Metascore
51

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. 80
    Nicole Kidman -- continuing the string of remarkable performances that have followed "Eyes Wide Shut" -- finds plenty of fodder in the long-delayed Birthday Girl. A grimy thriller with a wicked streak of humor.
  2. 80
    It may not be particularly innovative, but the film's crisp, unaffected style and air of gentle longing make it unexpectedly rewarding.
  3. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    80
    Charmingly setting aside glamour for a turn at pure acting, Nicole Kidman zings up the already zingy script of Birthday Girl.
  4. It's a slight, old-fashioned B movie, the last thing you would expect from an actress coming off a breakout year, but it has a charm and freshness we don't see much these days.
  5. Black comedies are rare enough. Birthday Girl is a member of an even rarer species, the black romantic comedy.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    The actress may get an Oscar nomination for the wrong movie -- "Moulin Rouge" over "The Others" -- but it would be a double misfortune for audiences to overlook a performance that boosts its movie from moderate to memorable.
  7. Rare is the movie that arrives without fanfare -- that sneaks between the cracks, pops up relatively unheralded on the big screen, and takes the viewer by delighted surprise. Well, check the moon for blue because Birthday Girl is just such a picture.
  8. 70
    Keep your eye on Kidman, whose kinky, kittenish performance turns unexpected emotional corners that pull you up short.
  9. Butterworth guides us through the world of chaos and romantic confusion he's created as if it's the most natural place in the world. After a while, we actually believe it is.
  10. 67
    Still, it's worth checking out if only to see Kidman immolate everything else on screen through sheer sexy charisma. Tom who?
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    67
    If British writer-director Jez Butterworth had let his sophomore picture get as dirty as Kidman's game recklessness invited -- she started this before ''Moulin Rouge'' and ''The Others'' -- he would have served up a tasty piece of cake.
  12. The good news is that Kidman's the best thing in this rather subdued film: sexy, coy and even a bit funny. The bad news is that the movie itself is unlikely to register very long on anyone's radar.
  13. A paper-thin wish-fulfillment comedy about escaping small-town repressions and blasting conformity.
  14. 63
    Won't make you forget Kidman's better work, but it's not a film you long to excise from your memory.
  15. 63
    This bizarre, uneven comedy is notable mostly for the unsettling presence of Nicole Kidman in full, kinky, sex-kitten mode.
  16. 63
    The romantic comedy doesn't have much, but it has Kidman.
  17. The movie runs out of steam before its finish, but she (Kidman) doesn't.
  18. 60
    Kidman accomplishes a remarkable feat of transformation, adopting not only an accent, but a slightly seedy, faintly feral demeanor that almost makes you forget her icy good looks and fashion model's figure.
  19. 60
    Starts out as a first-rate chick movie and winds up a second-rate guy movie. But if this somehow proves to be a formula for the perfect date movie, then Kidman is even more brilliant than we thought.
  20. 50
    There is a curious problem with Birthday Girl, hard to put your finger on: The movie is kind of sour. It wants to be funny and a little nasty, it wants to surprise us and then console us, but what it mostly does is make us restless.
  21. 50
    Ultimately, Birthday Girl disintegrates into a fairly routine -- and brutal -- caper movie.
  22. Quickly devolves into a violent thriller that resolves itself in sadomasochistic romance.
  23. See it to be reminded (if you need further reminding) of this actress' remarkable range. Otherwise, take a pass.
  24. 40
    It's that sense of ardor that's missing from Ben Chaplin's performance in Birthday Girl.
  25. 40
    This breathless demi-noir has so much bounce that we barely get any time to mull over the gaping holes in its moth-eaten plot. It is competent but extremely slight.
  26. There's nothing wrong with beguiling star turns, but I wish this one had been surrounded by more of a movie. Birthday Girl is a harmless trifle that makes 93 minutes go by as if they were hardly more than an hour and a half.
  27. Uneven, not particularly inspired comic thriller.
  28. The film's Russians are all played by French and Australian actors. Too bad Butterworth didn't find a Russian to play the Brit. That would have made the inauthenticity complete.
  29. 30
    Kidman, who speaks Russian for much of the movie, turns in a technically impeccable performance, but the movie gets far more out of her than she out of it.
  30. Between bad hair and tonal irregularity, the movie doesn't give you much to like.
  31. 20
    The most subtly revolting aspect of the movie is how it manages to exploit violence for cheap thrills, in part by equating submission with love.
  32. It's just that this clunky, inane vehicle sputters barely a few feet down its quaint English highway before you want to bid it "do zvidániya, dumb-ass!"
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Jul 8, 2012
    7
    An alright movie that shows the acting abilities of Nicole Kidman and Vincent Cassel. As for the movie the first half of the movie is very good, but the second half is seems forced and rushed. the writing and direction are good, but nothing special. The movie is still enjoyable, but you can guess how it's going to end. 7.5/10. Full Review »
  2. JimmiH.
    Mar 25, 2006
    8
    I saw this film by chance - had never heard of it before. Why do great movies like this go unnoticed? It has a great story with several twists, none of which feel forced. Reminds me a bit of the Coen brothers. It seemed a bit weird to have superstar Kidman playing the mystery russian girl, but her performance is really convincing and she gets away with it. Full Review »