About Wael Khairy


Wael Khairy is a Tomatometer-approved film critic from Egypt writing for a number of international publications. He was named by legendary film critic, Roger Ebert, as one of the reason we live in the golden age of film criticism in a Wall-Street Journal article. Ebert then hired him as foreign correspondent and he’s been writing for him ever since. Wael has been writing reviews consistently on Ebert’s website for over ten years now and counting. He has also written several reviews and essays in two World Film Locations books published in the UK. Khairy’s work was even featured on The Criterion Collection website. He also regularly reviews films on his personal website, cinephilefix.com, the Chicago Sun-Times website, and The Spectator’s arts blog. He is currently the resident film critic at Cairo Scene and has discussed various film topics on Nile Fm and BBC Radio. Wael Khairy also works as an Associate Creative Director at BBDO.


34 thoughts on “About Wael Khairy

  1. Hi Wael. I posted this reply on your entry on Ebert’s Foreign Correspondents page and was wondering if you could enlighten me a bit.

    “Wael, you’ve got huge cahones, and deserve praise. Is film censorship a big deal in Egypt? It seems to me that the Egyptian film industry is the most vibrant in the Middle East. I was in Bahrain a few days ago and the showed AVATAR as is, with subtitles where they normally are.

    Take note though that I’ve only been working in Saudi Arabia for a few months.

    Good job sir.”


    1. Hi Michael Mirasol, censorship is a huge problem especially since Egypt is the most active film industry in the Middle East. Directors have been challenging censorship here for years..the result is films with a great amount of subliminal messages.

      Thank you for kind words Michael. I can enlighten you some very interesting “censorship” true stories here in Egypt but it would have to be a more private conversation


      1. Hey Wael, I am interested in hearing what you have to say about censorship in Egypt if you have the time…
        Thanks a load for the great in-depth reviews of the multiples of films you reviewed.
        ~Majd I.


  2. Hey, this is the Literary Dreamer. In response to your question earlier, I actually don’t have a twitter account. But thanks for asking!


  3. Oh – I must have sent you a link to my blog. You’ll see film stills soon.

    You know – I’ve never seen Luis Bunuel’s “The Exterminating Angel”. It is going to be my next Netflix rental.I’ve always steered away from it. I was spoiled by “Le charme discret de la bourgeoisie”.


  4. Howdy Wael.

    I just wanted to tell you that I have been consistently impressed by your writing and reviews.

    Listen, I write a blog about films that are under-appreciated or forgotten. I see it as a kind of public service to bring these forgotten masterpieces back into the public’s consciousness. So far, I have only made entries on two Egyptian films.

    They are Bab el Hadid (Cairo Station) and The Nightengale’s Prayer. I would love to get your opinion on what I had to say about these films. The links to the reviews are:

    Bab el Hadid (Cairo Station)

    The Nightengale’s Prayer

    I would also be honored if you just checked my site out and told me what you thought.

    Additionally, I would greatly appreciate it if you could tell me about some Egyptian films that you believe are criminally overlooked in the rest of the world. Please leave me a comment on my site and tell me what you think. The link is:


    Thank you!


    1. Nathanael,

      I just read your reviews and checked out the selection of films you’ve selected to write about. You’re a true cinephile. One who has the rare ability to read films and not just experience them. I tweeted to all my followers a link to your site for it, like the films you write about, deserves more recognition.

      If I were to recommend more Egyptian films, I’d go with the recent “El Gezira” (The Island) directed by Sherif Arafa as well as “3emaret Yacoubian” (“The Yacoubian Building”) and of course Chahine’s last masterpiece, “Heya Fawda” (. As for classics, well there’s a whole bunch but I’ll give you a few of my favorites: “Bedaya w Nehaya” (A Beginning and an End) with a young Omar Sherif, “The Sin” directed by Henry Barakat, “Ghazl el Banat” (“The Flirtation of Girls”).

      I will visit your site regularly.

      Best Regards,
      Wael Khairy


  5. Dear Wael,

    I’m a spanish grad student in AUC-also a cinephile. I am working on a paper on the role of the army during the Egyptian revolution until now. I have been reading your informative tweets and I would like to interview you if possible; right now I am not in Egypt, so if you were willing to do it,It could send you some questions to any mail you gave me.

    Mabrouk for the website and for your role during the revolution


  6. Dan Zukovic’s “THE LAST BIG THING”, called the “best unknown American film of the 1990’s” in the film book “Defining Moments in Movies” (Editor: Chris Fujiwara), was finally released on DVD by Vanguard Cinema. (www.vanguardcinema.com/thelastbigthing/thelastbigthing) Featuring an important early role by 2011 Best Supporting Actor Oscar Nominee Mark Ruffalo (“Shutter Island”, “Zodiac”, “The Kids Are Alright”), “THE LAST BIG THING” had a US theatrical release in 1998, and gained a cult following over several years of screenings on the Showtime Networks.

    “A distinctly brilliant and original work.” Kevin Thomas – Los Angeles Times
    “A satire whose best moments echo the tone of a Nathanial West novel…Nasty Fun!”
    Stephen Holden – New York Times
    “One of the cleverest recent satires on contemporary Los Angeles…a very funny sleeper!” Michael Wilmington – Chicago Tribune
    “One of the few truly original low budget comedies of recent years.” John Hartl – Seattle Times
    “‘The Last Big Thing’ is freakin’ hilarious! The most important and overlooked
    indie film of the 1990’s. ” Chris Gore – Film Threat


  7. Wael: I was exceedingly disappointed that in your article connecting the events of the Arab Spring to the film V for Vendetta, you congratulated the actors, the director, the cinematographer, and well, just about everyone short of the caterers.

    And yet you didn’t even mention the man who created V for Vendetta and wrote the original material from which the film’s story was taken virtually intact: Alan Moore.

    “Vendetta” did not begin as a film. It began as a serialized story in a British comic book written by Alan Moore. By the time the UK comic folded, there was enough interest in the work that Moore was asked to continue and complete the series for DC Comics in America.

    Several of Moore’s comic book works have been made into films, including Watchmen, League of Extraordinary Gentlemen, and From Hell. However, in every case, Moore has demanded that his writer’s credit be removed from the film’s official credits. He’s very particular about how his work is reinterpreted. Basically he doesn’t want it to be moved to other media.

    It would only have taken a minute’s research to connect Moore to V for Vendetta. I think he’d be rather proud that his ideas may have contributed to actually usurping a totalitarian government.

    I tried to make the same point as a comment on Roger Ebert’s “Far Flung Correspondents” page – http://blogs.suntimes.com/foreignc/2011/06/v-for-vendetta.html – but it doesn’t seem to accept comments.


    1. You’re right. I should’ve given him credit. I knew about the graphic novel but haven’t read it yet. I commented to admit my mistake and give credit on the piece at Roger’s site and it will appear shortly. Thank you for being polite about it. Cheers 🙂


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  9. Hey Wael-
    Just got introduced to your website. Looks great! The only bummer is that your reviews seem pretty infrequent. Why don’t you post reviews about most movies regularly? Anyhow, I love your writing!


  10. Hi Wael, I recently stumbled upon a comment I made on your site over 7 years ago, it was on your analysis of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I remember it making quite an impact on me.
    I look forward to reading your new work and catching up on what I’ve missed on here. I wondered if there was some other form of contacting you? I have a favour to ask. Is there an email address I could contact you on?
    All the best, Kieran


  11. Hi Wael, I recently stumbled upon a comment I made on your site over 7 years ago, it was on your analysis of Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind. I remember it making quite an impact on me.
    I look forward to reading your new work and catching up on what I’ve missed on here. I wondered if there was some other form of contacting you? I have a favour to ask. Is there an email address I could contact you on?


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