A Very Long Engagement Reviews

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Time Out
June 24, 2006
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AV Club
September 26, 2005
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 27, 2004
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
December 22, 2004
Tautou, as always, makes this an enchanting trip.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 22, 2004
There's only so much candy the eye can consume before nausea sets in.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 22, 2004
This is grand cinema.
| Original Score: A
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 22, 2004
The comic-dramatic divide of A Very Long Engagement is difficult to traverse, much less conquer. It's simply hard to be charmed with all those corpses scattered about.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 21, 2004
Merging heart-wrenching emotions with quirky humor and splicing bloody war footage with goofy comedy, the movie mixes vastly disparate elements into a surprisingly smooth blend.
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
December 21, 2004
The overall assemblage is shaky, but grand.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 17, 2004
A grand movie with pop-up book complexity and a lavish romantic spirit.
| Original Score: B+
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 17, 2004
What they cut from the novel ... doesn't cause as many problems as what they add, which is often too bizarre or too whimsical for a story about death.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 17, 2004
Jeunet's movie is a game of great singles inside an overextended ballgame.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 17, 2004
Extraordinary film.
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Mike Clark
USA Today
December 17, 2004
This is a long movie that almost wears out its 2 1/4 -hour welcome, yet it's full of surprises.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
December 17, 2004
There's something hollow beneath its polished surface.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 17, 2004
A Very Long Engagement works on its own terms, as a showcase for Tautou and as a reminder of the kind of beauty that movies, at their best, can show us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
December 17, 2004
A Very Long Engagement leaves you feeling stuffed but satisfied, like after a very long, tasty meal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 17, 2004
A Very Long Engagement probably has too many elements -- and too many characters -- for its own good. But its heart, like its heroine's, is in the right place.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
December 17, 2004
A Very Long Engagement is certainly long and not always engaging and comes with a predictably basic ending, yet there are unexpected pleasures, moments of beauty and tiny pockets of joy to sustain you through the journey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
December 17, 2004
A Very Long Engagement gets better with each half-hour, and by the end has painted a moving portrait of hope, determination, tragedy and loss.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 17, 2004
A film that is a series of pleasures stumbling over one another in their haste to delight us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 17, 2004
You probably need a score card to keep track of everybody, but that's one of the pleasures of Jeunet's film, and it's also inextricable from his larger point: that war dehumanizes but people re-humanize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
December 16, 2004
Artifice, this brilliantly handled, is its own excuse.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
December 16, 2004
Right up to its haunting final scene, A Very Long Engagement will alternately shake you up and soothe you. And that's a very good combination.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 16, 2004
[Jeunet] strikes a giddy balance between comedy and terror, romance and incandescent action, between the demands of his huge canvas and his intimate emotional subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 10, 2004
This is a picture well worth seeing.
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December 3, 2004
A beautiful, elegant, satisfying film.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 30, 2004
Visually it is one of the most impressive films of the year.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 29, 2004
Jeunet's reliance on magic-realist devices just falls flat, and Tautou's character -- a lame girl who plays the tuba -- is treated with the sort of condescending pity the movies haven't seen since Johnny Belinda.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 29, 2004
Mr. Jeunet shows no interest in animating the characters in his dollhouse world, and even Mathilde and her tears remain fundamentally decorative, as arid as the computer-assisted cinematography.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
November 29, 2004
All in all, Jeunet makes a pretty case for the idea that life is ruled by chaos and chance, but made meaningful and worthwhile by love.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Charles Taylor
Salon.com
November 27, 2004
The mixture of a trickster director and classic movie conventions works better than you'd expect it to.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 26, 2004
There is a handsome, absurdist humanity to the way Jeunet (who wrote the script with Guillaume Laurant) maps out the crossroads of human carnage and human caring.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
November 26, 2004
The novelty of the setting and the Hollywood-style lavishness of the production go a long way toward justifying sitting through this very long movie.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 24, 2004
Jeunet is a big kid, smart and playful but uneasy around adult emotions, which in his new movie are reduced to glib polarities of light versus dark, love versus vengeance.
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Jessica Winter
Village Voice
November 23, 2004
Narrative thrust has never been the director's strong suit, and the movie gridlocks amid its crowds of characters, backstories, detours, and twists; the squealing gears of heavy plot machinery eventually drown out much else.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 21, 2004
Starts slowly, but builds to a satisfying conclusion.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 18, 2004
An emotional powerhouse.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bernard Besserglik
Hollywood Reporter
November 10, 2004
The quest format keeps the story moving briskly, and Jeunet provides numerous pleasures, particularly visual, along the way.
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Lisa Nesselson
Variety
November 3, 2004
Told with a blend of visual mastery and emotional intimacy, ambitious venture sustains a special melding of romance and pragmatism that should engage discerning audiences.