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. 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.
  5. 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.
  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. Catastrophically overdone.
  9. Reviewed by: Walter Addiego
    A glossy, stiff melodrama.
  10. 50
    It's fun, but it isn't believable for a minute.
  11. Lacks freshness and vitality.
  12. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    A lively, plush but unconvincing potboiler cobbled from familiar pieces of better films (and TV miniseries).
  13. 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.
  14. An exceedingly dull retro-weepie.
  15. 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.
  16. 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.
  17. This pulpy, sex-drenched wartime epic seems frivolous, quaint and foolishly prurient.
  18. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A paint-by-numbers old-fashioned romantic epic, Head in the Clouds is neither romantic nor epic, but it does succeed at old-fashioned.
  19. Reviewed by: Teresa Wiltz
    The plot contrivances are telegraphed too loudly; the emotional manipulation too obvious.
  20. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    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.
  21. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    The story is a vapid "Casablanca"-lite.
  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."

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