Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 33
  2. Negative: 12 out of 33
Watch On
  1. 88
    Although it's in the same genre as "The English Patient," it's a vastly better movie --more surprising and original, more rigorous and sympathetic. This film is oddly shaped. It is also heartbreaking and exhilarating.
  2. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    The able cast brings these emotionally complex characters to life, while making Shawn Slovo's occasionally lyrical dialogue sound perfectly natural.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    The result is far from perfect, but to its many merits, add timing. You never get a movie with this kind of story in mid-August.
  4. It's beautifully shot on Cephallonian locations by superb landscape photographer John Toll.
  5. A handsomely staged and craftily constructed tearjerker.
  6. Ultimately, it's a surprisingly empty experience.
  7. Grand passion, secrecy, world politics and mortal danger provide a heady mix for this spectacularly beautiful movie. If only the accents were as reliable as the azure of the sea.
  8. 63
    Never reaches this level of devastating loss despite its tragedies, but it's not the dismal bomb that much of the British press claims.
  9. 60
    Good old-fashioned romantic entertainment, just restrained enough to skirt schmaltz.
  10. Handsomely weathered John Hurt, as Pelagia's father, gives a performance of such unhackneyed dignity that it provides a moral compass for the action and helps to keep the ricocheting emotional content of the film in balance.
  11. 50
    Strives for comprehensive coverage of its theme of forbidden love.
  12. 50
    In this film there is a scene where something is said in English pronounced with one accent, and a character asks, ''What did he say?'' and he is told -- in English pronounced with another accent.
  13. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    Doesn't so much strike a lot of sour notes as fail to strike the right ones.
  14. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    A movie that reduces history, as well as eros, to a postcard.
  15. The only aspect that emerges a winner is the gorgeous Mediterranean scenery.
  16. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Corelli is a coffee-table movie: one leafs through the gorgeous vistas and nods through the narrative.
  17. Partly a travelogue for the Greek islands, partly a simplistic love story, and generally a rehash of the Oscar-winning "Mediterraneo," as if we needed even the first one.
  18. No crime against the moviemaker's art, but it is flawed in a way we wouldn't expect from the director of "Shakespeare in Love."
  19. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Strikes too many false notes on the dramatic side to add up to a satisfying emotional experience.
  20. 40
    Neither a badly miscast Cage nor an oddly dispassionate Cruz remotely suggest the ardor of love's passion.
  21. 40
    Ms. Cruz...once again proves her inability to give a bad performance even under the worst of circumstances.
  22. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Every role is miscast. Whose idea was it to have the boyishly British Bale play an illiterate Greek peasant, or the elegant Hurt a gruff-voiced country doctor? Cruz’s run of bad luck in American movies continues.
  23. 30
    The moviemakers have eliminated the finer points of the novel in favor of broad strokes. Very broad strokes.
  24. Based on an interminable 1994 international bestseller by Louis de Bernières that I found impossible to make my way through. The movie duplicates exactly my experience with the book, although I must say I was thankful to be spared serial outbreaks of hearty Greek dancing.
  25. Given the polyglot nature of the cast, with actors from at least five countries taking their best shots at the English language, it's unclear why Cage felt he needed an accent or, stranger still, why it took him a reported seven months to come up with this one.
  26. 25
    We began this dismal movie season with one lethally bad World War II romance -- "Pearl Harbor" -- and now we're wrapping up with another howling dog.
  27. The real problem is not the maudlin script or Madden's travelogue touch. It's Cage as Corelli, a miscasting that turns the normally volatile, edgy performer into little more than a spokesman for the Olive Garden.
  28. I wish I'd brought a pair of peas to the screening. Then I could have taken in the glorious scenery without the dumb dialogue, which is delivered in a jangle of accents that makes a mockery of ethnicity.
  29. 20
    To be fair, it's not solely Cage's fault that his new film, Captain Corelli's Mandolin, is lousy -- director John Madden (Shakespeare in Love) deserves most of the heat for this listless dud.
  30. 20
    Sells ignorance as a refined evening's entertainment.
  31. As the movie methodically plods forward on a screenplay (by Shawn Slovo) consisting entirely of clichés and watered-down exposition, it becomes sadly apparent that its only reliable asset is the gorgeous view.
  32. 20
    A bungled screen version of Louis de Bernieres' cult novel, Captain Corelli's Mandolin was doomed from the moment Nicolas Cage was cast as the "life-devouring," Puccini-loving hero.
  33. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Probably the most horrifying stuff I've seen all week.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 13
  3. Negative: 6 out of 13
  1. EvaH.
    Jun 18, 2010
    Unreliable character sketches - in particular the PTSD case is far out. But beautiful views.
  2. hatems.
    Jul 9, 2007
    It's a very nice romantic story with some action and with a very great sound track especially the Pelagia Song.