Parents' Guide to


By Brian Costello, Common Sense Media Reviewer

age 16+

Israeli mob comedy has violence, cursing.

Movie NR 2017 100 minutes
Maktub Poster Image

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This Israeli film careens wildly between dark and light comedy. Humor mined from mafia and terrorist violence pairs with the awkward bumbling of the two lead characters trying to do right by others after years of being not-so-nice as mob henchmen. It's a tricky combination to pull off, and yet Maktub (the Arabic term for fate or destiny) on the whole succeeds in using the two sides to illustrate the movie's deeper reflections on destiny and redemption. It also manages to find a fresh angle on mobsters and the "mafia movie" -- with an awareness of the almost played-out tropes of the genre, acknowledging them and finding the humor in these clichés.

It isn't a perfect movie. The changes in the lead characters feel too abrupt at times, with action and story twists forced in a heavy-handed fashion to make the audience absolutely certain that they understand the theme of the movie. The comedy veers a little too close to the edge of melodrama. Overall, it's an entertaining premise thoroughly explored. It doesn't take much imagination to see Maktub being remade in Hollywood, with any number of the luminaries of the "mob genre" putting their iconic spin on the story. Either way, Maktub is deserving of the international acclaim it has already received.

Movie Details

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