'Babel' Critic Reviews

87%
MovieWeb:   8 reviews
69%
Rotten Tomatoes:   202 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    59
    Unflappable desert village life, pulsing Tokyo teen culture, and a vibrant Mexican wedding are treated with reverence and delight, in unsubtle contrast to depictions of people lost in cultural wildernesses.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    60
    Babel possesses unusual aesthetic force, even if it does not seem to be tethered to any coherent idea or narrative logic.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    40
    Well acted and handsomely photographed, but still extraordinarily overpraised and overblown, a middlebrow piece of near-nonsense: the kind of self-conscious arthouse cinema that is custom-tailored and machine-tooled for the dinner-party demographic.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    88
    How Inarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga seamlessly link these four stories makes for an unconventional film experience that is weighty, thought-provoking and riveting.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Stephen Hunter Washington Post (Top Critic)
    It's pretty -- oh, what's the word? -- stupid in its dramatization of the silly little connections that unite us, and it's somewhat selective in its choice of them.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    For a movie that insists on the truth of humanity's mutual dependency, Babel feels disconnected from anything but its own artistic determinism.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Jim Ridley Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Time perhaps scrambling it's for Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu to stop his narratives.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Jack Mathews New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    88
    ...A powerful movie that should win all the year's ensemble acting awards.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Joanne Kaufman Wall Street Journal (Top Critic)
    The ultimate poor judgment: the decision to put Babel before the camera. That defies comprehension in any language.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    50
    [Inarritu] remains as entranced as ever by fate, loss and the interconnectedness of humankind, and I admire him for it. But Babel isn't the last or best word on that subject. It's just a lot of talk.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    67
    Individually, the stories are beautifully shot, intimately acted and usually engrossing.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Michael Booth Denver Post (Top Critic)
    88
    Babel is the masterful third installment in this trilogy of truth and consequence.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • David Edelstein New York Magazine (Top Critic)
    Full Review » 7 years ago
  • David Denby New Yorker (Top Critic)
    Inarritu has enough talent to shake up conventional moviemaking. But he still hasn't figured out how to use it.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Richard Roeper Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    100
    One of the most challenging and saddest movies of the year -- and also one of the most memorable.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    88
    It sweeps you along in a tide of cinematic energy and high-voltage drama.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Jonathan Rosenbaum Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    The filmmakers don't seem to understand or care much about many of these people, but they use them to unload ideas about violence, communication, and tribal misunderstandings -- trading on suffering as they aim for cosmic wisdom.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    63
    I was shaken, but not stirred.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    88
    The director interweaves his stories like a symphonic composer, teasing out suspense here, adding foreboding there, bringing in a surge of crushing pathos, but then providing a blessed note of hope and reconciliation.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    59
    Something of a one-note film, albeit a beautifully played note.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Bill Muller Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    90
    As each story comes to its conclusion, some characters rise above, while others are crushed under the weight of the day's events. The tales are equal parts miracle and tragedy. And that's often what life is, which makes Babel ring true.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Andrew Sarris New York Observer (Top Critic)
    The terrorizing of two sets of children a continent apart may strike some viewers -- and does strike this viewer -- as unduly manipulative.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    Babel is a brilliant, profound and devastating film that explores the dangers and consequences of what can happen when words fail, communication ceases and all you've got left are feelings. Babel is a masterpiece.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    ... gripping nearly all the way.
    Full Review » 8 years ago
  • Lou Lumenick New York Post (Top Critic)
    100
    [Babel] is, in short, one of the year's best movies.
    Full Review » 8 years ago