Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (2024)

90% Tomatometer 184 Reviews 93% Audience Score 1,000+ Ratings After fleeing his negligent and abusive parents, a hardened, streetwise 12-year-old boy sues them to protest the life they've given him. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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Critics Consensus

Capernaum hits hard, but rewards viewers with a smart, compassionate, and ultimately stirring picture of lives in the balance.

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Critics Reviews

View All (184) Critics Reviews
Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (1) Nell Minow Nadine Labiki has created a real-life Dickensian drama with performances of breathtaking naturalism. Oct 26, 2021 Full Review Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (2) Claudia Puig FilmWeek (KPCC - NPR Los Angeles) It's a very harrowing portrait... Zain Al Rafeea is amazing. Sep 12, 2019 Full Review Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (3) Andrea Gronvall Chicago Reader It's essential viewing for the ways in which it illuminates brutally hard lives many of us could otherwise not imagine, and for the craft of its nonprofessional performers. Rated: 3/4 Mar 2, 2019 Full Review Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (4) Ethan Gordon InSession Film It hammers and hammers towards making a point by giving us a tour of explicit pain and struggle without any subtlety. Rated: C- Mar 21, 2024 Full Review Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (5) Jane Freebury The Canberra Times (Australia) The powerful, haunting story of a 12-year-old living in a Beirut slum who sues his parents for neglect. Aug 18, 2022 Full Review Capernaum | Rotten Tomatoes (6) M.N. Miller Ready Steady Cut In the end, Capernaum may be hard to watch for some, easy to admire for many, but Labaki’s sad and tender film has the devastating power of a wrecking ball that can’t be denied, that leaves an indomitable mark that can’t be shaken, with staggering impact Rated: 4.5 Aug 17, 2022 Full Review Read all reviews

Audience Reviews

View All (207) audience reviews

Stacey M I came across this movie on a flight and it is now top 5 of all time for me. I can't even put words to the feeling it gave me - heartbreak on so many fronts, but with glimpses of quiet, deep compassion and kindness in duty where, all things considered, you wouldn't expect it to live. This boy. <3 This movie was so changing for me. I want everyone to see it. Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/26/24 Full Review Meydiana R Real. Touching. Heartbreaking.At first, I didn't want to review the movie, just give it the highest rating and leave it at that because I don't think I am worthy to judge it. And here I am, writing this, not because I have become any worthier but because people need to watch it. Capernaum tugs at your heartstrings and makes you ache. It's painful, and not in an ordinary way. I watched the movie a few days back and I still think about it. It's definitely made me more grateful for the things I have. The actors don't feel like they're acting (to some extent they're not), it feels like a reality, their innocent eyes describing a journey most of the world was unaware of.I want to recommend this to everyone, but if you're at a low point in your life or show signs of depression, avoid it, you suffer enough. I watched most of the film with tears streaming down my face and at the end, I just sat in the dark with the credits rolling and wondering about the world we live in.Capernaum is a masterpiece. Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/22/24 Full Review Azis M Unflinching yet undeniably powerful film, Capernaum is a gut-wrenching portrayal of a childhood stolen, a stark indictment of societal inequalities. The film doesn't shy away from the harsh realities of Zain's world. We witness child exploitation, crushing poverty, and the callous indifference of a system that has failed him.Labaki's masterstroke lies in casting non-professional actors like Zain Al Rafeea, whose raw, unfiltered performances pierce through the screen with an almost documentary-like immediacy. He's not playing a role; he is Zain.Capernaum is a must-watch for anyone who dares to confront the harsh realities of our world. It's a raw gem, leaving me both deeply moved and fiercely hopeful for a better tomorrow. Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/07/24 Full Review michael g A long time since I've witnessed such marvellous cinema. I felt immersed in Beirut and the tribulations and hardship of Zain's family. Living in severe overcrowding circ*mstances with sinister predators circling, it was remarkable tenderness might thrive between Zain and his 11 year old sister who was to die as a new bride. And then Zain looked after the infant left behind by his Ethiopian befriender. The Director used Non professional actors and Zain, a child, utterly convincing, was observed during filming getting to know and build trust with Yonas, an infant who would die if he left her. Filmed like a documentary, with a mesmerising score, in devastated Beirut. Outstanding. Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 01/05/24 Full Review Dhinesh D Hard hitting realityNadine labaki ✨ mam you just outstanding mam..... The family drama which is serious to dealThe acting was excellent from that boy cinematography was good Direction outstanding...... Reason why nominated for best foreign film in academic awards..... Glad to see this kind of film from middle-East even idk they making movie im surprised and happy for capernaum ✨😁😇 Rated 5/5 Stars • Rated 5 out of 5 stars 02/20/23 Full Review Yash B "Capernaum" is completely heartbreaking and unforgettable. This is a tough movie to get through, but it is one that aims to make a powerful statement, which is commendable. I found myself completely engaged with the story and it felt like I was watching real events unfold and never a movie. The two young boys in this movie are on-screen magic and their performances are something that is remarkable. The movie has so many unpleasant things happening, there's never any real time to process any of it and it can make the movie a bit draining. Nonetheless, it is an engrossing drama that is expertly made and is worth experiencing because of how honest and eye-opening it feels. Overall, it's a movie made with purpose and a skillfully made one full of moments that will stick with me for a long time. Rated 4.5/5 Stars • Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews


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Cast & Crew

Nadine Labaki Director Zain Al Rafeea Zain Yordanos Shiferaw Rahil Boluwatife Treasure Bankole Yonas Kawthar Al Haddad Souad, the Mother Fadi Yousef Selim, the Father
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Movie Info

Synopsis After fleeing his negligent and abusive parents, a hardened, streetwise 12-year-old boy sues them to protest the life they've given him.

Nadine Labaki

Khaled Mouzanar, Michel Merkt

Nadine Labaki, Jihad Hojeily, Michelle Kesrouani, Georges Khabbaz, Khaled Mouzanar

Sony Pictures Classics

Production Co
Louverture Films, Boo Films, Open City Films, KNM Films, Les Films des Tournelles, Mooz Films, The Bridge Production, Synchronicity Production

R (Some Drug Material|Language)


Original Language

Release Date (Theaters)
Dec 14, 2018, Limited

Release Date (Streaming)
Mar 26, 2019

Box Office (Gross USA)

2h 10m

Sound Mix
Dolby Digital

Aspect Ratio
Scope (2.35:1)
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