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The Science of Sleep (2006)


Average Rating: 6.7/10
Reviews Counted: 158
Fresh: 112
Rotten: 46

Critics Consensus: Lovely and diffuse, Sleep isn't as immediately absorbing as Gondry's previous work, but its messy beauty is its own reward.

Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 28
Rotten: 13

Critics Consensus: Lovely and diffuse, Sleep isn't as immediately absorbing as Gondry's previous work, but its messy beauty is its own reward.


Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 143,848


Movie Info

Inventive Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind director Michel Gondry takes a surreal trip through the mind of an introverted but wildly creative man whose attempts to balance his colorful dreams with his stark reality are complicated by the arrival of a beautiful woman into his life. Shy St (C)phane (Gael Garca Bernal) has returned to his childhood hometown to accept a new job. When the prospective employment offer fails to live up to expectations, however, St (C)phane is at least comforted by … More

R (for language, some sexual content and nudity)
Drama , Romance , Science Fiction & Fantasy , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Michel Gondry
In Theaters:
Feb 5, 2007
Box Office:
Warner Independent Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Science of Sleep

All Critics (165) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (112) | Rotten (46) | DVD (18)

In the moment, Gondry and Bernal almost manage to give quirky a good name.

Full Review… | February 14, 2007
Time Out
Top Critic

The movie plays like an exhausted hallucination, disjointed and frustrating, much of it owing to the lack of chemistry Gondry allows between his stars.

Full Review… | September 29, 2006
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

In the end, after your time with it, you'll recall it with a smile, remembering its childish wonderment and mischievous sense of humor.

Full Review… | September 29, 2006
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

It's all very cosmopolitan (the dialogue is English, French and Spanish), very independent, a wee bit juvenile and very confusing, of course. But The Science of Sleep is also remarkably magical and desperately romantic beneath it all.

Full Review… | September 29, 2006
Detroit News
Top Critic

The whimsy Gondry whips up soon goes wispy as we wait in vain for all this sweet-natured silliness to reveal a meaning that isn't transparently obvious.

Full Review… | September 29, 2006
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

Gondry's creative breeze of a movie is fun while it lasts, and that's more than you can say about a whole lot of movies.

September 29, 2006
Denver Rocky Mountain News
Top Critic

More amazing work from Gondry. If you're interested in a basic narrative, look away; if you prize inventive filmmaking, don't miss it.

Full Review… | November 16, 2012
Empire Magazine Australasia

The Science Of Sleep is truly a delight at times, a startlingly original piece of work that's not as accessible as Eternal Sunshine but is every bit as magnificent when in full flow.

Full Review… | November 3, 2012

It's kind of weird and very French, but don't let that scare you. The Science of Sleep is well worth your time.

Full Review… | April 1, 2011

A nightmare

Full Review… | August 28, 2009

It's not that The Science of Sleep is a terrible film. It's not. It's just that it doesn't operate properly and there's nothing worse than seeing a film in which obvious design and potential is ultimately unfulfilled.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008

Something like a Luis Bunuel film, but with politics replaced by fashion. It is, essentially, a hipster wet dream.

Full Review… | February 1, 2008

A visual treat from beginning to end.

Full Review… | December 7, 2007
Eye for Film

A wondrously baffling jigsaw puzzle where dreams and reality struggle to find a fit, The Science of Sleep is the dream you wish you could have, if you could only remember it

Full Review… | April 28, 2007
Urban Cinefile

A creative, original work by a filmmaker with a fantastic visual flair who refuses to stick to any typical cinematic patterns, even if it's sometimes to a fault.

Full Review… | March 24, 2007

The Science of Sleep is Gondry's loosest, most confident movie journey into the imaginative mind.

Full Review… | March 15, 2007

Another comic love story that takes us inside a character's psyche, but Kaufman's rock-solid jokes are replaced by whimsy.

Full Review… | February 19, 2007
Sunday Times (UK)

Gondry always manages to maintain a childlike wonder in the magic of creating a moving image, and never is it more evident than in this film.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007
Times [UK]

It's whimsical to the point of maddening. Bernal does his best, but there's only so much fawning any man can get away with.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007

It's all lovely to look at, but becomes progressively wearisome.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007
This is London

Dreams are easy to invent, and as easy to forget. The real challenge is to invent stories that have a stake in logic as well as truth.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007

A thwarted love story that does not trade in the degraded cliches either of romance or conventional sexiness.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007

There's a very thin line between amusingly quirky and just plain pretentious. I'd say this falls somewhere in the middle.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007
Sun Online

As the movie progresses, we're presented with one of the best portrayals of the innate awkwardness of first love I can ever remember seeing.

Full Review… | February 16, 2007
Daily Mirror [UK]

Beautifully directed, charmingly surreal and genuinely romantic, this is the perfect offbeat date movie and easily one of the best films of the year.

Full Review… | February 15, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Science of Sleep


What starts out maybe a tad too weird and quirky in the first few minutes soon creates its own odd little charming story of a man who loves to dream but sometimes can't tell it from reality. The movie feels very European, French even, and has director Michel Gondry's trademark effects that are simply fun and unique in their own way. That makes for a really entertaining and lovable little film with a very special sense of humor, which is certainly a bit too unusual for the general audience.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Romantic and hysterical! Very clever dream world of sock animals and cellophane seas. Gael García Bernal is awkwardly naive, and Charlotte Gainsbourg is understatedly worldly. Their clashing romance blossoms into the bittersweet.

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

it's probably one of the most boring movies i've ever seen. i even booked preserved ticket to watch it in the theater, but it was so dull that i just kept falling asleep.

what's so fun to watch gael garcia pretends there's an explosion within his drawings? are you just five-year-old?

Veronique Kwak

Super Reviewer


Strange yet moving with a great performance from Bernal. Full review later.

Thomas Bowler

Super Reviewer

The Science of Sleep Quotes

Stephane Miroux:
The brain is the most complex thing in the universe and it's right behind the nose.
– Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
Randomness is very difficult to achieve. Organization always merges back if you don't pay attention.
– Submitted by Alexandar T (2 years ago)
Stephane Miroux:
Would you marry me when we are seventy? You have nothing to lose.
– Submitted by Diana L (2 years ago)
Stephane Miroux:
This girl is at once all the women that broke my heart. She is so beautiful and generous and she is asking me to leave because she is dumping me. She is dumping me because I am a cheap drug dealer. And I am a drug dealer because she wants to leave me.
– Submitted by Diana L (2 years ago)
Things will turn out the way you want, if you could just stop doubting that I love you. Call me home.
– Submitted by Diana L (2 years ago)
A heart that sighs has not what its desire.
– Submitted by Ana M (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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