Metascore
49

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 35
  2. Negative: 8 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Sid Smith
    88
    What a bright, entertaining, cleverly updated and utterly satisfying comedy the new Alfie turns out to be.
  2. 75
    On its own terms, it's funny at times and finally sad and sweet.
  3. Law is lively and Shyer keeps the action hopping with help from the movie's original gimmick of having Alfie keep up a running monologue to the audience.
  4. 75
    Such smooth, crisp entertainment, you barely even notice it has nothing new to say.
  5. Where Caine was like an arsonist in his relationships, Law's Alfie is more like a kid playing with matches -- innocent and genuinely surprised when things start blowing up around him. Law makes Alfie's befuddlement a surprisingly poignant thing to witness.
  6. Reviewed by: Winda Benedetti
    75
    Ultimately though, this remake doesn't stand up to the original. And it's precisely because this new Alfie is more likeable and thus less challenging.
  7. 70
    Pretty good as pretty good goes, with Jude Law turning in an efficiently chipper, if palpably less dark, performance than the one that earned Michael Caine his first Oscar nomination.
  8. The comedy in Alfie is plentiful but bittersweet, and the character's bad behavior pleases more than it repels, principally because the star Jude Law's beauty and easy charm go a long way to softening the edges.
  9. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    A breezy, sexy romp with a conscience that reflects in obvious but interesting ways on societal changes over the intervening 38 years.
  10. The new Alfie is so irresistible that he hardly requires contempt. Without it, the movie is little more than a feature-length roll in the hay.
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    63
    Though he's highly irresponsible, this Alfie is not quite a calculating heel, which makes the material go down easier while blunting the point.
  12. 63
    This is a mixed bag - passable entertainment made palatable largely by Law, but the question of "Why?" (more than "What's it all about?") still lingers where this remake is concerned.
  13. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    63
    Law owns every scene he’s in--which is literally all of them--plus a decent supporting cast and dapper dialogue truly make for a breezy good time.
  14. Alas, this is a remake without a reason. Alfie can no longer shock us.
  15. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    60
    Can't match the original's shock factor --abortion isn't the taboo subject it once was and the women of Sex and the City have helped make playing the field good, dirty fun.
  16. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    60
    Law's slick, pretty-boy reincarnation is less icy and insensitive than Caine's wide-boy original, so we still have all the painfully confused "What's it all about?" soul-searching.
  17. 60
    Caine played Alfie as an incorrigible S.O.B. who at least made for good company. Law makes him a delicate boy with self-control problems who can't stop talking, and his charm runs out long before the film ends.
  18. This new version, which retains nearly every character and echoes nearly every scenario, is somehow its complete opposite--a slight, breezy incarnation that tries like hell to dishearten, which only makes it disingenuous.
  19. Reviewed by: Carina Chocano
    60
    In the original, extended, unrepentant bad behavior results in bad consequences for the protagonist. In the remake, it gets the character some life lessons and a personal growth spurt.
  20. 50
    The only touch of Caine's brutal sexiness is in the thrilling songs by Mick Jagger and Dave Stewart that should win Sir Mick his first Oscar. The rest is marshmallow.
  21. Charles Shyer's update is a pointlessly tame romp.
  22. The trouble with Alfie - apart from the film's existence, and the wrongheaded idea of remaking a minor classic - is that not a soul is likable.
  23. Flaccid remake of a tough 1966 original.
  24. 50
    The difference is that Michael Caine delivered the impossible; Jude Law can't.
  25. Just a series of episodes: it has no trace of the structure that has supported drama and comedy for two millennia.
  26. Perhaps the more appropriate question to put to this remake would be "What the hell’s the point?"
  27. 40
    Indeed, remake hack Charles Shyer (who processed the Parent Trap and Father of the Bride updates) plays coy with most matters sexual -- an odd and puritanical approach to a character who molds his entire existence around the procurement and enjoyment of sex.
  28. 38
    This Alfie has been castrated.
  29. [Law] talks straight to the camera like the young Michael Caine, but this time our hunk has got zilch to say. That's because a bastard's candour is off-limits in today's politically correct market — it just wouldn't be polite.
  30. 33
    While his star, Jude Law, is infectiously watchable, Shyer's version of the material is tone deaf and splotchy.
  31. This new Alfie is earnest -- irony is so last century -- and not angry at all, since working-class anger would mean nothing here, because class means nothing here. Nothing means anything here.
  32. There's nothing authentic about this London lad ... Nothing particularly likable either.
  33. Reviewed by: Sean Daly
    30
    Occasionally amusing, technically lovely but ultimately dated.
  34. More concerned with attitude than character and too moralistic to be much fun.
  35. 25
    Shyer's version is a thing of infinite emptiness and nauseating vanity. It's not funny, alluring, affecting, or erotic, just conceited.
User Score
5.7

Mixed or average reviews- based on 32 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 6 out of 14
  1. MarkB.
    Nov 9, 2004
    2
    What's it all about, indeed. There are three, and only three, truthful moments in this aggressively superficial, emotionally fraudulent What's it all about, indeed. There are three, and only three, truthful moments in this aggressively superficial, emotionally fraudulent and (need we say it?) totally unnecessary remake of the groundbreaking 1966 Michael Caine classic: a short but stunning late-picture confrontation between the womanizing title character (Jude Law) and a former best bud (Omar Epps); our hero's genuinely startled observation on first glimpse of Susan Sarandon that "now THERE'S a real woman!!" (and most certainly Sarandon is)...and, most of all, the rhetorical question asked by one of Alfie's pickups: "What do people see in this Eurotrash anyway?" Couldn't have put it better myself. Co-writer/director Charles Shyer doesn't know either, and he's too essentially gutless to make ol' Alf the callous heel with a veneer of surface charm that Caine so memorably immortalized him as, so Shyer reinvents him as a toothless, focus group-friendly inversion: a charming metrosexual with eyes (and other body parts) that rove around a wee bit too much for his or anyone else's own good. Thus, the guys in the audience can envy him about 90% of the way while the women feel sorry for the sweet, unhousebroken puppy dog and fantasize that if they were only there to be the Annette Bening to his Warren Beatty, why, things would be so much different. (Dream on, ladies.) It's bad enough that the talking-to-the-audience bit, which worked in the original because of its theatrical roots, absolutely doesn't fly today, but Shyer (a three-decade warhorse whose previous efforts have included a couple of Father of the Bride remakes with ex-significant other Nancy Meyers) smothers his material with endless freeze-frames, split screens, slow motion and other gimmickry both to evoke the spirit of 1966 and to make himself seem hip and cutting edge. The result is patronizing and embarrassing: sort of like your Uncle Morty delivering a long monologue about the "bling-bling" he bought Aunt Esther for their 50th. Then again, any attempt to modernize director Lewis Gilbert's and writer Bill Naughton's original oncept was doomed from the get-go: Caine's Alfie was bracing and powerful because the protagonist was so inextricably a part of his time: the height of the British Invasion, with the hippie era just around the corner, was the perfect stomping ground for this hedonist. It goes without saying that Jude Law is no Michael Caine, but one factor that both of them share is a very heavy workload and an apparent inability to turn down any project that comes their way. Again, though, the similarity ends here: Law has Sky Captain and the World of Tomorrow, I Heart Huckabees and this currently occupying multiplexes; Caine may have made a good many unwise career choices (Jaws: The Revenge, anyone?) but I don't think he EVER made three flicks in a row that almost completely sucked. Full Review »
  2. Apr 6, 2012
    7
    Enjoyable! There are very good moments, and I loved the performances, the general feeling of it, and the music; however, there is somethingEnjoyable! There are very good moments, and I loved the performances, the general feeling of it, and the music; however, there is something missing that I can't identify; I have watched it a few times already, and I always have a good time doing that. I think for what it is, is a nice movie. Fun, somehow sexy, light, and refreshing. Not overly deep, but it explores life as many people-more people than what we think- live it. We may just not see it. Full Review »
  3. PaulD.
    Jan 6, 2006
    5
    Good soundtrack and performances don't make up for shallowness of script and direction in this pointless remake.