Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 611 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: In the remote sands of the Moroccan desert, a rifle shot rings out -- detonating a chain of events that will link an American tourist couple's frantic struggle to survive, two Moroccan boys involved in an accidental crime, a nanny illegally crossing into Mexico with two American children and a Japanese teen rebel whose father is sought by the police in Tokyo. (Paramount Vantage) Expand
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. 89
    It's a masterful film, the kind you itch to see twice or more, as elliptical as a dream and as direct as the short sharp shock of lead kissing flesh.
  3. 88
    Its complex (yet not mystifying) storytelling, forceful character development, and superb cinematography make this a candidate for one of 2006's best offerings.
  4. It offers razor-sharp editing, first-rate performances, direction that yields maximum emotional effect and a flabby, unconvincing screenplay.
  5. Measured in anything other than biblical cubits, the sum of Babel's many parts turns out to be a picture that suggests Americans ought to stay home and treat their nannies better.
  6. 67
    When the best part of the movie is when no one's talking and the anguish relents, it says something. It says that Iñárritu is a great director in need of a screenwriter who has more than one card to play.
  7. Yet as sophisticated a piece of filmmaking as it is, it seems hamstrung by the banality at its center; that's why it never assembles into a satisfying whole. It's pretty -- oh, what's the word? -- stupid in its dramatization of the silly little connections that unite us, and it's somewhat selective in its choice of them.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Jan 9, 2011
    A breathtaking human story of startling perception and beauty. It is wonderfully acted and achingly tangible. Brilliant, and a must see.
  2. RobertV.
    Nov 25, 2006
    I haven't seen a film that moved me as much and impressed me with its use of the medium to visually tell a story of such epic proportion as to how one single choice, mistake or moment in time can affect the lives of so many people around our world simultaneously. At times, its window on our world - in all of its complexity as well as its simplicity, its frailty and strength, its poverty and wealth, power and hoplessness, brutality and kindness - Was so realistic I almost forgot I was watching a movie. I found myself riveted to the screen, on the edge of my seat, actually praying that each of the many developed characters stories would somehow work out ok. In all of the tragedy it communicates about our liability to communicate, tolerate, accept, allow and embrace each others crises - Which it does masterfully and visually without beating you over the head - And it took me until the actual rolling of the credits and the dedication to children - to realize that the movie was actually much more about hope than despair. I also think that people without children will not relate even remotely as powerfully to this film as those with. I haven't left a theatre in a long time considering how much my own choices can affect so many. A powerful, masterful and visually stunning piece of film as art. Expand
  3. CindyN.
    Feb 27, 2007
    I was struck by the lesser actors and actresses by the immense human performances. Amelia and the Moroccan families. People have so much good in them that we seldom see. It all came together in a beautiful cinematic prose. Expand
  4. TonyB.
    Apr 7, 2008
    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
  5. PiperL.
    Dec 28, 2008
    I agree this movie was way too long and a bit too pretentious. Its happy ending is also a bit ugly....did any one else notice that it was only happy for the white people? The mom lived, and the kids were found...but the Moroccan boy was dead, the other Moroccans sent to prison, the Mexican woman shamed and deported, and the Asian teen still a virgin, still deaf, oh, and naked on the terrace with her dad...what the? Expand
  6. Joseph
    Nov 12, 2006
    A pretentious, obvious, and, most damagingly, utterly inept film. Supposedly about miscommunication, it's really about a series of really stupid decisions, by characters who aren't behaving in any way that resembles actual human interaction. A hopelessly self-important mess. Expand
  7. BillBlast
    Nov 11, 2006
    Oh come on - this movie sucks. We left after 1:15 and I heard the movie went downhill from there. Unconnected, I did not care about the characters. Lame mysterious past events won't make may stay to watch a movie that gets nowhere in 1:15. Don't waste your money... even at the matinee. Rent an classic movie, pop some popcorn and stay at home. Expand

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