Excerpt: It’s an important story, and Stewart’s personal passion for telling it is not only palpable and admirable, but frequently translates into emotional, engaging cinema. The scenes that work — and there are many — render the overall unevenness of the production all the more bewildering.
Excerpt: As the shrewdly observant and hilarious host of the late-night show, [John] Stewart is all-too familiar with the thin line between fiction and reality, where people refuse to see sarcasm and parody is born from human foolishness, not some clever disguise masking a deeper truth or stance. In ‘Rosewater,’ Stewart proves himself as outstanding in exposing the rash, absurd rigmarole behind the camera as he is in front, astutely pointing out the inanity of [Maziar] Bahari’s imprisonment while also showing the journalist’s will to survive.
Excerpt: Rosewater is a competent political drama and a noteworthy first feature. However, without that smile and wink that Stewart as a TV personality is so known for, the film feels a bit too much like a well-intentioned but dry civics lesson.