Bad Education Reviews

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David Ansen
Newsweek
November 1, 2007
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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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Scott Tobias
AV Club
September 26, 2005
In accounting for Almodóvar's identity as an artist and a man, Bad Education comes together like a bold and far-reaching summation of his career to date.
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Logan Hill
New York Magazine/Vulture
February 27, 2005
It still exerts an uncanny power: Like the best of Almodóvar's work, it throws you a first-love sucker punch that will stagger your heart, mind, and soul.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 11, 2005
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
February 11, 2005
Simple melodrama, a not-that-puzzling puzzle of a film noir.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
February 10, 2005
Taken at face value, Bad Education is about molestation, but from a wider perspective, it's about love, loss of innocence and the desperate quest for redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 4, 2005
Even though Bad Education ultimately seems to escape the director's control, there is no small amount of enjoyment in getting lost in its sexual-philosophical house of mirrors.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
February 4, 2005
Reality, fantasy and cinema interweave with such grace and power that it's often difficult to separate one from the other, which is, of course, the point.
| Original Score: B+
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 27, 2005
This is a disturbing film that challenges the viewer's comfort. It also challenges you to keep up as it jumps stylistically from comedy to romance to drama to a film noir thriller.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 20, 2005
A masterful epic charting love's labyrinths.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
January 15, 2005
His films are set-designed to the teeth, fastidiously framed and filled with beautiful bodies across the gender spectrum.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 14, 2005
One of Almodovar's darkest films since the early days of Law of Desire and Matador, and certainly one of his finest.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
January 14, 2005
To watch Bad Education is to revel, along with Almodovar, in the power of cinema to take us on journeys of breathtaking mystery and dimension and beauty.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
January 14, 2005
An exercise in stylish, seductive and cinematically self-referential finesse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
January 14, 2005
Like all of Almodóvar's films, Bad Education takes the audience down unexpected roads and switchbacks.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 14, 2005
Has a dizzying kick, a sense that no matter how much we grasp, the past eludes us.
| Original Score: A
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
January 14, 2005
Almodóvar's most fiendishly crafted, emotionally complicated film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
January 13, 2005
Crime and deception have rarely looked so sumptuous.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Robert K. Elder
Chicago Tribune
December 27, 2004
If only Bad Education engaged the heart as much as the head, Almodovar's fractured tale might have risen above its alienating noir conventions.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
December 24, 2004
A marvelously dirty, ultimately heartbroken movie about, among other things, the instability of identities.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 22, 2004
A dazzling exercise in storytelling -- and a loving tribute to the power of cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
December 22, 2004
Intoxicating and flawed noir-melodrama.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 22, 2004
It's Almodóvar's ode to obsessive love, to artistic passion and to the cinema itself.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 22, 2004
Almodovar wants to intrigue and entertain us, and he certainly does, proving along the way that Gael Garcia Bernal has the same kind of screen presence that Antonio Banderas brought to Almodovar's earlier movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
December 16, 2004
I found the film devious and confused in its Pirandellian contrivances and shifts of identity.
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
December 9, 2004
Almodóvar is at his most breathtakingly complex and mature, and at his most pessimistic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
December 9, 2004
It is Bernal himself who sticks in your head the most.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
November 22, 2004
It's all incredibly complicated but, intensely fascinating.
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Christy Lemire
Journal News (Westchester, NY)
November 20, 2004
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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John Anderson
Newsday
November 20, 2004
Almodovar never stops maturing or losing his supreme mastery of the medium.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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November 19, 2004
It's best not to spill too many more beans -- only to say that Gael García Bernal is the real thing.
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
November 19, 2004
As usual ... it's Almodóvar who's the star here, filling the screen with bold compositions and melodramatic passion.
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
November 19, 2004
Owes much to Bernal, who stunningly portrays three distinct personalities.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
November 19, 2004
Gloriously feverish ode to what drives us to do things great and terrible.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 18, 2004
A rapturous masterwork.
| Original Score: 4/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
November 18, 2004
Mr. Almodóvar's fantastic and unconventional film -- and Mr. Bernal's astonishing passion, tenderness, vulnerability and magnetic velocity in it -- are blazing headlights in an often bleak and blurry year.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 18, 2004
I'm not sure if Bad Education is Almodóvar's most personal film, but it's the one, at least to me, in which he has spoken most directly. It feels good to finally hear his voice.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
November 16, 2004
Visually, Bad Education's only impressive set piece is the dynamic, Saul Bass-esque opening credits.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 15, 2004
The performances are fine, and there are occasional flashes of the kind of inspired direction we have come to expect from Almodóvar, but, ultimately, Bad Education must be considered to be a minor effort from a major director.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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November 3, 2004
Superbly orchestrated, visually impressive pic.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 14, 2004
Almodóvar has toyed with film noir before, most memorably in his 1997 film Live Flesh. But his newest movie, Bad Education, is a delirious, headlong immersion and re-invention of a style.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
May 12, 2004
This is an often surprising, sometimes upsetting, intricately woven masterwork that sums up many of the obsessions and trademark characterizations that reach back into Almodovar's already storied career.