Omar

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Chronicling the Palestinian experience with poise and a lack of easy finger-pointing, Hany Abu-Assad has made stellar experimental quasidocs (Ford Transit) and humanist dramas (Paradise Now). Now he tackles a traditional thriller, and the result feels as if he’s loudly shooting off a clip full of blanks.

Omar (Adam Bakri) is an ordinary West Bank resident, hanging out with his buddies and making goo-goo eyes at his best friend’s sister (Leem Lubany). When this hypothetical “revolutionary” plays a part in some real-world violence, however, he finds himself being used as a pawn by his pals, and as a stool pigeon by Israeli intelligence.

Bakri has charisma to burn, but the complexity of Abu-Assad’s previous movies is traded in for weak genre thrills. One hopes he’s gotten his need to make an episode of 24 out of his system, and that he can get back to doing what he does best.

Follow David Fear on Twitter: @davidlfear

Release details

Rated: N/R
Release date: Friday February 21 2014
Duration: 96 mins

Cast and crew

Director: Hany Abu-Assad
Screenwriter: Hany Abu-Assad
Cast: Adam Bakri
Samer Bisharat
Ehab Hourani
Leem Lubany
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Gaspar Marino

Poor Omar! What is he to do? He is caught in a conundrum, where suspected of shooting an Israeli officer in occupied Palestine his back is up against the wall. Should he rat on his lifelong friends?, Should he jeopardize his romance with his terrorists friends sister? Who is he to trust friends or enemies? Well done Oscar nominee dealing with Israeli/Palestinian feuds from a different angle, that of a nail biting thriller. No matter what side you take in real life, you will not fail to root for Omar in his plight.