It is a fable, a Tibetan road movie, and a tribute to classic Westerns all at once. (...) All this is erected on a blood-red scaffold, a mythic-epic canvas that expands the range of Pema Tseden’s cinematographic vision in exhilarating and provocative ways.
With the cinematography also contrasting the cold and harsh exteriors with the glowing and warm interiors, Jinpa benefits from modest but extremely precise and effective production values. And, let's face it, it isn't every day you get to hear "O Sole Mio" in Tibetan.
Boyd van Hoeij
The movie is a dreamily austere shaggy-dog story that recalls the matter-of-fact absurdism of early Jim Jarmusch, yet at the same time generates a fair amount of suspense by repeatedly hinting at a potential for melodramatic upheaval. Ultimately, however, Tseden finds an audaciously different way to pull the rug out from under us.
Pema Tseden is blessed with an arresting cast - notably Sonam Wangmo, who has a positively vampish screen presence, and extraordinary lead Jinpa, also seen in Tharlo, who here exudes a likeable, somewhat punky tough guy persona with a hint of Clint Eastwood’s Man With No Name.