Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. 30
    The director gives us not just a pop Holocaust but a prettified, palatable Holocaust.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    In this climate, turning even a small corner of this century's central horror into feel-good popular entertainment is abhorrent.
  3. The indifference of the proceedings and the hero's slapstick behavior to the everyday realities of the camps borders on the nauseating.
  4. 10
    The point, I think, is the sheer callous inappropriateness of comedy existing within the physical reality of the camps -- even the imagined reality of a movie.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Benigni's movie made me want to throw up.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 143 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 45 out of 48
  2. Negative: 2 out of 48
  1. Aug 8, 2012
    If you watched the beginning of this movie without knowing what the movie was about, you would think that this was a happy movie about a man who falls in love and raises a family. Well, that is what happens. And it is a happy story, until the main character and his son are taken to a concentration camp. Once there the main characters happy fairy tale is over, and he is separated from his princess. But among the gloomy concentration camp where nothing is right, the main character tries to do what any father would do when everything is wrong. Make the situation seem better than what it really is. This is a movie worth seeing. Full Review »
  2. Mar 21, 2011
    Roberto Benigni brought to the screen a most poignant and comedical film! He flipped around the devastation of the Holocaust and turned into a simple game most craftly. I love this movie and think everyone of all ages should watch this wonder of cinematic creation. Full Review »
  3. Mar 1, 2011
    This was the sweetest, funniest and most human story that could have ever come out of the Holocaust. I am in no way the sub-title type and yet it had no negative effect, it may have even been positive because I liked hearing the Italian language. Full Review »