The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Barbarian Invasions (Les Invasions barbares) Reviews

Top Critic
Ted Shen
Chicago Reader
March 23, 2010
Despite an uneven cast, Arcand finds a tonal balance between sentimental and cynical that keeps the conversations real and heart wrenching.
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Lisa Nesselson
Variety
August 7, 2008
A full-bodied, funny and gloriously unpretentious ode to family, friendship and the meaning of life.
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Geoff Andrew
Time Out
January 26, 2006
Both the comedy and the weepy moments tend towards the trite, but the film is directed and performed with such brio and manipulative skill that one eventually succumbs to its somewhat dubious charms.
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
April 21, 2004
A nicely balanced blend of sentiment and acrid wit.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 16, 2004
Arcand avoids the temptation of turning the story into a tear-jerker.
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 26, 2003
If you haven't seen the original, which, if memory serves, was billed as 'The Big Chill with a doctorate,' no worries. Arcand's follow-up stands alone as a universal story of generational reconciliation.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 19, 2003
Admirable in its refusal to be politically correct.
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 19, 2003
A movie that, in the story of one man dying, shows us all how to live.
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
December 19, 2003
As fondly remembered as [The Bill Chill and The Decline of the American Empire] are, Arcand's Barbarian Invasions surpasses them both.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 19, 2003
The treatment of the subject isn't maudlin, thanks to a witty script and an enormously likable lead character.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
December 19, 2003
A film about one death that is fully vibrant with both life and love.
Read More | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
December 19, 2003
While it would seem like an unlikely candidate for a sequel, The Barbarian Invasions at least revives its talky debates over the things that matter: politics, literature, love, friendship and, of course, sex.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
December 19, 2003
Although I had a mixed reaction to the movie, I recommend it for its willingness to acknowledge mortality and for Arcand's grace as a filmmaker.
Read More | Original Score: B
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
December 19, 2003
Fun to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
December 19, 2003
The Barbarian Invasions is manipulative without apology, and we want it to be.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 19, 2003
The Barbarian Invasions flirts with shallow pieties and glib wisdom, but in the end it dives into the deepest part of the pool.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 18, 2003
A savvy look at generation gaps and parental disappointment, and the often-wide chasm that separates pragmatism and ideology.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 18, 2003
A film that effortlessly makes you laugh with delight, cringe with pain and weep for life's inevitable end.
Read More | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 1, 2003
[A] masterpiece.
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November 29, 2003
Pungently funny and heartfelt.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
November 29, 2003
French-Canadian director Denys Arcand revisits the aging intellectuals from The Decline of the American Empire -- and they might be interesting, if they'd ever shut up.
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
November 25, 2003
One of the most intelligent and articulate entertainments of the year from any country.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
November 21, 2003
Encourages us to examine our own humanity, and to laugh and cry along with some familiar reprobates who are all too human, and all the more loveable for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Bob Campbell
Newark Star-Ledger
November 21, 2003
If secular humanism were an actual religion, The Barbarian Invasions would be recognized as a religious masterpiece.
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Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
November 21, 2003
A deeply felt celebration of the life force.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
November 21, 2003
A lament for lost ideals, a fantasy of the good death, a rant against the evils of the modern besieged age -- Quebec director Denys Arcand's latest film can be seen as all these things at once.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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V.A. Musetto
New York Post
November 21, 2003
Schmaltzy and contrived.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
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USA Today
November 20, 2003
Despite a slight tendency to be overly pleased with itself, this is a smart piece of work that got Arcand's screenplay an award at Cannes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 20, 2003
[A] surprisingly moving film.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
November 20, 2003
The banter ... is thick enough to rake -- and often way too thick to swallow, even for those who might not mind spending a couple hours with a bunch of baby boomers wasting their time by sorting through wasted time in the past.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
November 20, 2003
[A] deep and marvelously humane film.
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
November 19, 2003
I kept wondering how Arcand could have chosen as his generational representative a man not just flawed in his hedonism but one so fundamentally lacking in tenderness for others.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
November 18, 2003
The dramatic tangle of family in The Barbarian Invasions is reduced to a bizarre cartoon of name-dropping, smug banter, and straggling sex-rev nostalgia.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
November 18, 2003
In the end, our tears are because we identify with these characters, not because the script has inelegantly manipulated our emotions.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
November 7, 2003
The characters' endless conversations, which range from health care to Mao to heroin, are never less than engaging, and Arcand's obvious affection for all his characters, deserving or not, proves contagious.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
November 4, 2003
Moves you to laughter and tears without cheating to do it.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
October 16, 2003
What makes The Barbarian Invasions much more than a facile exercise in generational conflict is that Denys Arcand, who wrote and directed it, has a sense of history that is as acute as it is playful.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
May 21, 2003
An eloquent, achingly reflective taking of stock.