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Golden Door (2007)



Average Rating: 6.8/10
Reviews Counted: 87
Fresh: 63 | Rotten: 24

Slow-moving but ultimately rewarding, Golden Door is a profound drama with scenes of fantastical magical realism, lively humor, and stunning images.


Average Rating: 6.9/10
Critic Reviews: 32
Fresh: 21 | Rotten: 11

Slow-moving but ultimately rewarding, Golden Door is a profound drama with scenes of fantastical magical realism, lively humor, and stunning images.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 5,098

My Rating

Movie Info

A family living in poverty leaves behind the world they know in hope of finding new opportunities in this historical drama from director Emanuele Crialese. The Mancusos are a family struggling to make ends meet in a small farming community in Sicily in 1913. Life has long been hard for the Mancuso Family, who have lived in the same village for generations, and one day they are visited by a man who claims to be from the United States. The man tells them of the wonder and plenty of life in


Art House & International, Drama

Emanuele Crialese

Jan 8, 2008


Miramax Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (90) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (63) | Rotten (24) | DVD (6)

Yes, the details are spot-on and realistic in the extreme. But we've seen them before. It's the story Crialese hangs this detail on that's weak.

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Its minutiae don't bring a lump in the throat -- just a drumming of the fingers.

June 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
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The rhythms of the movie are slow and daydreamy, but [director] Crialese delights in breaking up the realism with his protagonist's mystical -- almost madcap -- visions of the New World's abbondanza.

June 29, 2007 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film never really coheres, and although some scenes are amazing, the total is slow, ponderous and sometimes silly.

June 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
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[Director] Crialese ends his film on an exquisite note of fantasy: an indelible image of hope and good fortune. His vision is unique; his film, strange and lovely.

June 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Emanuele Crialese passes no judgments, capturing the mundane and miraculous alike.

June 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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Prince of the New World

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

I would imagine that if you have a close connection to Ellis Island immigrants, you will be similarly touched by this movie.

August 17, 2008 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

The film's cinematography by Agnčs Godard is breathtaking at times, especially early on during exterior scenes.

January 15, 2008 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Crialese presents enough historical detail to give many 2nd and 3rd generation Americans today an idea of what physical and mental scrutiny their grandparents might have been subjected to in order to be accepted through the "Golden Door."

January 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Cinema Signals
Cinema Signals

The journey to America by an Italian peasant and his family, conveying their yearning for a new life in scenes of magical realism.

January 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

is all facade and no force

January 8, 2008 Full Review Source:

Although the movie's plot line is rather flimsy and its characters somewhat distant, the movie's images are hard to forget.

January 6, 2008 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Not as inspiring as it should be.

December 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The early parts require some patience, but the film richly rewards that patience. I know of no film that so patiently and so completely documents the Ellis Island experience.

December 20, 2007 Full Review

Punishing but eye-opening immigrant tale.

October 22, 2007 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

So enjoyable and visually stimulating is the experience, it's tough to knock Crialese's Door.

August 15, 2007 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Although it has a gorgeous, lyrical visual style, it contains no stirring speeches or sentimentality.

August 10, 2007
Kansas City Star

Golden Door belongs to(Vincenzo) Amato (Respiro). He makes this tale of woe and wonderment the charmer it turns out to be.

August 3, 2007

[Director] Crialese's talent for poetic illusion, and for finding the general within the microcosm, is reminiscent of Steven Spielberg.

July 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

There's a certain remoteness to the story that might keep some members of the audience at bay.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Murphy's Movie Reviews
Murphy's Movie Reviews

Cinematographer Agnes Godard's camera caresses every moment...

July 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

At its best, The Golden Door generates the excitement to be had whenever a historical movie achieves the shock of the new.

July 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

The whole picture, real and surreal, is hauntingly beautiful.

July 8, 2007 Full Review Source:

[Director] Crialese establishes moods beautifully, whether in surreal visions (such as Salvatore swimming in the river of milk flowing in California) or in hardscrabble realities.

July 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

Audience Reviews for Golden Door

Golden Door is a miniature epic, tracking a Sicilian's family emigration to the USA. It starts much too slowly, and although characters are established, it is ill thought out - particularly the dream sequences, which could have provided an added insight.Once the action moves onto the voyage, however, and Charlotte Gainsbourg's character is introduced, an interesting story emerges, and this, combined with humorous touches, are what make the film bearable. It is well directed and shot, with the other lead character, Vincenzo Amato, also impressing.. 2 1/2 Stars 3-19-14
July 22, 2014
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic]"Golden Door" is an intricately detailed yet ethereal movie about the journey of a group of Italian peasants to America around 1900. Hoping to be reunited with his brother in the New World, Salvatore Mancuso(Vincenzo Amato) travels with his sons Angelo(Francesco Casisa) and Pietro(Filippo Pucillo), along with his elderly mother(Aurora Quattrocchi). They are escorting two young women, Rita(Federica De Cola) and Rosa(Isabella Ragonese), who are going to the United States to marry men they have never met. Just as they are about to depart Italy, Lucy Reed(Charlotte Gainsbourg) enters the picture...[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]None of the emigrants have ever gone any distance beyond the village they were born in, so what makes them take such a perilous journey is the extreme poverty at home coupled with the fantastic promises of America which include money on trees, huge vegetables and rivers flowing with milk. They are not stupid, just lacking a proper education at a time when technology is not quite at a point to permit a free flow of information. All they have are postcards of a wondrous land.[/font]
December 3, 2008
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Well-shot immigration drama ends on quite a peculiar note.
October 23, 2007

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • The Golden Door (UK)
  • Golden Door (Nuovomondo) (CA)
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