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Generally favorable reviews- based on 737 Ratings

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  1. 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.
  2. 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
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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

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.