Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. 88
    Pedro Almodovar's new movie is like an ingenious toy that is a joy to behold, until you take it apart to see what makes it work, and then it never works again.
  2. 63
    Ultimately, Bad Education must be considered to be a minor effort from a major director.
  3. 100
    A rapturous masterwork.
  4. It's a film noir that grows more potent as its secrets are revealed.
  5. 70
    By turns enthralling, seductive and deeply disturbing.
  6. Spain's most important living filmmaker isn't at his very best in this complicated tale, but it raises still-timely questions well worth pondering.
  7. Bad Education is a voluptuous experience that invites you to gorge on its beauty and vitality, although it has perhaps the darkest ending of any of the films by the Spanish writer and director.
  8. After two flat-out triumphs in a row, "All About My Mother" in 1999 and last year's breathtaking "Talk To Her," Pedro Almodóvar hasn't done it again. Yet lesser Almodóvar -- in this instance "Bad Education" -- is better than most of the movies we see.
  9. 100
    This is a brilliantly structured hall of mirrors that wraps Catholicism and the movie industry into a tasty film noir.
  10. 88
    Almodóvar has never been shy about experimenting with plot structure, but Bad Education is the closest he's ever come to a metamovie, the sort of self-reflective, hall-of-mirrors contraption on which Charlie Kaufman has built his career.
  11. 100
    The result is one of Almodovar's darkest films since the early days of "Law of Desire" and "Matador," and certainly one of his finest.
  12. 80
    In accounting for Almodóvar's identity as an artist and a man, Bad Education comes together like a bold and far-reaching summation of his career to date.
  13. With Bad Education, the great Almodóvar delivers the finest movie of his career.
  14. 100
    To watch Bad Education is to revel, along with Almodovar, in the power of cinema to take us on journeys of breathtaking mystery and dimension and beauty.
  15. 100
    Bad Education, in this light, is Almodovar's "8-1/2" or "Day for Night," a lens through which all of his movies appear as a seamless whole. It's not the story of his actual life but, more excitingly, the deft, witty, bittersweet story of the life of his art.
  16. 100
    From the Hitchcockian opening credits to the final frame, Almodovar has Hitch on his mind.
  17. Even when the plots of sexual confusions, transgression and tragedy became absurdly complicated and arbitrary, there was always the mise-en-scène to die for.
  18. A masterful epic charting love's labyrinths.
  19. A big change of pace for the bad-boy Spanish director. Like his other work, it's kinky and proudly gay, but this time it's not a comedy. It's a serious neo-film-noir, and a pretty darn good one at that.
  20. 50
    The movie gets as overblown and masochistic as the worst Joan Crawford vehicle. Its saving grace is that Bernal really does have his own deep-set, smoldering variation on Bette Davis eyes.
  21. In this cross between film noir and melodrama, there's lust, need, camp and betrayal.
  22. There's something dull and evasive at the film's center--for one thing, contrary to its festival buzz, Bad Education tiptoes around the issue of priesthood pedophilia; lovelorn gazes are as desperate as it gets.
  23. 90
    It's the director's most complexly ordered film to date - a labyrinth of ids, egos and alter egos waiting around blind corners - and may be the movies' most deliriously inventive narrative spiral since "Adaptation."
  24. 90
    Complex and devious beyond easy recounting, Bad Education is about the fallout from the ending of a "pure" love between boys, consecrated in an Almodóvaran temple--a movie theatre.
  25. Leaves the viewer with the sense of a writing-directing talent concocting complexities. Everything he touches is well-turned, but he now feels compelled to put the pieces together in something other than a lucid design.
  26. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    100
    Almodóvar has created a dense, audacious film in which layers of cinematic artifice lovingly camouflage (at least for a while) its characters’ dark, damaged heart.
  27. With Bad Education, Almodóvar is at his most breathtakingly complex and mature, and at his most pessimistic.
  28. If only Bad Education engaged the heart as much as the head, Almodovar's fractured tale might have risen above its alienating noir conventions.
  29. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    10
    Such garbage that taking a shower at the Bates Motel is a more appealing alternative.
  30. May be at once too gimmicky and too sincere. But it still exerts an uncanny power: Like the best of Almodóvar’s work, it throws you a first-love sucker punch that will stagger your heart, mind, and soul.
  31. 90
    Superbly orchestrated, visually impressive.
  32. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    80
    If you're a fan of professional bad boy and Spanish gender bender Pedro Almodovar, far be it from me to dissuade you from enjoying this elaborate Chinese-box narrative, which boasts an especially resourceful performance by Gael Garcia Bernal.
  33. Reviewed by: Melissa Levine
    60
    Begins as comedy, morphs into drama and only belatedly introduces the noir requisites of subterfuge, cunning and death--none of which, by that time, is necessary or even welcome. There is a great deal of life in this movie, and also promise, but its creepy ending betrays its sincere and painful core.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 4 out of 37
  1. Dec 29, 2014
    8
    this movie is really good, if you are a little queasy or religious, do not watch. the film delves deep into subjects of homosexuality andthis movie is really good, if you are a little queasy or religious, do not watch. the film delves deep into subjects of homosexuality and gender definitions, this leads to some strange yet interesting stories and plot points that will leave you shocked yet strangely interested. Full Review »
  2. May 29, 2013
    9
    I finally saw this film but only after watching Almodovar's more recent "The Skin I Live In," which for me was a far superior movie--one ofI finally saw this film but only after watching Almodovar's more recent "The Skin I Live In," which for me was a far superior movie--one of the best of 2011. However, even second-tier Almodovar is a heightened and idiosyncratic pleasure and is far better than most films made today. And "Bad Education"--with its signature blend of sex, camp, melodrama, and noir--is most definitely and unmistakably Almodovar. This film also features superb music by Alberto Iglesias (who deserves to win an Oscar someday) and impressive acting--the actors incl. Gael Garcia Bernal really throw themselves into their roles. Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2012
    6
    It's a good story it got me guessing the entire movie, but it's always the same thing with Almodovar a gay or a lesbian drama and lots of sexIt's a good story it got me guessing the entire movie, but it's always the same thing with Almodovar a gay or a lesbian drama and lots of sex and naked people, sometimes it's just too much maybe a scene to set up the idea or the mood of movie. And personally I hate actors faking a foreign accent, yo don't need Gael to perform that character when you have so many real Spanish actors. Full Review »