The Kite Runner, adapted from Khaled Hosseini’s acclaimed novel about two boys’ journey through the tumultuous recent history of Afghanistan, fails to match the book’s critical raves. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times loves it, praising the compelling narrative and the “natural, convincing and powerful" child stars' acting.
Others aren't sold: Manohla Dargis of the New York Times says the novel “soundly defeated” director Marc Forster and deems the leads "predictably appealing, but only because they’re children." And the New Yorker’s David Denby, though admiring of the portrait of pre-Soviet Kabul, criticizes the "sturdy" film's "slight stiffness and hesitancy." (Read more Khaled Hosseini stories.)