Life Is Beautiful

User Score
7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 229 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 33 out of 229

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User Reviews

  1. Aug 6, 2016
    10
    The critic reviews and Metacritic score for this movie are all wrong. This movie won 3 Oscars, which is an incredible feat, considering this is a foreign film made in Italy. All other critic sites award this film with high scores and pleasant words, hailing it as a masterpiece. Life is Beautiful, or La Vita E Bella, is the highest grossing Italian movie of all time, and with good reason.The critic reviews and Metacritic score for this movie are all wrong. This movie won 3 Oscars, which is an incredible feat, considering this is a foreign film made in Italy. All other critic sites award this film with high scores and pleasant words, hailing it as a masterpiece. Life is Beautiful, or La Vita E Bella, is the highest grossing Italian movie of all time, and with good reason. This film is tragic, emotional, dark, but also funny, optimistic, and filled with wonder. Many people who have problems with the film argue that it makes fun of the horrors of the Holocaust, making the event appear not as impactful or terrifying as it really was. The film appears to do this because of the father's imagination and the stories he tells his son to avoid revealing their true situation and scaring him. The focus of the film is not the Holocaust, a concentration camp doesn't even appear until halfway through the movie. Yes, Life is Beautiful has several scenes that focus on the Fascist Regime, the Nazis, and the horrific things that happened at the camps, but the story and the charm of the film come from the family. The focus is the love between the father and his wife and son and how imagination and optimism can conquer fear. The emotions in the film are too real and the characters so endearing that it is impossible to dismiss the film because of it's "inaccuracies". Those who wrote the reviews to give the amazing feature a measly 59 must be out of their minds to ignore the power and wonderful themes of Life is Beautiful. Life is Beautiful is a movie about how life is beautiful, through the powers of love, compassion, creativity, and family. Those who can't appreciate that about this film are really as dark and depressing as the Holocaust itself. Expand
  2. Jun 8, 2016
    10
    (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

    Many people who have written reviews for this movie say that it is "abhorrent" to make a movie about something as horrifying as the Holocaust, and that it is cheesy in every way. These reviews, especially written by critics couldn't be more wrong. This movie is about kindness and showing humility in a time of evil. The main character Guido and his son Joshua are
    (CONTAINS SPOILERS)

    Many people who have written reviews for this movie say that it is "abhorrent" to make a movie about something as horrifying as the Holocaust, and that it is cheesy in every way. These reviews, especially written by critics couldn't be more wrong. This movie is about kindness and showing humility in a time of evil. The main character Guido and his son Joshua are taken the concentration camps because they are Jewish along with Guido's own father, and his wife, Dora, hops on the train because she cannot bare the idea of them suffering while she gets to live in her home. Guido knows to some extent what's in store for them, yet he neglects to tell his son because he wants Joshua's innocence to remain in tact. He wants to protect Josh because the innocence of a child is the one thing that can give light in times of darkness. Guido tells Joshua that instead of being sent to the camps and being tortured, they are participating in a tough competition, now as I said, Guido tells him this to protect this little child's innocence. Joshua is a little child and he is not yet ready to understand how their world works. This movie is about finding the light in even the darkest of times and staying true to yourself no matter what life throws at you. Yes, this movie dramatizes the camps, yet we are still able to see the cruelty of the Nazis. Guido keeps his comedy going to bring life and happiness to his son to the very end. He ends up sacrificing himself for Dora and Joshua, and even makes fun of the Nazi walking him to his death in front of his hidden son. The children are our future an they need to be protected, that is what this movie says. Yes, it is dramatized, yes it is a bit romanticized but what movie isn't to a certain extent? This movies still shows how good humanity can be. This is a movie I highly recommend. It does not deserve the rating it received.
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  3. Mar 15, 2016
    10
    A amazing movie watched this at my school and I was surprised how good it was and I usually find movies my teachers watch boring but this was a masterpiece. Funny, emotinal , and loving a movie anyone could watch
  4. Jan 1, 2016
    9
    It's sad to read reviews for this film and see so many people getting upset by approaching this film politically. If you haven't seen "Life Is Beautiful" and you're gonna, here's my advice: take it as a simple movie, because its simplicity and childlike giddiness make it one of the most enjoyable film you can ever wish for.
  5. Dec 24, 2015
    7
    life is beautiful if you see it as it is....it will be beautiful then even in a horrendous hell as it was in the concentration camps.the father did the best in order to protect the child and his imagination from the ugly bitter reality of the brutal war that has gone in between man for ages. the brutal war was not successful in robing a child of his innocence and a father of his duty as a parent.
  6. Nov 3, 2015
    9
    Life Is Beautiful truly shows why life is beautiful. A film about the Holocaust, the film shows how one man's energy and passion for life can shield his young son from the atrocities surrounding him. The film toes the line between tragedy, comedy, and romance, throughout, but knocks all of them out of the park. It is heart warmingly funny and Roberto Benigni has an absolutely irresistibleLife Is Beautiful truly shows why life is beautiful. A film about the Holocaust, the film shows how one man's energy and passion for life can shield his young son from the atrocities surrounding him. The film toes the line between tragedy, comedy, and romance, throughout, but knocks all of them out of the park. It is heart warmingly funny and Roberto Benigni has an absolutely irresistible charm that almost distracts the viewer from the horror they are watching. The romantic element is touching and brilliantly executed (it also has the best non-sex sex scene, I've seen). Finally, the tragedy is hard-hitting. This film will truly break your heart and those last 20 minutes are guaranteed to at least leave you on the brink of tears. As a whole, Life Is Beautiful is a wonderful film that differs from other Holocaust films in that it brings some a different human element to the table, other than despair. Rather, it injects an adrenaline shot of hope and optimism that is largely unmatched in film. Expand
  7. Apr 15, 2015
    8
    Very smart and funny movie, at some points are are laughing and in some points you are very very sad, the movie is in Italian but it feel natural, like English.
  8. Feb 25, 2014
    8
    Usually I'm not the kinda guy who would be saying that and most of the times when people write stuff like this they do not know what they are talking about but for this movie even I have to say : What the actual **** were the critics that gave this movie a negative review thinking?
    I can understand why you may have some problems with the movie but Edelstein and Co, are you ****ing
    Usually I'm not the kinda guy who would be saying that and most of the times when people write stuff like this they do not know what they are talking about but for this movie even I have to say : What the actual **** were the critics that gave this movie a negative review thinking?
    I can understand why you may have some problems with the movie but Edelstein and Co, are you ****ing serious? I am actually amazed by how far somebody who gets paid to review movies can NOT GET THE POINT OF THE GOD DAMN MOVIE THEY REVIEW. Just Wow.
    This is all I wanted to say. I will not write a review yet because I need more time for reflection. The score represents how I feel about the movie after the first watch.
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  9. May 20, 2013
    10
    Esta película es como indica el titulo,''Bella''.Merecidamente es actualmente la película italiana con mas éxito desde la época dorada de Federico Fellini con su ''La Dulce Vida''.Una obra maestra de todos los tiempos que llegara a todos los corazones que la visionen.
  10. May 4, 2013
    10
    The best foreign film ever made by the best foreign director and actor. After seeing this movie, Roberto Beginini has become one of my heroes. I loved that it was all in Italian, and I love the story. I love the humor, the sadness, and the truth of this movie. One of my favorites.
  11. May 2, 2013
    9
    In the tragic, but comic movie called “Life is Beautiful” directed by Roberto Benigni shows the life that people lived when the holocaust was happening. The movie takes a tragic event that happened in our history and twists it to seem comical and happy but shows what they had to go through and what they did to elderly people and children. I didn’t expect some things that happened toIn the tragic, but comic movie called “Life is Beautiful” directed by Roberto Benigni shows the life that people lived when the holocaust was happening. The movie takes a tragic event that happened in our history and twists it to seem comical and happy but shows what they had to go through and what they did to elderly people and children. I didn’t expect some things that happened to happen. I thought that when the guard took Guido and we heard the gun shot that he had stolen the gun from the guard and shot him. The movie take twists and turns to throw viewers off and think something else is going to happen. This movie makes the holocaust seem like it is not all bad and it lightens it up a bit when thinking about the holocaust and what they put them through. It shows that even something as tragic as the holocaust can still be portrayed as a comic and happy story. It takes all the bad out of what happened and brings out the good and hopefully puts in the back of your mind that it happened but we can make sure that nothing like this will ever happen again. In the end of the movie, it shows that with all the events Joshua had to go though, from hiding from Nazi’s to knowing his father was killed, he still can have a happy ending to a movie. After reading the book “Maus” and watching this movie, they have similarities that the characters go though. “Maus” shows more tragedy then the movie and it is more straight forward with what happened then the movie is. It’s makes it more difficult to read because it shows a lot more tragedy then the movie does. They both are showing the same story but in different ways so we can see how different people lived during the holocaust. Overall, The movie made something so tragic into a comedy and helped people understand that even though this event was very tragic on our history we can still get something good out of it. Expand
  12. Apr 29, 2013
    9
    With an award winning film with a whole different perspective on what the Holocaust looked like, Roberto Benigni brings out the best in him even in the darkest hours of human history. A fresh and different look at the Holocaust captivates the audience and I in a way that isn’t determined by eye-candy or flashy action scenes. Life is Beautiful is one for the masses to definitely watch.With an award winning film with a whole different perspective on what the Holocaust looked like, Roberto Benigni brings out the best in him even in the darkest hours of human history. A fresh and different look at the Holocaust captivates the audience and I in a way that isn’t determined by eye-candy or flashy action scenes. Life is Beautiful is one for the masses to definitely watch.
    Taking place in Italy, Guido, a happy-go-lucky kind of man is happily traveling across Italy, and bumps into his future wife, Dora. As time goes on they get closer and eventually have a son. Once Germany starts its warpath however, Guido and his family’s life takes a dark turn as the Nazi’s begin to round up Jews and enemies alike. Guido and his family struggle through hardship and strife as they try to survive the hellish world of the Holocaust. However, the movie isn’t as serious and dark as one would think a Holocaust film would be. Roberto Benigni’s comical character comes into play throughout the whole movie, not disappointing any audience wishing to see his funny side.
    The comedy of the movie was splendidly executed at the right times without much overextension or too much visible effort. Guido’s entertaining personality is both a treat to the audience and to the movie itself, with Guido providing perfect synergy with the rest of the cast. With the cast and characters, the development of some characters were slow as they didn’t have much screen time in the movie, such as Dora, but in the end, the movie gives a good feel of all the characters’ personalities.
    The real shining star of this movie was the relationship between main characters, Guido and his son Joshua. In the worst times of their life, Guido somehow manages to persuade his infant boy that they’re actually playing a game, with the reward being a military standard tank. Knowing that the Holocaust will heavily affect Joshua if he gets out of their situation, Guido entertains his son with his lighthearted humor and with the promise of the tank, while keeping his son’s life and mentality intact. This unbreakable bond between father and son showcases how well Roberto used his character to work with Joshua, allowing the directing, writing and acting to really shine out.
    While how the movie actually plays out and presents the predicaments of each character may seem a bit far-fetched, it still is an unforgettable movie. A man that risks everything for his family in the worst of times and somehow making some comic relief is a hard piece of chemistry to get right, yet Roberto pulled it off nearly flawlessly. Life is Beautiful does indeed show that life truly can be beautiful like the film itself was.
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  13. Apr 29, 2013
    10
    I had the pleasure of watching “Life is Beautiful” in my English class. A deeply moving blend of dismal hilarity. Crafted by Italy's top comedian and most popular filmmaker Roberto Benigni. Guido, a Jewish bookseller, who marries his dream girl and lives the fantasy life with a son Joshua, Although the movie was about the holocaust, that was surprisingly not the point at all. In-factI had the pleasure of watching “Life is Beautiful” in my English class. A deeply moving blend of dismal hilarity. Crafted by Italy's top comedian and most popular filmmaker Roberto Benigni. Guido, a Jewish bookseller, who marries his dream girl and lives the fantasy life with a son Joshua, Although the movie was about the holocaust, that was surprisingly not the point at all. In-fact Roberto does very well at softening the impact of the holocaust.The first half of the film has nary a mention of Jews or war, we wouldn’t even suspect Guido as Jewish This movie was about sacrifice, hope and a loving passion. Benigni provides a most stunning example of precisely the sacrifice a parent is capable of making for their child in the gloomiest of hours. at the end Joshua narrates that this was his father's gift to him. in relation to a book called Maus by Art Spiegelman, tells a graphic novel story about his father and his sacrifices in the holocaust, on the flip side this is a son's gift to his father. the book parallels some of the same cinematic understanding of character relationship ratio. This is where character are placed strategically on screen. and simple dry humor. like the book Maus this movie also has a good balance of humor to dismal ideas. Life is beautiful is an inspiring movie that makes you wonder of all the things you have and shows you not to take it for granted the teachings and moral implications of this movie go beyond the Cliche story line and finds a way to deeply connect with viewers. Expand
  14. Apr 29, 2013
    10
    “Life is Beautiful” was, for a lack of better words, a beautiful movie, full of love, compassion, and strength. Roberto Benigni was the perfect person to play Guido. His sense of humor was entertaining and the love he had for his wife and son was unbelievable. His personality made for an amazing movie. Guido reminded me of Vladek from Maus in the way that he was always trying to get“Life is Beautiful” was, for a lack of better words, a beautiful movie, full of love, compassion, and strength. Roberto Benigni was the perfect person to play Guido. His sense of humor was entertaining and the love he had for his wife and son was unbelievable. His personality made for an amazing movie. Guido reminded me of Vladek from Maus in the way that he was always trying to get out of the Holocaust alive, unlike some people who let themselves die. Just like Vladek, he was so incredibly in love with his wife and son and did anything it took to keep them alive. Expand
  15. Aug 8, 2012
    7
    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 hisIf 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. Expand
  16. Jul 1, 2012
    10
    And the dad of the year award goes to...

    Let's face it, some of the humor can get annoying. The holocaust wasn't realistically portrayed. But that's not the point of the movie. The movie is about an awesome dad who is trying his hardest to protect his son.
  17. Nov 28, 2011
    10
    Incredibly acted, funny as hell, incredibly beautiful picture. Much, much better than Shakespeare in Love. Deserved Best Picture. Didn't deserve Best Supporting Actress, but deserved Best Picture, Best Actor, Best Foreign Language Film, and Best Director. it only won 2 of them.
  18. Mar 21, 2011
    8
    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.
  19. Mar 1, 2011
    10
    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.
  20. Jan 11, 2011
    10
    I'm in my 60's. My daughter her 20's. We listed our favorite all-time films. Life is Beautiful was in both of our top 10 lists. Great film with one of the great scenes of all times. If you've seen this film you know which scene I'm talking about. We decided to watch it again soon. The best of film making.
  21. MasumA.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    This film is like a dream but it is emotional. It's a symble of love, happiness and beauty of life.
  22. A.P
    Oct 18, 2008
    10
    This movie is one of the greatest movie i've ever seen. It really shows that love and imaginations can conquer everything. I believe all the critics reviews have been very nonsense. THERES NO POINT IN THEIR REVIEWS...BASICALLY this movie shows one of the most precious things in life....LOVE.
  23. DerekR.
    May 10, 2008
    10
    I don't know how this could be anything less than a 9. This is a great movie centering around a loving father protecting his son. I don't know how the critics didn't see this.
  24. JustinH.
    Apr 12, 2008
    10
    One of the best and most inspiring movies I've seen in recent times, or, ever.
  25. MarcoA.
    Dec 31, 2007
    10
    The combination of comedy, romance and drama is as good as it can be. The movie definitely deals more with the power of family's love in the middle of the tragedy of war. This movie doesn't intend to retell what the Holocaust is about. If some critics want that, well, go and rent Schindler's List again.
  26. JohnS.
    Nov 15, 2007
    9
    This film has been accused of trivialising the holocaust, but what it does is showing what happened as the father tried to get the son to see it not how it actually was.
  27. NateM.
    Nov 11, 2007
    10
    Anybody who could actually think that this beautiful film makes a mockery of the Holocaust must be either blinded by anger, ignorance or both.
  28. J.LerryS.
    Jul 30, 2007
    8
  29. AlbertoG.
    May 26, 2007
    9
    Maybe it's hard to get the sense of the film if you are non-italians. Maybe you think Benigni is kidding the Holocaust. But he is not. He's only trying to say that, after all, life goes on. And it's definitely a Masterpiece of international cinema (and italian cinema, of course). This movie deserved his "Best Movie" Oscar.
  30. MarkG.
    May 18, 2007
    10
    Its times like this I wonder how critics manage to survive in their chosen profession when the vast majority are ignorant bigots with inflated opinions of themselves. Any critic who actually condemned this film needs to go away and think long and hard about why on earth they bother polluting film history with such trashy writing. Please refrain from writing ever again, so as to save Its times like this I wonder how critics manage to survive in their chosen profession when the vast majority are ignorant bigots with inflated opinions of themselves. Any critic who actually condemned this film needs to go away and think long and hard about why on earth they bother polluting film history with such trashy writing. Please refrain from writing ever again, so as to save yourself unavoidable future humiliation. A Masterpiece in film making. Expand
  31. KritzM.
    Mar 21, 2007
    10
    What on earth were half the "professional" reviews watching when they gave this anything less than 80? This movie is the most entertaining, funny and touching movies I've ever watched. It's a brilliant tale about a Father's love for his son, and how you can always look towards the bright side of life. The use of colours of this film were so great. It starts as a vibrant, What on earth were half the "professional" reviews watching when they gave this anything less than 80? This movie is the most entertaining, funny and touching movies I've ever watched. It's a brilliant tale about a Father's love for his son, and how you can always look towards the bright side of life. The use of colours of this film were so great. It starts as a vibrant, colourful comedy and later moves to a dull, bleak and depressing drama. It can play with emotions like no other movie, and is an outstanding example of genius film making. This is, without a doubt, the best movie I've ever watched. Expand
  32. NateH
    Feb 13, 2007
    9
    Yes, the Holocaust was awful, and it should not be mocked. However, this movie is not about the Holocaust - it is about the triumph of the human spirit, and specifically the ability of the Jewish people to rise above the oppression they have experienced through the centuries. This has become one of my favorite movies for that reason.
  33. TYQBB
    May 10, 2006
    10
    One of the best films i ever watched! The acting is simply top class from Benigni. The cinematography is brillant. This film has also some really touching moments. Go watch it!
  34. AndrewT.
    Apr 26, 2006
    9
    This was an awsome movie i liked all those other critics dont kno crap.
  35. Jess
    Mar 21, 2006
    10
    i love life is beautiful. i think it is one of the most amazing movies of all time! Everything in this movie was perfect. it was heart warming, hear breaking, moving touching story. It really is a master piece.
  36. JimK.
    Mar 20, 2005
    10
    Some people just don't get it. This is a movie about hope and sacrifice under the most dire circumstances. It transcends the Hollocaust, a terrible period in history to say the least, and constructs a fable in which we can all take something away from. It lift's you up in the end, and any movie that can do this is a true work of art. I cried when the father was killed at the Some people just don't get it. This is a movie about hope and sacrifice under the most dire circumstances. It transcends the Hollocaust, a terrible period in history to say the least, and constructs a fable in which we can all take something away from. It lift's you up in the end, and any movie that can do this is a true work of art. I cried when the father was killed at the end, a symbol of all those who went before, and cheered when the son made his way out of the ruble....a survivor because of his fathers sacrifice, wit, and unending hope. I cheered for all of the survivors. Expand
  37. FernandoG.
    Jan 29, 2004
    8
    David Edelstein's review made me want to throw up, and right on him.
  38. PatC.
    Dec 15, 2003
    10
    This movie does not trivialize what happened in the concentration camps, it merely glorifies the subtle assertions of humanity that occurred despite the overwhelming horror. If one can find love and humor in such a situation, one can find it anywhere. Sometimes we should celebrate little victories rather than mope about big defeats if we are to progress to a better future. Only the This movie does not trivialize what happened in the concentration camps, it merely glorifies the subtle assertions of humanity that occurred despite the overwhelming horror. If one can find love and humor in such a situation, one can find it anywhere. Sometimes we should celebrate little victories rather than mope about big defeats if we are to progress to a better future. Only the obscenely pretentious can be offended by such a premise. Expand
  39. PamelaL.
    Nov 26, 2003
    9
    A precious, funny, horrifying movie all in one. If you are a parent, you will understand the underlying comedy in a most profound way. Loved it.
  40. Kevin
    Aug 1, 2003
    10
    An all time favorite.
  41. JMat
    May 30, 2003
    10
    I absolutely love this movie. This was the best movie that I've seen about the Holocaust. Though the movie is dubbed, Roberto Benigni finds a way to charm the audience, and yet show the seriousness of the situation.
  42. JMat
    May 30, 2003
    10
    I absolutely love this movie. This was the best movie that I've seen about the Holocaust. Though the movie is dubbed, Roberto Benigni finds a way to charm the audience, and yet show the seriousness of the situation.
  43. GilbertMulroneycakesAndTheTempleOfDoom
    Nov 27, 2002
    8
    It's not irresponsible. It works. Just. As Begnini proves, even when faced with the ultimate horror, good ol' human spirit will find a way to win out - and did you notice the slight dip into genuine, stark despair as it went on? Good. Not for everyone, but an important piece of cinema.
  44. Diana
    Jul 31, 2002
    10
    The best movie i've ever seen, a mixture of humor and drama, the only movie that has made me cry.
  45. ChickaDee
    Jun 10, 2002
    10
    Brilliant. One of the cleverest moviest that has ever been made.
  46. AndrewF.
    Nov 22, 2001
    10
    Movies like this can only be made in Europe. The romantic sentiment can only be expressed in such a way. If Hollywood ever *tried* to make a movie like this it'd sound corny. Yet Old Clueso Jr. Roberto Benigni pulls it off (ahem) I mean succeeds. Charming in every way.
  47. AnnaM.
    Oct 17, 2001
    10
    The only movie that has made me smile until the very end. Only when it was over did I begin to cry. You must see it to understand. The juxtaposition of the first half, when seen against the horrors of the second, increases the emotion of the experience even more dramatically. The best deserved Oscar ever given.
  48. [Anonymous]
    Sep 25, 2001
    10
    Best.
  49. AntoinetteL.
    Sep 24, 2001
    10
    This is an amazing cinematic accomplishment.
  50. PaulB.
    Aug 30, 2001
    10
    Excellent, a masterpiece.
  51. BetsyL.
    Jul 4, 2001
    10
    I thought this was the best movie giving an example of the Holocaust. As for Mr. Edelstein, I think that your ass should be fired.
Metascore
59

Mixed or average reviews - based on 32 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 32
  2. Negative: 5 out of 32
  1. Benigni sets out to do the impossible.
  2. Benigni effectively creates a situation in which comedy is courage. And he draws from this an unpretentious, enormously likable film that plays with history both seriously and mischievously. Piety has no place here, nor do tears until the final reel. Life is Beautiful plays by its own rules
  3. The indifference of the proceedings and the hero's slapstick behavior to the everyday realities of the camps borders on the nauseating.