The Great Beauty - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Beauty Reviews

Top Critic
Geoff Pevere
Globe and Mail
January 31, 2014
The Great Beauty is an utterly ravishing portrait of listless luxuriance, a fantasy of decadent wealth and beauty that evokes Fellini's La Dolce Vita by way of Baz Luhrmann.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
January 30, 2014
Celebrating Rome in all its decay, this florid comedy by Paolo Sorrentino (Il Divo, This Must Be the Place) opens with a hyperbolically gaudy party honoring a celebrity journalist on his 65th birthday.
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Peter Howell
Toronto Star
January 30, 2014
A riotous film that finds depth, clarity and refreshment in even the shallowest of pools.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 16, 2014
Throughout the film, Sorrentino delivers gorgeous images, crazy images, startling and sexy and serene images; it's a visual bath of sorts - the great beauty is everywhere, Jep (and we) just have to be open to it.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Michael Nordine
L.A. Weekly
January 8, 2014
Though there's precious little drama, Sorrentino's skills as an image-maker are indisputable.
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
January 2, 2014
It's a beauty, all right. It's more a style show than a deep philosophical treatise, but with surfaces this sleek and faces this interesting, I'll take style over substance any day.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 12, 2013
Go ahead. Soak up the Beauty. It's one of the best films of the year.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Wesley Morris
Grantland
December 10, 2013
Sometimes all you want from a movie is more. Sorrentino's opulent carnival of modern Rome is the most more you could ever hope to see.
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 1, 2013
"The Great Beauty" resembles a contemporary "La Dolce Vita," Fellini's surreal 1960 tribute to Rome's splendor, self-indulgence and superficiality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Keough
Boston Globe
November 29, 2013
Paolo Sorrentino's overwrought, Felliniesque opus ...
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
November 28, 2013
At times it seems that every frame is a tribute to the Fellini classics of the early 1960s.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
November 26, 2013
"The Great Beauty" is drop-dead gorgeous, a film that is luxuriously, seductively, stunningly cinematic.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
November 25, 2013
If the antics of the beau monde disgust or exhaust you, stay away from Sorrentino's film; look no further, on the other hand, if you wish to know whether, where, and in what guise the spirit of Fellini remains at work-and, better still, at play.
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
November 25, 2013
This is a Fellini project, if you like, but it is a film full of music, dance, Rome's crème brûlée light and a sensual tenderness, so that it might have been made by Renoir.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
November 22, 2013
The melancholy in this film is just as trumped up as the frenzy.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
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Bilge Ebiri
New York Magazine/Vulture
November 22, 2013
The Great Beauty is a subtly daring cinematic high-wire act - an entire film built around one character's unrealized, unspecified yearning. And it might just be the most unforgettable film of the year.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
November 21, 2013
Sorrentino's juxtaposition of contemporary Roman indulgence and the Eternal City's place in history's imagination makes for a bittersweet epic in which a solitary character, Jep, stands in for the director, and us, and experiences an epiphany.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
November 15, 2013
Never have cynicism and disillusion seemed more intoxicating than in "The Great Beauty," which is such an overwhelming visual and auditory experience that its elements of cautionary moral fable threaten to get lost amid the gorgeousness.
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
November 15, 2013
There's an exhilarating sadness to it all that amounts to cinematic poetry.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Richard and Mary Corliss
TIME Magazine
November 15, 2013
[Sorrentino] stuffs, nearly engorges, this 2 hour-and-20-minute film with outrageous and gloriously visual anecdotes.
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Simon Abrams
RogerEbert.com
November 15, 2013
While it is definitely Fellini-esque, it's also a crystallization of Sorrentino's own distinctive style.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
November 14, 2013
A deliriously alive movie, "The Great Beauty" is the story of a man, a city, a country and a cinema, though not necessarily in that order.
Top Critic
November 14, 2013
A fantastic journey around contemporary Rome and a riot of lush imagery juggling past and present, sacred and profane, gorgeous and grotesque.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
November 14, 2013
It's a glorious experience, one that blends both compassionate dismay and wry delight over Italy's own, eternal excess.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Mike D'Angelo
AV Club
November 14, 2013
Once the film settles down, it becomes a rollicking yet melancholy tour of a city so spectacular and historic that it paralyzes its inhabitants.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
November 12, 2013
Sorrentino's vision is the size of Rome itself, and his confidence is dazzling.
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Jay Weissberg
Variety
November 11, 2013
Rome in all its splendor and superficiality, artifice and significance, becomes an enormous banquet too rich to digest in one sitting in Paolo Sorrentino's densely packed, often astonishing The Great Beauty.
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
September 4, 2013
Sorrentino is so often compared to Fellini that it feels right that he has made the city of 'La Dolce Vita' the focus for this heady, beautiful, entrancing film.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Jordan Hoffman
Film.com
May 30, 2013
A maximalist's delight.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.7
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Jon Frosch
The Atlantic
May 28, 2013
A vivid glimpse, both funny and deeply unsettling, of a Berlusconi-era Italy rotting below its luscious-looking surface.
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Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
May 23, 2013
Referencing without imitating Fellini, Sorrentino offers an amusing update on Italian society at the end of a cycle.