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Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: An international soccer star is on his way to sign a multi-million dollar contract when a series of events unfold that brings his career to an abrupt end. A beautiful waitress, struggling to make it in New York City, discovers something about herself that she’s unprepared for. In one irreversible moment, their lives are turned upside down…until a simple gesture of kindness brings them both together, turning an ordinary day into an unforgettable experience. (Metanoia Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. 75
    The movie is a little more lightweight than the usual People's Choice Award winner at Toronto, but why not? It was the best-liked film at the 2006 festival, and I can understand that.
  2. A tearjerker that earns its sobs with heartfelt emotions.
  3. 67
    Bella is, indeed, a beautiful film. The bustling, cab-crowded thoroughfares of New York City have rarely looked as inviting and the coastline as momentously beachy as they do in this film.
  4. Reviewed by: Robert Koehler
    50
    Mexican-born helmer Alejandro Monteverde's debut will be remembered as a curious case of a mediocre film that wows crowds.
  5. In stories like this defiantly unsubtle, structurally clunky specimen, causes women who are considering abortion to think again, and self-selecting audiences to enjoy a light, luxurious weep.
  6. If Bella (the title doesn’t make sense until the last scene) is a mediocre cup of mush, the response to it suggests how desperate some people are for an urban fairy tale with a happy ending, no matter how ludicrous.
  7. A Mexican movie in which the outcome is never in doubt, the scenes are endless -- sorry, we meant poetic-- and the false beard on the central character's face looks as though it could use a little extra gum.

See all 18 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. Dec 9, 2013
    10
    Moving and charming. The acting by the two leads are top notch and totally believable. The ending is incredibly satisfying. What more can you ask of a movie? Expand
  2. ChrisR.
    Jan 15, 2008
    10
    This is one of the best movies of 2007. It acheives a level of naturalness and simplicity that few other movies I have seen are able to. The strength of the movie is the acting, which is exemplary. I didn't find it unrealistic in the least, everything which happens in this movie could happen every day. The main thrust of this movie is redemption, pure and simple. How each of us striving to be more loving and reaching out to each other inevitably heal our own hurts by doing so. The butterfly symbolism is touching, mystical and artistic, the music was exemplary, camera shots and angles were unique. My favorite scene is the one on the beach where Tammy Blanchard does some of the most convincing emotional acting I have seen on screen to date. A positive message for a jaded modern world. The only reason the critics bashed this movie was because of its message which they eskew to be religious or pro-life. It offers that message to be sure, but in a very subtle way. It handles the subject matter with heart and concern, its prime focus being the message of redeeming love, family and friendship. It takes both sides into account and is neither condescending or preachy in the least. Listen to the peoples choice on this one, pay no mind to the critics whom rate for political correctness and enjoy a beautiful movie! Expand
  3. JudiM.
    Oct 24, 2007
    10
    Amazing film with a beautiful story that will touch your heart...unless you are a cold-hearted liberal movie critic.
  4. AnnaLuisaR.
    Oct 27, 2008
    10
    Worth watching! Bella wonderfully depicts real human experiences in difficult situations. Most of the "funnest, entertaining" movies, by pop-America culture standards, feed people with useless messages, to say the least. This movie gives a rich message of how it feels to live and making good choices. Artistic. Real. Raw. Human. Simply beautiful! Everyone should watch this movie at least once! Expand
  5. TerryM
    Oct 26, 2007
    9
    A life changing film.
  6. ChadS.
    May 8, 2008
    5
    A dispute over change between a Chinese grocer and an Anglo-American customer results in "Crash"-like words. Was the bill that the customer handed over to the grocer, a ten, or a five spot? Nina(Tammy Blanchard) is next in line. The customer leaves. It's Nina's turn. "Korea"(what the customer calls the grocer) opens the till and sees that he erred. This is not a throwaway scene. Don't be distracted by the Unabomber-like beard that Jose(Eduardo Verastegui) sports, in repose, or in rapport with Nina. Don't be distracted by the overwrought emotions that ensues. While you weren't looking, this filmmaker remade "Crash" to his own specifications(from the point-of-view of a Latino). In Paul Haggis' "Crash", Ludacris doesn't stop. Jose stops. He stops and gives assistance to the injured. And he still winds up in prison for five years. Because of that scene at the Chinese grocer, the ethnicity of the second party becomes relevant. The victim, and the victim's mother, are Anglo-American. Draw your own conclusions as to the sort of prison sentence Tom might have received were he not from Mexico. "Bella" begins well. Manny(Manny Perez), a restaurant owner, incidentally, shares the same name as the protagonist in Stewart O'Nan's "Last Night at the Lobster". He runs a tight shift. His firing of Nina is justified. Her anger is justified, too(this is the first of three crashes). So far, so good. The walking tour of New York that Jose and Nina undertake is okay, as well. But when they reach their destination, "Bella" becomes hard to watch. The film is somewhat redeemed by its political subtext. Expand
  7. DavidM.
    Nov 6, 2007
    2
    I'm both a Christian and pro-life, so I would seem to be in the target audience for this movie. I agree with the sentiments of the filmmakers, so I realize that it's well-intended, but it's just bad as a movie. It's full of plot holes and leaves the thinking viewer with a lot of questions about why certain things are happening. Character development doesn't really happen. People just change inexplicably, leaving huge gaps as to WHY the changes occurred. A lot of people are going to like it for the good intentions, but it's very bad as art. If something is being made to glorify God, the author of the universe deserve much better creativity. Expand

See all 25 User Reviews

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