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

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 597 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. May 6, 2011
    Magnificent, emotionally charged exploration of the lines that divide us. Terrific acting, gripping plot. Ignore the loser trolls who abuse this review site; Do yourself a favor and watch this film. Expand
  2. Jan 9, 2011
    A breathtaking human story of startling perception and beauty. It is wonderfully acted and achingly tangible. Brilliant, and a must see.
  3. May 20, 2013
    Babel, which borrows its title from the Genesis 11 account of the moment in history when God scrambled humankind's languages and locations to limit our effectiveness at achieving corporate evil, is a masterpiece of raw cinematic emotion hung on a framework of muddled messages and extreme content. As an exercise in empathy, Iñárritu's stories nailed me. Once I bought into the characters and their settings (and to the director's credit, I bought hard), every moment of the film was drenched in anxiety, sorrow and dread. The fact that not all of the tales end in utter loss offered little relief. And the movie's sadness hung with me long after I left the theater. Expand
  4. Dec 26, 2011
    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. Collapse
  5. Feb 14, 2012
    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
  6. Feb 22, 2013
    This is one of the five worst films I have ever seen. Insanely boring and pointless. Dullness for the sake of dullness. Saying nothing as a pretentious "message." Spare me. Expand

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