Babel

User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 772 Ratings

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User Reviews

  1. Dec 26, 2011
    6
    Don't get me wrong; "Babel" is a grim yet seducing movie, one that is capable of diving deep into the diverse, infrastructural lives of others. But what pulls the pants down for this one is that there is no progress or moral. The movie just.....ends.
  2. MarkT
    Aug 13, 2007
    5
    So sad that this is what passes for insight. This film is far too laboured, much like Crash, and offers little in the way of humour, lightness of touch, or even horror, to carry its plodding pace. A shame, as this is clearly an important topic, and we are all seeking art which sheds light on globalisation.
  3. TonyB.
    Apr 7, 2008
    5
    This noble failure was one of the more overrated films of 2006. Its slow pace, often pretentious cinematography and occasional incoherence make me wonder what some of the fuss was all about. Easily the highlight of this misbegotten effort was the performance of Adriana Barazza as the Mexican nanny. (Incidentally, who is Brad Pitt talking to in his last scene if she is being detained by This noble failure was one of the more overrated films of 2006. Its slow pace, often pretentious cinematography and occasional incoherence make me wonder what some of the fuss was all about. Easily the highlight of this misbegotten effort was the performance of Adriana Barazza as the Mexican nanny. (Incidentally, who is Brad Pitt talking to in his last scene if she is being detained by immigration authorities?) Expand
  4. ChadR.
    Dec 9, 2008
    5
    I checked Babel out at the library so I didn't waste my money. Just my time. The value I got out of it was the "slice of life" from different cultures in Japan, Mexico and Morroco. The movie itself was exploitation draped in a thin pretense. Sure they spoke different languages. Sure they were connected, but in a very contrived way. That doesn't excuse depicting a child I checked Babel out at the library so I didn't waste my money. Just my time. The value I got out of it was the "slice of life" from different cultures in Japan, Mexico and Morroco. The movie itself was exploitation draped in a thin pretense. Sure they spoke different languages. Sure they were connected, but in a very contrived way. That doesn't excuse depicting a child pleasuring himself after seeing his sister naked, or a deaf Japanese school girl flashing in public, or a dying woman making out with her husband while using a bedpan. That's just perverted. Expand
  5. sarahk.
    Dec 2, 2006
    4
    Too drawn out - the length of the movie didn't add to developing the story/stories.
  6. GinaC
    Nov 28, 2006
    4
    This movie could have been a lot better and I'm sorry I can't compare it to "Crash". That movie was great. I don't see the relevance in showing a young boy pleasing himself and a young girl showing us her vagina and her naked body. The movie didn't need that to make its point. It was kinda gross and unneeded. I'm not sure how many normal adults wanted to see This movie could have been a lot better and I'm sorry I can't compare it to "Crash". That movie was great. I don't see the relevance in showing a young boy pleasing himself and a young girl showing us her vagina and her naked body. The movie didn't need that to make its point. It was kinda gross and unneeded. I'm not sure how many normal adults wanted to see children in that matter. They should have left that out and kept to the storyline. Expand
  7. AndrewM.
    Jan 26, 2007
    5
    The majority of the film is simply uninteresting. The storyline set in Tokyo is the most impressive mostly because of amazing cinematography but the others just seem to lack fundamental excitement.
  8. KenA.
    Feb 8, 2007
    4
    Ambtious but very tedious.
  9. PatC.
    Apr 9, 2007
    6
    One of the most intelligent movies to recently come out of Hollywood, but it deliberately confounds the viewer in the early going. Nothing can be gained from doing so. The best movies are entertainment that flows effortlessly, not a test of one's attention span and interrelational skills.
  10. SibuV.
    Apr 20, 2008
    6
    Wonderfully done, but the ending is very vauge.
  11. TannerJ
    Jun 5, 2009
    4
    Very overrated. The acting is very good but this movie is so long and boring! The exact same structure is used in 21 grams but that movie was fantastic. Babel is just disappointing.
  12. SarahS.
    Oct 30, 2006
    5
    Multiple plot lines only work when they are interrelated. just because a gun is involved in all if them doesn not bring a feeling of connectedness.
  13. Nadie
    Jan 15, 2007
    6
    Gonzalez Inarritu needs to understand that the format is not a style. The third movie that breaks three stories into pieces and starts with the ending (and I know it
  14. JuanM.
    Jan 22, 2007
    4
    I agree that the acting was good, the scenery, locations and photography fantastic. Nevertheless after the final scene one feels empty, hopeless and tired of the suffering and pain shown. A very negative and pessimistic movie.
  15. Chea
    Jan 23, 2007
    4
    Babel maybe the most predictable movie to win a golden globe, Alejandro González Iñárritu idea that we are all connected in some way no matter how small
  16. OlafJ.
    Feb 10, 2007
    4
    [***SPOILERS***] Ok first ill list the limited amounts of quality in the movie. the camera work is clever and occasionally there is a bit that will be great,the acting is constant and is one of the few areas the movie can't be highly flawed. I really hated how we saw a masterbating morocan muslim, firstly even if these muslims were not strict this would still be a huge violation it [***SPOILERS***] Ok first ill list the limited amounts of quality in the movie. the camera work is clever and occasionally there is a bit that will be great,the acting is constant and is one of the few areas the movie can't be highly flawed. I really hated how we saw a masterbating morocan muslim, firstly even if these muslims were not strict this would still be a huge violation it seems a very unusual thing to happen.The killing also seems very far fetched as two children start sooting at a bus, now the thing with movies like these is they always seem to have some thing showing racism but infact make racist events happen quiet a bit.think about it why would any child shoot a bus secondly why would any seemingly happy child shoot a bus-the movie seems to try and make us think that because they are morocan they are fools well ive been in moroco and thats not the case. In fact one of the things you would knotice in moroco is there remarkable respect and love of children. buses leaving a person whos been shot-why because someone is dehydrated.And guess what its the fat english guy who turns out to be a prick and wants them to leave.Now I find that highly stereotypical and im irish.Ireland a country that does have a grudge against britain and i think that is unfair. the bus leaves without the dehydrated man getting water from the village which should havewater with that kind of population of healty people.the town has opium i think they would have some water available for the rich tourists.That goes with the gas problem. the bus doesnt have enough fuel to make it to the next hospital yet we have seen alot of cars driving around this village surely someone here as petrol to be bought. the mexican story is pertty horrible too with a house maid who can not find one person in the area who can look after the children for a day. the children witness a beheading and minutes later are full of joy-ok???? then see get in the car with a drunk with too kids she seems to want to protect. she knows he is drunk too,then we come across some asshole police at the border where it is very clear she is there nanny and the police dont let them explain furthermore the police have nothing on them but precist why i cant tell. i was actualy so depressed watching this movie after hearing all its great reviews and when I think people will have seen this horrific story intead of a great film like princess mononoke. Expand
  17. LauraH
    Feb 21, 2007
    6
    Eh. This is a decent film but nothing earth shattering. I didn't feel very invested in any of the characters. The Japanese deaf/mute girl story was the most interesting and visually pleasing. The movie is long and it feels long. I'm not sure how this got nominated for best picture other than the Brad Pitt sphere of influence.
  18. RobA
    Feb 20, 2007
    5
    The direction by Inarritu is at times brilliant and the performances by Pitt, Kikuchi and Barraza are all fantastic. But the problem here is Arriaga who's so set on getting his message across that he's willing to manipulate his characters through ridiculous decisions and extremely coincidental situations just to make his point.
  19. GW
    Feb 20, 2007
    5
    The funny thing about reading everyone's comments is that this movie is polemical. Isn't that the point? Everyone agrees on the quality of the cinematography and the acting, but are divided on the message. Common complaints: 1) racism 2) offense to social mores 3) raw portrayal of human stupity The emotional impact of the film left everyone in the same state. Vacant and The funny thing about reading everyone's comments is that this movie is polemical. Isn't that the point? Everyone agrees on the quality of the cinematography and the acting, but are divided on the message. Common complaints: 1) racism 2) offense to social mores 3) raw portrayal of human stupity The emotional impact of the film left everyone in the same state. Vacant and depressed. Perhaps the points is not that we are all connected but that we are all disconnected? It might be a movie not about the characters but about ourselves. In this sense, polemiscism is the point. One review, which captured this sense, described the following: "As a mexican, I´m supposed to be real glad this movie is up for the Oscars. I'm not. While others find it touching and human, I think it's incredibly racist and elitist. No one seems to notice that, although all these characters live through tragedy, the tragedies of the rich struck because of a bad twist of fate and turn out Ok in the end. Meanwhile, the poor live tragedies as a punishment for their stupid decisions: giving a rifle to children, taking your baby sitting charges across the border, getting drunk and getting into trouble with the border patrol. The poor people get screwed and the rich get off and live a happy ending? Doesn't that sound like real life? Expand
  20. Ms.M.
    Feb 8, 2007
    5
    Director Alejandro Gonzalez Iñarritu and screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga have collaborated on three movies, although one may argue that they
  21. MarkR.
    Mar 13, 2007
    6
    The sum adds up to less than the parts. There is enough here for two or three films and it probably would have worked out best that way. There is a feeling that the stories are all incomplete.
  22. RobynG.
    Mar 2, 2007
    6
    Can someone please explain the japanese link to me? I get the whole gun connection(weak if you ask me)What is the meaning of the girl lying about her mom's death and the note she gave the detective. Can someone explain what that whole part is about cause I certainly don't get it and it is really annoying me.
  23. HC.
    Mar 24, 2007
    5
    First off, insulting people who "don't get it" as Carl F. did is so ironic it's almost pitiful. Carl F. sounds terribly upset over something that has nothing to do with a movie called "Babel". I don't think this movie was horrible --however I did think it was so overtly contrived I couldn't rate it past a five. I "get" what the director did and I don't think it First off, insulting people who "don't get it" as Carl F. did is so ironic it's almost pitiful. Carl F. sounds terribly upset over something that has nothing to do with a movie called "Babel". I don't think this movie was horrible --however I did think it was so overtly contrived I couldn't rate it past a five. I "get" what the director did and I don't think it worked that well . Certain performances really shone through the horribly didactic 'plot'--the japanese deaf-mute especially, as well as a key scene between Pitt and Blanchette. The director of photography and the person who did the score were first rate--probably the most successful things about "Babel". however, rest assured, if you liked Babel, I will not insult you or think you an idiot. Expand
  24. MattA.
    Mar 9, 2007
    4
    People giving 0's are being irrational. Although, they aren't too far off base. Amores Perrros was a masterpiece, not only because this various storylines but all somehow conncected was still fresh back then, but also because the stories were the strongest. 21 Grams was a failure, not only because Sean Penn is an overracting hack (see I Am Sam and All The King's Men for People giving 0's are being irrational. Although, they aren't too far off base. Amores Perrros was a masterpiece, not only because this various storylines but all somehow conncected was still fresh back then, but also because the stories were the strongest. 21 Grams was a failure, not only because Sean Penn is an overracting hack (see I Am Sam and All The King's Men for further evidence), but because there was no depth or real honesty to the story. Here we have three again, and only one is truly fascinating-the one set in Japan. Pitt and Blanchett's part is just kind of boring, (not to mention Pitt is only here to try and get back some credibility) and the Bernal one is just merely okay (and it only manages to achieve that level thanks to Bernal). Let's be honest here: Rinko Kikuchi was robbed. Her performance here was clearly the best supporting turn of the year. Kikuchi has more acting chops in her oft-flashed vagina than Jennifer Hudson has in her whole, fat body. The Japan segment is tragic, mysterious, strange and beautiful all at once. It could be the best storyline in any of Inarritu's films yet. It would have been great if he had set aside the whole mulitple-storyline obsession for once and just focused on this utterly unique segment. Shame. If he had, he might have the oscar he was so obviously wanting. Expand
  25. Robert
    Nov 10, 2006
    5
    There are lots of problems in this overbaked turnip, but they start with pitt, who is wonderful when all he needs to get by is charm (mr and mrs smith, the ocean movies)...but when asked to act. gulp....
  26. CarlM.
    Nov 19, 2006
    5
    Absolutely gut wrenching. I left the theater more exhausted than a 500 mile bicycle race. Some great perfomances however. Particularly by Adriana Barraza.
  27. JS.
    Nov 23, 2006
    4
    Did not like this movie at all. Too chopped up, lack luster plot. 3 terrible movies in one that intertwine in a useless plot.
  28. Lucy
    Nov 27, 2006
    5
    This movie overall was good. I think Brad did a great job in it compared to some movies he has done. Most of the stories had a good way of coming together at the end but it left me hanging at the end and that made me not like it so much.
  29. NathanH.
    Nov 30, 2006
    4
    Artistic Crap. Everyone gets screwed except the Americans. The movie makes no point except to say that the White Americans always end up okay. Great.
  30. JimC.
    Dec 27, 2006
    5
    Superb acting wedded to a fragmented plot that dragged on for me. One of the most overrated films of 2006.
  31. Andy
    Jan 20, 2007
    6
    A movie worth seeing but one I could probably never watch again. The acting is superb and the stories are only slightly flawed but the whole tone of the movie is not something I wanted to sit through for nearly 2.5 hours.
  32. Jon
    Jan 22, 2007
    4
    What? This is the same guy that made Amores Perros and 21 Grams, right? The difference is, those movies made sense and were put together for a reason. Two out of three storylines that work, yet are interrupted by one that makes absolutely no sense, that's sounds more like a recipe for Ba-Balogna.
  33. AjazKhan
    Dec 28, 2007
    6
    The only message apparent in the entire film was: "Americans are the best! Rest all (contextually the Mexicans & Afghanis) are uncouth and gruff. Though the direction was superb and the script was excellent. The placing of stories was though not very creative, but was impactful. The Thai story acted as a lachrymorosing agent for the film, while the Afghani & the Mexican parts were theThe only message apparent in the entire film was: "Americans are the best! Rest all (contextually the Mexicans & Afghanis) are uncouth and gruff. Though the direction was superb and the script was excellent. The placing of stories was though not very creative, but was impactful. The Thai story acted as a lachrymorosing agent for the film, while the Afghani & the Mexican parts were the substance of the movie. Babel should be considered as a mild answer to the all-time-legend "Crash" Expand
  34. DavidT.
    Feb 23, 2007
    5
    Unimpressive...the use of multi layering storylines is a mere cover up to a less than complex plot/theme. Try Again...
  35. JerryM
    Feb 24, 2007
    4
    Best picture?? No way.......Loved the cast, but it was slow going. Shocked that is got so much attention. Would not recommend it.
  36. WendyB.
    Feb 4, 2007
    5
    Watching "Babel" is like looking at a very abstract painting - the type that leaves the viewer searching for interpretation. At the same time, "Babel" appears to be a terribly tragic abstraction, offering the viewet little hope about the human conditon. Characters are poorly developed due to limited dialgue, forcing the viewer to rely on his'her knowledge of stereotypes.
  37. BrutusO.
    Mar 11, 2007
    6
    Well acted, but unforgiveably over-wrought and unnecessarily manipulative. Frankly, it would be hard to not be affected by any such series of contrived, highly stressful human interactions, especially when they are laid out before you by skilled film technicians in a (vaguely) interconneceted narrative. But if you strip away the multi-ethnic gloss, the rapid cutting and the star power, Well acted, but unforgiveably over-wrought and unnecessarily manipulative. Frankly, it would be hard to not be affected by any such series of contrived, highly stressful human interactions, especially when they are laid out before you by skilled film technicians in a (vaguely) interconneceted narrative. But if you strip away the multi-ethnic gloss, the rapid cutting and the star power, all this really represents is nothing more substantial than four of those dreadful telemovies on the Hallmark channel. Deaf schoolgirl sexually repressed! Childminder kidnaps children and disappears to Mexico! American tourists get trapped in terrorist incident and amazingly find out that the dirty natives are actually human after all! Children shoot someone by accident and this brings about unexpected tragedy! All a bit trite, really. But despite everything in this movie that grates, nevertheles some degree of genuine humanism emerges, and the stars acquit themselves pretty well. Ultimately I suspect we have the "Finnegan's Wake" of modern film here, when Inarittu was probably aiming more at directing the modern "Ulysses". And cheers to the Academy for not getting too transfixed by the hype. Expand
  38. Josh
    Mar 3, 2007
    4
    Babel is a film so stuffed with self-importance it confuses those around it into believing it's delusions. It might have been an interesting plot if it wasn't just a couple of incomplete stories taped together for the sake of "interconnection". It felt disjointed, empty and a rehash in style of several other easily nameable films (Traffic, Crash and 21 Grams to name a few). It Babel is a film so stuffed with self-importance it confuses those around it into believing it's delusions. It might have been an interesting plot if it wasn't just a couple of incomplete stories taped together for the sake of "interconnection". It felt disjointed, empty and a rehash in style of several other easily nameable films (Traffic, Crash and 21 Grams to name a few). It looks like the formula for critical success is filming a bunch of characters then intersecting them at the end of the film. Blah. Expand
  39. JohnO.
    Apr 18, 2007
    6
    Its beautifully shot and the performances are first class but as many have said there isn't really anything of great substance to connect the various storylines convincingly. Inarrito is undoubtedly extremely talented but I'd hoped for more. Just one story with a fully developed plot perhaps. Pleeease!!?
  40. JackW.
    Apr 8, 2007
    5
    Bar good performances and cinematography this film just tried to hard. The way the stories linked was pathetic as were the plot of most of the stories themselves. I can think of so many flaws.
  41. KostasA.
    Jul 10, 2007
    6
    It was quite a good film. But, I don't think that without the Japan part it would be worse. In some way it just didn't fit in the story. The acting was excellent and mostly as far as the children are concerned. Brand Pit did at least something not heroic in his career and wasn't the one who saves the world. The direction was worth the award. Lastly, I have one question, It was quite a good film. But, I don't think that without the Japan part it would be worse. In some way it just didn't fit in the story. The acting was excellent and mostly as far as the children are concerned. Brand Pit did at least something not heroic in his career and wasn't the one who saves the world. The direction was worth the award. Lastly, I have one question, what was the meaning of the scene in which the boy masturbated? I can't understand what it was to show us. If somebody does, please mail me, I'm really curious. Expand
  42. RidleyJ
    Feb 24, 2008
    6
    I love art house human drama movies , so I was looking forward to this, but I found it to be really vapid. There's no depth to any of the roles here, and to be honest I got bored during the movie. It has only one moving scene in the whole movie, and although that was pewtty powerful, it just wasn't enough. Crash I will remember forever. Babel I will quickly forget.
  43. [Anonymous]
    Nov 17, 2006
    4
    Not worth viewing. A contrived and weak story with typical sexism and stereotypes.
  44. TakK.
    Nov 23, 2006
    5
    Unclear or at least weak connections between 3 stories of movies in terms of the theme of the whole.
  45. AJC.
    Nov 24, 2006
    5
    This movie is far from brilliant. Sure the cinematography is top-notch, and the script is fine. The problem is the story. Aside from the Japanese storyline, the plot is an almost unbelievable heap of misery. Are we supposed to believe that the only thing that binds us together as humans are extreme tribulations -- for goodness sake, 4 children almost killed in the movie! The Japan story This movie is far from brilliant. Sure the cinematography is top-notch, and the script is fine. The problem is the story. Aside from the Japanese storyline, the plot is an almost unbelievable heap of misery. Are we supposed to believe that the only thing that binds us together as humans are extreme tribulations -- for goodness sake, 4 children almost killed in the movie! The Japan story was subtle and moving, and it redeemed the rest of the movie, which was simply outrageous and unnerving. It's grim without being insightful, and it only feigns hope in the end. The message: the world is a dreadful place, let's all band together on that. Expand
  46. TimH.
    Nov 26, 2006
    5
    Most overrated film of the year. Heavyhanded and punishingly brutal, the message of the film is obvious and viewers feel like they're beaten over the head with a hammer. We get it already - we have problems communicating.
  47. CuculizaO
    Nov 29, 2006
    6
    Gonzalez Inarritu is a great, talented director, but his ambition to make an emotional "epic" bombs. Its way too long and the characters are poorly developed, by the middle of the film I couldn't have cared if all of them died. The Mexican part almost felt like a joke, the Morrocan one was ok but felt flat. Still, the Japan part was masterly done. And by the way, enough is enough Gonzalez Inarritu is a great, talented director, but his ambition to make an emotional "epic" bombs. Its way too long and the characters are poorly developed, by the middle of the film I couldn't have cared if all of them died. The Mexican part almost felt like a joke, the Morrocan one was ok but felt flat. Still, the Japan part was masterly done. And by the way, enough is enough with interlocking stories in a movie. We've seen it all already. Expand
  48. TJ
    Nov 5, 2006
    5
    I had heard really bad things about this movie, but for the first hour I really enjoyed it. It's beautiful looking and well edited and the characters have a palpable humanity and we get a great feel for the settings. Then Inarritu way overplays his hand and connects every dot and then some. Why does everything literally have to connect in this guy's movies? With a little I had heard really bad things about this movie, but for the first hour I really enjoyed it. It's beautiful looking and well edited and the characters have a palpable humanity and we get a great feel for the settings. Then Inarritu way overplays his hand and connects every dot and then some. Why does everything literally have to connect in this guy's movies? With a little restaint he could have left some of the story up to the viewer's imagination rather than creating an absurd web. He needs to watch a great film like Antonioni's "The Passenger" to see the power of leaving some things unsaid and unexplained. It's a shame because this guy does have a lot of talent and Prieto's cinematography is first rate. The politics of the film are puzzling to say the least. A mess of a movie, but still worth seeing. Expand
  49. WHoCares
    Oct 24, 2006
    6
    Oh shut up. This film is far from a 10. First off, there is very little acting, and when there is, spare the Japanese story, it's average at best. This film was by far his most dependent on music and beautiful cinematography, whihc was existent. Yet Babel needs words, its titled Babel and there's very little character development to tell us a story about these chracters, who theyOh shut up. This film is far from a 10. First off, there is very little acting, and when there is, spare the Japanese story, it's average at best. This film was by far his most dependent on music and beautiful cinematography, whihc was existent. Yet Babel needs words, its titled Babel and there's very little character development to tell us a story about these chracters, who they are and where they came from. Storytelling it is even worse, for this is the 3rd time around from Perros and 21 Grams, and the story is desperate, tedious and even less coherant. It's far from uplifting, and its length and lack of dialogue and character development make it less powerful. It is far from the finest film of 2006- maybe one of the best shot movies, but this is a step down from 21 grams, as 21 grams was a step down from Perros. THis movie doesn't deserve an Oscar or a Nobel Fucking Peace Prize, because Innaritu fails at the very thing he was going for if he was serious about titeling it Babel. And by far the best story was the Japanese one, which was so poorly tied together with the film. GO watch some real movies before you spew out 10's on a film that isn't even as close to as good as his other two. Yeah its not bad, and yeah, its very pretty. But this is nothing new from his others, and its even less special. Expand
  50. ElliotZ.
    Oct 28, 2006
    6
    The year's biggest disappointment thus far. It's pretentious, boring, incoherent, and ultimately tries to say something in a muddled manner. The acting is Oscar-worthy and the cinematography is brilliant, but the film itself is annoying, ponderous, and ultimately disappointing.
  51. SteveS.
    Jan 21, 2007
    6
    A movie that lingers in the heart long after it has ended, but which ultimately gives impression of being far too coincidentally dazzling. There's a growing sense of "But wait: There's more" as the movie rushes towards its seemingly drawn out conclusions. I would have rated it higher if at least one of the American kids had died in the desert, just as one of the Moroccan kids A movie that lingers in the heart long after it has ended, but which ultimately gives impression of being far too coincidentally dazzling. There's a growing sense of "But wait: There's more" as the movie rushes towards its seemingly drawn out conclusions. I would have rated it higher if at least one of the American kids had died in the desert, just as one of the Moroccan kids had. The stupidity of the nanny voluntarily putting the 2 kids and herself in the car driven by her clearly intoxicated nephew led me to lose all sympathy for her later plight. The message of the film seems to be that, while Americans suffer when they venture away from their homeland, its non-Americans who truly pay the price. Thank God, I suppose, that the naked Japanse girl never gave ghouls the satisfaction of jumping off the balcony. Somebody needs to help this young girl get her hugs and cuddles without needing to take off her panties! Expand
  52. AdamR.
    Jan 22, 2007
    4
    Why did I see this movie? did I learn something about the fact that some discarded inanimate object from my life at some point then entered the life of another... and we became one? I would have preferred more interesting paralells be drawn between the characters and their connections to each other, rather than the seemingly..."How far out of our way can we go to just to prove that we can Why did I see this movie? did I learn something about the fact that some discarded inanimate object from my life at some point then entered the life of another... and we became one? I would have preferred more interesting paralells be drawn between the characters and their connections to each other, rather than the seemingly..."How far out of our way can we go to just to prove that we can pull one thread thru an entire 2 and a half hour movie?" (i'd say go see 'The Constant Gardener' for more genuine emotions based on plausible interactions with complex world.) Expand
  53. ReidF.
    Jan 27, 2007
    6
    I struggled with this film because conceptually, it is a very good idea, and it contains moments of pure brilliance. Unfortunately, it is about an hour too long and could seriously have benefited from a substantial edit. It ended up on this list because months later, there are scenes about which I can
  54. SteveK.
    Feb 21, 2007
    6
    There are some very rich themes here about the things that divide us - cultural differences, language, fear, and mistrust. The movie explores them through the context of one event and four different sets of people who are all loosely connected to the event. The connection between the different stories is incredibly weak and serves little purpose in meaning or even plot development. All of There are some very rich themes here about the things that divide us - cultural differences, language, fear, and mistrust. The movie explores them through the context of one event and four different sets of people who are all loosely connected to the event. The connection between the different stories is incredibly weak and serves little purpose in meaning or even plot development. All of the tragedies and misunderstandings feel a bit contrived as everything inevitably goes wrong, and the events feel even more contrived as they resolve. This is not light movie fare. I applaud the movie makers for trying to say something important, but in the end, it's all a bit dreary and forced. There are some great performances throughout, but the plot moves at a snail's pace and in the end, the movie says much less than what it tries to and it forgets to be entertaining along the way. Expand
  55. DanC.
    Feb 21, 2007
    4
    I really hated this and moreover, I think it objectively deserves to be hated. It's a pretentious, tedious, wretched view of the human condition that's painful to sit through. No wonder the professional critics loved it! When set aside truly great movies (think, anything by Kubrick ), this is pale, forgettable, unfortunate dreck. Avoid it.
  56. W.ChristopherHuff
    Feb 23, 2007
    5
    Hey wow, I liked this movie the first two times when it was called "Traffic" and then "Syriana"! Actually, it's kind of like combining those two films except for there is neither drug trafficking or terrorism, but there is SUSPECTED drug trafficking and terrorism. This film's alright, but it's hardly original.
  57. RobertK.
    Mar 11, 2007
    5
    Expected it to be overwhelming. Found it boring.
  58. johnmc
    Nov 18, 2006
    6
    It struggles but in the end it's pointless. Whatever ponderous point it was trying to make never developes. Good acting for naught.
  59. kobij.
    Dec 29, 2006
    5
    A great looking movie with a terrible script. Banal message, primitive co incentental hotel de Paris type of a drivel. Give this taleted dirctor a script, for God sake.
  60. Feb 14, 2012
    4
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I really didn't get this film. I mean, the only good part about it was the American POV (Pitt and Blanchett) and the plot seemed really confusing even though it's told in different perspectives. One of the most confusing but weirdest films of all time. Expand
  61. Nov 8, 2012
    4
    It tries to do so much, but this nonlinear mess of a film has nothing to offer but some short snippets of great acting. It is original, but not all original ideas are good ones.
  62. Sep 28, 2015
    6
    Babel is a mixed bag.While it does not feel very long, its main defect is its length. A shorter movie with tighter focus would have had a greater dramatic impact without having to sacrifice its social message. The colonialist attitudes killed any sympathy for the central characters. But overall, it is still engaging and still worth seeing.
  63. Jan 9, 2016
    6
    Babel tells the story of intertwining narratives across several characters and their lives, and how their predicaments are interrelated. A nanny is eager to attend her son's wedding, but she is unable to find a temporary babysitter for two children she is charged with guardianship over. Thus she decides to take the children with her across border to Mexico. The children's parents areBabel tells the story of intertwining narratives across several characters and their lives, and how their predicaments are interrelated. A nanny is eager to attend her son's wedding, but she is unable to find a temporary babysitter for two children she is charged with guardianship over. Thus she decides to take the children with her across border to Mexico. The children's parents are travelling in Morocco, and while on a touring bus, the wife is shot by a native Moroccan boy, who is with his brother trying out a his father's rifle on a mountaintop. The father of the two boys, Ibrahim Hassad, is now wanted by the local police and for a part of the plot, attempts his escape after discovering the shooting which has now also become an international story. Finally the rife was given to him prior to the events of the story by a Japanese man who was hunting in Morocco. The man believed he had a formidable hunting guide, and as a token of his gratitude, gives the guide this rifle, which eventually is sold to the father of these two boys.

    The film itself overall was very engaging, and due to the multiple characters and the dimensional plot, the audience will remain very interested in what happens next, and ultimately how it ends. However, the necessity of some of the characters certainly comes into question as the film draws to its close.

    For example, the Japanese man's purpose in the story was solely that he had given a rifle to a Moroccan hunting guide. However there is a subplot to his life, in that he has a daughter who deals with how her peers perceive her deafness, and a wife who committed suicide, however her method of suicide is purposely posed in the film as an undiscovered truth with some suggestions. The daughter's character is probably the most interesting character in the film, and the director's portrayal of her deaf experience is admirable and prone to empathy. However, the daughter's purpose in the overall plot that attempts to bring narratives to crossroads is a painfully pointless appendix, and a frustrating hindrance to the story.
    She does not affect the film in anyway if she were to be removed, especially the detail of the dead wife.

    Besides the daughter who is actually a character that poses dimension, humanized situations that create an engaging audience, the other characters, with the slight exception of the boy who shot the American woman, are very uninteresting. In a general sense, one would wish that the American women survives, but sadly if she did not, hearts wouldn't be broken. She isn't a character that the story makes you care for, and neither is Brad Pitt's.

    Some of the events are also rather implausible and poorly conveyed. For instance, a nanny who is both an an illegal immigrant and employee of these two American parents, would certainly take extra caution and perhaps sacrifice her opportunity to attend her son's wedding in order to avoid putting the two children in serious danger, and to keep her own life secure and prevent deportation. Regardless of this very true point, the plot still, has this way of being very engaging. While the Japanese daughter is the most interesting character in the film, she takes serious risks with a legal official, by attempting to lure to perform sexual activity with her. While her desire for a sexual life which perhaps remains deprived and unexperimented with her condition, her choice of risk is not believable.

    The story was very well presented and the film was beautifully expressed. But expression can be beautiful and also pointless, and the film tends to possess this quality of great plot drive, but to no avail. The film is a journey with a destination that is frustrating, because the journey should not have set off in the first place, but for reasons unmentioned it simply fails to be a great movie, and a bad movie.
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Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 100
    In the year's richest, most complex and ultimately most heartbreaking film, Inarritu invites us to get past the babble of modern civilization and start listening to each other.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Effectively building dread and emotional tension as tragic incidents triggered by human stupidity and carelessness steadily multiply, this film, like "21 Grams" in particular, employs a deterministically grim mindset in the cause of its philosophical aspirations, but is gripping nearly all the way.
  3. The filmmakers succeed brilliantly in weaving these stories together, taking time to explore depth of character and relationships. The suspense builds throughout as everyone involved becomes lost in a place they don't understand with people they don't know if they can trust.