Memoirs of a Geisha - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Memoirs of a Geisha Reviews

January 18, 2006
The subject remained interesting enough to this provincial American to accept and ultimately enjoy the film's well-worn romanticism, even with its resignedly tired happy ending.
December 27, 2005
Memoirs of a Geisha is everything you'd expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It's just not very hot.
December 27, 2005
Ultimately, Memoirs of a Geisha compares unfavorably with the book, though it offers pleasures of its own.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 27, 2005
... a fascinating glimpse at a lost world of women with skin of porcelain and spines of steel, and the men in their thrall.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
December 27, 2005
... the movie is a well-meaning, vaporous bore, enlivened only by occasional traces of Showgirls-style camp and plasticine tears trickling down impeccably powdered cheeks.
Read More | Original Score: 1/4
December 27, 2005
It is a lush, blushingly romantic portrait of Asian culture as seen through a Western lens.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 27, 2005
The performances are good, the visuals are lush, the span is epic, but the film simply never soars.
Full Review | Original Score: C
December 27, 2005
... good-looking but not quite memorable ...
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 27, 2005
Memoirs of a Geisha, the big-screen adaptation of Arthur Golden's best-selling novel, has a lesson to teach: Designing a movie isn't the same as directing one.
Read More | Original Score: C+
December 27, 2005
This is a lavishly detailed memoir in which little turns out to be that memorable.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 22, 2005
For a while, you're waiting for Memoirs of a Geisha to start. Then you can't wait for it to end.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/5
December 22, 2005
Shot for shot, Memoirs of a Geisha is one of the most beautiful movies in years, with due credit to Don Beebe's widescreen camera work, John Myhre's meticulous production design and Colleen Atwood's opulent costumes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 18, 2005
Its commercial compromises cripple it as a movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 17, 2005
Golden's straightforwardly involving prose, while no great shakes, has been replaced by an extremely fussy affair that is, in effect, its own silk-wrapped pictorial novelization.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 17, 2005
Everything is beautiful -- even the squalor of poverty, the suffering of war. And nothing, ever, is revealed.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 17, 2005
Memoirs of a Geisha isn't just drop-dead beautiful, it's cinematically alive with a spirited way that makes most contrivances forgivable.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
December 15, 2005
You've always got something to look at -- whether its Sayuri's exquisitely painted face or the perfect twirl of a gorgeously flowered umbrella. But the storytelling is soap-opera banal.
Read More | Original Score: C
December 15, 2005
I object to the movie not on sociological grounds but because I suspect a real geisha house floated on currents deeper and more subtle than the broad melodrama on display here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 12, 2005
There is spectacle enough in Marshall's movie -- rows of geisha trainees aligned in formation like Rockettes, acres of low, cedar-and-bamboo buildings with mountains in the distance -- but nothing that comes close to lyricism.
December 12, 2005
There's a lot of emotion and heart.
December 9, 2005
It skips lightly over the surface of its rich material, more preoccupied with making pretty pictures than dipping below the surface so that you can experience the world through the eyes of its traumatized, yet increasingly savvy, heroine.
December 9, 2005
This is a movie for the ear and the eye, not the brain and the heart.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 9, 2005
With its gorgeous cinematography, costumes and production design, Geisha is a visual feast, but it lacks emotional heft and leaves the viewer strangely unsatisfied.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 9, 2005
It oozes importance, is heavy with worthiness and lies there, waiting to be appreciated for the beautiful thing it is.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 9, 2005
All three acts suffer from sluggish momentum and weak endings.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
December 9, 2005
In the luxuriant Memoirs of a Geisha, three of the biggest and loveliest stars of Chinese cinema -- Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li -- sharpen their talons.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
December 8, 2005
Slowness doesn't necessarily equal beauty or power or profundity.
December 8, 2005
Spanning two decades and a momentous war, Memoirs of a Geisha displays all the pomp and grandeur of an epic, but you wouldn't call it sweeping.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
December 8, 2005
Swathed in silk and longing (mostly for a bald guy called Oscar), the big-screen version of Memoirs of a Geisha arrives with good intentions firmly in place.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
December 8, 2005
What's wrong with Memoirs of a Geisha' isn't the casting; it's the film's languorous pace.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 8, 2005
Director Rob Marshall Chicago is so transfixed by all the ritualistic hoo-ha that he never brings the story down to earth.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 8, 2005
Arthur Golden's bestselling novel has been transfigured into an overripe romance that manages the not-so-cute trick of being both glitzy and ponderous while straining for delicacy and grandeur.
Read More | Original Score: 1.5/4
December 8, 2005
It's not a great movie, or even a particularly good one, but it's spectacular.
December 8, 2005
Memoirs loses its taste for risk, and settles, throughout the movie's subsequent melodramatic turns, for the familiar blandishments of good looks and technical control.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 6, 2005
Memoirs of a Geisha is worthwhile on many levels, although it lacks the depth of feeling that would have elevated it from a good movie to a romance for the ages.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
December 6, 2005
A would-be cross between Showgirls and Raise the Red Lantern, too dumb to cause offense though falling short of the oblivious abandon that could have vaulted it into high camp.
November 30, 2005
Any doubts about three Chinese actresses speaking English with Japanese accents vanish in the face of their deeply felt performances and the world Marshall conjures with magical finesse.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
November 29, 2005
So much to see and hear, yet the magic of Memoirs of a Geisha is the human way it touches the heart. The cumulative effect is like being knocked unconscious by the wing of a butterfly.
November 21, 2005
Arthur Golden's international best-seller has been moved to the bigscreen with beauty and tact in Memoirs of a Geisha.
November 21, 2005
The filmmakers make characters crasser, ignore nuances within geisha tradition and give characters attitudes and dialogue highly unlikely for Depression-era Japan.