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Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind (2004)

tomatometer

93

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 221
Fresh: 206 | Rotten: 15

Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.

89

Average Rating: 7.8/10
Critic Reviews: 45
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 5

Propelled by Charlie Kaufman's smart, imaginative script and Michel Gondry's equally daring directorial touch, Eternal Sunshine is a twisty yet heartfelt look at relationships and heartache.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 562,400

My Rating

Movie Info

The second feature from director Michel Gondry (Human Nature) finds the filmmaker reteaming with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for this off-the-wall romantic comedy. Jim Carrey stars as Joel Barish, a man who is informed that his ex-girlfriend Clementine (Kate Winslet) has had her memories of their relationship erased from her brain via an experimental procedure performed by Dr. Mierzwiak (Tom Wilkinson). Not to be outdone, Joel decides to have the same procedure done to himself. As Mierzwiak's

Sep 28, 2004

$34.1M

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All Critics (221) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (206) | Rotten (15) | DVD (51)

Works marvel after marvel in expressing the bewildering beauty and existential horror of being trapped inside one's own addled mind, and in allegorising the self-preserving amnesia of a broken but hopeful heart.

January 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's the kind of film that could mean more to people after they've left the theater and thought about it awhile.

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine | Comment (1)
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is little charm in the coupling and almost no erotic intimacy, just a series of nerve-racking conversational collisions.

March 25, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer | Comments (10)
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The disappointment I felt at the end of Eternal Sunshine was almost crushing, simply because there were sections of it that were as daring in their emotional directness as anything I've seen in years.

March 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Salon.com | Comments (9)
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Kaufman] clearly surpasses himself.

March 21, 2004 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Neither wholly cynical nor wholly romantic, Kaufman's story is a balance of smarts and sentiment.

March 19, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Imaginative, loopy romance is for adults only.

December 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Comment (1)
Common Sense Media

Michel Gondry tries to channel Fellini and ends up irrigating faulty plumbing.

ColeSmithey.com

This is a wonderful, often beautiful, heart-wrenching story.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

The film entertains for the most part and gives us a set of marvellous performances from this outstanding cast, even if it doesn't quite reach the near-genius of Kaufman's other writings.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Most imaginative and impressively executed...

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

Kaufman and Gondry bring out all the weirdness of the premise, sometimes eliciting disbelieving laughter, sometimes taking us to odd, chilly places.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

Walking into a theater with Charlie Kaufman on the screen is like volunteering for that wacky boat trip Willy Wonka took through the chocolate factory tunnel...

July 2, 2006

Eternal Sunshine is fresh, heartfelt and ultimately heartbreaking in its honest portrayal of a modern relationship.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

The reality is that Hollywood is such an idea poor place Kaufman tends to get more credit than he deserves for work which only occasionally rises above the level of mind games and showy sleight of hand.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat | Comments (20)
Film Threat

It is an enchanting clutter of love and reason that will only appeal to the audience willing to take the time to see the movie and then think about it later.

July 5, 2005 Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com
Bullz-Eye.com

A unique deconstruction of man's innate desire to avert heartache.

May 3, 2005 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

The kind of movie that only gets better the more you think about it and I think it cries out for repeat viewings.

March 5, 2005 Full Review Source: NYC Film Critic | Comments (6)
NYC Film Critic

You won't soon forget this walk down memory lane. Actually, make that a RUN down memory lane.

January 21, 2005 Full Review Source: MovieCrypt.com
MovieCrypt.com

Odd but compelling; one of the year's 10 best

January 5, 2005

like in the best sci-fi, it's primarily a metaphor for a deeper dilemma: the question of whether or not we'd really be better off eliminating heartbreak from our lives.

January 4, 2005 Full Review Source: New Times
New Times

Most Hollywood films tell us we have everything we need within ourselves. [This movie] indicates that we need each other, even ... when togetherness disrupts happiness.

December 31, 2004
Christianity Today

...aligned with the Nietzschean idea that we are doomed to be ourselves, that the "eternal recurrence of the same" has a gravitational pull on our hearts.

December 26, 2004 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

An unusual one but a great one, it will have you asking questions about the true nature of love for some time afterwards.

December 18, 2004 Full Review Source: ComingSoon.net
ComingSoon.net

Without a connection to the central relationship, all of Kaufman's musings and Gondry's visual frills would be for naught, but... it all fits into place.

December 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Mark Reviews Movies
Mark Reviews Movies

Audience Reviews for Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind

A unique, artistically--and brilliantly---shot film, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is perfectly cast and acted, and features a cleverly written script. One of the film's strengths is the various dynamics that ultimately come together beautifully, as well as its thought-provoking, ingenious use of chronology. A thoroughly enjoyable, must-see film.
December 1, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

For Michel Gondry's sophomore effort, he reteamed with screenwriter Charlie Kaufman for this deliriously off-the-wall romantic tragicomedy.

After their tumultuous relationship ends, Clementine decides to undergo a radical procedure wherein her memories of her ex Joel are erased . Upon learning she did this, Joel decides to do the same, but, during the middle of the process, Joel realizes he still loves her, and can't bring himself to let her go.
This is a really touching and deep film. It left me feeling a little depressed, but even then, it's still poignant and really well done. The Oscar-winning screenplay by Charlie Kaufman really shines. The wonderfully creative direction and editing are amazing as well. I just love the mix of in-camera and post production tricks to bring the story to life. The films is big on ideas, specifically their ramifications, and the ethics of them as well, and I really wish more films, but especially romantic ones, would follow suit.

The cast is simply spectacular. This is one of the best films of both Carrey and Winslet. And backing them are a top notch ensemble of Kirsten Dunst, Elijah Wood, Mark Ruffalo, and Tom WIlkinson in major parts. Nobody gives a bad performance here, but, this is easily the Carrey and Winslet show. The characters are neat, well conceived, and enjoyable to watch interact with one another.

All in all, this is a real masterpiece. I could have used a little more blatant levity, but that's a minor thing. Definitely see this one if you haven't, because it is indeed worth the praise and admiration.
July 13, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

I had difficulty watching this bizarre, yet creative romantic sci-fi tale. Jim Carrey's acting is impressive. He's much more than the rubber-faced comedian who catapulted to success in the 90s. The scene in which Carrey becomes his 4 year old self is terrifically creative- acting,writing, and directing. Also, taking into account this and her performance in The Reader, Kate Winslet is as good an actress as there is. The rest of the cast is excellent as well, especially Elijah Wood, surprisingly adept as the unlikeable, manipulative creep.

This film is thought-provoking, I believe primarily for critics and film insiders. I just didn't enjoy it. Here's a key statement: "I wish I'd stayed, I wish I'd done a lot of things." He's got regrets, so do we all. As painful as life's memories can be, I'm glad I have them. This type of technology would be wrong.
February 7, 2013
Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

A shy young man finds that his ex girlfriend has physically erased their relationship from her memory and decides to follow suit. Featuring a screenplay by the king of quirky Charlie Kaufman, Eternal Sunshine is that rarest of beasts; a Hollywood film that is smart, creative and above all, original. Visually very inventive, there are some really nice touches throughout the film often used with great subtlety in the background and it's a very intelligent deconstruction (literally) of a relationship and it's decline. Kate Winslet is every over-educated under-achieving heterosexual man's wet dream (particularly if you have a penchant for neurotic booze hounds with bad dye jobs...*ahem*) and Carrey is at his least irritating, offering by far his best performance. Despite having one foot in the fantastical, it's a very insightful and well observed story that most will be able to relate to, essentially covering everyone's unwavering ability to see nothing but the bad while in a relationship with someone, yet nothing but the good when not. Wonderfully written, brilliantly directed and a real breath of fresh within a genre that's usually mired in treacle, this is a chick flick that the men-folk can enjoy too.
February 6, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

    1. Joel Barish: Can it cause brain damage?
    2. Dr. Howard Mierzwiak: Well, technically it is brain damage.
    – Submitted by Brian f (2 months ago)
    1. Joel Barish: Why do I fall in love with every woman I see that shows me the least bit of attention?
    – Submitted by Paolo A (11 months ago)
    1. Joel Barish: I remember that speech really well.
    2. Clementine Kruczynski: I had you pegged, didn't I?
    3. Joel Barish: You had the whole human race pegged.
    4. Patrick: Hmmm. Probably
    – Submitted by Bhushan P (12 months ago)
    1. Clementine Kruczynski: Remember me. Try your best. Maybe we can.
    – Submitted by Bhushan P (12 months ago)
    1. Mary: Adults are, like, this mess of sadness and phobias.
    – Submitted by Justin C (16 months ago)
    1. Clementine Kruczynski: This is it, Joel. It's going to be gone soon.
    2. Joel Barish: I know.
    3. Clementine Kruczynski: What do we do?
    4. Joel Barish: Enjoy it.
    – Submitted by Justin C (16 months ago)
View all quotes (37)

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December 3, 2009:
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Director Michel Gondry has launched his official site, including personal notes, DVDs for sale, and...

Foreign Titles

  • Vergiss mein nicht! (DE)
  • Eterno resplandor de una mente sin recuerdos (ES)
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