Run, don't walk, to see this movie. If you miss it while it is in the theaters, put it in your Netflix queue. My wife and I see a lot of movies, independent and mainstream and this is one of the best.
Yesterday we saw a mainstream movie, Hanna, which was a major disappointment, except for the excellent acting of Saoirse Ronan. I gave it a 5 because the story was so terrible and I didn't have any emotional involvement concerning what happened to Hanna.
We generally don't go to two movies, two days in a row, but I was so disappointed in Hanna and have been interested in possibly seeing Miral since I heard Rula Jebreal on NPR's Tell Me More. She wrote the novel and the screenplay the movie was based on. I was surprised that she received such a chilly reception on the show, so I remembered to check out the movie online.
On METACRITIC, which contains reviews by major critics, there were 17 reviews; 3 positive, 12 mixed and 2 negative. Overall it was given a 45 out of 100 which means generally mixed reviews and near the low end of that scale. Keep in mind that Hanna got a 64 which means generally favorable reviews. I read a number of the critic's reviews of Miral as I often do before seeing a movie
I also read all of the six reviews available at that time on IMDb. There were only five usable as one was written by a person who, in my opinion, had an agenda and, based on his review, had not seen the movie.
Having consulted METACRITIC and IMDb, I was convinced that my wife and I might like this movie, but would probably not rate it above a 6 or 7 out of ten after we saw it. I always keep in mind that there are movies with overwhelming favorable reviews that I have hated, including The Diving Bell and The Butterfly which had the same director, Julian Schnabel, as this movie. Lost in Translation is also in that category.
My wife and I came to this movie without prejudice for one side or the other. We were just looking for a well made movie that would entertain us. We were so pleasantly surprised. The acting was excellent, the story involving, and we were quite tense in the last third of the movie. Unlike Hanna, we really cared what happen to Miral.
I agree with Spencergo, this movie should be seen by a wider audience, but I know it won't. The reason that this review is so important to me is most people will skip this movie because of the mixed reviews, and they shouldn't. Unfortunately, many independent films, like Rabbit Hole last year, get missed. I sincerely hope you give this movie a try if you can find it at your local independent theater.