Vicky Cristina Barcelona - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Vicky Cristina Barcelona Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ May 19, 2016
Woody Allen's sexually charged Vicky Cristina Barcelona is definitely a showcase of the three leading ladies and their definite affirmed acting skills. Penelope Cruz is definitely the best out of both of them, her performance both confident and relaxed. Music is great as usual in a Woody Allen film, boasting an impressive score as well as OST. Unfortunately its a little boring at times and is basically a retread of some of his other works. Barcelona is beautiful though and this film definitely highlights that.
May 15, 2016
Light, fun summer entertainment with an edge because it's a Woody Allen movie. All of the characters are uber intelligent (obviously) and they all have their quirks & flaws. This was the best Scarlett Johansson has ever been, and Rebecca Hall who played Vicky stole the whole movie. Top notch acting, an engaging script, and smooth pacing made this one of the best summer movies!
½ May 8, 2016
Originally told and beautifully shot, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is a charming love story that benefits from a very talented cast.
½ April 15, 2016
Slow, dull, repetitive, and boring: in other words, a Woody Allen film.
Here, as he did in To Rome With Love (another film that I did not like at all, it was even irritating), Woody Allen give a postcard like picture of Spain and of Barcelona, a city I know very well, and love.
The narrating voice is irritating, to say the least: really excessive. It is like a book reading itself: unfortunately, not a very good book.
The dialogues are ... well, even embarassing. But really, who in the World is speaking in that way? Even Javier Barden here looks not the same actor of Biutiful (well, Inarritu is not, fortunately for him and for us, Woody Allen),
The things change a little bit for better when Penelope Cruz, at last, appears: but it is not really enough.
Probably this is my last attempt with Woody Allen, a director that I used to love, 30 years ago.
½ March 25, 2016
Woody Allen was made to make thoughtful character pieces, but he was also made to make summery larks more in touch with old-fashioned escapism than heaviness. During his early career, he specialized in the former - "Annie Hall" (1977) and "Manhattan" (1979) were funny, sure, but they also hit you where it hurt in their sympathetic humanity. But in the last decade or so (or more, depending on what you think of Allen's '90s), he's drifted toward high-class popcorn entertainment; just look at the way the majority of his most recent films ("Midnight in Paris" [2011], "To Rome with Love" [2012], "Magic in the Moonlight" [2014]) have taken place in faraway lands and are as light as a feather, working as euphoric escapes for even the most cynical of a viewer.
Some of his most die-hard fans have decried the way his films have become hit-or-miss as of late - he either makes frothy romps or searing comedy-dramas - but I've never found myself to be anything less than charmed with what he has to offer, even if the finished product is slighter than his best works. 2008's "Vicky Cristina Barcelona," a sizzling combination of the aforementioned frothy romps and searing comedy-dramas, is Allen at his late-period prime.
Seventy-three upon release, it's staggering how well-tuned his dialogue and his characters remain to be after decades in the business. Most filmmakers lose their touch after a long period of brilliance. Not Allen. Consider that he made his directorial debut with 1966's "What's Up, Tiger Lily?," and that his remarkable craftsmanship has never disintegrated (despite a few uneven encounters). His relevance, and the excitement that arrives every year with a new movie, has held steady.
"Do we take him for granted?" Roger Ebert asks in the opening for his review of "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." As someone who regularly rewatches his offerings (the latter, "Manhattan Murder Mystery" [1992] and "Sleeper" [1973] among them), I can say, at least in my experience, that I do not. Allen holds a special place in my heart, and "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" is no exception.
The last film in his string of works with modern muse Scarlett Johansson, the movie is a breathtaking comedy with pangs of drama and romance that make it as pleasurable as it is meaningful. It follows its eponymous heroines (played by a plucky Rebecca Hall and an earthily sensual Johansson, respectively) over the course of a single summer in Spain, where they partake in adventure and relaxation but also learn a lot about themselves and their desires.
Both are finishing up college and are beginning the journey to the rest of their lives. Vicky is level-headed and cautious, a square on the verge of a marriage to Doug (Chris Messina), a nice enough guy she isn't so sure she loves. Cristina is a free-spirit who suffers from unremitting dissatisfaction; she drifts from hobby to hobby, from man to man, in touch with what she wants until her latest interest wanes. Vicky and Cristina have been close since first meeting in school, but this summer could be one in which spending time in each other's company isn't a pressing issue; self-indulgence is key.
Temptation comes in the form of Juan Antonio (Javier Bardem), a casanova of a painter who captures the interest of both women after a couple of fleeting glances. First, they catch wind of the man at an art show, intrigued by his dark good looks. But the next time they spot him, he boldly comes to them. Confident in his sex appeal, he audaciously invites Vicky and Cristina to, that night, fly over to his Oviedo home for a weekend of sight seeing, wine drinking, and lovemaking. Vicky is taken aback, dramatically turning him down as if he were the most repulsive creature on the planet. Cristina, on the other hand, is spellbound, and takes his offer. Somehow, she drags Vicky along for the ride, too, who seems to only accept the idea as a way to ensure that Juan Antonio doesn't hurt her head-scratchingly spontaneous friend; he could be a killer for all they know.
But the weekend turns out to be summer-changing, at least for Vicky. Upon arrival, Cristina is stricken with a particularly bad case of food poisoning, and remains bedridden as the hours pass her by. At first, Vicky is panicked at the thought of having to spend the next two days with Juan Antonio - but to her surprise, he turns out to be a charismatic companion, one so charismatic, in fact, that, by Sunday (when they've done more than just see the sights and drink wine), she finds herself doubting the success of her current engagement.
The three fly back to Barcelona, where things begin to shift dramatically. Vicky keeps her feelings for Juan Antonio a secret, diving deep into her studies, while Cristina, recovered from her brief illness, gives romancing the painter another try and succeeds. The pot is stirred, though, when Doug shows up in Spain, ready to get married, and when María Elena (an incendiary Penélope Cruz), Juan Antonio's moody ex-wife, comes crashing into the middle of his and Cristina's relationship just as it starts to flower.
And from there, "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" really begins to blossom and really begins to remind us why Allen's knack for writing and knack for characters is something bafflingly ageless. The separation of Vicky and Cristina is the very thing that prompts for the film's effulgent way of kicking off of the Finding Yourself trope, which Allen portrays at once teasingly and cynically. Teasing in how Cristina does so by living with María Elena and Juan Antonio and nurturing her interests in photography and sex, cynical in how Vicky frets about potentially leaving Doug for Juan Antonio, with us (and maybe even her) well aware that she'll be stuck in middling married life unless she makes a change (that we know she won't).
It's the symmetry between rompiness and pessimism that provides "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" with its attractive glow: it all looks and sounds incredible, its actors and scenery as gorgeous as Allen's dialogue. But because there's an underlying sense of reality beneath its porcelain beauty, it makes for savory popcorn entertainment incapable of getting lifted away in the throes of forgettability.
I could take on the role of so many other critics and compare it to Allen's other works and figure it to be light as an eclair and therefore insubstantial in contrast to his many works of genius. But why do so when presented with a film so utterly delightful, one that serves as a reminder that Allen could have easily gone into retirement at his age but still manages to amuse us time and time again? I'm sure I've seen "Vicky Cristina Barcelona" six times within the past four years, and its ability to seduce hasn't wrinkled. That's Allen for you.
Super Reviewer
February 18, 2016
Woody Allen goes more European than I've ever seen before. As frivolous as a seasonal fling. I don't understand why Rebecca Hall gets less than top billing. She is not such a big name celebrity as Bardem, Cruz, and Johansson, but shares the screen equally with them. Hall is Vicky, the more responsible, engaged friend of Cristina. Johansson is Cristina, the party girl willing to experiment. Bardem and Cruz are the mercurial couple that Vicky and Cristina meet in Barcelona. It is also a mystery to me why Allen has a guy narrating this story even though it is obviously primarily from the women's perspective. Rebecca Hall is the character that takes on the traditional Woody Allen role and Javier Bardem is the seductive hottie (usually a female role in other Allen pictures) that all three female leads want to get to know better AKA have sex. Even though Allen reversed the genders of the roles it is still a sexist tale. It is a chance to view several stunning European Continent locales and explore the emotional lives of these artist types.
February 5, 2016
At times this film is beautiful, well acted, and very witty, but it descends from a decent first half into a dragging mess of a climax, due to much overacting and a unoriginal or fulfilling conclusion. Seemed a bit pointless, and was rather dull.
February 4, 2016
It's pretty rare that Woody Allen would ever get less than 5 stars from me, so this was no exception. And I've always just adored Penelope Cruz, which is unusual for me, most leading actresses piss me off to no end, but I think she's lovely and a fabulous actress. I love Woody's sense of art in all things he touches, and I love that he can explore any number of things from all angles and always come back to people being people and not always have to have some grand sweeping message or condemnation. The only thing this movie left me wondering is whether there are really women with friendships like that where you can find out you've both been physically and romantically involved with the same man and it's a big secret but when it's revealed they're all about supporting each other. I don't think I've ever had a friend like that.
January 23, 2016
Quite disappointing. I should have known as soon as I saw Woody Allen's name as the Director. It's the same rambling crap that ALWAYS appears in ANY movie in which Woody Allen has even a token role. The cast were really constrained by the dialogue and direction by the petrified Woody. Please don't waste your time by watching it.
½ December 20, 2015
Penelope Cruz gives an explosive performance.
½ November 10, 2015
Not Up The Standard O Expect Of Woody. It Becomes Farcical, But Not In Any Entertainingly Funny Way. The Focus Shifts & Turns Without Any Style & Most 'Comic' Situations Do Not Come-Off At All As Funny. The Only Thi.g Going For It Is The Nice Locations, which Appeared Far More Stylistic.
October 12, 2015
Amusing and entertaining but surprised at how highly this was rated.
½ October 1, 2015
A fantastic commentary on unconventional love. The chemistry between the cast is fantastic, and the lightness of the script and the score really brighten up some of the darker moods of the film.

The themes may not appeal to some, and the lightheartedness may be almost irritating at times. But to me, this is one of my top 3 movies
½ September 9, 2015
What was the point of this movie? Rhetorical quetion.
August 17, 2015
This film is beautiful in every sense of the word. The actors, script, location, direction are all perfect.
August 7, 2015
Classic movie with a lot of romance and wit and humour. Awesomely talented director woody Allen and supremely talented stars such as javier bardem ,Scarlett Johannson and Rebecca hall and Penelope cruz
June 28, 2015
Yawn. What a tedious movie. An exercise in over thinking. Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz were wonderful and the screen lit up with them. Then Rachel Hall's or Scarlett Johansen's character would return and ruin it.
June 28, 2015
Final diagnosis: Overdose secondary to Woody Allen wit.
June 18, 2015
I'm usually not a fan of overly passionate love stories, but there's something very enchanting about "Vicky Cristina Barcelona." It's not Woody Allen's best film, but it's definitely one of his most elegant.
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