Goya's Ghosts


Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 25
  2. Negative: 3 out of 25

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Critic Reviews

  1. Lavish production and wardrobe design, as well as beautiful cinematography by Javier Aguirresarobe make Goya's Ghosts lovely to look at, but as a portrait of the artist, the movie is a letdown.
  2. Below-the-line credits are terrific, which only increases an overwhelming sense of disappointment with the film's failed ambitions.
  3. 58
    The film is mostly forced and heavyhanded. Forman first thought of using Goya to tell a story about the Inquisition several decades ago. Yet this movie appears to be as much about American behavior post-Sept. 11 as it is about 18th-century Spain or the Communist Czechoslovakia of Forman's youth.
  4. 50
    The movie is uneven in the extreme, to the extent that it feels like two imperfectly wed pictures. The first, while not extraordinary, at least contains some interesting ideas. The second borders on embarrassing: an overblown melodrama complete with coincidence building upon coincidence and plot threads that are left unresolved.
  5. The film takes as many plot-twists as "Pirates of the Caribbean"; distinctly Goya in its emphasis on the grotesque, it shows none of the Spaniard's artistic economy.
  6. 50
    The whole thing is handsomely mounted, with plenty of Goya paintings and supposed observations about the ironies of history and the cyclical nature of life, etc. Forman's always been a huckster, but I never thought I'd see him waste this many good actors on a movie this bad.
  7. 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.
  8. An unwieldy mix of political satire and lavish period soap opera.
  9. 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.
  10. 50
    Whatever the faults of Goya's Ghosts -- and there are several -- you've got to hand it to director Milos Forman: It takes real chutzpah to cast Randy Quaid as the king of Spain.
  11. Though much blood is shed, the film is bloodless.
  12. 42
    If Forman is trying to communicate that art isn't an effective way to change American society, he's proved his point neatly with this muddled, wandering dud.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 1 out of 11
  1. Jul 30, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link 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. Full Review »
  2. 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 theyOh 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 Full Review »
  3. 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 asA 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! Full Review »