Babel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Babel Reviews

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½ March 12, 2016
Iñárritu weaves together four seemingly disparate stories that link somewhat incidentally (but also consequentially). Each tale is filled with tension as characters engage in actions that you know they should not - that could and sometimes will end badly. Beginning in Morocco, we see two kids playing with a high powered rifle. Enough said. Then, in San Diego, a Mexican nanny needs to go to her son's wedding but her employers forbade her to go, leading her to take their kids to Mexico with her. Uh-oh. Back in Morocco, tourist Cate Blanchett is accidentally shot through the window of the bus she and Brad Pitt are travelling in. Damn. Finally, deaf-mute Rinko Kikuchi gradually unravels in Tokyo trying to cope with the suicide of her mother and just plain being a teenage girl. Hmmmm. Although each tale on its own is rather gripping, well shot, and well acted, the sum of the parts does not entirely cohere. Sure, you could draw parallels if you made the effort, but it shouldn't be this unclear. Drawing from the title, one could probably conclude that the message of the film is that communication between humans is inevitably problematic, both across and within cultures. No kidding.
½ February 16, 2016
these original ideas , which are not complex , but with the direction esxcelnte make a work of art .
February 7, 2016
Feels unorganized and disjointed, the characters aren't too memorable, and it "goes to far" in a few places, although it is an interesting Window into an unusual world.
½ January 31, 2016
La fusion de todas las historias conmueve, un desenlace diverso para cada una, con un dolor latente en todas.
January 29, 2016
Every time I see it the impact remains the same! Powerful film. The Moroccan teenagers really makes me cry!
½ January 16, 2016
From snippets to pictures, Iñàrritu's thriller is gradually wrapped up together with a loose, but silky bow.
January 15, 2016
Just not worth my time. Thy had hard enough time telling one story without going into three. Sorry.
January 11, 2016
A strong international story.
January 7, 2016
Babel is an ambitious, weighty drama, typically well-crafted and directed by Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu. However, like some of his earlier films, it overreaches its grasp, filling its runtime with numerous characters and plotlines that feel too inorganic and unbelievable to connect
January 7, 2016
One of the most ambitious narratives in film in Innaritu's profound masterpiece.
½ January 6, 2016
The film blends four narratives to create one story about the human need for love and affection and the search to find that love - even in the darkest places.
½ December 31, 2015
The only thing worse than watching a few minutes of this movie is to watch the whole thing, hoping it gets better. It doesn't
½ December 28, 2015
Un hermoso poema sobre la incomunicación y la incomprensión. Y el posible efecto de ambas en el ser humano. Una obra arrebatadora, profunda, fascinante y sorprendente.
December 28, 2015
Was surprised that this movie has such a criminally low rating here. Babel is a beautiful and creative masterpiece that explores countless mature themes through the interconnected stories of its characters. Be warned when going into this movie that it has artistic elements (typical of Iñarritu) that might upset those who prefer conventional, hollywood-style films. Babel is truly unlike any other film.
November 15, 2015
You know the movie they talk about in The Player? The one with no big names and no happy ending. This is it. And it's depressing as hell.
November 1, 2015
A masterpiece in every sense. Babel takes place in 4 different places each place has its characters and each character has their conflicts but in general all the characters share a relationship with others, even if some will never get to see throughout the film, that is the great thing in this movie, that we deeply know the history and situation of each character and share a global conflict with the other characters.

Review en Español:
Una obra maestra en todo sentido. Babel se desarrolla en 4 lugares distintos cada lugar tiene a sus personajes y cada personaje tiene sus conflictos pero en general todos los personajes comparten una relación con los demás, aunque algunos nunca se llegan a ver en toda la película, eso es lo grandioso de esta película, que podemos conocer profundamente la historia y situación de cada personaje y ademas de compartir un conflicto mundial con los demás personajes.
October 9, 2015
Just when I thought that each story line couldn't get any more depressing and that the lives of each character had reached their low point...BOOM the Director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu dumps even grief and sorrow on the audience. If you're looking for a happy ending, don't look here.
October 9, 2015
Una obra maestra en todo sentido. Babel se desarrolla en 4 lugares distintos cada lugar tiene a sus personajes y cada personaje tiene sus conflictos pero en general todos los personajes comparten una relación con los demás, aunque algunos nunca se llegan a ver en toda la película, eso es lo grandioso de esta película, que podemos conocer profundamente la historia y situación de cada personaje y ademas de compartir un conflicto mundial con los demás personajes.
October 8, 2015
Cest toute une mauvaise journee pour cette famille la !

J'aurais skipper les japonais !
½ October 4, 2015
"Babel" A Window into Communication in Human Nature

Cast: Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett, Rinko Kikuchi, Gael Garcia Bernal, Adriana Barraza

Director: Alejandro González Iñárritu

Writers: Guillermo Arriaga

Synopsis: Four separate groups of people on three different continents are connected by an accident: a vacationing couple (Brad Pitt, Cate Blanchett), two young Moroccan goatherds, a deaf Japanese teen (Rinko Kikuchi) and her father, and a Mexican nanny (Adriana Barraza) who takes her young charges across a border without parental permission.

The film Babel by director Alejandro González Iñárritu brings the audience a chill down their spine while watching as four unrelated groups of people are slowly connected by one tragic event. The four groups consist of an american tourist couple, Richard Jones (Brad Pitt) and Susan Jones (Cate Blanchett) vacationing in Morocco, Amelia (Adriana Barraza), the caretaker of the Jones's young children Debbie (Elle Fanning) and Mike Jones (Nathan Gamble) who cross the mexican border with her nephew Santiago (Gael Garcia Bernal), the deaf-mute Japanese girl Chieko (Rinko Kikuchi) and her father, and two moroccan children and their father. As human nature comes into play and the story unfolds itself, the true meaning of how language affects the way humanity acts in certain circumstances is revealed. In each group, the events that had occurred throughout the film are shown through the nature of human communication and how they are affected by human nature's different emotions in the given circumstances. Iñárritu cleverly ties in twists of language and communication acts that occur in specific situations caused by the reaction of everyday Human Nature and the chosen actors bring forth a brilliant performance to this film that make it all come to life on screen.

When in difficult or desperate situations, simple communication and answers are wanted instead of complex theories. After the American tourist Richard's wife Susan is shot in the neck and taken to a hospital in Morocco, the following conversation takes place with the Moroccan doctor:
"RICHARD: Is she going to be ok?
MOROCCAN DOCTOR: It's probable. We're going to try to save her arm. She's been bleeding internally, and there's been some clotting so there's a high risk of gangrene.
RICHARD: But she's going to be ok? "
Ignoring what the doctor had said to him, Richard makes it clear that he does not want a complicated answer, instead he wants the answer to his simple question. Although doctors are usually praised for their highly qualitative use of language when speaking to their clients, when in a desperate situation such as this one, there would be no need for such a complicated answer. Simplicity and a direct answer to the question is all that is wanted in this difficult position.

Indirect speech, mutual and individual knowledge come into play throughout the film especially between the two American tourists Richard and Susan Jones who are on vacation in Morocco. Thus causing confusion, and frustration between the couple because of their lack of straightforwardness. In the following conversation, each person knows what one another is talking about, but this is not admitted and so each person thinks that the other does not know.
"RICHARD: You're never going to forgive me, are you?
SUSAN: Do you even know what I'm talking about?
RICHARD: Susan, please; we didn't come all this way just to argue."
Conversing about their past relations and problems with their family, their use of veiled language and indirect speech hides the intended content that each persona wants to establish to the other, thus seemingly misunderstanding one another's true intention.

The common use of veiled language and innuendo creates an intentionally cloudy meaning for fellow characters and audience members. For example, when Santiago asks the children at the wedding "who wants to help me with the chickens?" he fails to portray the real intention of what the word 'help' means in this situation. It really means, "who wants to help me kill some chickens?" which has a completely different intention than what he had originally suggested. Because of human nature not wanting to upset anyone with direct language, Santiago indirectly mentions 'killing' to the children mainly because of their age and willingness to contribute to this act. If the knowledge had been mutual, the children would not have helped him catch chickens, while because of the use of his veiled language, the knowledge was individual and no one else knew his true intention at the time.

When wanting to understand or communicate something effectively to someone else, simplicity and direct speech is needed. Because of human nature, this type of straight-forward communication has failed over and over again as we could see in the film Babel by the amount of veiled language, miscommunication and indirect speech there was between the characters, causing the whole community in the film to become confused and misunderstood. Even though in the end of the film all is well, humans continue to fail to distinguish simplicity between innuendo and veiled language. Although sometimes these forms of communications are needed, in the events from Babel, they are rendered useless. As the events untie themselves in the duration of the film, emotion such as fear, remorse, hate and happiness affect the way of human communication because of that natural nature of human behaviour in the given situations. Overall, bringing all these topics into context, Alejandro González Iñárritu has done a fantastic job with the story plot, and direction, making the film a huge success in the business and should be rated accordingly.

4 1/2 /5 Stars
Review by Izzi Zigan(2006)
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