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Mixed or average reviews - based on 41 Critics What's this?

User Score
8.1

Universal acclaim- based on 213 Ratings

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  • Summary: This ultimate romantic comedy weaves together a spectacular number of love affairs into one amazing story. [Universal Pictures]
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 41
  2. Negative: 4 out of 41
  1. 88
    The movie's only flaw is also a virtue: It's jammed with characters, stories, warmth and laughs, until at times Curtis seems to be working from a checklist of obligatory movie love situations and doesn't want to leave anything out.
  2. 75
    The biggest surprise in the cheery, delightful Love Actually is its lively, edgy, slightly blue sense of humor.
  3. 70
    Provides enough happy endings to make the audience forget that romance and Christmas miracles don't always work out.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    Charming, if terribly overstuffed, vision of romantic London gridlock.
  5. Reviewed by: Caroline Westbrook
    60
    It’s a formula that works and, as crowd-pleasing mainstream Britcom goes, it’s a relatively solid, if flawed, entry into the genre.
  6. 50
    The movie grows more cloying and repetitive as it stretches well beyond two hours. Almost every main character boasts the same bashful, puppy-dog attitude toward romance.
  7. Gets to be dislikable in its glib feelgoodness. The movie's many excellent actors do too much acting with too little conviction in scenes that rush through perfunctory setups to deliver pat payoffs.

See all 41 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 82 out of 101
  2. Negative: 11 out of 101
  1. MichaelJ.
    Dec 25, 2007
    10
    The occasional overdone moments are far outweighed by the heart touching warmth of this film. If you are looking for a deep dredging of of The occasional overdone moments are far outweighed by the heart touching warmth of this film. If you are looking for a deep dredging of of the human soul read Kafka or watch The Pianist. This is a light hearted reminder of some of the joy of life. And what's wrong with that? A good example of why one shouldn't listen to critics. Expand
  2. GeorgiaD.
    Feb 14, 2004
    10
    Beautiful, sickening, deliriously funny yet uncontrollably upsetting, Love Actually is the ultimate rom-com by Richard Curtis, who also Beautiful, sickening, deliriously funny yet uncontrollably upsetting, Love Actually is the ultimate rom-com by Richard Curtis, who also brought us Four Weddings & A Funeral, Notting Hill and Bridget Jones' Diary. Although I spent 3/4 of the movie wiping the tears from my ridiculously sensitive eyes, a heartwarming film nevertheless, and one of very few films which I intend to buy the second it comes out on DVD. Forget what the NYT or the Wall Street Journal has to say, hear it from a normal single woman with normal feelings - this is a beautiful film which will have you smiling and wiping the tears away in no time. Includes some brilliant moments, such as the porn star story, the little boy who's in love and the single English guy who decides to find love in America, yet has some terribly chin-shaking moments such as when Keira Knightley's character realises ..... and the Liam Neeson's wife's funeral. Just don't forget plenty of tissues! Expand
  3. Aug 17, 2010
    8
    Infused with the charm of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman ("Tim" from The Office UK), Liam Neeson, and many others, these loosely connected storiesInfused with the charm of Hugh Grant, Martin Freeman ("Tim" from The Office UK), Liam Neeson, and many others, these loosely connected stories weave together to make one of the most endearing and funny rom coms of the past decade. Unlike its American counterpart, this film underplays (to the extent that that's possible with an all-star cast) its principle actors, bringing a much-needed aspect to the stories. Sure some of the tales are a bit cloying, and some are a tad unnecessary, but such is the folly of a modern romantic comedy. The stories don't always hit home with the feeling they're trying to convey. Having said that, one story in particular really impacted me emotionally- something few films ever do, especially romantic comedies. Two particular performances stand out in this movie. The first is Liam Neeson's character as a widower, whom I found to be extremely endearing. His evolving relationship with his stepson (Thomas Sangster) is a delight to watch. It turns out he has chops for family roles, too, and not just high-impact drama and action. Who knew? The other gem in this film is the more ephemeral but ever-present Bill Nighy, who plays a washed-up old hack of a singer/songwriter whose glory days are well behind him. Even he gets his own love story, but that takes a back seat to his hilarious scene-stealing lines peppered throughout the film. All in all, this film is a fun, charming watch, if not a perfect movie, and is well worth seeing if you have any love of romantic comedies. It also happens to be a no-brainer alternative to that Valentine's Day knockoff cal. Verdict: Movie Win (for rom com fans) Expand
  4. Dec 15, 2014
    6
    While this wasn’t my flick it was still engaging. I thought the film had an interesting premise and this was a film viewing experience I’veWhile this wasn’t my flick it was still engaging. I thought the film had an interesting premise and this was a film viewing experience I’ve never had. Some of the relationships worked, the film had a good cast, and the presentation was good. I guess I’m just too into romantic films and I’m not British so a lot of the British humor probably went over my head. If you are a girl though in the mood for a nice feel good romantic comedy to watch around the holidays this will do. Also, act fast because this is leaving Netflix at the end of the month and is it true that on Christmas you tell the truth. Expand
  5. MichaelL.
    Jan 7, 2006
    5
    I really wanted to like this movie. I feel terribly cynical trashing it, and that's why I'm giving it a middling 5. Actually, I really wanted to like this movie. I feel terribly cynical trashing it, and that's why I'm giving it a middling 5. Actually, I'm giving it a 5 because there were some superb performances--Emma Thompson, Laura Linney and Bill Nighy among them. But, my God, what a maudlin mish-mash of overbaked optimism! I loved the film best when reality took over--which was all too rare: Linney's hopeless romance, Collin Firth walking away from his linguistically-challenged infatuation. Thompson's initial heartbreak. It was real, bittersweet, and true. When I had to suffer through yet another bumbling romantic performance by Hugh Grant (who, besides Americans, would elect someone this idiotic to their land's highest office?), a school play that looked like the finale of "American Idol", and a wedding that resembled the parade sequence of "Hello Dolly", I was actually angry. At its best, "Love Actually" is sweet and true and optimistic. At its worst--as it often is--"Love Actually" is manipulative, unbelievable, and just plain stupid. I think a 4 is a better vote...actually. Expand
  6. Nov 12, 2012
    4
    I can see how it would have seemed great as an idea. You tell a bunch of short stories involving the various stages of love featuring aI can see how it would have seemed great as an idea. You tell a bunch of short stories involving the various stages of love featuring a varying cast, and then connect everyone, expecting your audience to be enlightened. They aren't, because Love Actually, actually doesn't work, not to mention that its a good half hour too long. Expand
  7. T.M.
    Oct 18, 2009
    1
    I am only giving this movie a 1 for the great cast, though I can't imagine what any of them were thinking. This movie was horrible. I I am only giving this movie a 1 for the great cast, though I can't imagine what any of them were thinking. This movie was horrible. I want that 2 1/2 (!) hours of my life back. Friends whose taste I trust actually recommended this piece of crap to me. Just to start ... I don't think even in America could someone has idiotic as Hugh Grant's character be elected to lead the country. If Laura Linney's character liked her hunky co-worker so much, why the hell didn't she turn off her' cellphone when she finally lured him to her bed? (And her storyline was left hanging.) Why did the subplot with Emma Thompson and Alan Rickman seem to be about humiliating Emma's character? Why did Keira Knightly marry the black guy if she really wanted the other guy? And how convenient that in a huge city like London, all the children iin the story went to the same school. The movie's music was horrible, especially the little girl who was forced to sing like an American Idol reject. Were they going for the absurd when the so-so looking guy went to America and was overwhelmed with attention from prospective Playboy playmates? And the oh-so-cuteness of Colin Firth's character's and the maid's trying to communicate. The porn star body-double couple hardly had a story. But then, the stars of the movie hardly had a story. Hugh Grant's dancing-in-his underwear/"Risky Business" ripoff was unforgivable, as was the misogyny of the middle-aged men ending up with women half their ages who had been their servants. Expand

See all 101 User Reviews

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