Metascore
40

Mixed or average reviews - based on 27 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.8

Universal acclaim- based on 16 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: In a time torn apart by hatred and violence, two lifelong lovers are forced to choose between passion and personal convictions, their fate intertwined with the painful history of a world at war. (Sony Pictures Classics)
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. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. Reviewed by: Teresa Wiltz
    40
    The plot contrivances are telegraphed too loudly; the emotional manipulation too obvious.
  6. 25
    This spark-free film has no place to go on their resumes except under the heading of "Cringing Embarrassment."

See all 27 Critic Reviews

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. Expand
  2. EricS.
    Aug 21, 2006
    10
    Profoundly moving and disturbing movie. Theron superb as femme fatale. Excellent acting all around. Drama intense.
  3. MehdyM.
    Jul 6, 2006
    9
    an effective story, well designed scenes, and good performance. I think there must be some kind of marketing problem with this film, becuase an effective story, well designed scenes, and good performance. I think there must be some kind of marketing problem with this film, becuase it's not as famous as it deserves. Collapse
  4. BubbaJ.
    Dec 31, 2006
    9
    Epic saga of love and war and the culminating in the occupation and liberation of Paris.

See all 11 User Reviews

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