Metascore
48

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 5 out of 25
  1. The overall experience of the movie is of something fresh.
  2. 70
    Angel-A isn't as nutso as some of Besson's other pictures: It doesn't have the crazy inventiveness of, say, "The Fifth Element." As I watched it, I found myself wishing it were just a little loopier. But the picture is still seductive and pleasing.
  3. Movies often turn on slender notions worked up to look like full-fledged ideas. Once in a while, though, a notion will be fertile to begin with, a self-renewing source of delight. That's the case with Luc Besson's Angel-A.
  4. Attractive black-and-white 'Scope compositions, strong Paris locations, and effective handling of the actors makes this captivating throughout.
  5. 67
    The weirdly earnest literalism of Besson's story is a weak point. His desire to make Angela satisfy both sides of the Madonna-whore complex is too blatant.
  6. So stunningly shot and visualized--and scored so hauntingly well by Anja Garbarek, the daughter of saxophonist/composer Jan Garbarek--that it works even if you don't pay attention to the story. Maybe it works better that way.
  7. The beautiful black-and-white photography - and disappointingly sappy ending - are the only remotely sober elements here, thanks to Besson's loopy script and Debbouze's very funny turn as a loser who simply can't believe his luck.
  8. 63
    A black-and-white fantasia shot against a bright backdrop of famous sites, and it has potential to be a cult hit on its dreamy-hipster look alone.
  9. What's maddening about Angel-A is that Besson is so brilliant with his visuals - and so in love with his two leads and the city they're parading around - that you desperately want the story, and the characters, to make some kind of emotional sense. This, however, does not happen.
  10. 63
    There's always been a wide streak of the tediously naughty little boy in Besson, and all the seductively stylized images in the world can't hide it.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Its strongest asset is the stunningly poetic cinematography by Thierry Arbogast.
  12. 63
    Angel-A is an intriguing film, but more of an interesting failure than an offbeat success.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    63
    A charming midlife crisis of a movie that bottles the "La Femme Nikita" director's typically high-concept inclinations in a modest indie package.
  14. Rie Rasmussen and Jamel Debbouze, the stars who portray Angela, the celestial therapist, and André, her star patient, display enough screwball romantic charm to keep this sugary trifle afloat longer than you'd expect.
  15. Under the lingerie model façade beats the heart of a celestial Dr. Phil.
  16. 50
    What nearly saves the movie, besides the Rasmussen eye candy, is Paris itself, shot in shimmering black-and-white by the gifted Thierry Arbogast. Talk is cheap here, and often inane, but as a silent film, Angel-A could have been magic.
  17. Reviewed by: Jim Ridley
    50
    Amiably inconsequential fairy tale.
  18. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    50
    For his (Besson) fans, Angel-A is an achingly sincere but protracted effort to trade mostly action for mostly dialogue.
  19. 40
    A gorgeous-looking but ill-conceived mash note to the city of Paris that riffs on its better, wiser, glaringly obvious cinematic predecessors.
  20. 40
    In essence, you get "It's a Wonderful Life" meets "Wings of Desire," swapping out the substance for self-help platitudes. If you can get past that, you can enjoy it as a 90-minute look at a lovely postcard.
  21. 38
    The movie might have been more tolerable had Besson searched harder for a performer and not a specimen. Barbara Stanwyck in her prime might have made more sense.
  22. Angel-A is counterfeit art-house chic writ large -- a French film that fails to produce the ineffable charms of the yesteryear movies it brazenly imitates.
  23. Reviewed by: Kamal AL-Solaylee
    25
    How Besson drags this premise into 90 minutes of screen time should be of interest to the perverse among you – or anybody teaching a how-not-to-make-a-movie summer course.
  24. 25
    At heart, it's just the latest from one-man industry Luc Besson, so even though it looks like art, it plays like schlock.
  25. Angel-A shows how director Luc Besson can be French in a way that even the French might despise...Quel ick. And très tedious.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 13 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Jun 13, 2013
    8
    This film made me shed a tear or two (but then I am an emotional soul!). The comedic aspects, such as the total physical difference between the leads and the strength of the Angela were well placed. The reason for Angela coming into the life of Andre and her true identity could have been very tactlessly handled and cheesy in a Disney kind of way, but Besson made it seem as natural as catching a bus. Paris in black and white is also very evocative and the filming was great in my opinion. I would recommend this film to anyone who fancies a fairly short film that makes you think about whether you appreciate your inner beauty and qualities. Full Review »
  2. lameo33forf
    Jun 3, 2007
    0
    Expected better. Not good at all.
  3. JamesT.
    May 27, 2007
    9
    top movie that brought a tear to my eye with its humour, beauty and passion all shot in black and white making paris inself look like some mythical land ,solid acting by the lead actors. Full Review »