'Memoirs of a Geisha' Critic Reviews

87%
MovieWeb:   1 reviews
35%
Rotten Tomatoes:   173 reviews
  • Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly (Top Critic)
    50
    Memoirs loses its taste for risk, and settles, throughout the movie's subsequent melodramatic turns, for the familiar blandishments of good looks and technical control.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Manohla Dargis New York Times (Top Critic)
    40
    Swathed in silk and longing (mostly for a bald guy called Oscar), the big-screen version of Memoirs of a Geisha arrives with good intentions firmly in place.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Andrew Pulver Guardian [UK] (Top Critic)
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Claudia Puig USA Today (Top Critic)
    63
    With its gorgeous cinematography, costumes and production design, Geisha is a visual feast, but it lacks emotional heft and leaves the viewer strangely unsatisfied.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Stephen Hunter Washington Post (Top Critic)
    Memoirs of a Geisha is everything you'd expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It's just not very hot.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Ty Burr Boston Globe (Top Critic)
    63
    Its commercial compromises cripple it as a movie.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Dennis Lim Village Voice (Top Critic)
    A would-be cross between Showgirls and Raise the Red Lantern, too dumb to cause offense though falling short of the oblivious abandon that could have vaulted it into high camp.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Jami Bernard New York Daily News (Top Critic)
    75
    In the luxuriant Memoirs of a Geisha, three of the biggest and loveliest stars of Chinese cinema -- Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li -- sharpen their talons.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Amy Biancolli Houston Chronicle (Top Critic)
    63
    It is a lush, blushingly romantic portrait of Asian culture as seen through a Western lens.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Chris Vognar Dallas Morning News (Top Critic)
    75
    Memoirs of a Geisha isn't just drop-dead beautiful, it's cinematically alive with a spirited way that makes most contrivances forgivable.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Lisa Kennedy Denver Post (Top Critic)
    63
    ... good-looking but not quite memorable ...
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • David Denby New Yorker (Top Critic)
    There is spectacle enough in Marshall's movie -- rows of geisha trainees aligned in formation like Rockettes, acres of low, cedar-and-bamboo buildings with mountains in the distance -- but nothing that comes close to lyricism.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times (Top Critic)
    63
    I object to the movie not on sociological grounds but because I suspect a real geisha house floated on currents deeper and more subtle than the broad melodrama on display here.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune (Top Critic)
    50
    Golden's straightforwardly involving prose, while no great shakes, has been replaced by an extremely fussy affair that is, in effect, its own silk-wrapped pictorial novelization.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer (Top Critic)
    50
    Everything is beautiful -- even the squalor of poverty, the suffering of war. And nothing, ever, is revealed.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Colin Covert Minneapolis Star Tribune (Top Critic)
    75
    Shot for shot, Memoirs of a Geisha is one of the most beautiful movies in years, with due credit to Don Beebe's widescreen camera work, John Myhre's meticulous production design and Colleen Atwood's opulent costumes.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Tom Long Detroit News (Top Critic)
    42
    The performances are good, the visuals are lush, the span is epic, but the film simply never soars.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Bill Muller Arizona Republic (Top Critic)
    50
    For a while, you're waiting for Memoirs of a Geisha to start. Then you can't wait for it to end.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Andrew Sarris New York Observer (Top Critic)
    The subject remained interesting enough to this provincial American to accept and ultimately enjoy the film's well-worn romanticism, even with its resignedly tired happy ending.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Rex Reed New York Observer (Top Critic)
    So much to see and hear, yet the magic of Memoirs of a Geisha is the human way it touches the heart. The cumulative effect is like being knocked unconscious by the wing of a butterfly.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Jay Weissberg Variety (Top Critic)
    Full Review » 3 years ago
  • Todd McCarthy Variety (Top Critic)
    Arthur Golden's international best-seller has been moved to the bigscreen with beauty and tact in Memoirs of a Geisha.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Kyle Smith New York Post (Top Critic)
    50
    All three acts suffer from sluggish momentum and weak endings.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Roger Moore Orlando Sentinel (Top Critic)
    60
    ... a fascinating glimpse at a lost world of women with skin of porcelain and spines of steel, and the men in their thrall.
    Full Review » 9 years ago
  • Peter Howell Toronto Star (Top Critic)
    50
    This is a movie for the ear and the eye, not the brain and the heart.
    Full Review » 9 years ago