Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 27
  2. Negative: 7 out of 27
  1. 80
    On paper the story may seem hopelessly contrived -- another nostalgia piece for art-house liberals -- but on-screen it's presented in purely emotional terms, which allows Duigan and his excellent leads to inhabit and ultimately transcend the period.
  2. 75
    Charlize Theron is one of the few actresses equal to the role, bringing to it beauty, steel-edged repose, and mystery.
  3. The lavish drama spans England, France, and Spain (shot mostly in Montreal), and Duigan elegantly paints a moving romance of errors amid torture, bloodshed, and terrible tragedy.
  4. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    50
    A lively, plush but unconvincing potboiler cobbled from familiar pieces of better films (and TV miniseries).
  5. Lacks freshness and vitality.
  6. Charlize Theron's Gilda in Head in the Clouds invites comparison to Rita Hayworth in 1946's "Gilda," which adds a touch of the ludicrous to this already strained material set in wartime France.
  7. 50
    An overlong melodrama-by-numbers.
  8. 50
    It's fun, but it isn't believable for a minute.
  9. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    50
    A glossy, stiff melodrama.
  10. Townsend seemed to me ill-matched as a romantic hero: way too moony-eyed and mushy to cope with the likes of the towering Theron and torchy Cruz.
  11. Catastrophically overdone.
  12. 50
    You might not think it would be easy to make a dull film about love, war and a bisexual threesome, but Head in the Clouds manages this task efficiently.
  13. An exceedingly dull retro-weepie.
  14. 42
    Armed with a cliche-ridden script and a gaggle of unconvincing performers, the result comes off more like an Ernest Hemingway letter to the Penthouse Forum than a revival of Hollywood magic.
  15. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    40
    A paint-by-numbers old-fashioned romantic epic, Head in the Clouds is neither romantic nor epic, but it does succeed at old-fashioned.
  16. The film is a stodgy snooze, and Theron, who is about as expressive here as a porcelain doll, lacks all believability--she's followed her best performance (in Monster) with her worst.
  17. 40
    The film feels more at home with sex than war, like a romance novel where the swinging lovers find their passions stirred by bombs exploding in the distance. Their three-way dalliances are so frivolous and silly that once the action turns dark, Duigan and his cast leave audiences unprepared for the emotional fallout.
  18. This pulpy, sex-drenched wartime epic seems frivolous, quaint and foolishly prurient.
  19. Reviewed by: Teresa Wiltz
    40
    The plot contrivances are telegraphed too loudly; the emotional manipulation too obvious.
  20. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    38
    The story is a vapid "Casablanca"-lite.
  21. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    38
    If you're up for a relentlessly overripe melodrama that takes place in movie-Europe as opposed to the real thing (the Parisian streetwalkers in berets are a good tip-off), by all means catch Head in the Clouds.
  22. Stuart Townsend, Theron's reallife boyfriend, may have inner fires as an actor that have yet to be revealed, but in Head in the Clouds he's a somber puppy who looks as if Theron could eat him alive. I wish she had.
  23. 30
    There's never a dull moment and seldom one that isn't sublimely ridiculous.
  24. Duigan has the makings of a good yarn, but instead of trusting the story and his characters, he becomes fatally bogged down in trying to make statements.
  25. A snooze, despite all the sex and other gunplay.
  26. 25
    This spark-free film has no place to go on their resumes except under the heading of "Cringing Embarrassment."
User Score
9.0

Universal acclaim- based on 20 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. StephenM.
    Oct 8, 2007
    10
    Theron's character is a terrific anti-hero who pursues the pleasure principle throughout life with single-minded determination--arguably Theron's character is a terrific anti-hero who pursues the pleasure principle throughout life with single-minded determination--arguably an uncondemnable thing. Unfortunately for her, that quest for pleasure has her traipsing around war-torn France with her "head in the clouds," largely oblivious to the life-threatening environment in which she resides while on her quest for erotic pleasure. All anti-heros must eventually depart the incompatible society in which they live and they must do so either by dying or otherwise escaping that society. In this case, France's post-war society is vengeful, misguided, judgmental, and unforgiving. Her death is a great tragedy. Quilt by association has always been difficult, if not impossible, for society justify and her case is no exception. Arguably, she does not deserve to suffer her fate. The story could have been written to avoid tragedy and have a happy ending if she had been wise enough to flee France for America, where free spirits can grow and flourish, but she didn't because her head was in the clouds and that flaw didn't serve her best interests. The film's critics never mention any of this and that leaves me wondering if they truly understood (let alone appreciate) her character and the story of a great, arguably blameless, anti-hero. Full Review »
  2. BubbaJ.
    Dec 31, 2006
    9
    Epic saga of love and war and the culminating in the occupation and liberation of Paris.
  3. EricS.
    Aug 21, 2006
    10
    Profoundly moving and disturbing movie. Theron superb as femme fatale. Excellent acting all around. Drama intense.