[Last year's] Golden Palm in Cannes was fully well-deserved: a strong hit, at moments even painful. The Romanian director skilfully combined the aesthetics of a documentary (long shots, usually as long as the scenes, static camera, as in The Big Brother, natural dialogues) with tension worthy of a genuine thriller.
The plot is set at the end of the communist era in Romania, probably the only country of the former bloc where abortion was illegal. (...). A woman who wanted to break this law (...) risked not only being condemned by court, but above all to become a victim of hardly bearable humiliation (...). This is what happens to the heroes of Mungiu's film, two friends and students of the technical university, who share a room at a students' hostel in Bucharest - Otilia and Gabita. Gabita is pregnant and she wants to have an abortion, but the situation is so oppressing that the girl is almost paralysed.
Paweł Mossakowski, Gazeta Wyborcza