Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26
  1. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Dec 8, 2011
    100
    Le Havre is a playful parable that conveys profound truths about compassion, humility and sacrifice. It offers proof that miracles do happen - especially in Kaurismaki's lyrically hardscrabble neighborhood.
  2. 100
    Le Havre, offers the director's usual humour, pitch-perfect acting and compassionate message, with a Gallic twist that should win new converts.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 2, 2011
    100
    This movie is as lovable as a silent comedy, which it could have been.
  4. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Nov 2, 2011
    100
    The setting is somewhere between a post-WWII Brigadoon and the environs of Marcel Carn classic "Children of Paradise," but the story is as timely as this morning's news from Europe.
  5. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Oct 17, 2011
    91
    With its bouncy soundtrack, deadpan humor and good-natured disposition, Finnish director Aki Kaurismaki's Le Havre is an endearing affair.
  6. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 21, 2011
    90
    For the right kind of film buff, it's absolutely one of the most enjoyable pictures of the year - and if you've never heard of the guy before, I can't imagine a better place to start.
  7. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Oct 21, 2011
    90
    Buster Keaton isn't dead, he's alive and well in Finland, where under a new identity he pursues his own particular brand of deadpan absurdism to wonderful effect. If the name Aki Kaurismäki doesn't mean anything to you, it should, and Le Havre may be the film to make it happen.
  8. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 21, 2011
    90
    Le Havre proceeds from the usual Kaurismäkian premise: Things are only going to get worse, so why not just go with it?
  9. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Nov 10, 2011
    88
    The achievement of this movie is that Kaurismäki manages the seemingly impossible task of making a farce about farces. In other words, this is a very good movie in quotation marks and a very good movie.
  10. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 3, 2011
    88
    Does Kaurismaki believe in his own fairy tale? The movie, a humble delight, suggests the answer is yes.
  11. Reviewed by: Phil Coldiron
    Oct 17, 2011
    88
    For Carl Dreyer, to film a miracle took a single shot; for Bruno Dumont, a whole film. In Le Havre, Aki Kaurismäki needs four shots to capture his - and what an ordinary event it is!
  12. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Jan 26, 2012
    83
    Kaurismäki is a master of expressive stillness for whom inaction often speaks louder than words, and the performances he elicits are perfectly pitched, including young Miguel's.
  13. Reviewed by: Tom Dawson
    Mar 26, 2012
    80
    Kaurismäki adeptly weaves rockabilly musical interludes, a stylised colourscheme and droll performances into a warm-hearted salute to both classical French cinema and working-class solidarity.
  14. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 10, 2011
    80
    Le Havre is a small bit of movie magic, a story that plays more as a fable even as it deals with something as topical as immigration.
  15. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Nov 3, 2011
    80
    The film is especially comforting if you love old movies, as Kaurismaki does: his deadpan humor and deliberately flattened images evoke silent comedy, as usual, and his rosy depiction of proletarian camaraderie recalls the 30s and 40s work of Marcel Carné (particularly Le Jour se Leve).
  16. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Oct 20, 2011
    80
    A stylized and sentimental fairy tale about the way the world might be, grounded in a frank recognition of the way it is.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Oct 20, 2011
    80
    Le Havre stands on its own fragile but considerable merits.
  18. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Oct 18, 2011
    80
    Le Havre is utopian precisely because it shows everything as it is not.
  19. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Oct 18, 2011
    80
    Mixing together some of helmer Aki Kaurismaki's favorite Gallic and Finnish thesps with a few newbies, Le Havre feels like a welcoming family reunion.
  20. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 10, 2011
    75
    Kaurismäki stalwart Kati Outinen, as the old man's silent and ailing wife, is the key to the movie, even though she appears only sporadically. Something in her timid, understanding and impassive gaze, which is Kaurismäki's gaze as well, lets us know that she sees things in the old man that we don't see.
  21. Reviewed by: V.A. Musetto
    Oct 21, 2011
    75
    Le Havre is warm-hearted and uplifting, without being schmaltzy or preachy. And, with its illegal-alien theme, it's dead-on timely.
  22. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Nov 3, 2011
    67
    The film is really a story about community and how it unites for something it deems important. But more, it is a story about mood and tone. Kaurismäki's mordant humor – part verbal, part visual – remains intact.
  23. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 19, 2011
    67
    Kaurismäki has a narrow vision, disarming and sweet, yet utterly predictable, and there's little distinction between the films he's directing today and the films he directed 30 years ago. They have the wrong kind of timelessness.
  24. Reviewed by: Guy Lodge
    Apr 2, 2012
    60
    It may not be up there with his very best, but Aki Kaurismäki offers a reminder that he's a still one of the freshest voices in cinema.
  25. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Oct 21, 2011
    60
    No one looks at the world quite like Kaurismäki, and his deadpan sentimentality is worth discovery. This is a good place to start.
  26. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Oct 18, 2011
    60
    This is textbook Kaurismäki, neither fresh nor unwelcome.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. Aug 29, 2012
    8
    Told in a simple way by mostly non actors this little gem resolutely sets out a humanistic fable of our times. It gently hammers away at theTold in a simple way by mostly non actors this little gem resolutely sets out a humanistic fable of our times. It gently hammers away at the theme: "we are our brother's keepers" Don't look for a great script, or much acting, or any sophistication. It is what it is. Even the Christian right might find it's theme uncomfortably Christ like. A man does good and is rewarded with a miracle. Warning check your cynicism at the door, or at your DVD Play button. Full Review »
  2. Aug 4, 2012
    0
    Created a metacritic account just to tell you that if you want to see a comedy, or even a drama, this is not for you. The acting is completelyCreated a metacritic account just to tell you that if you want to see a comedy, or even a drama, this is not for you. The acting is completely stiff, there is no human emotion at all. The most emotion comes from a completely unnecessary 5 minute long concert scene from Little Bob. I don't understand the high ratings. Poor directing, poor acting, could care less about the story. Objectively bad. Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2014
    5
    I agree with everydayscholar. This film is so bad that I went through it asking myself who financed this **** in the first place. Bad acting,I agree with everydayscholar. This film is so bad that I went through it asking myself who financed this **** in the first place. Bad acting, bad direction and a subject that must be treated three times a year in European cinema (an old man takes a little boy under his wing). Avoid it. Full Review »