Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 78 Ratings

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  • Summary: Academy Award winner Javier Bardem plays a man on the wrong side of the law who struggles to provide for his children on the dangerous streets of Barcelona. The latest film from Academy Award nominee Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu, Biutiful won the award for Best Actor at the 2010 Cannes Film Festival and is sure to be one of the most talked-about films of the year.(Roadside Attractions) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 33
  2. Negative: 3 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Kirk Honeycutt
    Dec 30, 2010
    Biutiful has a strong, linear narrative drive. Nevertheless, and most of all, it's a gorgeous, melancholy tone poem about love, fatherhood and guilt.
  2. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jan 27, 2011
    It's Bardem's portrayal of his search for those answers that drives Biutiful forward.
  3. Reviewed by: Sean O'Connell
    Jan 28, 2011
    Biutiful soars to its highest points once it shifts its focus away from death to ask us how we are choosing to live our lives.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Feb 3, 2011
    The saving grace of Biutiful is Bardem.
  5. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Dec 29, 2010
    Sometimes it seems as if Iñárritu is literally carving out his actor's heart, so tangible does Bardem make Uxbal's fears. Iñárritu has so much that he wants to say - too much, in fact, and the film's central weakness - that he has created an emotional tsunami for both the actors and the audience.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jan 29, 2011
    Iñárritu does the actor no favors by putting him through the existential wringer every step of the way. Uxbal suffers for all our sins.
  7. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Dec 28, 2010
    Though its structure may be whittled down in comparison with the earlier works, Biutiful is even more morbidly obese than "Babel" in terms of soggy ideas, elephantine with miserabilist humanism and redemption jibber-jabber.

See all 33 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. Feb 12, 2012
    The film is painful there's no doubt about about that but Inarritu's genius is it's ability to captivate, to grab on and not let go and to make you feel every moment of pain desperation. The cast is flawless, and Bardem is without a doubt, the single greatest actor that Spain has produced . Expand
  2. Sep 12, 2011
    Bardem's performance is ABSOLUTELY haunting and that is more than enough to rate this 10. Another highlight: it shows a side of Barcelona most of the people who visit the city never thought of. Expand
  3. Apr 17, 2011
    Mexican director Alejandro González Iñárritu is known for his signature multi-protagonist plots introduced in his death trilogy, which included "Amores Perros," "21 Grams," and "Babel." In "Biutiful," however, he zooms in on one character, Uxbal, a single father from Barcelona, facing terminal cancer. Uxbal is a fascinating character with many good intentions that don't always translate into good deeds. While he truly cares for people (his brother even calls him the Dalai Lama), he actually makes a living from an operation where illegal Senegalese immigrants sell on the streets the counterfeited bags and pirated CDs produced in a sweatshop by a group of frightened Chinese who sleep on the floor of a locked basement.

    So yes, Uxbal is a complicated hero, not perfect by any means, but because of Bardem's earnest performance you feel Uxbal's pain, and he also wins you over with the love he so tenderly expresses for his soon-to-be fatherless children, and for the father he never met. And that's what the movie is truly about: parenthood, how people, no matter their nationality, are always concerned with giving their kids a better life. You'll find that most of the characters (from Uxbal, to the police officer, to the sweatshop owner, to the main Senegalese immigrant) are trying to do what's best for their kids. But are their choices moral or even legal? Morality is a big theme here, and the movie will leave you questioning even your own.

    To appreciate this film you need to understand Iñárritu's style--bold and bleak and confrontational. He wants to shock you, make you angry, remove you from your comfortable place so you can experience some of the realities millions of people face everyday. Allow him to. "Biutiful" is worth watching because of the many layers of the story, the stellar performances by Javier Bardem and Maricel Ã
  4. May 12, 2012
    Inarritu, in the last two films of his that I have seen, is clearly fascinated by two things: intercontinental relationships, and tragedy; though perhaps a bit too much so. Both films are in my opinion flawed pieces of work saved mainly because of their haunting images and strong performances. I actually prefer the more recent Biutiful over the Oscar nominated Babel because it seems to have a stronger center, or should I say itâ Collapse
  5. Nov 26, 2011
    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. Expand
  6. Feb 27, 2011
    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. Expand
  7. Jun 5, 2011
    Very very slow and monotone. If you want to feel depressed without a real purpose, try this movie. Visually not bad, overall, I see a missed opportunity. Expand

See all 20 User Reviews


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