User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 27 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 27
  2. Negative: 4 out of 27
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  1. Aug 25, 2013
    It's without doubt one of the best films ever made!! I wasn't expecting Johnny Depp to play this role and I am impressed that he played so good. I have no words for Javier Bardem.......he was perfect!!
  2. Aug 26, 2010
    Aside from a few fleeting moments of cinematic brilliance and some key performances, Julian Schnabel's biopic of homosexual Cuban writer Reinaldo Arenas falls flat on its face. Guest spots by Sean Penn and Johnny Depp are hilarious, though.
  3. Diana
    Mar 11, 2005
    The movie's style reflects Arenas' work well, and incorporates his poetry and fiction into some of the major biographical aspects. please watch the original with subtitles; it is so much better. and let it prompt you to read some arenas!
  4. NedD.
    Sep 14, 2001
    Bardem is amazing, but that's all to recommend it. Julian Schnabel wastes yet another opportunity in depicting an artist on film (the first was "Basquiat"). Disjointed and uninvolving, and I never seemed to learn anything about the man or his writing. He was Cuban, he was gay, he escaped, he died. That is "Before Night Falls" in a nutshell.
  5. MarlonG.
    Jul 18, 2001
    Impresive. Bardem is just amazing.
  6. AnthonyZ.
    May 24, 2001
    Rich and talented storytelling with graceful, subtle profundity.
  7. JonC.
    May 22, 2001
    Best film released last year. Embrace it. Enjoy it. Love it.
  8. DesiM.
    Mar 23, 2001
    Engrossing, beautifully photographed, hilarious, painful, joyous, tragic, triumphant. If you have ANY interest in this film's subject matter, do NOT miss it, period.
  9. BlancoA.
    Mar 9, 2001
    Just see it. It will be a travesty when Javier Bardem is passed over for the Academy Award (unless, of course, Ed Harris wins for "Pollack"). This film is beautiful, hopeful, and inspirational. I'll be first in line to see Bardem's next film.

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 25 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. 80
    It's such a sensory experience; in its best moments, the film washes over you like a fever dream.
  2. A thoughtful, bittersweet film biography of the Cuban writer that captures both his irrepressible spirit and his sometimes overwhelming melancholy.
  3. 88
    There is a little something of the spoiled masochist about Arenas. One would not say he seeks misery, but he wears it like a badge of honor, and we can see his mistakes approaching before he does. This is not a weakness in the film but one of its intriguing strengths