Bella (Beauty) Reviews

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Hank Sartin
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
April 11, 2008
This is not a weepy, but a story about healing, forgiveness and redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
April 10, 2008
From the quiet performances to the sensitive direction, everything about this movie is convincing except the very story that drives it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Gary Goldstein
Los Angeles Times
November 9, 2007
Bella is certainly a sweet, life-affirming picture, but it's just not authentic or captivating enough to justify its wildly concocted scenario.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
November 9, 2007
Rarely are crowd-pleasers so effortlessly artful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
November 9, 2007
Alejandro Gomez Monteverde's first feature may have more heart than head, but it's also just as interesting for what it leaves out of its romantic story as for what it retains.
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Erin Meister
Boston Globe
November 9, 2007
It wants to answer the questions it's clearly too timid to ask, but the questions are always so much more interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Frank Scheck
Hollywood Reporter
November 9, 2007
While Alejandro Gomez Monteverde's film has its heart in the right place, its effectiveness is ultimately hampered by its awkward and maudlin execution.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
November 7, 2007
[A] defiantly unsubtle, structurally clunky specimen.
Full Review | Original Score: C
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 27, 2007
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 26, 2007
Bella is a movie that wears its bleeding heart on its sleeve and loves its characters to distraction.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
October 26, 2007
A tearjerker that earns its sobs with heartfelt emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 26, 2007
Cynics need not apply, but I found Bella a real heart tugger.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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New York Magazine/Vulture
October 26, 2007
The film creates characters who are so relentlessly thoughtful and attractive that it's hard to worry about their problems, even at the outset.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
October 26, 2007
An engaging failure, an inversion of some New York movie clichés, a sweet if incomplete movie about love with the proper stranger in the city that never sleeps.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
October 26, 2007
Bella, insubstantial and trite, is as forgettable as a movie can be.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
October 26, 2007
Writer-director Alejandro Gómez Monteverde brings to his feature debut a warmth and charity that offsets some of the script's more obvious devices.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
October 26, 2007
A barely disguised anti-abortion tract, Bella is simple-minded, heavy-handed and as subtle as a gorilla in a tutu.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
October 26, 2007
Confessional moments and life lessons pop up around every corner as the movie swaps reality for old-fashioned melodrama. The movie defies logic.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 26, 2007
What are you going to do when your lead actress offers a performance that's as unlikable as the woman she's portraying?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 26, 2007
A heart-tugger with the confidence not to tug too hard.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
October 25, 2007
The emotions at play in Bella are no doubt heartfelt, but they're so cut-and-dried that the mawkish script virtually writes itself.
Full Review | Original Score: D+
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
October 25, 2007
It ends like a TV show, and everyone has learned a neat little lesson. Phooey.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Tasha Robinson
Chicago Tribune
October 25, 2007
In his feature directorial debut, Alejandro Monteverde hits the mark as often as he misses it, but the film's problems linger longer than its successes.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
October 25, 2007
A Mexican movie in which the outcome is never in doubt, the scenes are endless -- sorry, we meant poetic-- and the false beard on the central character's face looks as though it could use a little extra gum.
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John Anderson
Newsday
October 25, 2007
It's better when the earthy Nina and the dreamy, Christlike Jose are more or less floating through the city.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Julia Wallace
Village Voice
October 23, 2007
I won't spoil it, except to say that it manages to be utterly predictable without making any sense at all.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
February 1, 2007
The warm stars can do only so much to humanize a mucky narrative that unavoidably lessens the film's emotional thrust.