Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 1 out of 31
  1. 88
    A delicious pastry of a movie -- You see it, and later when you think about it, you smile.
  2. 75
    A slick, sweet, fast-paced, feel-good romantic fantasy that's fairly irresistible if you can keep your cynicism in check for a couple of hours.
  3. 60
    The lanky, wide-eyed Tautou is so phenomenally charming -- her smile could sweeten vinegar -- as to make Amelie irresistible.
  4. A charmer, a movie whose embrace of cinema is so passionate it could be mistaken for an embrace of life.
  5. The barometer for whether you'll enjoy Amélie is whether you liked "Moulin Rouge" last summer. If snappy visuals, tangy colors, mood-drenched scenery, and a good-hearted heroine make you as happy as a box of Parisian chocolates, it's definitely for you.
  6. The charming movie, already an international success, seduces.
  7. Features an aggressive, in-your-face romanticism that's noticeably lacking in genuine warmth. While its story of lonely misfits searching for love has appealing moments, more often it turns into an overbearing fable overburdened with fake joie de vivre.
  8. An endearing film, and a fascinating one.
  9. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Irresistibly endearing, with a visual verve all its own.
  10. A feel-good movie, in the absolute best sense.
  11. 100
    A movie for aesthetically hungry moviegoers: wildly amusing, sometimes sardonic and always touching. There's so much here, and all of it delightful.
  12. 88
    At two hours, the movie is probably 15 minutes too long -- the final half-hour in particular could have used some trimming -- but complaining about having too much of a good thing makes one sound like a grouch.
  13. 90
    There is no denying that Amélie is, to paraphrase its title, fabulous.
  14. Whether you're charmed or bored by the movie depends entirely on your feelings for Amelie, a young woman whose hyper-quirky personality both takes some getting used to and grows old fast.
  15. 83
    A big-hearted French movie that shines with wit, beauty, humor, sunshine and the love of love.
  16. This is the Paris -- and the mad, beautiful young Parisienne -- we look for in dreams.
  17. The movie is never mechanical or emotionally contrived, and at its heart is a guileless, enchanting performance by Tautou.
  18. 70
    The screen is saturated with Gallic whimsy and the romance of Montmartre in the person of Amélie.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    You could get drunk, or ill, on the high dose of whimsy in Amelie.
  20. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Delightful and original, the film conjures up a corner of Paris distinct and specific, yet fairy-tale fanciful.
  21. Akin to being force-fed sugary confections from a bottomless bowl. At first the idea seems just grand, but after a while, all you want to do is scream, "Enough!"
  22. A film that wants you to get happy.
  23. 90
    Amelie is joie de vivre in a nougat.
  24. Jeunet wants us to know that times are hard for dreamers and that one shouldn't pass up a chance for true love. He means it, no doubt, but he doesn't have the simplicity of soul to quite bring off the sentiment. Still, we're charmed by the attempt.
  25. 40
    The problem is that the charm and good spirits of Amélie feel calculated rather than natural.
  26. 20
    Sucks -- because it's a frenetic bore that insists on its audience's adoration while making no demands upon their intelligence.
  27. 60
    Not a film for everyone, but if you're in the mood for a little sensory overload, some spirited intellectual gymnastics and an introduction to the most intriguing new actress Europe has produced in years, get in line with the rest of the thrill-seekers.
  28. 50
    The ease with which the perky, big-eyed heroine ingeniously succeeds in improving the lot of everyone around her and the painterly manner in which reality in every inch of the frame is "improved" constitute both the "quirky" charm and the pure fishiness of the film.
  29. 100
    Joyous. This is a film that will put a goofy grin on your face from the opening frame, through to the credits, out into the lobby, the whole way home, and possibly even till you fall asleep.
  30. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Fresh, funny, exquisitely bittersweet tour de force.
  31. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    As a director, he seems incapable of trusting his actors to carry the mood, preferring always to lend them a backup -- jokes, fripperies, kooky camera angles -- that they don't require. [5 Nov 2001, p. 105]
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 264 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 96 out of 112
  2. Negative: 13 out of 112
  1. Jan 17, 2012
    Amelie is a peculiar movie, starting by the protagonist, a lonely and strange girl who grows up thinking that the family love is dispensable; and because of that she creates a circle of no affection that surround her. In other words, no one can get emotionally involved with Amelie. Noticing that, she decides to change and take the path of justice, giving everyone what they truly deserve, no matter if it is a good or bad lesson. The only problem is that Amelie is focused on the external and not in herself. Using the phrase of her old neighbor: What is thinking the woman with the cup? (This is undoubtedly a metaphor of Amelie), If she takes care of the people problems, who will takes care of her own issues? The answer is Amelie, but she is too introverted and cowardly to face the reality. Only the man who collects photos can fix the situation.
    Full of magical details, overwhelming music and very interesting performances, we are witnesses of this quaint love story, which ends with a breathtaking motorcycle ride.
    Full Review »
  2. Oct 23, 2010
    A fairytale within the modern world. Amelie is a light fable where the overall message enters your head,but you are not sure how. Great acting from all the cast and the opening minutes detailing the life of Amelie are spellbinding. One of the best foreign language films I have seen. Full Review »
  3. May 28, 2012
    Thirty-five. That is the approximate number of times I bellowed the
    usual two-word, seven- letter refrain at the screen while watching this

    abomination of cinema. That would bring the total number of instances
    I've bellowed this phrase at a movie to perhaps forty. Every other movie I've ever seen is a better movie than 'Amelie', but
    it will appeal very well to people who'd rather live in a different
    universe. It picks up real, living humans and uses them like toys, like
    terminally uninformed parodies of humanity. It squanders reality. See
    that bar-maid there? That actress playing her is probably a fascinating
    woman - I'm SURE she's a fascinating woman - people tend heavily to be
    fascinating. Sadly though, this cartoon of a movie allows no
    manifestation of any side of any of its performers' personalities to
    show through at any point. I have never, ever been more infuriated by a
    movie. Jean-Pierre Jeunet's previous film was 'Alien: Resurrection',
    which goes part-way, but not all the way, in explaining how this movie
    is as bad as it is. Although there is ever so much more to be said, that's about all I'm
    going to say about 'Amelie'. I'd like to tell you that this is because
    the film's Hadesian wretchedness is beyond my ability to properly
    describe, but that would constitute a falsehood on the scale of
    'Amelie'. The truth is that I am dismayed by the idea of exerting any
    more mental energy contemplating this grotesque puppet show. That the
    film receives such unbroken acclaim is a dreary testament to the desire
    of so very many people to escape from any form of recognizable life.
    For Jean-Pierre Jeunet to spit in my face would be so much kinder than
    what he did to me by making this movie it would constitute an

    (Note: Buried in the film's sound-track is one of the greatest songs
    I've ever heard; a version of 'Guilty' sung by Albert Bowlly in 1931.
    An acquaintance haplessly gave this film to me, and afterwards I told
    her that, although it was the single most detestable film I'd ever
    seen, without it I'd surely have gone the rest of my days without
    having heard that sublime melody, and was grateful to her. My
    relationship with that song will end only at the hour of my death,
    unlike my relationship with this film and its director, which
    terminates with the completion of this sentence.)
    Full Review »