Lost in Translation


Universal acclaim - based on 43 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 41 out of 43
  2. Negative: 0 out of 43

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Critic Reviews

  1. What's astonishing about Sofia Coppola's enthralling new movie is the precision, maturity, and originality with which the confident young writer-director communicates so clearly in a cinematic language all her own.
  2. 100
    Fraught with a deep sadness and sense of yearning. Yet, it is also an enormously -- at times, even uproariously -- comedic film, not because it feels any obligation to be "funny" in some contrived, screenwriterly sort of way, but because Coppola has set out to make a movie set to the rhythms of real (rather than reel) life.
  3. 100
    The fact that this kind of serious material ends up playing puckishly funny as well as poignant is a tribute both to Coppola and to her do-or-die decision to cast Murray in the lead role.
  4. 100
    Simply put, Sofia Copolla's Lost in Translation is an amazing motion picture.
  5. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    This is one of the year's most subtly moving films, and a strong affirmation of Coppola's substantial talent.
  6. Isn't about a May-December romance or a brief encounter in a faraway place. It's about being alone in a crowd and the power of unexpected friendships.
  7. 100
    I loved this movie. I loved the way Coppola and her actors negotiated the hazards of romance and comedy, taking what little they needed and depending for the rest on the truth of the characters.
  8. 100
    It's impossible to conceive of this ruefully funny entertainment without Bill Murray, who is nothing less than brilliant.
  9. 100
    Here he (Murray) supplies the kind of performance that seems so fully realized and effortless that it can easily be mistaken for not acting at all.
  10. 100
    The connection between Bob and Charlotte, as Coppola shows it to us at the end of Lost in Translation, is a moment of intimate magnificence. I have never seen anything quite like it, in any movie.
  11. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Longer on atmosphere and observation than on story, but you don't mind: Coppola maintains her quietly charged tone with a certainty that would be unbelievable in a second film if you didn't suspect genetics had a hand.
  12. A delicate, beautifully observed study of impossible romance, Lost in Translation is one of the best films this year.
  13. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Giddily funny in a singularly American idiom, and shot, by Lance Acord, with an eagle eye for cultural absurdities, Ms. Coppola's film is also a meditation on love and longing, shot through with a sensibility that's all the more surprising for being so unfashionably tender.
  14. 100
    It's a bento box of shifts, feints, hints and small, sharp insights, built around a surprisingly deep core of feeling. And it confirms Coppola as an artist to watch and relish.
  15. Smart, funny, and splendidly acted.
  16. Reviewed by: Rob Fraser
    With cinemas dominated by underwhelming blockbusters and formulaic rom-coms, it’s easy to become disillusioned with the state of the movies. Thank the almighty, then, for Lost In Translation, which in 102 wondrous minutes will restore your faith in the power of the medium.
  17. Coppola both wrote and directed, and there’s a pleasing shapelessness to her scenes. She accomplishes the difficult feat of showing people being bored out of their skulls in such a way that we are never bored watching them.
  18. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Watch Murray's eyes in the climactic scene in the hotel lobby: while hardly moving, they express the collapsing of all hopes, the return to a sleepwalking status quo. You won't find a subtler, funnier or more poignant performance this year than this quietly astonishing turn.
  19. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Their (Murray/Johansson) brief, wondrous encounter is the soul of this subtle, funny, melancholy film.
  20. 90
    Gorgeously shot by Lance Acord, who makes Toyko a gaudy dreamscape that's both seductive and frightening, Lost In Translation washes away memories of "Godfather III," establishing Coppola as a major filmmaker in her own right, and reconfirming Johansson and Murray as actors of startling depth and power.
  21. 90
    As bittersweet a brief encounter as any in American movies since Richard Linklater's equally romantic "Before Sunrise."
  22. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    This is the Bill Murray performance we've been waiting for: Saturday Night Live meets Chekhov.
  23. It gets at something exquisitely human, so human that even movie stars feel it.
  24. The movie contains priceless slapstick from Bill Murray, finely tuned performances by Murray and the beautiful Scarlett Johansson and a visual and aural design that cultivates a romantic though melancholy mood.
  25. Coppola handles her film with very pleasant economy, with a kind of warm precision. Her father, who was one of this picture's producers, can be as proud of her as we are grateful.
  26. A lovely, quietly thrilling thing.
  27. 88
    Don't stall about seeing Sofia Coppola's altogether remarkable Lost in Translation. It's a class-act liftoff for the fall movie season. Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson give performances that will be talked about for years.
  28. 88
    Dislocated from their native country and former lives, Bob and Charlotte come to establish a language of their own. Coppola has done the same, proving she boasts one of today's truly distinct filmmaking voices.
  29. A smartly written, confidently directed film that delivers big laughs while developing two of the year's most earnest characters and some of its most rewarding sentiments.
  30. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Romantic comedies with two low-key leads can be asking for trouble, but one senses that the actors must have clicked on some fundamental level.
  31. 88
    It's a sign of just how much Coppola respects her characters that she doesn't make us privy to that final line: It is only meant for them to share. But like the rest of the ethereal Lost in Translation, you don't need to have it spelled out in order to feel it.
  32. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    Not much happens, but Coppola is so gentle and witty an observer that the movie casts a spell. [15 September 2003, p. 100]
  33. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    The film's unhurried pace will target it for discerning audiences only, but its wry humor and coolly amused observation of contemporary Japan should score with smart urbanites.
  34. Thanks to two delightful performers, you're drawn powerfully to the outcome.
  35. Reviewed by: Stina Chyn
    By the time the film was half over, I was ready to catch the next flight to Japan. Until travel arrangements can be made, though, I'll just watch Lost in Translation again.
  36. 80
    There isn't another American screen actor who could have given this performance, not one who so deftly could have navigated the razor's edge separating the wiseacre and the wise.
  37. Arguably, Lost in Translation is the American answer to Wong Kar-wai's masterpiece, "In the Mood for Love," though less about history, more about infatuation.
  38. Coppola does a fair job of capturing the fish-tank ambience of nocturnal, upscale Tokyo and showing how it feels to be a stranger in that world, and an excellent job of getting the most from her lead actors. Unfortunately, I'm not sure she accomplishes anything else.
  39. 63
    This movie registers like a pop song that enters the mind only in fragments because, as a whole, it lacks the style or substance to be memorable.
  40. Coppola lacks a firm grip on this material, and it starts to get away from her midway through.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 855 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Aug 27, 2010
    If "Titanic" was the iconic bloated romance novel of movies, then "Lost in Translation" is the quiet, poignant poem that is all the moreIf "Titanic" was the iconic bloated romance novel of movies, then "Lost in Translation" is the quiet, poignant poem that is all the more affecting because of that. Full Review »
  2. JackB.
    Nov 1, 2007
    There are a few redeeming qualities to this movie: (a) scarlett, (b) bill, (c) the ending. Why there are more non-redeeming qualities are as There are a few redeeming qualities to this movie: (a) scarlett, (b) bill, (c) the ending. Why there are more non-redeeming qualities are as follows: (1) it's frankly not believable, (2) cliche' typical daddy save me complex-fantasy, (3) creating boring mood is plain boring (4) annoying by design to group Japanese culture as boring & silly, (5) it's pretentious & works hard to be clever (6) it's devoid of making a connection (7) effectively leaves audience empty. The most frustrating part is this movie has more potential. Both these characters could have pulled off so much more, could still keep that somber mood & developed more mystery & intrigue. I kept wanting more of Bill to step out, and needed more of Scarlett to bust. I have no patience for shallowness. This girl is in Tokyo. He is in Tokyo. Hard to be lost (souls) That is not believable. If they were in the middle of the Guam - maybe. If they can't bring energy to Tokyo, then they can't bring energy at all, and therefore these characters are frankly hopeless and that is the most unattractive part of this film. Why waste time with people that cant barely save themselves in the best of world-class circumstances. Yawn..ZZZZZzzzz. Full Review »
  3. Dave
    Dec 28, 2009
    Definitely overrated by the critics. The humor is rather crass, and much of it stems from ignorance/intolerance of other cultures.