'Biutiful' Critic Reviews

73%
MovieWeb:   3 reviews
64%
Rotten Tomatoes:   141 reviews
  • A.O. Scott New York Times (Top Critic)
    60
    From one scene to the next, as is his custom, Mr. Gonzalez Inarritu creates a feeling of raw, sprawling intimacy.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Philip French Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    Inarritu's previous films have been multilayered narratives. Here, he sticks to a single, admittedly richly vibrant milieu and a central character who appears in virtually every frame.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Bradshaw Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    60
    The sheer tidal force of the film sweeps it along, and it is speckled with moments of poetry and unarguable brilliance.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    88
    Biutiful is a love story about the bonds of parenthood with pinpoints of redemptive light amid the darkness.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Sean O'Connell Washington Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Watching Bardem occupy, embrace and ultimately own a multifaceted role like the one he plays in "Biutiful" is a rare treat, and an absolute joy.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Wesley Morris Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    Inarritu wants to run us ragged - physically, spiritually, emotionally, it's all the same to him. And he'll empty his complete cinematic arsenal to do so.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Melissa Anderson Village Voice (Top Critic)
    Biutiful is even more morbidly obese than Babel in terms of soggy ideas, elephantine with miserabilist humanism and redemption jibber-jabber.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Joe Neumaier New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    60
    Its portrait of a man with nothing who must deal with the end of everything while trying to safeguard his children has moments of power and poetry.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    90
    Boasts quality of acting and an overall intensity level that make up for a lot of narrative shortcomings.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    88
    Inarritu has a delicate yet searing sense of intimacy, which cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto captures with hand-held determination.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Kathleen Murphy MSN Movies (Top Critic)
    70
    Biutiful blesses you with the opportunity to see soul exposed, courtesy of Bardem's performance...
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Anthony Lane New Yorker (Top Critic)
    The movie's mood might well have proved unendurable were it not for the proud and sympathetic presence of Bardem.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    75
    What drew me into the film and engaged my sympathy was the presence of Bardem himself.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    50
    Am I the only one who sensed trouble when the painfully methodical spacing and timing of the opening titles suggested the heaviest, most medicinal tragedy of this or any other year?
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Andrea Gronvall Chicago Reader (Top Critic)
    Javier Bardem cuts a tragic figure as a dying Barcelona lowlife who traffics in illegal immigrants and communes with the dead.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    88
    [Bardem] draws from a deep, deep well of love, pain, and who-knows-what-else.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    88
    "Biutiful" is devastating.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    59
    An overloaded agony parade of a film that's such a grim march to devastation that it should be hard to watch. And, OK, it is. But with Bardem at its center, it's like watching a lush train wreck.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Bill Goodykoontz Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    80
    Bardem's performance makes it not just bearable but rich and compelling.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Justin Chang Variety (Top Critic)
    Its scant emotional rewards can't shake off the sense of a prodigiously gifted filmmaker stuck in a grim rut.
    Full Review » 4 years ago
  • V.A. Musetto New York Post (Top Critic)
    75
    Looking for a dark and depressing movie for the holidays? You'll find it in Biutiful, the riveting work of two talented Spaniards: director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu and actor Javier Bardem.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    63
    "Biutiful" has lots of characters and interwoven plot-lines, a trait it shares with earlier Inarritu films. But it's the first film he's done that feels cluttered with characters and burdened with the odd and on occasion ugly things they do.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    75
    With the exception of an otherworldly prologue that remains mysterious well into the film, Biutiful is an unusually linear feature for Inarritu, but no less involving or challenging than his previous works Babel, 21 Grams and Amores Perros.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Rick Groen Globe and Mail (Top Critic)
    75
    Watch Bardem here -- his eyes speak heart-rending volumes.
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Dana Stevens Slate (Top Critic)
    It's the kind of film that congratulates the viewer on her tolerance for the spectacle of unrelieved misery.
    Full Review » 3 years ago