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Youth Without Youth (2007)

tomatometer

30

Average Rating: 4.7/10
Reviews Counted: 102
Fresh: 31 | Rotten: 71

Although visually appealing, Coppola's latest film mixes too many genres with a very confusing plot.

25

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 36
Fresh: 9 | Rotten: 27

Although visually appealing, Coppola's latest film mixes too many genres with a very confusing plot.

audience

44

liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 16,812

My Rating

Movie Info

A professor's life changes after a cataclysmic incident during the dark years before WWII. Becoming a fugitive, he is pursued through far-flung locations including Romania, Switzerland, Malta and India.

R,

Drama, Romance, Mystery & Suspense

Francis Ford Coppola

May 13, 2008

$0.1M

Sony Pictures Classics - Official Site External Icon

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This week, Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth hits theaters in limited release. The tale of...

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All Critics (103) | Top Critics (36) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (71) | DVD (5)

Youth Without Youth smacks of vanity project from the first poetic moments to the last, and whose vanity lays a stronger claim to the big screen than Francis Ford Coppola's?

November 21, 2008 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Youth Without Youth is so beautiful, in fact, that it almost transcends the epic bunkum of Coppola's script. But almost doesn't count, even when it is uttered in ancient tongues.

February 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Although it's easy to admire what [Coppola] was attempting to do with Youth Without Youth, the movie fails on such a thorough and complete level that to call it a noble attempt isn't really fair: It's really a colossal miscalculation.

January 11, 2008
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A terrible mess of mystical mumbo jumbo, but you have to give Francis Ford Coppola's Youth Without Youth this: It is one magnificent and interesting failure of a film.

January 11, 2008 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately, Youth becomes so lost in its own conceptual, convoluted vortex, it becomes virtually incomprehensible.

January 10, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Francis Ford Coppola's first film in 10 years deserves serious attention, but this massive dose of Nembutal only manages to render you too comatose to think.

January 4, 2008 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Finds the filmmaker admirably working without a safety net

August 27, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion
CinePassion

Nem mesmo a bela fotografia e a impecável direção de arte conseguem salvar esta bagunça narrativa que, sob a desculpa de promover uma discussão metafísica, faz Coppola parecer um cineasta em início de carreira.

January 19, 2009
Cinema em Cena

Very much a film of this era, its director returning after a ten-year absence from the cinema with a peculiar little masterpiece about things unrecoverable in time.

December 27, 2008 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

For all its flaws and there aren't very many, with Youth Without Youth you know you're in the hands of a master.

November 19, 2008 Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)
At the Movies (Australia)

Coppola may be back, but he's a long way from being back on form.

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

A stilted and inelegant work, well below par for Francis Ford Coppola

November 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

You want a story? Read the front page. I'm here for the picture show.

May 12, 2008 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

With all the nurses making moves on the suicidal old codger's renovated physique, Coppola's Youth Without Youth comes across as somewhere between The Godfather On Viagra and Apocalypse Then, Redux.

May 9, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze | Comment (1)
NewsBlaze

Though not an easy film to grasp or possibly enjoy, it's nevertheless a mindblowing acid-like excursion into the secret world of Orientalism.

April 13, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

This pretentious, impenetrable and deadly dull film never resonates as anything more than an aging filmmaker's feeble grasp at his own lost youth.

March 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Coppola was more efficiently mystical when he wasn't trying so hard.

March 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

This is the perfect example of what can happen when a producer/director/writer doesn't have to answer to anyone. Coppola makes an artistic mess.

March 4, 2008 Full Review Source: The Scorecard Review
The Scorecard Review

It often feels like a dream -- specifically, someone else's, a nonlinear, illogical synapse explosion that's always fascinating to the person in whose head it detonated but not so much to those experiencing it secondhand.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Washington City Paper
Washington City Paper

So much of Youth Without Youth is impenetrable, and not in a way that makes you want to solve the puzzle, but in a way that makes you want to knock the puzzle pieces off the table and flee the room.

February 29, 2008
Sacramento Bee

It would be easier to sit back and rest on his legend rather than press on as an average filmmaker, which is what Coppola has become.

February 21, 2008 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

The suspicion that all this froth builds up towards nothing but some poetic imagery is inexorably realized and sours the magic of the second half of the film.

January 29, 2008 Full Review Source: I.E. Weekly
I.E. Weekly

It's a clear case of an artist indulging his personal vision and getting so carried away by his muse, he's forgotten the most important rule of filmmaking: Other people have to sit through this s**t too.

January 26, 2008 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Weekly
Philadelphia Weekly

This film's playful visual language pulls you in rather than shuts you out; it isn't difficult to decipher, and it enables Coppola and his editor, Walter Murch, to navigate the story's many realms with a directness and dexterity that are refreshing.

January 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Audience Reviews for Youth Without Youth

aw cool a new Tim Roth movee!
February 1, 2012
LoughnerWasLucid

Super Reviewer

Francis Ford Coppola directs this!

That too after a hiatus of about 10 years after his court case drama, Rainmaker (1997).

And that itself raises expectations! Alas...they all fall down..when this monumental mess of a film unfolds in front of your tired eyes!

Set around World War II, precisely the late 30s or early 40s, when an aged professor (precisely aged 70) named Dominic Matei (Tim Roth) who has become rather aloof, trying to finish his "life's work" which is a book based on the origins of human language! He is so lost in his world, but certainly tired, that he visits his favourite bar, the Select Cafe in his Pajamas and slippers on a snowy Christmas eve!

Terribly bored of his existence, he decides to end his life in a place where no one knows him, somewhere in Bucharest. But fate has its own plans and Dominic gets struck by a deadly bolt of lightning somewhere in the streets of Bucharest!

He miraculously survives this cataclysmic event and seems to have been transformed into a supernatural being who seems to have become younger and healthier...and everyone around him is intrigued about how it could be possible.....including Adolf Hitler!


While the concept, based on the novella of the same name by Romanian author Mircea Elia, is extremely interesting, Coppola manages to turn this fantastic premise into a an almost terrible hodge-podge of a motion picture!

The first hour is absolutely spellbinding when the story picks up momentum and you readily become interested in the fate of the miraculous Dominic Matei who is being treated by a Doctor, Professor Stanciulescu (Bruno Ganz in an unfairly wasted role). The plot takes some interesting turns in the first hour but things start to go horribly wrong in the next one hour upon the introduction of the supposed reincarnation of Laura (Alexandra Maria Lara), Dominic's ex, as Veronica!

Further on, it seemed liked Coppola was missing making movies so much, he decided to blend a really fucked up cocktail of all genres that seemed to have made it big during the decade gone by when he was busy hibernating! So we have a psychological thriller mixed with a supernatural drama mixed with an eternal love story, garnished with a reincarnation angle with a spiritual Indian touch to the story!! He also seems to have seen Darren Aronofsky's "The Fountain" in the midst of all this and decided to add a little bit of topping of that to his ambitious canvas!

If only he paid a little more attention to the script and kept it more focussed....! Because as far as film-making is concerned, Coppola still has the touch, no doubt about it.

Mihai Malaimare Jr.'s cinematography is beautiful...there are some great visual effects and spectacular imagery which surely make you sit up and take notice of what could've been!
But the unfortunate silliness of this project in the second half hardly makes you care for all of the decoration! There is some painfully cheesy dialog between the two leads, and some awkwardly enacted scenes, which the actors seem to be clearly embarrassed to perform!

Tim Roth does his level best with an immensely memorable performance as Dominic, to save this empty venture from drowning into nothingness, but no such luck!

The first one hour and an interesting premise are all that remain of this doomed return to directing for Coppola!

Hardcore Coppola fans will still give it a shot...others wouldn't really bother..and shouldn't!
December 1, 2010
Aditya Gokhale
Aditya Gokhale

Super Reviewer

A non cohesive and flawed experiment with some incredibly poignant moments, a haunting love story and a score to die for. Tim Roth is a very gifted and highly underrated actor, capable of transmiting sorrow and anxiety quite easily. I only wish Coppola had concentrated on structure and pace a little bit more.
May 13, 2010
pier007

Super Reviewer

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