead body in the Anatolian steppes.

More information on this production is available at

The critical consensus

Playful, elegant, frustrating and beautiful, this film has the moral and imaginative scope of a great novel; it demands and rewards complete absorption.

****(*)Hannah McGill, The List, 22/02/2012

Closer in metaphysical spirit to Kiarostami than to Leone, it lingers thanks to beautifully lit widescreen images of lived-in faces and barren, beautiful landscapes.

****(*)Tom Dawson, Total Film, 05/03/2012

Complex and sophisticated, this genre-defying crime story is spellbinding viewing.

****(*)David Parkinson, Empire Online, 12/03/2012

Towering, tough and very, very pretty. Ceylan has forged a new template for the police procedural.

David Jenkins, Little White Lies, 15/03/2012

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's new film is long and difficult, and perhaps not for everyone, but I can only say it is a kind of masterpiece: audacious, uncompromising and possessed of a mysterious grandeur in its wintry pessimism.

*****Peter Bradshaw, The Guardian, 15/03/2012

Somewhere between arduous and mesmerising, [the] movie intrigues almost more in retrospect than it does when you’re watching it, as enigmas and emotions around the case are teased out, and the oblique power of a remarkable ending sneaks up and stuns you.

****(*)Tim Robey, The Telegraph, 15/03/2012

Ceylan doesn’t offer much in the way of resolution, but his oblique approach does cumulatively imply much about ripple effect the crime has on all those who come into contact with it.

***(*)(*)Alistair Harkness, The Scotsman, 15/03/2012

Its length seems immaterial. It could go on for another two-and-a-half hours and you'd still be sitting there, mesmerised.

*****Anthony Quinn, The Independent, 16/03/2012

As the sun rises on Ceylan's film, it seems to lose its way, and the climactic hour is a deflating slog that fails to build upon what went before.

***(*)(*)Philip Concannon, The Skinny, 12/03/2012

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's rural crime drama is so engrossing, and proceeds with such a powerful sense of purpose, that there isn't a shot or a line in it that you wouldn't want to be there.

Nicholas Barber, The Independent, 18/03/2012

Nuri Bilge Ceylan's latest film, a thriller as challenging as Antonioni's Blow-Up, is his finest work to date.

Philip French, The Observer, 18/03/2012

It’s the kind of film that seems to take its sweet time going nowhere but after 157 minutes, it finally comes together as a cumulative pleasure.

****(*)Siobhan Synnot, The Scotsman, 27/03/2012

At 157 minutes it is a long haul, but once the story has you by the collar it doesn't let go.

****(*)Alison Rowat, The Herald, 29/03/2012

Features about Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (15)

Yoghurt and murder with Nuri Bilge Ceylan

Stuart Jeffries, The Guardian, 29/02/2012

Nuri Bilge Ceylan on Once Upon a Time in Anatolia

Benjamin Secher, The Telegraph, 15/03/2012

Once Upon a Time in Anatolia (15)

Where and when?

Dundee Contemporary Arts, Dundee from Friday March 23, 2012, until Thursday March 29, 2012. More info:

Edinburgh Filmhouse, Edinburgh from Friday March 30, 2012, until Thursday April 5, 2012. More info:

Glasgow Film Theatre, Glasgow from Sunday April 29, 2012, until Thursday May 3, 2012. More info:

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