Youth Without Youth - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Youth Without Youth Reviews

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Super Reviewer
January 5, 2008
Starts off well. I was very interested in the 70 year old man who caught fire and then began to grow younger as he healed. Fascinating.
But then it got confusing. And I got bored. Quickly.
Super Reviewer
August 2, 2008
aw cool a new Tim Roth movee!
Super Reviewer
½ May 9, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2008
Definitely an art house film. It's a very strange going but interesting.
Super Reviewer
½ August 18, 2008
How did this guy make Dracula? Here's another movie where the director tried to be too cryptic, symbolic and other such words and ended up with an incoherrent piece of crap.
Super Reviewer
½ June 25, 2008
There's a lot to admire about Youth Without Youth, but potential for entertainment is not exactly one of them. I love that this is mature, historical fiction (as borrowed from Romanian writer Mircea Eliade) rendered beautifully by a master filmmaker, but damn if this isn't dull at times. Frankly, the movie's lack of focus is a huge disappointment. I had to watch it in three chunks, each forty minutes long, before I couldn't stand to sit through it anymore.

This got critically drubbed and made very little money (fortunately it was a low-budget effort), and I feel bad for Coppola because of that. It is a fantastic movie to look at, has actors of presence in Tim Roth and Alexandra Maria Lara, and offers up numerous good ideas by virtue of its source. Unfortunately, those stars are lost in the script they have to wade through, and that beautiful imagery just seems to swirl together without anything distinctive going on in it.

This definitely could have been better.
Super Reviewer
December 18, 2007
As far as existential, deeply profound and artistic films go--this one's got it all! I'll admit that Coppola's first film in 10 years is more like a David Lynch film--only in how out-of-reach it will be for most viewers; how inaccessible it is and how hard to understand it seems to be. In short, the film will seem like pretentious, high-brow, arthouse crap to most people who aren't in the mood for something that requires more thinking than watching a Will Ferrell movie.

The story of a man whose life (present and future) is changed by a sudden and striking event, leaves more questions than answers--but then again, film is supposed to that. There are soooo many themes running throughout this film (life, death, war, dream-states, time-travel, metaphoric transgression and the duality of man with his conscience--among others.)

This film is truly a genre-bending romp and follows no preordained Hollywood formula (from its relatively unknown cast to its allegorical cinematography and symbolic art direction) the movie reveals one riddle after another and feeds us only scraps of truth (without truth) and fragments of answers (without answers.)

I heard a woman after our screening complain that Coppola went from The Godfather--to this! The movie was obviously not meant for her. This movie is more along the lines of a Lynch, Aronofsky, or a Fellini film--highly cerebral and requiring a great amount from the audience.

Though the slow pace and confusing storylines may make the movie seem like it's robbed some of you of your own youth, give this a chance if you like to be challenged at the megaplex. Although, this movie--you'll be lucky to find playing anywhere at all.

If you're interested in seeing the film, get to the theater as quickly as possible because this movie is likely to be a complete failure at the box office and will not play very long--if at all.

That being said, I loved the film for myself. I don't know how much I could recommend it to others, but selfishly, the movie was made for someone like me. I like to think and re-think meaning and purpose of a film instead of simply sitting in a theater waiting to be "entertained." I like to learn and knowledge is something that this film provides in heaps and loads.

There is an abundance of intellectual wealth that somoene could gain from experiencing this film. Even though I couldn't recommend the film itself (despite my enjoyment of it) I am always eager to recommend a new, unique and challenging experience for moviegoers like myself. If the proverbial shoe fits...
Super Reviewer
January 16, 2009
[font=Century Gothic]"Youth without Youth" starts in 1938 when Dominic Matei(Tim Roth), a seventy-year old linguistics expert, gets struck by lightning crossing the street in front of a train station in Bucharest. Somehow he survives. What is truly amazing is that as his wounds heal, he finds himself getting younger, even growing new teeth. Along with his newfound youth, he finds that he has new abilities which are accompanied by an emerging alter ego. All of which makes Dominic afraid of what the Nazis would do to him, so he asks his doctor(Bruno Ganz) for false identification.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]Written, directed and produced by Francis Ford Coppola, "Youth without Youth" is about mortality as viewed through the eyes of a man who has been frustrated by his inability to discover the origin of language and complete his life's work. At the same time, this scientist is confronted by clear signs of the supernatural. Original and as full of ideas as the movie is, it is ironic that the movie is as frustrating as Dominic's quest for knowledge. Perhaps it is the combination of superheroes and the intellectual but there is nothing to say that these two are mutually exclusive.[/font]
Super Reviewer
January 1, 2011
I'll warn you first: if you manage to survive the first 45 minutes it gets better!

"Youth Without Youth" is based on the novella of the same name by Romanian author Mircea Eliade and it was the first film that Coppola had directed in ten years since 1997's The Rainmaker. In this film you'll find a very personal approach to a barely known novella by Mircea Eliade, but also homage to Romanian culture and civilization. People who read the novella found it difficult and "anti-cinematic"... it's some kind of a meditation on time and the relation between human memory and identity. The major theme of the film is "la vita est sueno" (life is dream) but Coppola said that he made the film as a meditation on time and on consciousness, which he considers a "changing tapestry of illusion," admitting that the film may also be appreciated as a beautiful love story, or as a mystery.

I purchased this DVD and was ready to enjoy the experience which blurs dreams and everyday life and suggests that through visual and narrative experimentation the main character has begun the search for new ways of making meaning, new holy places for him and for us... but the problem in enjoying that search process was in the bad sound recording - I'll say the worst in the 21st century! Mumbling of the complicated philosophical theories is not something I prefer when having trouble with the full story!

Disappointing work from one of my favourite directors... two hours and six minutes long!
Super Reviewer
½ April 18, 2009
I couldn't believe that Francis Ford Coppola wrote and directed this film. It kind of reminded me of Benjamin Buttons with a little of Phenomenon mixed in. Tim Roth is miscast as the lead role. Matt Damon should have passed on doing a cameo in the film. He did it as a thank you cameo for The Rainmaker, like he did a cameo in Finding Forrester as a thank you for Good Will Hunting. Damon should have waited for a better Coppola film to do a thank you cameo in, than this film. The first hour was interesting but the 2nd hour is way off. On a positive, the cinematography was good.
Super Reviewer
½ November 27, 2008
I watched this movie not knowing what to expect. I finished it not completely knowing what to think. This is a very vivid, passionate film full of philosophical ideas and bold ambition. It's a gorgeously photographed and sharply edited film, carefully tended to by the artistic hand of Francis Ford Coppola. However, it's an uneven viewing experience. At times awe-striking and completely compelling, the story also strays into the absurd and is extremely frustrating during some segments. I'd say this is essential viewing for any fan of the director, but it should be watched with an open mind.
Super Reviewer
September 11, 2009
Coppola's new movie Youth without youth was the story of Dominique Matei, which they divided the story in 2, the first involving an old professor's rejuvenation after being hit by lightning and the second the reincarnation of a girl who also happens to be the double of man's long lost love.I didn't completely understood the movie. I knew it was about time but there was more, I could not put it all together.Too heavy movie for me. The acting was excellent, Tim Roth was great. The photography beautiful, the locations were fantastic. I did enjoy the movie in some parts but I didn't find it all that engaging. Not a bad movie by any means but it got a little bit weird in certain parts and I don't think everyone is going to love it.
Super Reviewer
September 5, 2008
Youth Without Youth is a weird slightly incoherent melding of Faust and Dorian Gray. I think to fully get this film I would have had to watch it a second time but it seemed to take soooo long to watch the first time through that I didn't have the patients to watch it a second time.
Super Reviewer
½ December 18, 2007
Here's an interesting movie directed by Francis Ford Coppola. Tim Roth stars. An intriguing story plot that follows a single man (Roth) through life, starting from old age as a professor, scenes from his youth as a student studying the world's languages, and of course, through a most life-altering event that has him pursuing a greater purpose. Great movie! A must-see.
½ March 25, 2014
Francis Ford Coppola returns to filmmaking after a ten year absence...and it is long and confusing and pretentious. Tim Roth stars as an elderly man who is struck by lightning and then becomes young again once he has healed from his injuries. He is also talking to himself in mirrors...and then the nazis show up. Visually, the film looks great, but is missing something. The pretentious nature of this film makes me think about Coppola's early work, Pre-"The Godfather". They were made by a pretentious film student, and this feels like the kind of film that a young guy like that, who never grew up, would make. It is as if Coppola in the 70s was a fluke. This movie is long and kind of boring...if you want to make a slower film with a longer better have something deeper than interesting visuals and a neat initial premise...this movie doesn't really have more than that.
October 5, 2013
Visually it's a masterfully made movie. Unfortunately, it drowns itself in too many subplots, none if them fully reaching its potential, and eventually it becomes too drawn out and incoherent. It was quite a chore to sit through the entire thing, i found myself struggling to stay awake in the last third.
½ February 9, 2010
One of the most messed up movies ever.
Quite hard to comprehend, and it was very very confusing at times.
Not too sure if I even understand it now..
Good watch in all, very interesting..
But weird. Very complicated as well.
It was okay but very hard to watch.
½ December 27, 2007
I just saw this film last night, and it definitely warrants a second viewing. It's a little slow and the story gets a bit convoluted, but the performances are solid. It's visually appealing, and ultimately is a magical film.
October 12, 2008
Francis Ford Coppola and I clearly have very different ideas about meaning in movies. I have now seen three or four films by him and have been left feeling empty and confused by each one. Let me start off by saying, I am *not* a fan of The Godfather, parts one, two or three. If I worked I could admire the craft, but overall I couldn't see what it was saying or why it did why it did. Call me blind to good taste, but apparently it's a reaction that continues to be true for all Coppola movies. I next saw his short film "Life With Zoe" in the collection "New York Stories." Pleasant, but I had no idea what meaning it held. And now Youth Without Youth, whose complicated plot runs through several different possible themes before ending with a shot that made me think, "Wait... Now... wait... WHAT just happened?" I felt it lacked cohesiveness and, judging from the other comments here on Flixster, it's not just me not "getting" Coppola.

Several moments feel like they were deliberately wooden. A character falls to the ground, and it's as if she is a mechanical toy that just goes stiff and topples over. Dialogue sounds like it comes from a David Mamet play. Every time philosophizing is done, the whole film screeches to a halt as "deep points" are made, and then the film continues as if nothing has happened. It didn't bring me to a greater awareness of the movie, however, as it could have done - instead, it made the entire thing feel amateurish, done by a student who wants to make a "great film" in the style of the masters, and just ends up pushing together a lot of moments that could make a movie meaningful, and then releasing it, convinced it's going to go down in history as utter brilliance. Sorry, Francis. It doesn't look like anyone, including me, thinks this is the next Godfather.
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