Babel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Babel Reviews

February 3, 2007
Alejandro González Iñárritu's latest sprawling, dispersed art-film blockbuster prompts a question: Does he just not know how to tell a story?
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
January 16, 2007
If misery is your pornography, Babel is your holy grail.
November 10, 2006
It's a great film made with style and heart and hope, a cautionary parable and an almost certain Oscar contender.
Read More | Original Score: 5/5
November 10, 2006
The experience of watching Babel is undeniably riveting: Even if the film doesn't really lead anywhere, you still can't take your eyes off it.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 10, 2006
[Iñárritu] remains as entranced as ever by fate, loss and the interconnectedness of humankind, and I admire him for it. But Babel isn't the last or best word on that subject. It's just a lot of talk.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 10, 2006
True to its title, Babel hinges on missed and faulty communications of both the personal and the cultural variety. It's a sweeping movie about characters who often suffer from tunnel vision.
Read More | Original Score: A-
November 10, 2006
Babel is the masterful third installment in this trilogy of truth and consequence.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 10, 2006
As each story comes to its conclusion, some characters rise above, while others are crushed under the weight of the day's events. The tales are equal parts miracle and tragedy. And that's often what life is, which makes Babel ring true.
Read More | Original Score: 4.5/5
November 9, 2006
One of the most challenging and saddest movies of the year -- and also one of the most memorable.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
November 9, 2006
[Babel] is, in short, one of the year's best movies.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
November 9, 2006
The filmmakers don't seem to understand or care much about many of these people, but they use them to unload ideas about violence, communication, and tribal misunderstandings -- trading on suffering as they aim for cosmic wisdom.
November 9, 2006
Good intentions don't always make good movies. And this one simply wasn't worth their effort.
Read More | Original Score: C
November 4, 2006
For a movie that insists on the truth of humanity's mutual dependency, Babel feels disconnected from anything but its own artistic determinism.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2006
Babel is supposed to be a cry of humanist anguish that echoes -- in four languages -- around the world. Why does it feel as much like an elaborate game of middlebrow post-millennial Clue?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2006
The film is something to see. But despite the dynamism of all those individual moments, Babel looks like an empty edifice.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2006
In the end, a film of profound ambition is unmasked as one without real purpose, a misguided attempt to make a serious, important statement despite having nothing, really, to say.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
November 3, 2006
I was shaken, but not stirred.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
November 3, 2006
Something of a one-note film, albeit a beautifully played note.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
November 3, 2006
An extension and expansion of 21 Grams in every way, and this time proves too much of a mystical thing.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
November 3, 2006
Individually, the stories are beautifully shot, intimately acted and usually engrossing.
Full Review | Original Score: B
November 2, 2006
The director interweaves his stories like a symphonic composer, teasing out suspense here, adding foreboding there, bringing in a surge of crushing pathos, but then providing a blessed note of hope and reconciliation.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 2, 2006
It's pretty -- oh, what's the word? -- stupid in its dramatization of the silly little connections that unite us, and it's somewhat selective in its choice of them.
November 2, 2006
It sweeps you along in a tide of cinematic energy and high-voltage drama.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
November 1, 2006
The terrorizing of two sets of children a continent apart may strike some viewers -- and does strike this viewer -- as unduly manipulative.
October 28, 2006
Until [Babel] hits overload and short-circuits, it's often brilliantly cinematic.
Read More | Original Score: B-
October 28, 2006
For all its apparent scope, the film's in-your-face fatalism ultimately feels forced. The cumulative effect is more grueling than cathartic, even if it may also be good for the soul.
October 27, 2006
The biblical themes are reflected in the film's multilingual dialogue, broad geographic scope and, you could add, its failed ambitions.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
October 27, 2006
...A powerful movie that should win all the year's ensemble acting awards.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 27, 2006
If they really want to appear radical the next time out, my advice is: Tell a single story and tell it well. What a concept.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
October 26, 2006
The ultimate poor judgment: the decision to put Babel before the camera. That defies comprehension in any language.
October 26, 2006
Babel possesses unusual aesthetic force, even if it does not seem to be tethered to any coherent idea or narrative logic.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
October 26, 2006
The problem with Babel isn't that it's a bad movie. It's a good movie, or, more accurately, it's several pieces of good movie, chopped up in service of a pretentious, portentous and slightly silly artistic vision.
October 26, 2006
How Iñárritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga seamlessly link these four stories makes for an unconventional film experience that is weighty, thought-provoking and riveting.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 26, 2006
The film explores the ways in which cultural assumptions and biases tend to obscure reality even when reality is plain, and the way our perceived differences keep us from finding a human connection to one other.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
October 26, 2006
Makes Crash, another recent film with converging stories and a multicultural cast, look like an undergraduate term paper on race relations.
October 26, 2006
If Babel falls an inch or three short of greatness, it's always a great ride.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
October 26, 2006
Babel has an undeniable power, even (or perhaps especially) when it's at its most contrived and implausible.
October 25, 2006
Unflappable desert village life, pulsing Tokyo teen culture, and a vibrant Mexican wedding are treated with reverence and delight, in unsubtle contrast to depictions of people lost in cultural wildernesses.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
October 25, 2006
Babel is a brilliant, profound and devastating film that explores the dangers and consequences of what can happen when words fail, communication ceases and all you've got left are feelings. Babel is a masterpiece.
October 24, 2006
When [Inarritu] aims at making any sort of large, loud statement, what mostly comes out is noise. In silence, though, he speaks volumes.
October 24, 2006
If Babel were a football game, I'd flag it 15 yards for piling on. Others may want to give it an Oscar. To each his own.
October 24, 2006
Time perhaps scrambling it's for Alejandro González Iñárritu to stop his narratives.
October 24, 2006
Its complex (yet not mystifying) storytelling, forceful character development, and superb cinematography make this a candidate for one of 2006's best offerings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
October 23, 2006
The actors -- including [González Iñárritu's] two big stars -- are all wonderfully real, seemingly as surprised by the depths and dangers of their circumstances and emotions as we are.
October 23, 2006
Iñárritu has enough talent to shake up conventional moviemaking. But he still hasn't figured out how to use it.
October 20, 2006
The year's richest, most complex and ultimately most heartbreaking film.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
October 4, 2006
Babel has the very best of intentions, and tries very hard, but cannot bring them to life. What I mean is, it left me cold.
September 23, 2006
Ambitious and absorbing for nearly all its 2 1/2-hour running time.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
May 24, 2006
This is not a fear-mongering movie, but it is unpredictable and shocking, with compassion hanging on for dear life.
May 23, 2006
... gripping nearly all the way.