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Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (2011)



Average Rating: 7.9/10
Reviews Counted: 91
Fresh: 81 | Rotten: 10

Languorous and deeply enigmatic, Palme d'Or winner Uncle Boonmee represents an original take on the ghosts that haunt us.


Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 23
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 0

Languorous and deeply enigmatic, Palme d'Or winner Uncle Boonmee represents an original take on the ghosts that haunt us.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 9,746

My Rating

Movie Info

Suffering from acute kidney failure, Uncle Boonmee has chosen to spend his final days surrounded by his loved ones in the countryside. Surprisingly, the ghost of his deceased wife appears to care for him, and his long lost son returns home in a non-human form. Contemplating the reasons for his illness, Boonmee treks through the jungle with his family to a mysterious hilltop cave - the birthplace of his first life... -- (C) Strand

Jul 12, 2011


Strand Releasing

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All Critics (91) | Top Critics (23) | Fresh (81) | Rotten (10) | DVD (4)

Weerasethakul's sincerity is evident, though the film's meditative pace and vague philosophical undertones will not be for everyone.

June 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a film that wants to be interesting, and it certainly is that. Whether you want to dine with the ghost and the monkey-man or not, they bring a new perspective to the table.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

As is to be expected, Weerasethakul frequently abandons the story for trancelike contemplations of nature, but never before in his work has the device felt more purposeful.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While the result is pretty much the definition of a film that should be experienced, not explained, there's no sense here that Weerasethakul is being difficult for difficult's sake, or even attempting to conceal his mysteries.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It playfully invokes both the lifestyle and animistic beliefs of the Northeast country folk, and the primitive magic of early Thai cinema, relating both of these to his musings on reincarnation.

April 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you are open, even in fancy, to the idea of ghosts who visit the living, this film is likely to be a curious but rather bemusing experience.

April 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is boring and completely fails to engage on any level. Simply put, it's much too strange for its own good.

November 9, 2013 Full Review Source: We Got This Covered
We Got This Covered

A film about recurrent visions and round-trip journeys: a movie not just about previous incarnations but about the possibilities of multiple and diverging paths into the future and out of the past

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Weerasethakul's sixth feature is a typically slowburning experience of art cinema that doesn't feature a single spoken word until eight minutes in and is as equally enchanting as it is infuriating.

September 15, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass

Uncle Boonmee is about ... the moments when our worlds expand; when our outlines turn out to be more porous than we thought.

November 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

Uncle Boonmee is a film to be experienced for its immediacy and thought upon for its ineffability.

October 25, 2011 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Fits neatly into Weerasethakul's cinema-shaking oeuvre of beautiful experimentation. [Blu-ray]

August 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Groucho Reviews
Groucho Reviews

One to absorb, to wonder at, and, perhaps most significantly, to give exposure to lines of thinking that one might not be familiar with.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Window to the Movies
Window to the Movies

Beguiling, frequently baffling and frustrating.

July 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

A stunningly beautiful visual experimental Buddhist film.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Truly enchanting.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source:

Weerasethakul is operating here in a specific liminal space between experimental artwork and arthouse filmmaking.

May 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Film School Rejects
Film School Rejects

Even if it can't be recommended to everyone, [it] blossoms inside you the longer you allow it to.

April 28, 2011 Full Review Source: Oregonian

[Compared to Weerasethakul's earlier work] it's easier to get a handle on the edges, more opaque in the middle, and not as radical in its ideas or its execution.

April 18, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

The movie isn't paced as a conventional narrative; its story imperceptibly droops, like a heavy frond.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: LarsenOnFilm

Audience Reviews for Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives


A lot of people criticise Uncle Boonmee for it's lack of a solid narrative. Having one wasn't the film's primary focus anyway, but what it does have, simply cannot be explained in literal terms. This art house feature was created for spiritual enlightenment so naturally, it's not your average indie flick. Despite it's incredibly slow pacing, it's overwhelming. It doesn't let it's open minded surrealism disrupt the ideas and explanations of reincarnation, ghosts and the distances and borders between lives. Even in it's weirdest moments it's intelligent, enigmatic, and engaging and perfectly blends genres such as drama, comedy and horror. Visually outstanding, thought-provoking and delightfully otherworldly, it's one of the better films of 2010.
May 8, 2012
Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

I don't mind dead wives showing up for dinner as uninvited guests but when a Sasquatch starts to browse your old photo albums THAT is where things get a little weird.
January 27, 2012
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives is a fragmented, calm recollection of memories that ponders on life and reincarnation. Metaphoric to the evolution of cinema, its transformation and eventual extinction. Extremely stunning photography. Eerily beautiful.
September 10, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

Thai farmer Boonme meets spirits and ghosts and experiences past lives as he calmly prepares for his death. Unfortunately, this film will earn the title "Uncle Bore-me" from many viewers, thanks to the many laconic, uneventful scenes between encounters with money spirits and bouts of catfish cunnilingus; the patient will be rewarded with marvelous, mystical sights.
July 25, 2011
Greg S

Super Reviewer

    1. Huay (Boonmee's Wife): Heaven is overrated. There is nothing there
    – Submitted by Jay B (3 years ago)
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Foreign Titles

  • Uncle Boonmee Who Recall His Past Lives (DE)
  • Uncle Boonmee Who Can Recall His Past Lives (Loong Boonmee raleuk chat) (UK)
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