Norwegian Wood Reviews

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Top Critic
Sam Adams
AV Club
January 5, 2012
Norwegian Wood is a beauteous, lukewarm bore.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
January 26, 2012
It's most likely to appeal to fans of the Haruki Murakami novel on which it's based, and they're the least likely to enjoy it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Andrew L. Urban
Urban Cinefile
October 1, 2011
While the film doesn't work for me at all, it clearly works for others; it was selected as one of the 12 in Competition at the 2011 Sydney Film Festival.
Jim Schembri
The Age (Australia)
October 18, 2011
Looks great; moves like a steam roller with a flat tyre.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Kyle Smith
New York Post
January 6, 2012
Even for a film set in a land that considers paper folding an exciting activity, this is dull stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
March 1, 2012
It becomes a film that, like its characters, remains elusive in its motivations and therefore detached from its audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Kent Turner
January 5, 2012
There's plenty of sex and insanity, storywise, but the director takes a deliberately minimalistic and monochromatic approach, especially in the direction of his lead actor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Harvey S. Karten
December 20, 2011
Tepid, exhausting-overlong tale of sexual awakening adapted from a popular novel.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
March 14, 2011
Gorgeous to look at, but not very involving.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Philip Kemp
Total Film
March 2, 2011
Writer/director Tran Anh Hung seems hamstrung by reverence, as monotony sets in early and doesn't lift.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Adam Smith
Radio Times
March 10, 2011
Like most other unfilmable novels, this would have been best left alone.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Top Critic
Mark Holcomb
Village Voice
January 3, 2012
Two and a half hours that offer barely a hint of the beloved 1987 cult novel's true flavor.
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
January 4, 2012
The film is perilously close to being an exercise in tactile but touchy-feely passive-aggression.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Justin Chang
January 5, 2012
While this beautiful-looking film at times succeeds in capturing its source material's delicate emo spirit, it's far less attentive to the richness of Murakami's characters.
Stephanie Zacharek
January 6, 2012
It takes no significant liberties with the plot, and it captures the novel's delicate, half-hopeful, half-mournful tone. So why, unlike its source material, does it feel only half-alive?
Full Review | Original Score: 6.5/10
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
March 2, 2012
Tran has drained the life right out of the novel.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Kimber Myers
The Playlist
August 15, 2013
Like its source material from Haruki Murakami, this is a beautiful film that exquisitely captures grief and sadness, and unsurprisingly, it probably won't help you if you're suffering from seasonal affective disorder.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Matt Stanger
The Skinny
March 16, 2011
Vietnamese Director Tran Anh Hung has created a piece of cinematic beauty in Norwegian Wood, an adaptation of the modern literary classic by Haruki Murakami.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
David Sexton
This is London
March 11, 2011
You have to take it at its own meditative pace, to wait it out. But then what you get is a love story to cherish permanently.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
January 6, 2012
"Norwegian Wood" is a restrained portrait of liminal moments, a coming-of-age tale that feels more like a moody ghost story than a neatly contained chronicle of beginnings.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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