Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 28 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Goya’s Ghosts is a sweeping historical epic told through the eyes of celebrated Spanish painter Francisco Goya. Set against the backdrop of political turmoil at the end of the Spanish Inquisition and start of the invasion of Spain by Napoleon’s army, the film captures the essence of beauty of Goya’s work which is best known for both the colorful depictions of the royal court and its people, and his grim depictions of the brutality of war and life in 18th century Spain. Brother Lorenzo, an enigmatic, cunning member of the Inquisition’s inner circle who becomes infatuated with Goya’s teenage muse, Ines when she is falsely accused of heresy and sent to prison. (Samuel Goldwyn Films) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25
  1. 75
    Goya's Ghosts is like the sketchbook Goya might have made with a camera.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Ghosts is one of Forman's most ambitious and daring films; would that all of its ambitions were fulfilled.
  3. Though not nearly as perfect as Amadeus and The People vs. Larry Flynt (to cite two of Forman's previous semibiographical efforts), Goya's Ghosts uses the lives of artists and historical figures to show us the best and the worst of our human impulses.
  4. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    An unwieldy mix of political satire and lavish period soap opera.
  5. 50
    The film's seriousness of intent is unimpeachable – Forman and Carriere see disturbing echoes of the modern world in 18th-century Spain -- but the execution borders on farce.
  6. The biggest tragedy about Milos Forman's foray into the life and times of Spanish artist Francisco De Goya is the waste of so much great raw material.
  7. In a season of digital bombast, it can be a relief to walk into a stodgy life-of-the-great-man costume drama. Goya's Ghosts, before it turns into a messy, horse-drawn load, achieves a civilized stuffiness that gives off its own mild pleasure.

See all 25 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. AdamM.
    Dec 18, 2007
    Very good film! It's really great, I remember it still, and I cannot forget about it.
  2. Daniel
    Sep 8, 2007
    One of the most underrated movies so far this year.. This is Forman at his best. Wonderful cinematography, superb acting. A must seen.
  3. TonyTony
    Oct 24, 2008
    Superb acting From Skarsgard and Bardem. Some of the best so far from Portman. A very nice period piece.
  4. SteveT.
    Oct 31, 2007
    The film doesn't deserve some of the negative reviews. The production design and sound design are Oscar-worthy, and Randy Quaid is delightful as the King. Expand
  5. Jul 30, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. A beautiful, unusual film. The real protagonist is the world around Goya, represented in a masterly way. Some characters are anachronistic, but the message is strong: fanaticism exists also behind great ideals. Behind "Libertè, égalitè, fraternitè" are mere men, not so different than their enemies. There are two scenes I liked particularly: one when the hen raise its head after the cannon shot. It's a brilliant idea, I think. And another when three bloody scenes are shown while the narrator says"Libertè, égalitè, fraternitè", to communicate the message I told before. The plot itself is nothing special: Goya is mainly an observer, Ines is always a victim. Lorenzo represents fanaticism and hypocrisy: although he seems a new good man, he doesn't help Ines, in a worse way than how he didn't help her before. Not simply by inaction as before: this communicates that the new man is perhaps worse than before, and strengthens the conviction that people can't change, but only get worse. The plot may seem inconsistent, but it's actually very important: representing the history wouldn't be enough without someone close to the observer. It would be like explaining something without an example. A inattentive observer could look at the mere plot and consider this a bad-done film. But behind a simple plot there's an important message that makes you reflect. Expand
  6. Apr 5, 2012
    A pretty decent film! Not without flaws, but I have had a great time watching this movie! Perhaps, what doesn't help for people to enjoy it as much as they could is reading too many negative reviews. Personally, I don't think this film was particularly messy, but I do think some people are just unable to follow movies which plot is a bit more complex than the average..(sorry the honesty). Well done!...could have been better, but it was well done! Moreover, this film gives you a different perspective of both Napoleon Invasion and the Spanish Inquisition...which one do you think Spaniards thought was worse? (not only what they thought back then, but what they think about those days in present times? This movie, subtlely, brings this question to the surface, although I believe it was always there...) not an easy answer, I bet! Watch the movie and you will understand what I mean! Expand
  7. Jul 5, 2013
    Oh no...not what I expected from Forman. This film was DULL. The acting was good, but there is so much an actor can do when the character they are given to play is not developed properly the characters were more like caricatures, very 2D. You really could not fell for any of them! No feelings of empathy for the tortured innocent, no sense of anger for the evil egomaniac who always gets away with it. Nothing. The only "feeling" you get from this film is from it's ending it's the felling of relief that the film is finally over Expand

See all 11 User Reviews