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Generally favorable reviews- based on 736 Ratings

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  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 more affecting because of that.
  2. Jun 17, 2011
    This movie is a poor piece of film, over-hyped by critics for no other reason save that the director's father is Francis Ford Coppola. Features Bill Murray and Scarlett Johannson in Tokyo for separate reasons. Japan and the Japanese are portrayed in a poor (and stereotyping) fashion, (video games, karaoke, gadgets, and the misprounciations of "Ls" as "Rs").

    There is borderline racism in
    this movie, as the way these two lead roles act, as if lost, estranged, abandoned, or stranded on the moon surrounded by Aliens. I've been to Japan (I'm a western European) and found no such culture shock. That is really the premise that this movie is built on - culture shock of White Western people finding themselves in Japan. And that is where it fell down for me. In terms of comedy, it was billed as "Bill Murray - comedy genius - at his best." Far from it. I like Murray (Quick Change, Stripes, Caddyshack, etc.) This was just not funny, and I do not think there is any attempt for him to be funny.

    Scarlett. Well she does not do anything wrong, but does not do anything right either. All in all, a very poor script. Very poor direction. A complete lack of substance, with ignorance and racism creeping in at times.

    Such a time sink.
  3. Nov 2, 2010
    Another great movie with Bill Murray in it. I've always loved Japan and many things that come out of that country so the setting of this movie was a real treat for me, with a beautiful plot and a great cast. All of these things make this movie one of my favorites.
  4. Jul 22, 2012
    Lost in Translation is thoroughly disappointing. It appears to be pretty much universally praised, yet it's a flawed film. I'll concede that it's beautifully filmed, that Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson give great performances and that the relationship between their two characters is sweet and endearing, as a tale of two lost souls finding a connection is always compelling. Despite these positives, the film puts forward an extremely patronising, stereotypical and borderline racist view of Japanese culture. By depicting a steady procession of carefully cherry-picked Japanese "oddities", it's almost like the film's main objective is to say "hey, come laugh at the silly Japanese, they're not like Americans at all". A recurring joke in the film is the mockery of Japanese speech pattern of the replacement of the letter r with the letter l. This gag is barely funny the first time it is used, but it is reprised four or five times throughout the film. In one of the key "comedy" scenes, Murray's character struggles to understand a heavily accented Japanese director during a photo shoot, and his mimicry of the poor man's voice to decipher each instruction isn't funny, just embarrassing, akin to the lack of logic behind an English-speaking tourist abroad raising his voice to make themselves understood to non-English speakers. To make matters even worse, the film is all-too-often slow or just plain boring. Beyond great chemistry between Murray and Johansson and striking aesthetics, the appeal of Lost in Translation is, well, lost in translation chiefly thanks to some criminal cultural insensitivity that really shouldn't be applauded in the modern world. Expand
  5. Jul 16, 2011
    I don't like this movie. After 10 minutes it is already obviously what will be in the end. Very boring story... It's not deserve even average 6,6 score, which it have now from users.
  6. Mar 14, 2012
    Frail, dreamy, beautiful, with the most gorgeous Scarlett yet to be displayed on screen. Leaves you shaking with hyped sensitivity. Too bad so many people associate Bill Murray with goofyness; this was a piece of humanity, shy with desire to experience closure. Unfortunately, beauty, like many other things these days, needs to be exagerated for people to get it.
  7. Aug 25, 2011
    There is something to be said about the kind of quiet elegance that Lost In Translation slowly sweats out over the course of 102 minutes. Most art films claim to be visual poetry. If that is true, the films of Sofia Coppola are visual songs, with quiet, melancholy guitar strings, and fuzzy, indistinct feedback.
  8. Dec 14, 2012
    There are many things "lost in translation" during the film ranging from language to hand gestures in this sleek, moody yet humorous modern classic. With fantastic performances from Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson, Lost in Translation is a melancholic piece of cinema from Sofia Coppola, who in the end reminds us bound-to-be lone-wanders that that the only thing universally understood is true love. Translations may vary, but the message is always understood. Expand
  9. Mar 11, 2014
    One of the best movies ever created. Period. I would not be writing a freakin' review for this movie if it wasn't. The chemistry between Murray and Johansson is the most realistic ever thought of in a film. It's that believable.
  10. Aug 21, 2010
    The best movie ever made. Period. Sublime in every delicious aspect.

    If you don't 'get it', don't worry, its the same reason that you 'don't get' abstract algebra or number theory. Its complex and you're not.
  11. Jan 8, 2011
    Sofia Cappola is one of Hollywood's directors that can make silent pauses and no dialogue in between movies so irresistably watchable. Her takes in writing and directing movies within movies isn't new, but there's something new in this, maybe it is in a foreign setting. Movie star Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is going through a mid-life crisis. He went to Tokyo, Japan to promote a liquor drink that was going nowhere. Staying at a hotel and drinking at the bar downstairs everyday, he started seeing a newlywed who's also having a complication in her relationship, Charlotte (Scarlett Johansson). Perhaps the movie's main element isn't the top-notch award-winning script that shaped the movie in every way, or the stylish directing from Sofia Cappola, perhaps it's the unbelievable chemistry between Johansson and Murray (nominated for an Oscar). Lost In Translation really changed Hollywood's perspectives in some ways and Bill Murray/Scarlet Johansson is the best on-screen couple I've seen in years. Expand
  12. Feb 14, 2011
    Lost In Translation is a great romantic beautiful that I ever seen recently. The storyline is great and Bill and Scarlett are great actors. It doesn't matter how old they are, the chemistry just works and they do belong together in the end.
  13. Aug 17, 2011
    A thoughtful film with subtle humour, beautiful cinematography and relaxed pace that allows you to be engulfed into the alienation to two seem to suffer and the solace they find each other in this new city. The soundtrack fits the scenes brilliantly too. I love this film.
  14. Dec 28, 2011
    Dealing with complex feelings like boredom, sadness and frustration by writing and directing the film herself, Sofia Coppola shows such elegance and creativity and makes "Lost in Translation" an almost impeccable film.
  15. Oct 14, 2011
    An amazing Movie. I fell in love with Charlotte then, but scarlette Johansen has never appeal to me since . I've read on blogs and site about how impressed they were with scarlette maturaty for only being 18 at the time. i disagree i felt That she brought a sense innocense to the character that made the semi plutonic relationship with an older bill murry more understadnle/relatable. The apparant plot is thin. that is to say not much realy happens. But too looks at this movie from perspective of action movie is too miss the point enterly. This movie needed its quite movemnts to reveal the subtle intimate moments between its characters. and to give the viewer an impression of isolation and unease. What one would experience if they felt traped in a foreign country. and serves to give its viewer that yearning for compionship with whomever they could relate to. And it just so happens that that person is kinda person is as beatuiful as charlotte or cool as bil. which is awsome ln my opion . i want to add more but im a lazy writer. this movie i absoulutley love, it came into my life at the right time. this is one of the few movie that i can without a doubt give it a perfect rating. in short you have up and your downs but mainly you have your inbetweens and its only when you can find someone to care for that it makes it worth while. pleas do yourself a favor go in without expection and try to watch with it patient movie goers. Expand
  16. Jul 20, 2013
    Lost in Translation can be interpreted in various different ways, especially with this chosen title. The film at times is like seeing some beautiful poetry on screen, it weaves between growth, despair but also companionship, especially since writer/director Sofia Coppola immediately challenges and also lures the audience into sympathy for our unlikely friends.
    Bill Murray electrifies the
    screen as bored and seasoned American actor Bob Harris, who we meet in Tokyo filming a whiskey commercial, his sense of delusion and loneliness is immediate as we find his face often expressionless and his nights are spent sitting at his hotel bar, where he meets Charlotte, a young American graduate who shares the same mindset of loneliness and culture shock as Bob, two unlikely pals who are in a strange new world, a strange new way of life.
    The two exchange various anecdotes about how they ended up in Tokyo, a place so alive and vibrant, but they feel disconnected and isolated. We learn of Charlotte living with her photographer husband, who she believes isn't spending enough time with her, thus her alienation of the city she currently resides. Bob also has relationship issues that continue to prey on his mind the longer time he spends by himself but also the older he becomes.
    The budding friendship and agreement of their awkwardness in the city helps them develop their love for the place, and Sofia Coppola perfectly captures a place and whole different way of life worth falling for. She has written a beautiful script that at many moments is not heavy on dialogue, but relies on the veteran talents of Murray but also the charm and freshness of Johansson. These two stars truly command the screen, and set up the situations that the title possibly refers to, their encounters with friends, media personalities and even closer people, but they can remain lost in their own mind, through withdrawal or homesickness, one can speculate.
    A poetic, beautiful, hard-hitting but clever film that explores the decency of the common man, while also dealing with situations that will arise out of a comfort zone, and how the person may react to such a change, but with the acting prowess at full steam in the film, its hard not to admire the overall work and effort, with clear affection and mastery put in throughout.
  17. Sep 1, 2014
    The magnum opus of Miss Sofia Coppola. She proves with Lost in Translation that she is more than capable of upholding her family's name in the filmmaking industry.
  18. Feb 24, 2013
    “Lost In Translation” is a fine movie. The writing is pretty good and the film has a lot to say. There is a lot of underlying themes and dialogue that make you think and reevaluate your own life. However, the film falls short because of its execution. There are scenes and moments that are just beautiful and thought provoking, but we have to sit through a lot of dare I say it boring moments just to get to one of these “good parts.” The cinematography is elegant, but the urge to be artistic detracts from the sweet story that is being told. On the other hand when we do get these so called “good parts” they are well worth it and make us realize why we’re sitting through this movie.

    Characters and acting are good. The characters are deeply layered and enhance the film. They’re characters that we want to know more about and wish them the better in life. Bill Murray plays a man going through a mid life crisis where he feels like there is a sudden void in his life. Scarlett Johansson is a young girl who is in the infant stages f her marriage and recently graduated, but doesn’t know what to do with her life. They both balance each other out and fill in the wholes the other lacks. Their on screen chemistry is sweet, however the romantic aspect often becomes a bit weird.

    Overall, “Lost In Translation” is a solid film. Its writing is top class, but the overall story is missing that extra “umph” to take it to another place. The movie also teeters on boring, but the good parts and the depth are worth the slower pace. I give it 3.5/5, a solid romantic tale.
  19. Jun 9, 2013
    Bill Murray is pitch perfect in this role. It seems as if this character was carved out specifically for him. When this movie is funny, it is unbelievably hilarious. This really is a realistic picture of lost people who come together to form a heartwarming friendship.
  20. Jun 1, 2012
    A classic and rare movie that shows the feelings of loneliness, isolation, and not feeling connected to the environment around you. And finding someone in the same boat can be remarkably powerful.
  21. May 30, 2014
    A loveletter to love and attraction, Lost in Translation is a moving film that is certainly not flawless. On the positive side, Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson are phenomenal and their chemistry is great. It is amazing to believe that Johansson was 17 at the time that this one was filmed. The cinematography of the film is also gorgeous. Sofia Coppola picked a great location for this one in Japan and really maximized its potential with the look of the film. In addition, as the two become closer-and-closer, but have obvious things preventing them from being together (both being married for starters), it is a charming film that shows how the best things in life can be unplanned and completely unexpected. The way in which their relationships with their spouses, or lack thereof, is also very well done. The amount of development that happens there and with the characters themselves in the short time frame of the film is impressive. For a romantic film, it was never mushy or fake, rather it felt completely genuine and natural, while also being funny at times to lighten the mood.

    On the negative side of things, this one certainly is not a loveletter to marriage. Rather, it feels as if the film's goal is to argue against marriage at times as both people deal with unhappy marriages. As they move closer together, the fact that they are married to other people is a disturbing element for me. There are many things that could keep them apart (age being a major one) that would keep that "we want to be together but can't be" element alive, so I did not enjoy that Coppola chose marriage as the thing that keeps them apart. In addition, the age difference is a tad creepy. Murray is over 50 here and Johansson is 17. The fact that they are forming this type of relationship is a tad off-putting. The same effect could have been created with a younger actor instead of Murray or an older one instead of Johansson. Finally, the criticism the film has faced for its portrayal of the Japanese is fair. The portrayal is there to exaggerate the differences between the two protagonists and the culture that surrounds them, but it feels more mocking and offensive than simply showing how their culture is different from ours.
  22. Apr 26, 2013
    Honestly, if there was one movie that I could take to a desert island, I think this might be it (assuming Godfather counted as a trilogy). Thoughtful, real and splendidly written, directed and acted.
  23. Feb 2, 2014
    Boring, tedious, pointless: the many adjectives I can use to describe this movie. The Coppola family usually directs such great films (The Godfather!), but Sofia's slow-moving melodramatic car wreck is dumb and unintelligent with an easily forgettable script and nothing else going for it.
  24. Aug 21, 2014
    This masterpiece of a movie is so aesthetically pleasing, from the soundtrack to the alien atmosphere of Tokyo that is perfectly conveyed by Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson. Whilst the movie does have it's comedic points where things get literally Lost In Translation, I find this to be more of a rom-com minus the romance and comedy. Romantic intentions are implied but there seems to be a mutual respect between the characters that is so perfectly crafted by Sofia Coppola. The small amount of the time through the film that the characters have to develop is used wisely, both come out of the story having learnt valuable life lessons about themselves which ultimately are passed onto the audience. Expand
  25. Jan 10, 2014
    Wow, who are these critics that gave this horrible movie high marks?? Easily the worst movie I've ever had the displeasure of wasting 102 minutes of my life. How anyone can say this is 'art', or 'poetic' is beyond me. It's plain awful, only seeing the light of day cuz it's daddy Coppola's little girl. She's not following in daddy's footsteps, but he apparently owns the critics and some narcissistic moviegoers. No other possible reason for this tripe to have favorable reviews. I usually don't buy into critics, but I failed on this one. My bad. Sofia, find new work. Oh, I am so sorry I watched this movie till the end expecting it to get better!! It can't, and won't get better. Save yourselves!! Expand
  26. Feb 15, 2014
    It's reassuring to see that I'm not so alone in really hating this movie. I now know better specifically why it drove me nuts watching it. I gave it a one just because of the visuals.
    I kept waiting and waiting and waiting for something to happen. But, it didn't. I'm not an action-oriented person but this movie barely breathes...and that's supposed to be what? something worth my time?
    Thanks to all these reviewers for helping me see others saw the sublime nothingness I saw. Expand
  27. Aug 17, 2014
    First of all Sofia Coppola (The Virgin Suicides) the daughter of Francis Ford Coppola (The Godfather). No expectations what so ever, Sofia is one amazing director, this movie was wonderful and a delight. I like the aspect that that two American strangers meet in Japan, with Bill Murray as Bob and Scar Jo as Charlotte. Brilliant casting, also with another favourite actor of mine Giovanni Ribisi. Has a few really funny parts, the film had my attention the whole time! Very entertaining for all kinds of movie-goers! Expand

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. 80
    Not much happens, but Coppola is so gentle and witty an observer that the movie casts a spell. [15 September 2003, p. 100]
  2. 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.
  3. 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.