Generally favorable reviews - based on 24 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24

Critic Reviews

  1. Ozon's greatest special effect is holding the camera in tight on the faces of Bruni-Tedeschi (one of the most expressive faces in French cinema) and Freiss.
  2. A sort of anti-date movie, a smart but deeply cynical study in failure, with our sense of loss growing in direct proportion to the characters' romantic hopes.
  3. Plays a little like a mystery, the central question of which is not whodunit but why.
  4. 80
    Unlike "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind," which holds the memories of a doomed affair as precious, there's nothing bittersweet about Ozon's failed romance, but its problems are equally true.
  5. When you piece it all together, it becomes mildly fascinating.
  6. 75
    5x2 is a little talky and the pace is slow, but, for this kind of motion picture, it's one of the best around.
  7. Compellingly acted and rich in visual ideas, but a bit thin in its psychological approach.
  8. You can make a good movie about a bad marriage, as countless directors, the latest being Ozon, have discovered.
  9. Austere and formally complex, the drama may nevertheless be Ozon's most accessible film due to the physical attractiveness and vitality of the intelligent couple.
  10. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Excellent perfs and writer-director Francois Ozon's sure, unfussy way with the camera add up to a viewing experience whose richness depends in large part on how much the viewer reads into the human templates on display.
  11. 70
    Deceptively placid and subtly unpredictable drama.
  12. Feminist sanctimony, it turns out, looks much the same forward and backward.
  13. In 5 x 2, the 2 are terrific; it's the 5 that needs work.
  14. Cool, clinical and not altogether convincing.
  15. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    It flirts intriguingly with the unknowable, what it shows us of the knowable isn't terribly interesting.
  16. 63
    France's François Ozon's 5 x 2, which resembles Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes from a Marriage" told in reverse, could be played for laughs, or suspense -- who killed this marriage? -- or with the rueful irony of Stephen Sondheim's backward musical "Merrily We Roll Along."
  17. 60
    A wickedly entertaining bit of domestic tragedy.
  18. 60
    In the end I respected 5x2 more than I loved it. As we move backward in time, the distance between audience and characters inevitably widens -- we know what's going to happen and they don't -- and I found the effect a little astringent.
  19. Bruni-Tedeschi is a lovely actress, and whatever emotion is evident onscreen comes courtesy of her.
  20. The film is bleak, not particularly compelling, and the characters are frustrating, the enemies of their own happiness.
  21. 50
    Ozon's take on this marriage in particular is notable – apart from Freiss and Bruni-Tedeschi's bracing performances – for his unwillingness to let things spiral out of complete control.
  22. Told in the usual sequence, the story of Gilles and Marion would be a banal bell curve of infatuation, bliss, boredom, regret and recrimination. As it is, 5x2 does not quite make the case that Gilles and Marion are entirely worth our interest, let alone our sympathy, but the reversal of narrative order gives their ordinary moments together a faint aura of mystery, as Mr. Ozon teases us with the conceit that it will all make sense in the end - or rather, the beginning.
  23. 50
    There’s precious little character development forward or backward.
  24. For anyone who believes in the gorgeously messy truth of French social drama, it's a grave disappointment.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. ChadS.
    Apr 10, 2007
    Giles (Stephane Freiss) and Marion(Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) sign their divorce papers, then they adjourn to a hotel room for some afternoon Giles (Stephane Freiss) and Marion(Valeria Bruni Tedeschi) sign their divorce papers, then they adjourn to a hotel room for some afternoon delight. What is this? "Au revoir" sex? No. "5x2" is telling their story in reverse, and if this narrative device dredges up bad memories of Monica Belluci's anguished screams on a desolate subway platform; relax, Francois Ozon's follow-up to "The Swimming Pool" is closer to "Betrayal" (written by Harold Pinter) than Gaspar Noe's "Irreversible". This disillusioned Parisian couple can't move on because quantum physics is making them relive their personal hell... and heaven. "5X2" is a real downer, however, self-consciously so; every momentous occasion in their married life (the wedding night, the birth of their child) is marred by Gilles' perplexing behavior. In the gaps, their ongoing life that goes unexamined by the camera eye within the fade-outs between every sour vignette aren't nearly as enigmatic as they should be, since the devil in their holy matrimony tells us all we need to know about their marital trajectory before each narrative wormhole snakes into the doomed couple's past. "5X2" is well-acted, nicely photographed, but kind of pointless. Full Review »
  2. AaronA.
    Nov 16, 2006
    Ambitious, superbly acted, imperfect. Recommended.
  3. GeorgeG.
    Mar 17, 2006
    This compelling dissection of a marriage gone bad offers superb acting and sublime directing. Viewers who don´t like it obviously are This compelling dissection of a marriage gone bad offers superb acting and sublime directing. Viewers who don´t like it obviously are dead in the brain and between their legs. Full Review »