Universal acclaim - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. 88
    Despite jumping through the deliberately disorienting hoops of its story, Eternal Sunshine has an emotional center, and that's what makes it work.
  2. 88
    This is unlike any other film I have seen... it's a great romance. It's willingness to flout conventions and eschew formulas is just one of many things to celebrate about this charmingly eccentric movie.
  3. Watching Eternal Sunshine, you don't just watch a love story -- you fall in love with what love really is.
  4. 100
    Audacious, thought-provoking and ruefully funny.
  5. 88
    Chases so many ideas that it threatens to spin out of control. But with our multiplexes stuffed with toxic Hollywood formula, it's a gift to find a ballsy movie that thinks it can do anything, and damn near does.
  6. A complicated story that demands your full attention; Mr. Gondry unfolds it at a mind-bending pace. This alone makes it a hugely refreshing respite from ordinary multiplex fare.
  7. One of those rare collaborations that artists dream of, and that film lovers crave.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    It is by turns comic, dark and surprisingly tender. If one must reduce it to simple description, call it a love story with a twist. Or a twisted love story.
  9. It's a trippy but tender examination of human emotions, relationships, all-consuming love.
  10. 100
    A thoughtful, audacious meditation on love and relationships that finds a group of wildly disparate talents clicking together in perfect unison.
  11. A Chayefsky movie isn't hard to identify, but I think it's safe to say that these days a Charlie Kaufman movie is even more recognizable.
  12. A delightful little wormhole that takes us on a journey to another dimension of consciousness.
  13. 90
    A surprisingly bittersweet love story at heart, Eternal Sunshine values the sum of experience, which in this case means a thorns-and-all openness to romantic possibilities.
  14. A masterpiece? Probably. Ingenious? Absolutely! Unforgettable? I'll see you at the 10th-year anniversary.
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    If films about coping with memory loss and/or reverse-order storytelling now constitute a mini-genre, then Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind is arguably the best of the lot.
  16. 91
    Adventuresome, melancholy and exhilarating.
  17. 90
    Ingenious, exhilarating, funny and profound.
  18. Not only (Kaufman's) most accessible and romantic screenplay, it's his most complete. The third act works like a charm and pulls all his themes, characters and conflicts together beautifully.
  19. Neither wholly cynical nor wholly romantic, Kaufman's story is a balance of smarts and sentiment. It's the most fully realized working out of his two favorite obsessions: the subjective nature of experience and the psychological mysteries of pair bonding.
  20. 90
    It's a baroque and intermittently brilliant brain twister so convoluted that it inevitably deposits the viewer in an alternate universe.
  21. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Kaufman may be counting on the audience's will, insistence and yearning to create a coherent love story from the shards and shrapnel he provides us.
  22. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    This is the best movie I've seen in a decade. For once it's no hyperbole to say, "Unforgettable!"
  23. Gondry's virtuosity lifts the film far past science fiction into cinematic efflorescence. He shows us, more seductively than other directors have done, how freehand use of film can capture the flashes in our minds that slip between words.
  24. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    A wildly imaginative, hugely entertaining tour de force that asks big questions about life and love and fate while never ceasing to fully engage the viewer.
  25. 100
    Feels like something entirely brand-new; such are the gifts of Kaufman and Gondry, inventors and magicians.
  26. A memory play and a sleight of hand, Eternal Sunshine is more than anything else deeply sincere. Like Spike Jonze, who directed "Adaptation" and "Being John Malkovich," Gondry succeeds principally by balancing Kaufman's churning skepticism with unflinching hope.
  27. Reviewed by: Mariko McDonald
    Fresh, heartfelt and ultimately heartbreaking in its honest portrayal of a modern relationship.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 688 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 25 out of 287
  1. AllisonL.
    Feb 9, 2008
    Perfect and TOUCHING. One of my most favorite movies ever. The message is incredible! Never gets old for me and something new is uncovered to me every time I watch it. The soundtrack is absolutely beautiful too! I've watched this probably 10 times, and I'll watch it the next time it comes on too. Full Review »
  2. TroelsJ
    Jan 21, 2009
    This is the perfect love movie. In every way it is perfect and clever. And I generally hate love movies, but twisting the genre into this is just a majestetic achievement. It's crazy, sad, beautiful, funny and full of love; what every love movie wants to be, but only "Eternal Sunshine Of The Spotless Mind" is. Full Review »
  3. JasonJ.
    Mar 3, 2008
    I had a chance to see this movie again in 2008 for only the second time. I saw it in the theater when it premiered 4 years earlier. What a piece of art! This movie goes deep into the heart of romantic love. It's not a love story, it's an internal examination of what love does to your mind. It's painful to watch at times because it dissects what most of us try to repress most of the time. But, if for just one moment, you allow yourself to "get into" this movie, you will have a deeper experience than you've ever had while viewing movie. Darwinian thought (as well as just about any religious thought) tells us that procreation is perhaps the most important of our human functions. Romantic love leads us in that venture and this movie delves into the most sensitive areas of that process. This film could have easily felt pseudointellectual had it not been for the way the film was shot. It looks like it was filmed inside someone's head - clausterphobic, impressionistic, etc. - all in the right balance. Full Review »