User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 44 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 44
  2. Negative: 6 out of 44
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  1. Apr 28, 2015
    10
    Very profound!!! Amaziiiiiiiing job, very Meaningful and with substance, unlike so many movies of today that are completely Dry and have nothing to give
  2. 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?
  3. Nov 25, 2013
    8
    It is hard to love film today. Most releases seem to have been written by management groups seeking to maximize profits with no attention to what used be called "art for art's sake." Today that expression almost is an anachronism, and so we have multiple comic book films, vampires, torture porn, issues surrounding virginity, serial killers, chainsaws and aliens--preferably all in one film.It is hard to love film today. Most releases seem to have been written by management groups seeking to maximize profits with no attention to what used be called "art for art's sake." Today that expression almost is an anachronism, and so we have multiple comic book films, vampires, torture porn, issues surrounding virginity, serial killers, chainsaws and aliens--preferably all in one film. This movie explores human emotions. It is not perfect but it tries and succeeds in profiling two people seeking to cope with all the stresses that individuals face--as well as life's unexpected joys. Some critics call it a maudlin tearjerker; I think they have just forgotten how enjoyable a film can be with no guns, car chases or sex. The male star in particular is charismatic and the female lead is right. Watching this film is a restorative experience in the ability of movies to convey the joys and crises with which men and women live their lives. Is it idealized and not politically correct? Absolutely. Is it compelling and enjoyable and skillfully made? Absolutely. Collapse
  4. MexicanG.
    Mar 8, 2009
    10
    Bella is one of a kind. A story that is not far from reality: a rushing city as NY, a real life latin family, an unwanted pregnancy... all from a positive point of view, one that all of us should adopt as a lifestyle. There is nothing irreversible, with real love anything can be overcome. A good message, great acting and an original story. Brave creators of a movie that contains a polemic Bella is one of a kind. A story that is not far from reality: a rushing city as NY, a real life latin family, an unwanted pregnancy... all from a positive point of view, one that all of us should adopt as a lifestyle. There is nothing irreversible, with real love anything can be overcome. A good message, great acting and an original story. Brave creators of a movie that contains a polemic theme. Definitely, a must-see! Expand
  5. Anonymous
    Jan 12, 2009
    10
    This movie is one of my all-time favorites. Tammy Blanchard delivered an Oscar-worthy performance as Nina, and the rest of the cast was excellent. The movie handled sensitive issues in a delicate and thought-provoking way. The characters were eminently believable and compelling, and the movie -- despite having a clear message -- steered clear of being preachy or tacky. The ending left me This movie is one of my all-time favorites. Tammy Blanchard delivered an Oscar-worthy performance as Nina, and the rest of the cast was excellent. The movie handled sensitive issues in a delicate and thought-provoking way. The characters were eminently believable and compelling, and the movie -- despite having a clear message -- steered clear of being preachy or tacky. The ending left me with tears running down my face. I want everyone to watch this movie. Expand
  6. 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!
  7. DavidJ.
    Jun 22, 2008
    3
    Nearly every scene was grossly overdramatic. I kept thinking "Oh C'mon" to both lead characters. Some reasonable acting by the minor characters cannot salvage this film that makes the main lead almost Christ-like, and the female lead suffocatingly dour. See Lord Jim for a more interesting exploration of the issues in this film.
  8. JohannaN
    May 18, 2008
    10
    Exquisite and beautiful. Artistically-filmed with a good soundtrack and great acting. One of the *best* movies I've seen in a long, long time. It's all about redemption. Guilt-ridden for taking the life of an innocent little girl in a tragic car accident, Jose is redeemed by saving the life of Nina's Bella. How does he save her life? Well, that's the story the movie Exquisite and beautiful. Artistically-filmed with a good soundtrack and great acting. One of the *best* movies I've seen in a long, long time. It's all about redemption. Guilt-ridden for taking the life of an innocent little girl in a tragic car accident, Jose is redeemed by saving the life of Nina's Bella. How does he save her life? Well, that's the story the movie tells. Other people get redeemed too -- Nina and Manny come to mind. This hopeful story is well-grounded in reality. People who feel the film is "inauthentic" must have incredibly sad and jaded lives. But for those who know that redemption is real, for those who have been able to forgive themselves and others for terrible deeds, for those who have been wallowing in a pit only to be raised out of it by the love of another, this movie speaks the truth. Expand
  9. JasB.
    May 13, 2008
    10
    This movie is awesome!
  10. 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. 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
  11. JayH.
    Apr 29, 2008
    6
    Pleasant film, very nicely acted, particularly Tammy Blanchard and in a small role Ali Landry. Well written but it can be slow moving at times. Worth watching.
  12. LeslieR.
    Apr 10, 2008
    4
    Cloyingly sentimental film. Too many dark brooding looks, pregnant (haha) pauses for effect, too saccharine by far. When it's recommended in catechism class, you can pretty much predict the plot.
  13. WendyH.
    Feb 16, 2008
    2
    I do not like the movie at all! I don't even like the name of the actual movie! Bella?! Come on!
  14. 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 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
  15. JoyceB
    Dec 15, 2007
    9
    I loved the characters, I wanted to meet them. The movies raised a lot of issues which make for interesting conversation.
  16. KasiaS.
    Dec 13, 2007
    10
    One of the best i have seen in very long time, in ages... true, down to earth , reality hits right to the heart, spiritual battle over live and death! very good photography, great script, over all don't miss on a blessing...
  17. ElmoG.
    Nov 28, 2007
    9
    A great family film, it has a positive message. I am amazed how much a small film tells a refreshing story about the value of family and life.
  18. TomW.
    Nov 16, 2007
    10
    awesome movie with a positive message about family and children. A rare movie that usually never makes it through to the viewer to value and appreciate.
  19. TonyC.
    Nov 9, 2007
    10
    I loved this movie! Had me from start to finish.
  20. 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 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
  21. JoeG
    Oct 29, 2007
    4
    A mediocre movie that will be praised by the Pro-Lifers as a "life changing film".
  22. LewisP.
    Oct 28, 2007
    3
    If you're a non-critical person who falls for tear-jerkers, then you might like this flick. But when you look at it objectively, you've got to realize that there's not much to it. The central plot device doesn't make sense. The main character ends up accidentally running over a child who darts in front of his car. We learn that he was an up and coming star soccer If you're a non-critical person who falls for tear-jerkers, then you might like this flick. But when you look at it objectively, you've got to realize that there's not much to it. The central plot device doesn't make sense. The main character ends up accidentally running over a child who darts in front of his car. We learn that he was an up and coming star soccer player and because of this tragic incident his career is ruined. We're told that he goes to jail for "involuntary manslaughter". If it was an accident, how could he have been charged with any crime at all? During the accident scene, it's not suggested in any way that the main character was impaired or negligent but nonetheless he's charged with a crime. It's this lack of attention to detail that tells us that the story doesn't ring true in the least. The tragic accident is glossed over as if it's a footnote and it's the central incident pushing the drama forward in the film. I usually feel that the NY Times Reviewers are too soft on movies in general. But this time they got it completely right. According to the Times critic, "If Expand
  23. TerryM
    Oct 26, 2007
    9
    A life changing film.
  24. TrishaS.
    Oct 26, 2007
    10
    Beautiful film with a powerful message. It is a must see.
  25. KatM
    Oct 24, 2007
    10
    A breath of fresh air to the movie watching world, Bella portrays the meaning of living and giving life.
  26. 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.
Metascore
47

Mixed or average reviews - based on 18 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 18
  2. Negative: 4 out of 18
  1. 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.
  2. Reviewed by: Julia Wallace
    40
    Manages to be utterly predictable without making any sense at all.
  3. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    50
    The melodrama and cheap theatrics of the story’s off-center segments drag the whole thing down.