Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. Originally a two-part film running about three hours, this treacle has been reduced by almost a third, though it still seems to run on forever -- a bit like life but much less interesting.
  2. 88
    Anyone who loves movies is likely to love Cinema Paradiso.
  3. 50
    A few moments of sly inspiration are not enough to carry an entire feature; along with the tears, it leaves behind an aftertaste of phoniness. [16 March 1990, Friday, p.H]
  4. Reviewed by: Patrick Peters
    Dec 9, 2013
    Every bit as enchanting as you remember. Molto, molto bene.
  5. Reviewed by: John Hartl
    A sweet, funny exercise in nostalgia, though it's also self-congratulatory and awfully calculating.
  6. It's a shining valentine to the movies--full of homages, collages and swooningly romantic Ennio Morricone music--and it gets right at the messy, impure, wondrous way they capture and enrapture us. [16 February 1990, Calendar, p.F-1]
  7. Reviewed by: David Mermelstein
    Unapologetically sentimental, this movie is certain to melt all but the hardest of hearts.
  8. 100
    This film is sometimes funny, sometimes joyful, and sometimes poignant, but it's always warm, wonderful, and satisfying. Cinema Paradiso affects us on many levels, but its strongest connection is with our memories.
  9. You leave Cinema Paradiso with that feeling that's kind of like getting kicked in the stomach, but nice. It's one of those breathless, swept-away-by-a-movie experiences that you might have once a year, if you're lucky. [16 February 1990, Daily Notebook, p.E-1]
  10. Cinema Paradiso converts you to the credo that art can indeed be holy.
  11. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Dec 12, 2013
    If ever a movie came from the heart, it was Giuseppe Tornatore's nostalgic Cinema Paradiso (1988) now getting a rerelease to celebrate its silver jubilee.
  12. Tornatore has learned much from Fellini--especially in the long shots where someone suddenly appears close up. Let's hope he moves on to his own style. Meanwhile, he has given us a nice bask in Sicilian warmth. [Feb. 19, 1990]
  13. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Dec 12, 2013
    Tornatore may have hit a sticky wicket with his subsequent work, but he knew what he was doing here: warning us about the irrational lure of the filmed past, which is to say cinema itself, then ushering us grandly to our seats.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Remain open to fantasies but not be consumed by them. These are good lessons for a would-be director. They are good lessons for everybody. And no recent movie has taught them with more patient sweetness. [Feb. 5, 1990]
  15. Reviewed by: Jessica Mellor
    Dec 9, 2013
    A 25th anniversary restoration of Giuseppe Tornatore’s ode to moving pictures and puppy love.
  16. Reviewed by: Staff (not credited)
    They don't make movies like they used to, and this Oscar-winning Italian-French co-production spends the better part of three hours proving it.
  17. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Lovely “memory'' film. [2 March 1990, Life, p.4D]
  18. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Tornatore is an able storyteller who knows the value of cute kids and easy emotion.
  19. 90
    There are films as lovely, but none lovelier.
  20. Just about everything you ever loved (or hated) about Italian films can be found.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Apr 5, 2012
    A beautiful movie! That is the word: Beautiful. Great storyline, performances, photography! WOW! At times, however, the pace is slow, but even then it makes sense! Just perfect! Ennio Morricone's music deserves special mention!. Cinema Paradiso is classic! One of my top 10 favourite movies!...and I have it here at home in my collection! A MASTERPIECE...back then, and now! yes, it certainly is and will always be! Full Review »
  2. Jan 28, 2014
    One of the greatest films of all time, Cinema Paradiso (taken to new heights with Ennio Morricone's beautiful soundtrack) is as much a film about nostalgia as it is about the sheer love of the cinema. Full Review »
  3. Jan 4, 2014
    Uma das mais belas declarações de amor ao cinema, isso Cinema Paradiso.......................................................................................... Full Review »