Ninotchka - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Ninotchka Reviews

Page 1 of 19
July 13, 2016
Simply put, this is a perfect and charming story. It moves along smoothly and effectively and it never makes a wrong turn. What may be most interesting about it is the amount of facts and information the screenwriters injected into the story. Today, any historical account of a past time would for the most part avoid discussing what actually happened and just stick to the present. Here, the film was released just as World War II was beginning and the Soviet Union was quickly becoming a major player in world affairs. There are large monologues where the characters are discussing the beliefs of the communistic society compared to a capitalistic society. Ernst Lubitsch directs with his usual wit and flair while also poking fun at serious subjects at the time. Garbo gives perhaps her finest performance and Melvyn Douglas has never been more suave. A true masterpiece of the Golden Age, Ninotchka is not to be missed by anyone who loves the movies.
June 28, 2016
Three bumbling Soviet lackeys are trying to sell some confiscated jewels in Paris so they can buy farm equipment for a people's commune. The matter is complicated once the dashing paramour (Melvyn Douglas) of an expatriate Russian noblewoman (Ina Claire) attempts to cheat the trio. Another agent of the USSR (Greta Garbo) is dispatched to fix the problem, but she didn't count on being swept off her feet. Ninotchka is a surprisingly witty and acerbic spoof of Red Scare politics, but its key asset is found in Greta Garbo's vivid (and hilarious) performance. The setting and subject matter make this film into a weird time capsule, but that doesn't stop Ninotchka from being very entertaining in its own right.
May 27, 2016
Testament of an age of high quality screenplays. Intelligent satire, effective comedy and splendid vehicle for Greta Garbo in one of her most unforgettable creations.
January 31, 2016
"Garbo laughs"! So will you. A must see!
November 13, 2015
The political satire isn't quite as sharp as in "To Be and Not to Be" and Garbo isn't as good as in "Camille" (the thick Russian accent and monotone voice she has to adopt for most of the film makes her slightly less effective than she could be), but generally speaking, this romantic comedy from Lubitsch is a delight. If Garbo isn't at her absolute peak, Melvyn Douglas surely is and he steals the movie. Bela Lugosi fans should note he has a very small role.
November 1, 2015
Now, here you have a perfect example of one of those films which all the critics consider a classic comedy but you have to ask yourself, how would this be rated if it were released in modern times. I can tell you I reckon it would be under consideration for a golden raspberry. I reckon this was a memorable film in the career of an actress who obviously was a golden girl of her time, I presume because she was a pin-up girl and not much more. Admitadely, this is the first Garbo film I've seen so my opinion my be a bit premature but I just couldn't see why this film is in the lists of the greatest classic films ever. It's a stupid love story with some ridiculous coincidences and the way that she changes from a hard-faced Russian diplomat to a fancy-free lovestruck pussycat was lazy filmmaking.
½ October 26, 2015
A soviet investigator falls in love with an charming lawyer in this Billy Wilder partially penned romantic comedy. The movie moves along at a sluggish pace, but the chemistry between the leads is solid, and Garbo is beautiful and fantastic. A much simpler solution at the end would be for the two leads to get married, so Leon could get his visa. But this is my first Ernst Lubitsch film, and its a good one.
October 13, 2015
I like this movie if for no other reason it pegged my LOL Meter. Witty dialogue and almost a useful study of international affairs! I endorsed this for my 20 year old daughter to watch and use some great ' dead pan lines' on potential suitors! Garbo's eyes and expressions are classic.
½ September 10, 2015
Dark but Romantic Drama
½ September 10, 2015
One of my favourite comedy movies.
August 9, 2015
At the core of this film is a dispute between the French and the Russians over which nationality a certain set of rich jewelry belongs to. Three Russians have obtained the jewels (legally from what I understood) although technically they had belonged to a powerful individual from France. The leading actor plays a Frenchman who is trying to make a compromise for both sides, but the three Russians want a consultant for themselves, so they hire the titular Ninotchka, a Russian woman devoid of all joy and happiness.

The Frenchman meets this woman before finding out she is the consultant for the Russians, and as if it was fate, he falls for her. He is persistent to spend time with her, and even realizes she does not enjoy life as she should, so he attempts to make her laugh, but there is no success until he does something unintentionally - he falls over a table in a restaurant and it makes everybody, including Ninotchka, to laugh themselves silly.

After this incident, things seem to change for Ninotchka, and she even laughs during very serious matters such as while she consults the three Russians about the dispute at hand. She truly enjoys life now and she comes to like the man, Leon, a lot, and eventually falls in love. This doesn't come about without some struggles, of course, but the heart of the movie effectively tells us that life is definitely worth enjoying.

This being a comedy, I wish there was more and better humor involved, but this movie is delightful in that its message is inspiring and still does fine without "better" comedy.
½ July 13, 2015
This is a pretty solid movie. Then again, Billy Wilder is one of the screenwriters.

Some of the jokes of the film hold up well. There's quite a few jabs made at the expense of the Soviet Union. Most of those types of jokes are pretty funny.

Advertising for this film focused on Greta Garbo and the fact the she laughs. Well... she does do that, but she delivers a very good performance as well. TVTropes would call it a defrosting of the ice queen, but it's a defrosting handled so well and so naturally by Garbo.

It's a fun little movie. It is annoying that Garbo takes so long to show up and that Bela Lugosi is only in one scene, but it has a few good laughs. It's worth checking out if only to see Garbo's very good performance. Shame 1939 had to be the best year for movies ever. Garbo got an Oscar nod for this and lost to Vivien Leigh for a little movie called Gone With The Wind.
July 2, 2015
Ninotchka is the story of a group of Russians that go to France with the intent of selling some crown jewels that belonged to the former Russian ruling family. Unfortunately, a Duchess from that family happens to live in Paris and seeks to take the jewels for herself. This is the excuse to bring in a Russian woman played by Greta Garbo to act as a kind of enforcer. She meets up with a friend of the Duchess who is delaying the sale of the jewels and somehow instantly falls in love. It's an amazingly poor script that thrusts the two leads into each others' arms with no visible chemistry between them. It probably wasn't a good sign that the advertising for this film all revolved strictly around the fact that Greta Garbo smiled and laughed. That's right, the only selling factor they could find in this movie is that an actress who ordinarily acted in serious roles would be seen as a light-hearted character for once. Well, guess what? There's a reason she hasn't been in comedies before, because she stinks. Her acting is so flat and unapproachable that it spoils the entire film because there's no logic to Melvyn Douglas falling for her. The entire plot is a horrible contrivance attempting to create a romantic comedy, but they failed at both the romance and the comedy. Just a disastrous film with almost no redeeming qualities.
February 19, 2015
Capitalism: a Love Story (by a German-Jewish from 1939)
½ January 20, 2015
Una comedia clà sica , llena de dià logos inteligentes y crìtica a los sistemas. Imprescindible.
December 17, 2014
This is a sweet, happy film about love overcoming ideology, nationality, and geography, and one that doesn't feel the need to beat us over the head with it, with romance spilling out of its seams... Garbo laughs... and for very good reason-she is being loved Silly--Ninotchka would hate to see her country endangered by her silk underwear... A Lovable Garbo, the 'Lubitsch Touch' and Scintillating Wit from Wilder and His Cronies creates a Timeless piece of Romance!!
½ December 3, 2014
Lubitsch not only can make fun of Nazis, but also the rotten Communists! Garbo is charming.
October 20, 2014
It was a delicate matter to actively criticize the politics of the Soviet Union and Communism in 1939, but Ernst Lubitsch's "Ninotchka" pulls it off through its use of satire to demonstrate the draw of Western culture and Capitalism.
Page 1 of 19