Babel - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Babel Reviews

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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)
Robert B.
Super Reviewer
September 28, 2015
Babel is a mixed bag.While it does not feel very long, its main defect is its length. A shorter movie with tighter focus would have had a greater dramatic impact without having to sacrifice its social message. The colonialist attitudes killed any sympathy for the central characters. But overall, it is still engaging and still worth seeing.
September 23, 2015
Confusing, the dots are connected, but the contrast is too extreme for an audience to enjoy the movie... And the plot seems a little silly to be built on a child. And the Death of the child seems silly.. sometime filmmakers put way too many cliche ingredients into the movie recipe, and go overboard,... making it practically a little too heavy to digest.
September 23, 2015
beautiful cinematography of Morocco, Tokyo, and Mexico. Highlight was the wedding party & Chieko entering the disco to the backdrop of Phats & Small's remix of EWF's September. Story-wise, the three mini-stories are just ok.
September 12, 2015
Just thrown together with no ryme or reason....who directed this a 10 year old.
August 23, 2015
If you appreciate Amores Perros, you would be interested in Babel, too, as this is one of the typical Alejandro González Iñárritu works though I find Amores Perros is slightly better and darker.
July 22, 2015
The title of Babel is so fitting for this film, since so many countries and so many languages are represented in it. And yet, despite the fact that war and violence has separated men of different countries and languages from each other since the Biblical (or mythological, depending on your religious views) event what enables tragedy to be averted here is our common thread of humanity, and the human reaction to help those in need.Common threads run through the story here, too. The girl whose father gave away the gun has lost her mother, as the children in America are in danger of losing theirs. Unsupervised children in Morocco are put in risk of their lives, as the improperly supervised American children in Mexico are at risk of theirs. Grief from the death of a family member is tearing apart the family in Japan and America. But the hopeful part is that, thanks to Moroccan villagers, a Japanese policeman, and border patrols, families are re-united again.
July 6, 2015
This film is long and boring but really changed my outlook on culture and consequences.
June 14, 2015
Generally entertaining and pretty engrossing. The sound and editing are particularly in its favour. I did wonder a couple times what the point of it all was, but I think it's nothing more than to show that consequences have actions, no matter where you are or who you are
June 3, 2015
Babel is a movie that really makes you think about the effects the choices you make have on the others around you. Every action has a reaction. Every consequence has an effect on others, from people you know to people you don't know. This is a fascinating drama, an excellently acted epic that will stick with you forever. Alejandro González Iñárritu is one of the best drama directors we have out there at the moment.
May 29, 2015
It's like traffic multiple lives cross paths and fit in this great film.
May 14, 2015
A master piece from the brilliant mind of Gonzales!
½ May 9, 2015
In the beginning, all the Lord's people from all parts of the world spoke one language. Nothing they propose was impossible for them. Fearing what the spirit of man could accomplish, the Lord said; "Let us go down and confuse their language so that they may not understand one another speech."

If you want to be understood... listen.

Why Elohims why? Envy much? Insecure? #GodComplex
April 29, 2015
Three very interesting story lines told wonderfully by Inarritu
April 28, 2015
A film that may cause you to lose and regain faith in humanity several times within a few short hours, director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu balances the many shades of darkness to form Babel. With a haunting score and memorably tortured performances from Brad Pitt, Adriana Barraza and especially Rinko Kikuchi, Babel is far from comfortable but far from forgettable.
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