Generally favorable reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 75
    Movies like 8 Women are essentially made for movie-lovers. You have to have seen overdecorated studio musicals, and you have to know who Darrieux and Deneuve and Beart and Huppert and Ardant are, to get the full flavor. It also helps if you have seen Agatha Christie's "The Mousetrap."
  2. 88
    One of the most uplifting and delightful films to have come along this year.
  3. 80
    Whatever you call this one-of-a-kind bonbon spiked with wit and malice, it's classic oo-la-la.
  4. 60
    Imagine the John Waters remake of an Agatha Christie mystery directed by Douglas Sirk, and you'll get some idea of the tone of this retro musical melodrama, which features a cast whose combined wattage could eclipse a small solar system.
  5. The secret to enjoying 8 Women is to check your analytical mind at the popcorn counter and settle back for almost two hours of cinematic mischief.
  6. The result is weightless entertainment that's both camp and true, a warped adoration of star-quality actresses as amazing creatures who can project the lives of fictional characters as well as the essence of their own fabulous selves.
  7. The cast is the main attraction in Francois Ozon's witty, even touching 8 Women.
  8. May not plumb the depths of the female psyche, but it's stylish and frivolous in the most profound ways.
  9. 75
    Even if some of the references are inscrutable, a lot of 8 Women is a riot. Here and there Ozon finds the key to a level of farce that would have amused Bunuel himself.
  10. 80
    The dazzling star power of the French screen royalty Ozon has assembled and the film's sheer exuberance in its own artifice make this a delight from beginning to end.
  11. Proves to be a pleasant romp. Girls just wanna have fun -- even onscreen.
  12. 70
    Intoxicates and overwhelms at the same time, giving off so much pleasure in a small space that the effect can be suffocating.
  13. The movie doesn't remind me so much of the movies of Minnelli or Sirk as it does a lavish parody of "Upstairs, Downstairs," with musical interludes (the divas sing, whether they can or not) that are often as painful to watch as they are audaciously performed.
  14. 70
    A gorgeous, if disjointed, spectacle, made endurable – if not entirely comprehensible – by its eye-popping cast.
  15. 38
    8 Women would probably be a looser, giddier salute to show-biz ideas of femininity if it were performed by eight drag queens.
  16. 40
    iIt sits on the screen in the flattest way imaginable, and the brightest colors in the world can't make up for all that's missing. 8 Women is perfumed kitsch, and it reeks.
  17. Really, really good -- Yes, it's over the top, giddy and parodistic (God bless it). But it also takes a thoughtful, if surreptitious, look at what eight women might act like when men aren't around.
  18. 10
    For all the tumultuous entrances and flouncing exits, the eight principals manage maybe three laughs among them.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Seduction is more important than deduction in this chic display of star quality to the eighth power.
  20. Indefensible, cynical, even grotesque; it is also pure -- that is to say innocent and uncorrupted -- fun.
  21. 50
    Without its cast -- the cream of France's female acting elite -- François Ozon's ambivalent musical-comedy homage to the 1950s wouldn't be much.
  22. The result is inept, tedious kitsch that even at its best feels like John Waters minus the joie de vivre.
  23. 80
    In short, this film is not quite the frozen and brittle comedy that it appears to be, and, if you can stomach it the first time, you may experience a baffling wish to see it again -- to inspect this crystalline curiosity from another angle. [16 September 2002, p. 106]
  24. A frothy and deliriously enjoyable souffle.
  25. 83
    If you simply love Vogue magazine, you'll love 8 Women just as much as the cinematically educated. This breezy entertainment often feels like an exquisitely photographed fashion layout come to life.
  26. Although it starts off vaguely amusing, 8 Women grows progressively sour, curdled by the filmmakers' bad faith and lack of compassion. It isn't just the tone that's off; it's the point.
  27. It's pretty safe to say that claustrophobic, gay-themed murder mysteries haven't been this much fun since "Deathtrap."
  28. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    For all its careful plotting, some viewers may find the exercise ultimately hollow and nasty, but thesps make the experience completely worthwhile.
  29. So original, so funny, so alive with drama, intrigue, mystery and colors that you want to see it again and again.
  30. 75
    An ebullient toast to grande dames: part homage, part camp, all artifice and a thoroughly entertaining, if light, confection.

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