Perfume: The Story of a Murderer - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Reviews

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Melissa Anderson
Time Out
February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
January 11, 2007
Tykwer loses his cinematic grip when he tries to blend murder and piety. In his hands, the two don't emulsify.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
January 10, 2007
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is another nauseous example of style over content: a toxic tale of serial homicide set in 18th-century France that creeps you out faster than it makes you think.
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
January 8, 2007
Hated this movie. Hated it.
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Dallas Morning News
January 6, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
January 5, 2007
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer never tries to make Jean-Baptiste sympathetic but he's not rendered monstrous, either: He just is a victim of a passion larger and more powerful than any one man can handle.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 5, 2007
[The filmmakers] render a portrait of Paris that both delights and overwhelms the senses. This is a movie where eyes turn into noses, which may run at the many ghastly sights presented.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
January 5, 2007
Tykwer, best known for the ultramodern chase movie Run Lola Run, would seem an unusual choice for a period film, but he infuses the sometimes stately story with vigor; though well past two and a half hours, it never feels long.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
January 5, 2007
The movie talks suggestively about smells but can't quite find a way to bring them to life, so [director Tom] Tykwer uses images to rub our noses in as many disgusting things as he can.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
January 5, 2007
The movie is lost. Whishaw succeeds in making the repulsive protagonist thoroughly repulsive, which is probably a testimony to his acting ability. But it doesn't make it anything worth watching.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
January 5, 2007
Even if that broad interpretation -- that art is worth any human cost, that identity can be put on, like a scent -- leaves you cold, there's a world to immerse yourself in, a killer to be pursued, and an innocent to be feared for.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
January 5, 2007
Lush visuals and lusty, rhapsodic language bring Perfume as close as cinematically possible to capturing an elusive sense.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Jennie Punter
Globe and Mail
January 5, 2007
Perfume, a fast-paced allegorical tale about the pursuit of perfection, may fill the senses for its duration, but without a discernible psychological essence it does not linger for long.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 5, 2007
Tykwer has to set a unique tone here -- fairy tales about serial killers being somewhat rare -- and he manages the absurdity of his subject matter well, keeping Jean-Baptiste right on the edge between monster and genius.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
January 5, 2007
Director Tom Tykwer can be commended for capturing so much of the book's mélange of pleasure, pain and longing for the impossible in Perfume, which is at least the most elegant movie yet made about the exploits of a serial killer.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
January 5, 2007
Perfume reminds us that the line between masterwork and folly can be awfully thin. But the movie contains so many beautiful and unsettling moments that it earns a right to be seen, if not fully embraced.
| Original Score: B
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
January 5, 2007
So rich is the book's language about our scented world, it was difficult to imagine a movie capturing the texture of its remarkable and elusive character. Yet, Tykwer and his crew make pungent work of Grenouille's world.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
January 5, 2007
Despite a fairly spectacular climax, the material's generic limitations eventually catch up with the plot.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
January 5, 2007
The director stays true to the source novel even when it lifts into a magical realism that works only on the page, and his faithfulness betrays him. Perfume is a thriller that Hobbes might have envied.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 5, 2007
It ventures so fearlessly down one limited, terrifying, seductive dead end, and finds there a solution both sublime and horrifying. It took imagination to tell it, courage to film it, thought to act it, and from the audience it requires a brave curiosity.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Richard Nilsen
Arizona Republic
January 4, 2007
The climax of the film -- quite literally -- is so silly and preposterous that we're likely to leave the theater either laughing at it or grumbling about how such a good idea for a movie could have been so diluted: not perfume, but cheap cologne.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
January 4, 2007
The film is an uneven experience.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
January 4, 2007
There's a vacuum at the heart of this gothic melodrama. The intent is frustratingly cloudy, and the visuals are more resonant than the performances.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 4, 2007
A film can reek equally of fine craftsmanship and piping-hot dung, and the proof's in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
January 4, 2007
Jack the Ripper meets Scent of a Woman in Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, an example of why certain books are deemed unfilmable, no matter how talented those involved are.
| Original Score: C
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Ed Halter
L.A. Weekly
January 4, 2007
A noble experiment in pushing the limits of cinema, but one too many sequences of ruffling silks and dreamy flower bouquets evoke little more than the ad-agency clichés of an elongated Chanel No. 5 commercial.
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 3, 2007
Perfume misses some of the subtler base notes of Süskind's creepier, more self-aware original, but Whishaw and Tykwer blend the movie into something quite heady in its own bottle.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Dave Calhoun
Time Out
December 30, 2006
It's a film so sumptuous that afterwards you'll feel you've consumed a very, very rich meal indeed.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 29, 2006
Weaves a sensual spell of extraordinary delicacy, then sustains it -- up to a point.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 29, 2006
Perfume is a challenging motion picture, and one whose impressions are not easily shaken.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
December 28, 2006
Perfume is ultimately an unmistakable failure, but there's a strange majesty to its epic overreaching.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 27, 2006
A memorable and outrageous movie, but one more likely to be remembered as a massive folly than a whopping success.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
December 27, 2006
Even though Perfume is primarily about how things (and more importantly, people) smell, it manages to be a feast for all the senses.
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Ed Halter
Village Voice
December 27, 2006
It's a noble experiment in pushing the limits of cinema, but Tykwer never achieves true profundity.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 27, 2006
Stunningly rendered, disturbing to watch, perverse and, ultimately, emotionally hollow.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
December 27, 2006
As much as it's in many ways a visual pleasure, tonally, the movie is a mess.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 27, 2006
Try as it might to be refined and provocative, Tom Tykwer's Perfume never rises above the pedestrian creepiness of its conceit.
| Original Score: 2/5
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
December 27, 2006
The movie does tease and torment the olfactory nerve in ways Estée Lauder never dreamed of.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 27, 2006
This unusual film holds interest for 2 1/2 hours and is so visually vivid you can practically smell many of the scenes.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Jan Stuart
Newsday
December 27, 2006
Perfume may be one of the most sumptuous serial-killer movies of all time. Between those tumultuous opening passages and a stunner of a climax, however, it's also a bit of a drag.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bernard Besserglik
Hollywood Reporter
October 19, 2006
Succeeds reasonably well in achieving what many said was beyond the scope of cinema: conveying the world of scent and smell.
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Derek Elley
Variety
October 5, 2006
The seductive, sensory prose of Patrick Suskind's bestseller, Perfume, reaches the screen with loads of visual panache but only intermittent magic.