Mixed or average reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. The result, although more sexually provocative, is not nearly as gratifying as was his (Ziad Doueiri) breakthrough film.
  2. 38
    Lila is all come-ons without any charm.
  3. 80
    Both lead actors are wonderful, and director Ziad Doueiri (West Beirut) artfully addresses the cultural and even spiritual dimensions of the story without losing sight of the lovers' tenderness and confusion.
  4. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    Far less interesting than its premise, primarily because we never know what anyone is really thinking.
  5. Superbly acted, especially by Giocante as the teasing 16-year-old instigator.
  6. Lila, played by Vahina Giocante, who resembles a sexed-up young Emma Thompson, is a teasing, 16-year-old blond baby doll with a gleam of perception beyond her years.
  7. 80
    This thoroughly engaging, if tragic, love story unfolds like a psychological striptease. The biggest challenge here is not to blush.
  8. 70
    Vahina Giocante oozes a killer blend of purring, lascivious innocence and little-girl-lost vulnerability as Lila.
  9. Raw, earthy yet tender and perceptive, Lila Says marks a strong directorial debut for Doueiri, who was Quentin Tarantino's camera operator on "Reservoir Dogs," "Pulp Fiction" and "Jackie Brown."
  10. Had director Ziad Doueiri focused on the resentful Arab youths who clatter provocatively around the edges of his Marseilles-set drama, he might have discovered something interesting.
  11. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Lebanon-born director Ziad Doueiri, a camera operator on Quentin Tarantino's films, has a dreamy, fluid style he decorates with light electronic sounds -- from bands like Air -- that give this film more than a touch of youthful poetry.
  12. 67
    It doesn't take an awareness of the ethnic and cultural differences between the miniskirted siren and the shy Arab youth to see that she might be more than he can handle.
  13. 70
    Unsurprisingly, the camerawork in Lila Says is spectacular.
  14. Doueiri sprinkles Lila Says with moments of humor and violence -- a mix that keeps the film fresh and unpredictable.
  15. This coming-of-age tale is ultimately about self, not sex.
  16. 40
    One long tease, not just because it keeps promising sex it doesn't deliver. It teases at deeper themes and cultural commentary.
  17. Results in a film that's more exploitative than sympathetic. Compared to the works of fellow Francophone directors Catherine Briellat and Clare Denis, Doueiri's depiction of female sexuality in Lila Says is both wooden and pat.
  18. The picture's effect: the sexual element is trenchant, while the status of Muslim youth registers strongly.
  19. Ms. Giocante's intoxicating mixture of gamine innocence and womanly knowingness is almost too much for the movie - Lila is surely too much for Chimo - but her charisma, and Mr. Doueiri's insouciant, heart-on-the-sleeve style give it a mood that is at once breathlessly romantic and cannily down to earth.
  20. 60
    The story's message is less than profound, but it's vividly delivered.
  21. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    Easy on the eye but light on originality.
  22. A misguided tale of sentimental education.
  23. Startlingly erotic and surprisingly moving.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. [Anonymous]
    May 24, 2007
    Beautifully captivating. Reminisant of youth. Poetry on film. Elegant, fierce, dreamy.
  2. KHil
    Dec 30, 2006
    Beautiful movie, the first one that has really engaged my intellect in quite a long time. At first glance there is barely a story beyond teen agnst (if even that), but there are so many levels to analyze Lila on. Does she represent the separation between good and evil? Is she really an angel, rewarding those who are good and excluding those who are bad. She seems to be an agent of the earth and nature but also of a higher being... her sexuality, though not even her own, is not inherently good or bad, but a representation of the female and of, paradoxically, innocence. A fantastic film. Full Review »
  3. AlP.
    Nov 16, 2006
    Superior work in this film, with a moving end, and camera work that leaves nothing to chance, apart from maybe one's imagination. Excellent movie.. excellent execution and congratulations to Vahina and Ziad.! Full Review »