Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Mixed or average reviews- based on 27 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Is your soul weighing you down? Paul Giamatti has found a solution! In the surreal comedy Cold Souls, Paul Giamatti plays an actor named... Paul Giamatti. Stumbling upon an article in The New Yorker about a high-tech company that extracts, deep-freezes and stores people's souls, Paul very well might have found the key to happiness for which he's been searching. But, complications arise when he is the unfortunate victim of "soul-trafficking." Giamatti's journey takes him all the way to Russia in hopes of retrieving his stolen soul from an ambitious but talentless soap-opera actress. Balancing a tightrope between deadpan humor & pathos, and reality & fantasy, Cold Souls is a true soul searching comedy. (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. Reviewed by: Whitney Borup
    I love love love love loved Cold Souls. That might be because I love love love Paul Giamatti.
  2. 88
    Paul Giamatti - that huddle of broiling instincts, out-of-control impulses and aggravated ardor epitomized in "Sideways" - you feel his soul's absence as dearly as its presence.
  3. 75
    You'll laugh till it hurts at Cold Souls.
  4. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    An amusing slice of existential whimsy with an Eastern European bent, Cold Souls posits a world in which humans can have their souls extracted and implanted in each others’ bodies.
  5. Reviewed by: Anthony Kaufman
    It may be only in the film's last ambiguous, evocative image that Barthes and Parekh finally transcend the material and arrive at something beautiful and ineffable.
  6. The movie still works as a clever little "Twilight Zone" episode with great production values, and it's an impressively ambitious debut for Barthes.
  7. Paul Giamatti plays himself in a dark indie comedy that's distinguished by a sci-fi theme and surrealistic touches but ends without a payoff.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 12
  2. Negative: 2 out of 12
  1. pats123
    Aug 16, 2009
    Best movie I've seen all year. And I've seen tons... Strong performances, smart, very funny.
  2. ArnoldP
    Aug 9, 2009
    Intelligent, funny, wildly original piece of entertainment anchored by a rip roaring masterful performance Paul Giamatti.
  3. AlissaA
    Aug 16, 2009
    Beautiful movie! Paul Giamatti is totally amazing. It's funny and sad at the same time. And very soulful.
  4. Sep 28, 2010
    Charles Kaufman's Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind is perhaps one of the most cerebral and innovative films of the last decade, winning best screenplay back in 2005. It is no wonder that this film has influenced other works in cinema. However, although most movies are not too original, Sophie Barthes's debut film resembles Kaufman's work way too closely to Eternal Sunshine and Being John Malcovich, which was also crafted by Kaufman.

    In this Dark Indie-Comedrama, Paul Giamatti plays Paul Giamatti (Being John Malcovich anyone?), and is in midst of practicing for the play Uncle Vanya. Giamatti embraces the depressed character of the play so much, that he himself finds himself with a dark shadow over his head. To rid of his depression, he goes to a specialized company to extract his soul (replace "soul" with "memories" and you have Eternal Sunshine). After negative side effects of being apathetic and being unable to act, Giamatti finds his soul stolen and misplaced. He then searches for his soul with a Russian mule (Dina Korzun) who stole his soul in the first place.

    Cold Souls in all actuality is a good film, the premise is actually quite intriguing with its traces of science fiction and comedy. In addition to Giamatti's usual phenomenal acting, as he portrays multiple states having different souls. But its similarity to Kaufman's is way too close. It's basically watching the same film that Jim Carrey and Kate Winslet already made into a classic. So overall, Cold Souls is a good movie, but there's a better version that has already been made.
  5. JohnnyDrake
    Sep 20, 2009
    This is normally my kind of movie, but i found Cold Souls to be neither funny nor intriguing. Basically a rehash of the expected other flicks without the inventiveness or surprises. I found myself thinking the next lines a second before they were spoken pretty consistently throughout the film. Good acting, though. Expand
  6. DeniseT
    Aug 11, 2009
    A movie about soul that is without dept or much emotional honesty. It is clearly derivative of Kaufman film but without the wit and simultaneous delve into what it means to be human. Cold Souls in not funny though it tries to be clever. It's one overly long gimmick that never becomes anything greater than that. All rather soulless." Expand
  7. VicVic
    Sep 26, 2009
    Whoa... weird, boring, slow...I am shocked by everyone's comments. I really liked him in American Splendor and thought this would be good considering the caliber of other actors. I thought about walking out, my wife was playing games on her iPhone and I was so jealous. Horrible... perhaps the top 5 worst movies I have ever seen. 'Bug' with Ashley Judd was worse. Not funny, a colossal waste of time and money. Our theater was a National Historic Bldg, so our $18 was a 'donation'. Collapse

See all 12 User Reviews