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

Perfume: The Story of a Murderer Reviews

February 3, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: 4/6
January 11, 2007
Tykwer loses his cinematic grip when he tries to blend murder and piety. In his hands, the two don't emulsify.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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.
January 8, 2007
Hated this movie. Hated it.
January 6, 2007
Full Review | Original Score: B
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 4/5
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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-
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: B
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
January 5, 2007
Despite a fairly spectacular climax, the material's generic limitations eventually catch up with the plot.
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
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/5
January 4, 2007
The film is an uneven experience.
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: C
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.
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
December 30, 2006
It's a film so sumptuous that afterwards you'll feel you've consumed a very, very rich meal indeed.
December 29, 2006
Weaves a sensual spell of extraordinary delicacy, then sustains it -- up to a point.
December 29, 2006
Perfume is a challenging motion picture, and one whose impressions are not easily shaken.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
December 28, 2006
Perfume is ultimately an unmistakable failure, but there's a strange majesty to its epic overreaching.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
December 27, 2006
A memorable and outrageous movie, but one more likely to be remembered as a massive folly than a whopping success.
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.
December 27, 2006
It's a noble experiment in pushing the limits of cinema, but Tykwer never achieves true profundity.
December 27, 2006
Stunningly rendered, disturbing to watch, perverse and, ultimately, emotionally hollow.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
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
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2/5
December 27, 2006
The movie does tease and torment the olfactory nerve in ways Estée Lauder never dreamed of.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 3/4
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.
Read More | Original Score: 2.5/4
October 19, 2006
Succeeds reasonably well in achieving what many said was beyond the scope of cinema: conveying the world of scent and smell.
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.