User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 63 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 52 out of 63
  2. Negative: 5 out of 63
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  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 and gender definitions, this leads to some strange yet interesting stories and plot points that will leave you shocked yet strangely interested.
  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 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 andI 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. Expand
  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 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.
  4. Apr 5, 2012
    8
    Personally, I believe this is an excellent movie! Unlike many people who love Almodovar, I don't always enjoy all his movies but this film is gold! A must in a list of a movie-lover!
  5. Oct 18, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It was too complex in that I could not understand what the film meant. I could not assemble it for myself to one striking meaning. The characters go off in different directions without taking me to one destination, so to speak.

    The use of the Super 8 was very clever (and disturbing). The mise-en-scene and lighting were often classic noir, direct. The metafiction and the emotion that followed were done well. Almodovar has a lot of ideas, but if we see a convergence of features in this work, or just a fireworks display of cinematography, I have to say the latter. But this is one of the most interesting films I have seen from a narrative structure point of view, and I would recommend others to see it. One gets the sense that this was a deeply felt film from the writer/director's point of view. I wonder very much how this work could be condensed, how this meta-fictional structure could apply elsewhere to a more powerful effect.
    Expand
  6. EmmaD.
    Nov 7, 2006
    9
    The movie pushed the envelope, yes. But in the end, all envelopes must be pushed, and in "Bad Education" it was done beautifully, intelligently, and was one of the most believable movies I've ever seen. The casting was amazing, with actors who didn't foce anyhting, and the intricate plot kept me guessing. The movie ended without fear, boldly and movingly. "Bad Education" made The movie pushed the envelope, yes. But in the end, all envelopes must be pushed, and in "Bad Education" it was done beautifully, intelligently, and was one of the most believable movies I've ever seen. The casting was amazing, with actors who didn't foce anyhting, and the intricate plot kept me guessing. The movie ended without fear, boldly and movingly. "Bad Education" made you think, my favorite kind of movie. Expand
  7. AnaR.
    Sep 8, 2006
    8
    I was astonished by this movie. it's a mind game. The actors were great.
  8. DannyC.
    Aug 26, 2006
    2
    not almodovar's best. under its specious smartness there's so little.
  9. GinaS.
    Jun 9, 2006
    10
    Watching it last night, my roommate came home just as end credits rolled. I exclaimed "You have to watch this movie" and started it over again. Just as enthralling on 2nd viewing.
  10. TonyB.
    Nov 15, 2005
    4
    Not much ado about nothing perhaps, just about very little...one of the more overrated films in recent memory.
  11. JamesE.
    Oct 4, 2005
    1
    I'm not sure what was so special about this other than it pushed the envelope with Catholicism. I was weirded out most of the movie.
  12. StephenS.
    May 19, 2005
    5
    Even if you're a long term Almodovar fan (I am) it's hard to credit the chorus of acclaim for this one. Finally, Pedro produces a perfectly limp parody of his own gender-bending, anti-clerical, post-Bunuel preoccupations. The sharp turns of the interlocking stories are in style, but nobody can raise much interest in what's happening. Even the dramatic highlights only score Even if you're a long term Almodovar fan (I am) it's hard to credit the chorus of acclaim for this one. Finally, Pedro produces a perfectly limp parody of his own gender-bending, anti-clerical, post-Bunuel preoccupations. The sharp turns of the interlocking stories are in style, but nobody can raise much interest in what's happening. Even the dramatic highlights only score about 3/10 in intensity. By the way, GG Bernal is Pedro's worst-ever trannie in his lime-green dress. Expand
  13. BrutusO.
    May 18, 2005
    9
    Somewhere along the way Almodovar has made the transition from good to great. "All About My Mother" and "Talk To Her" were easy to see as the profound films they were, and were recognised as such. Now we have "Bad Education", which on the face of it, is a return to the old style Almodovar. Which it is - but there is a whole new level of mastery and intellectual ambiguity guiding his Somewhere along the way Almodovar has made the transition from good to great. "All About My Mother" and "Talk To Her" were easy to see as the profound films they were, and were recognised as such. Now we have "Bad Education", which on the face of it, is a return to the old style Almodovar. Which it is - but there is a whole new level of mastery and intellectual ambiguity guiding his endeavour. The plot deals with typically lurid Almodovar concerns - sexual confusion, paedophilia, religious hypocrisy - but the mind at work here is that of a superior artist. This film takes up questions about the nature of truth and meaning at a level comparable with that of Kurosawa (Rashomon) or Bunuel (Viridiana), albeit with subject matter that could easily be misconstrued as sensationalistic or exploitative. But the subject matter of this film (for all its power to crystallise prejudice) is entirely subordinated to the subtlety of the viewpoints that Almodovar brings to the exercise. The acting effectively underlines the humanity of the key characters. Of special note is the warmth of the performance of the paedophile priest - not an easy subject to portray sympathetically. And, once again, Almodovar selects a moving musical soundtrack that injects real emotion as opposed to the lame sentiment of most movies. I had written off Almodovar as a minor talent ten years ago. But now I have to eat humble pie. He is one of the best directors working today. Expand
  14. RosaR.
    May 9, 2005
    5
    Almodovar precisa renovar seu estoque de estórias. Tenho a sensação de que ele traz sempre a mesma temática e até os personagens são muito parecidos.
  15. charliec
    Apr 30, 2005
    8
    Intriguing movie that blends a story within a story. It does keep the viewer guessing, and although we may be rooting for a happy ending to the m2m love story, it does not come (life is not fair.) This is a story that is worth watching.
  16. RobH.
    Apr 27, 2005
    8
    Excellent film: super-interesting plot, great acting, and beautiful cinematography. Keeps you guessing until the end.
  17. willr.
    Mar 13, 2005
    8
    Compelling cinematic and narrative effects sacrificed some cohesion and emotional depth.
  18. DaniellaD.
    Mar 12, 2005
    7
    I felt that the plot and character depth was really excellent, but was not prepared for the full on homosexual sex scenes. So just beware!
  19. SusanS.
    Mar 2, 2005
    10
    Again, I left the theater completely amazed with Almodovar. His penchant for intriguing ways of telling a story never ceases to awe me. I feel like he uses what has now become the "standard" in art film storytelling, but that's only his base. He then plays on that concept itself and turns everything around. I read many of the summaries above, and I think what people were criticizing Again, I left the theater completely amazed with Almodovar. His penchant for intriguing ways of telling a story never ceases to awe me. I feel like he uses what has now become the "standard" in art film storytelling, but that's only his base. He then plays on that concept itself and turns everything around. I read many of the summaries above, and I think what people were criticizing was what he was going for--he's not an "emotional" writer/director--he shoots at the head rather than the heart, and allows the heart to catch up. Basically, he writes his characters as though they were in real life, but puts them in strange situations. Life is a soap opera only in events, not in speech, and Almodovar plays on that--and our guilty longing for unrestrained sexual content. I too was actually surprised at how little is shown, since I'd seen the killer NC-17 rating on some posters. However, it's a mislabel, and that too seems intentional--he'll give you a peek, but not the whole picture. It's quite unsettling. I can't say I liked this movie better than his most recent, but it definitely lives up to them. It'll make your head spin for a second, and when you walk out, you'll be thinking the whole movie over again. Expand
  20. NickB.
    Feb 28, 2005
    7
    It was a well crafted film but it seemed to lack the oomph I'm pretty sure they were going for. After a while the intrigue wears away, but the characters are engaging enough. It was better than a mediocre movie, but I wouldn't call it groundbreaking or give it a 10 by any means. The supporting cast is what makes the movie good. Sorry Gael.
  21. JoseG.
    Feb 18, 2005
    10
    Great film. A visual treat.
  22. judithj.
    Feb 13, 2005
    10
    First Almodovar movie I have ever liked. Really well done and Bernal is an amazing actor-actually everyone is really good including the pedophile priest. Don't miss seeing this one projected on the big screen.
  23. RP
    Jan 27, 2005
    10
    Best foreign film of 2004 in my book. Great performance by Bernal. Important commentary on Catholic Church.
  24. KenB.
    Jan 22, 2005
    3
    I came away from Bad Education somewhat peeved. First, while I enjoy plots that are somewhat convoluted, I felt that this film's plot was overcooked. As presented, the story seemed to be tricked up merely for the sake of trying to be clever. Second, eroticism certainly has its place in adult entertainment. But in this film, there is a sense that the director is again playing with his I came away from Bad Education somewhat peeved. First, while I enjoy plots that are somewhat convoluted, I felt that this film's plot was overcooked. As presented, the story seemed to be tricked up merely for the sake of trying to be clever. Second, eroticism certainly has its place in adult entertainment. But in this film, there is a sense that the director is again playing with his viewers. There is the promise of erotism but it is then denied. For example, one characted feints to strip naked for a swim. He pulls his jockey-shorts down to the top of his pubic hair, stops, and then jumps into the water wearing the shorts. We are not even allowed simple nudity. In the future, I think I'll watch the films of a more honest directors such as Catherine Breillat. Expand
  25. DanielB.
    Jan 17, 2005
    10
    In my opinion this movie is Almadover's best one and I think it beats any other of the like in Hollywood. That is, if they are ever able to make a movie like that.
  26. shufshuf
    Jan 4, 2005
    9
    Extremely well done on all levels. ultimately a very sad treatise on state of humanity - then & now.
  27. BarryR.
    Jan 2, 2005
    8
    Bad Education, written and directed by Pedro Almodovar, is a movie that deserves special notice and viewing. It is, in its component elements, a gripping and absorbing tale of clergy abuse and the effects it has on those who are the recipients of such conduct. I wonder, however, that if this was a movie without the credentials of Sr. Almodovar, it would receive the accolades and high Bad Education, written and directed by Pedro Almodovar, is a movie that deserves special notice and viewing. It is, in its component elements, a gripping and absorbing tale of clergy abuse and the effects it has on those who are the recipients of such conduct. I wonder, however, that if this was a movie without the credentials of Sr. Almodovar, it would receive the accolades and high scores that such notable periodicals such as the NY Times, the New Yorker, Rolling Stone, etc. have written about it. I call this the Ingmar Bergman syndrome when, with the background of work the director brings to each new venture, it is dangerous ground to be negative about it. This picture, for me at least, requires a second viewing so I can understand what happened, why and with whom. This is a movie within a movie with flashbacks, script backs and film backs, that make viewing it uncomfortable and certainly confusing. I recognize the talent and performances involved and for that it got an 8 in my book. But I must ask myself if I would have been as generous were the writer/director somebody not of Sr. Almodovar's ilk. Expand
  28. Kyle
    Dec 29, 2004
    8
    Classic noir gone gay, with a male "femme fatale". Entertaining.
  29. BillyB.
    Dec 24, 2004
    1
    Sordid and ugly. A film that fails on every level. Almo. has done gorgeous films. This one is almost colorless and blank. Instead of imagination, it has confusion. Instead of love, it has nihilism, destruction and hopelessness. A companion who is a big fan of Almo. said as we were leaving, "I feel as if I've been dragged behind a goat cart for two hours." That pretty well sums it up.
  30. ep
    Dec 12, 2004
    10
    One of Almodovar's darkest, saddest, most personal films yet. Highly recommended. But don't watch it expecting a campy romp that shows Gael Garcia Bernal in titillating drag. You'll get that, but you'll also get a lot, lot more.
  31. YlkaR.
    Dec 12, 2004
    10
    Marevellous film by Almodóvar in which the cast is completely perfect. Great score and fantastic cinematography. I hope it achieves a Golden Globe nomination.
  32. AmandaR.
    Dec 5, 2004
    10
    I think it's the best film I've seen this year. Simply excellent. Almodóvar deserves a new Oscar Award.
  33. AnthonyS.
    Dec 5, 2004
    10
    Almodóvar presents another excellent movie. If I liked 'All About My Mother' and 'Talk to Her', I loved 'Bad Education'. Gael García Bernal's best role since 'Amores Perros'!
  34. jpl
    Dec 1, 2004
    10
    Definitely the best movie I've seen this year! Almodovar's a freaking genius!!!!!
  35. ArnoldH.
    Nov 25, 2004
    10
    Absolutely sensational. Almodovar is on a roll. Rarely in film history has any director made three conscutive movies as rich as this director's three most recent works. Not to be missed. I can't wait to see it again to more fully appreciate its many layers of complexity.
  36. LauraD.
    Nov 21, 2004
    10
    A new Almodóvar's masterpiece!!!
  37. BrianS
    Nov 18, 2004
    10
    Loved it. Gael gives one of the best performances of the year in this film - a much more complex performance than his terrific, subdued one in MOTORCYCLE DIARIES.
Metascore
81

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 34
  2. Negative: 1 out of 34
  1. If only Bad Education engaged the heart as much as the head, Almodovar's fractured tale might have risen above its alienating noir conventions.
  2. Reviewed by: Phil Hall
    10
    Such garbage that taking a shower at the Bates Motel is a more appealing alternative.
  3. 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.