User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 87 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 70 out of 87
  2. Negative: 10 out of 87
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  1. Jan 30, 2011
    5
    How can talents such as Iñarritu and Del Toro plus Bardem's breathtaking performance amount to such a painful experience for the viewer. Someone described this as 3 bad movies in 1. I cannot say that much, yet I strongly urge Iñarritu to reflect on what grasped us in Amores Perros or even Babel and make movies for us, not only for his viewing pleasure. BringHow can talents such as Iñarritu and Del Toro plus Bardem's breathtaking performance amount to such a painful experience for the viewer. Someone described this as 3 bad movies in 1. I cannot say that much, yet I strongly urge Iñarritu to reflect on what grasped us in Amores Perros or even Babel and make movies for us, not only for his viewing pleasure. Bring on the magic! @cinemaquote Expand
  2. Feb 20, 2011
    4
    I greatly admired Bardem's performance, which is well deserving of an Oscar. Unfortunately, the movie was so dark and unpleasant, that I was really uncomfortable sitting through it. Despite Bardem's performance, I could not get myself to like his character. Nor were any of the other major characters likable. Without finding a character I could identify with, I cannot give the film aI greatly admired Bardem's performance, which is well deserving of an Oscar. Unfortunately, the movie was so dark and unpleasant, that I was really uncomfortable sitting through it. Despite Bardem's performance, I could not get myself to like his character. Nor were any of the other major characters likable. Without finding a character I could identify with, I cannot give the film a positive score. Expand
  3. Feb 27, 2011
    5
    The latest from director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu ("Babel") is bleak and tragic. Javier Bardem plays a man in the mean streets of Barcelona who hustles to make money, struggles with his family and deals with his failing health. There's nothing warm or joyful here. Just hard times and dark drama. It's well-made, complex and distressing, but lacking the emotional power to make it involving.
  4. May 2, 2011
    4
    So disappointing. Great acting, great cinematography but it lacks a decent story. I could only watch half and give up. I noticed from the reviews that this was the first film by Alejandro which did not the screenwriter Guillermo Arriaga and it shows. Its like a sequel to a charlie kaufman movie , but without kaufman.
  5. Mar 17, 2011
    6
    This review contains spoilers. The first time you see somebody peeing blood, that's cause for moviegoer sympathy. A second time, however, well, that's just showing off. Outside of Lars Von Trier's "Antichrist", it's not every movie which dares to feature graphic, and in this case, gratuitous urination. (Willem Dafoe pisses blood just once.) Since "Biutiful" is, ultimately, a horror movie in two senses, it's interesting how this visceral grotesquerie corresponds to the non-genre side of the categorical divide. Not only does Uxbal(Javier Bardem) piss a weak arcing stream of dark brown liquid, he also pisses in his pants. Cancer's effects has left him incontinent. Very soon, the low-level criminal will be needing to wear extra-protection. Needless to say, the filmmaker shows Bardem in a diaper, because that's how miserabilists like him roll. The filmmaker challenges Bardem to find the dignity in his indignity. The filmmaker makes sure that his audience feels something for this dying man, leaving no stone unturned for this father of two children, a boy and a girl, whom he exploits unmercifully as a point of manipulation for the movie's life and death matters. He banks on the great reservoirs of feelings that most moviegoers possess for the death-affected young. To the miserabilist, an emotion like joy can only be applied fleetingly and ironically, as a temporal reprieve from a permeated mis-en-scene of unremitting fatalism, the film's prevailing diegetic expression, thus when resumed, right about the time Ana blows out her celebratory candle, will turn out to be all the more devastating, this resignation of hope, just like how the filmmaker planned it. He wants to take all the wind out of our sails. He knows, and we know, that Ana's eleventh birthday is going to be her last happy one for awhile. Because the fix is in, where nothing positive can arise from these tragic circumstances, due to the filmmaker's aesthetics, Marambra(Marciel Alvarez), Uxbel's ex-wife, we know, will continue to struggle with her bipolar condition, even though Uxbel is counting on her to be a full-time mother. From the very start, we know she's out of the running for full custody of Ana and Pedro. For the most part, the filmmaker sets her up to be a misfit parent. The screenplay never allows for a scene where Uxbel informs this cocaine-addled woman about his disease. Oblivious to Uxbel's bloody pee, Marambara isn't given a fair shake in the redemption department. If she knew the whole story, maybe the bad mother would have the impetus to change. While his condition gets worse and worse, the film invites you to hate Marambra, who is predisposed towards inter-family infidelities and child abuse, dealbreakers both, but entirely avoidable had full disclosure been practiced. With nowhere else to turn, the de factor orphans are entrusted to an almost complete stranger. In the tradition of noble, self-sacrificing black women, Ige(Diaryatu Daff), a Senegalese woman whom Uxbel knows only by association, is supposed to jump at the chance to look after a white man's children, but she subverts this cliched attitude toward non-white females(which has the effect of complimenting the one-man United Nations for his colorblindness) by returning to Africa with the money originally allocated for her charges' welfare. Is it the filmmaker's intentions to associate Ige with the story that Tito tells Uxbel about the supposedly loyal tiger who bites the face of its trusting owner. Is "Biutiful" that unfair? Because Uxbel is such a nice guy, we lose sight of the fact that he's a profiteer, complicit to the exploitation which leads to the sweatshop gassing and the sidewalk vendors(Ige's husband included) being deported back home. In reality, Ige owes him nothing. Last seen at the airport, for a split second, we think that Ige had changed her mind, but the voice we hear back at the dark apartment is of Uxbel's own making. For a split second, we think Uxbel will die with peace of mind, knowing that his children will be taken care of. But alas, a relatively happy ending is not in the filmmaker's vocabulary. Uxbel dies with his children's welfare unresolved. As aforementioned, "Biutiful" is a horror movie. Not in the genre sense where Uxbel has the sixth sense and can see dead people, but rather it's the horror of watching a man die slow and hard. Collapse
  6. Nov 26, 2011
    6
    It was ok. It was a bit too long and made the film seem drawn out at times. The acting was good and Javier Bardem was amazing in this film and honestly is the only reason to watch it. The story isnt all that interesting and to be honest its rather confusing at times. Its a shame because this film had a ton of potential.
  7. Oct 18, 2013
    6
    I can give you 6 only for Javier Bardem. The other part of film and charecters are terrifed. Scenes and cameras are very bad to get something. Sometimes you can catch the wrong things and logical errors basicly with camera... Like I said Javier Bardem was the film's point here, this point is not for film...
Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Rick Groen
    Feb 11, 2011
    75
    In this vast balloon of a film, Bardem is the ballast – that Manichean face is a movie onto itself.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Feb 4, 2011
    50
    It is raw, it is searing, it is honest.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Feb 3, 2011
    63
    The saving grace of Biutiful is Bardem.