User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 73 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 67 out of 73
  2. Negative: 3 out of 73
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  1. FrankO.
    Jan 25, 2006
    10
    A great movie...seen it twice, once in theatre and once on television; enjoyed it just as much 2nd time, Ejiofor and Tautou were very good..kept my interest as to what was happening..good plot.
  2. ShivvahnaR.
    Apr 23, 2006
    9
    Great film that tackles the issues of illegal immagiants in a system that is used and abused by the corrupt. Beautiful performances which could have turned Sterotypical however became three dimensional characters through the wounderful direction of Frears. A classic in the making.
  3. AlanB.
    Mar 31, 2004
    9
    One of the ten best films of 2003. Chiwetel Ejiofor offers perhaps the best male performance of the year. A touching, sharply crafted story.
  4. SteveM.
    Aug 2, 2003
    10
    Refreshingly original. How many films accurately portray the tribulations of illegal immigrants who live outside the laws of the middle class? "If you live outside the law, you must be honest..." - Bob Dylan
  5. BrianM.
    Jul 29, 2003
    10
    Although only released in the US in July '03, I had the advantage of seeing this fine movie in the UK last year and thought at the time that it was the best British movie I'd seen all year. Although it's set in the world that tourists inhabit, the film avoids all the standard tourist haunts. You don't see Westminster Abbey or Big Ben or Buckingham Palace; instead you Although only released in the US in July '03, I had the advantage of seeing this fine movie in the UK last year and thought at the time that it was the best British movie I'd seen all year. Although it's set in the world that tourists inhabit, the film avoids all the standard tourist haunts. You don't see Westminster Abbey or Big Ben or Buckingham Palace; instead you see the dirty back streets and the invisible people that keep the tourist industry running. These are the people who hold down three jobs - even though they don't have a work permit - and who are ripped off for accommodation and the normal aspects of life that the rest of us take for granted. They are our underclass. Just as we don't need to know that worms moving underground assist the turning of the earth and help our garden plants to flower, so this underclass of illegal immigrants maintain an economy that brings many millions of dollars and euros into the British economy. Ejiofor is magnificent. He has a powerful screen presence and acts authoritively throughout the movie. His character's determination to do what is morally right is beautifully twisted at the end to become what is morally justifiable. And as an audience, we go along with it because our sympathy stays throughout with the heroes of this fine thriller. And thriller it is, despite the possible romantic sub-plot. It has a range of "baddies" from an exploitative employer-come-rapist, through unpleasant thugs of immigration officials, to a splendidly nasty hotel manager who has his finger in every possible scam. Go to this movie with an open mind. Don't expect to see the images you expect of England. Be prepared to learn to like and be carried along by people that we normally wouldn't want to know, because normally they're invisible. We get them to drive us around, carry our luggage, make up our beds. And sometimes, we may even expect them to give up more than we could ever know, just to have the freedom to live in a way that we take for granted. Expand
  6. JustSomeDood
    Aug 2, 2003
    9
    Never before have I wanted so much for two leads to hook up...an incredibly gifted ensemble (overall, quite the sexy cast, too) with Ejiofor as the break-out star. His acting is nothing short of magnificent. See this film if only to study his expressive face.
  7. RickJ.G.
    Aug 25, 2003
    10
    Hopefully, this will get a shot at some wider distribution in the coming weeks between the summer and holiday seasons. What the hell is anybody going to watch in theatres between now and the releases of the next Matrix and Lord of the Rings movies? That said, this was incredibly enjoyable film to watch, even though much of it is anything but pretty to see. It really hits you in the gut, Hopefully, this will get a shot at some wider distribution in the coming weeks between the summer and holiday seasons. What the hell is anybody going to watch in theatres between now and the releases of the next Matrix and Lord of the Rings movies? That said, this was incredibly enjoyable film to watch, even though much of it is anything but pretty to see. It really hits you in the gut, and you'll see what me if you see it. I was fascinated with all of the main characters, who happen to be a group of immigrants, both legal and illegal, who work in the underground and tourist economies in London. I really liked Ejiofor's performance, which is the best in the film, with Lopez running a close second. I was surprised to see Tautou pull off playing a Turkish immigrant, although I have no idea if her accent would be the least bit convincing to a Turk. This movie's portrayal of the underground economy of London should resonate with all Americans because, just like Britain, our country would cease to function without the labor of immigrants, both legal and illegal. I live in the tourist dependant city of Seattle. It would be almost impossible to get a cab in downtown, or the hotels wouldn't be staffed, or downtown office towers would never get cleaned, without immigrant laborers doing the work. This movie is definitely a must see, but it is not for the squeamish. Expand
  8. DennisW.
    Sep 6, 2003
    10
    I have never voted for a movie before. However, this movie is not only moving by its storyline...the acting, the casting...the directing are absolutely worth seeing. Oh, another thing, you definately do not want it to end...you want to know more. An excellent director told me one time that all the great performances (movie, stage, musical) will leave the audience wanting a little more. I have never voted for a movie before. However, this movie is not only moving by its storyline...the acting, the casting...the directing are absolutely worth seeing. Oh, another thing, you definately do not want it to end...you want to know more. An excellent director told me one time that all the great performances (movie, stage, musical) will leave the audience wanting a little more. This movie does exactly that! Expand
  9. MarcK.
    Sep 11, 2003
    9
    Wow! Quite a surprise. Ejiofor is magnificent, and I still have a crush on Audrey Tautou from Amelie. There might be better films in the US this year, but there won't be too many. Along with "Bend It Like Beckham", it seems all my favorite movies this year were released in Britain LAST year!
  10. SteveD.
    Sep 5, 2003
    9
    Fantastic movie & story. Great cast. Powerful acting. Worth seeing at least once...I'll watch it again on DVD. Very captivating experience. Steve
  11. BrianB.
    Sep 18, 2003
    9
    I loved this film! I have worked with refugees, and it captured the hope and frustation of their plight. The acting is supurb, and it has a great mixture of laughter and tears.
  12. TimW.
    Mar 29, 2004
    9
    Excellent film!!! Great performances and direction.
  13. AlanB.
    Mar 31, 2004
    9
    One of the ten best films of 2003. Chiwetel Ejiofor offers perhaps the best male performance of the year. A touching, sharply crafted story.
  14. LarryS.
    Apr 4, 2004
    10
    An excellent movie. The casting and acting is outstanding. Nice to see Tatou pull off an excellent performance that is so different from her role as Amelie.
  15. RobS.
    Feb 11, 2005
    10
    Amaziing cast that perfectly executed an Acadamy Award nominated screen play. This type of movie should be a blockbuster, period!
Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 31 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. 100
    The grandest and most vigorous movie he's (Frears) made in at least a decade. Like Okwe himself, it rises above its limitations, and it's just a little bit bigger than the landscape around it.
  2. 88
    It's a dark and revealing movie, and, while the ending may not be upbeat enough for those expecting mainstream fare, it offers a measure of hope and a catharsis.
  3. 100
    This is a film that insinuates itself deeply into our awareness. It's that rare pulp story with something on its mind, an unnerving, socially conscious thriller with a killer sense of narrative drive.