Metascore
43

Mixed or average reviews - based on 29 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 29
  2. Negative: 7 out of 29
Watch On
  1. 80
    It’s a well-crafted, handsome period piece, and pleasant to watch, but the intensity of an obsessional style--something that matches Florentino’s crazy single-mindedness--is beyond Newell’s range. The director of “Donnie Brasco” and “Four Weddings and a Funeral” doesn’t paint with the camera; he doesn’t seize on certain visual motifs, as he should, and turn them into the equivalent of a lover’s devotion to fetishes.
  2. 67
    When characters are required to grow old over the course of a decades-spanning story, as in Love in the Time of Cholera, it's still a hit-or-miss proposition whether the combination of makeup and performance skills will convince us that a character is 40 years older than the actor.
  3. "Love" would be intolerably boring were it not for the frequent injections of humor, thanks largely to Hector Elizondo as Florentino's uncle, and for Bardem's ultimately winning performance.
  4. 63
    Sometimes less truly is more, and Love in the Time of Cholera is proof.
  5. As one unfamiliar with the novel, I found it hard to tease out its meaning from this handsomely mounted, well-acted, aggressively elliptical adaptation.
  6. Reviewed by: Sura Wood
    60
    Shot on location in vibrant Cartagena, the film's strong suit is aesthetic. Cinematographer Alfonso Beato, designer Wolf Kroeger and costume designer Marit Allen evoke aged exotic locales, rugged rural settings and dimly lit period interiors. A closing, aerial image has a breathtaking, spiritual beauty.
  7. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    50
    Despite a magnificent performance by Javier Bardem, the film not only falls short of the novel's magic, but fails to generate much of its own.
  8. Newell has done some fine work in all sorts of genres, from “Four Weddings and a Funeral” to “Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire,” but in “Cholera” he seems to be chronicling a half-century of events, passions and desires as a tourist, not a native.
  9. 50
    Newell's film arrives loaded with problems. The most superficial, but undeniably distracting, involves the way characters age at different rates and under makeup of varying believability.
  10. 50
    Lush, extravagant, sad and touching, Love in the Time of Cholera still feels weirdly insubstantial when all the febrile passion has abated. Like a fever it breaks, passes and is forgotten.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    50
    Newell's rendering of the iconic novel is dull and creatively off-kilter, lacking the surreal magic and robust passion of Márquez's signature magical realism style and never fully engaging the viewer.
  12. 50
    If you've seen "Gone With the Wind," you've seen what Love in the Time of Cholera isn't.
  13. Today, the 1985 novel is the No. 1-selling paperback in North America. Sadly, the movie is a bonfire where the novel was a blaze of fireworks.
  14. This romantic drama by director Mike Newell preserves the odd playfulness of Gabriel Garcia Marquez's international best seller but sacrifices its eroticism and intricate nonlinear plotting.
  15. Eventually arrives at a lovely place, but it arrives limping. Small but nagging problems drag it down, such as weird acting choices, bizarre casting and strange aging makeup.
  16. That, after all these years of playing hard-to-get, the novel has made it to the screen in the form of a plodding, tone-deaf, overripe, overheated Oscar-baiting telenovela smacks of just the kind of deliciously ironic prank an 80-year-old Colombian Nobel laureate could really get behind.
  17. 50
    Little of the fragile wisdom with which García Márquez imbued that idea has survived this timid Hollywood treatment.
  18. 42
    The movie version of Love in the Time of Cholera doesn't have the drive or the dynamism to be an artistic nightmare. It's more like a dead dream, the kind that leaves nothing more behind in the light of day than a sickly cloud.
  19. Faithful to the outline of the novel but emotionally and spiritually anemic, it slides into the void between art and entertainment, where well-intended would-be screen epics often land with a thud.
  20. 40
    Forget the heat of passion: The movie never breaks a sweat.
  21. 40
    Is love a disease, as Marquez possibly wanted us to believe? Maybe, but in the case of this adaptation, it’s more of a laughing sickness.
  22. 38
    Newell has followed up a respectable adaptation of a Harry Potter novel with an ignominious translation of something more delicate and literate. It's hard to recommend this movie to anyone except perhaps the MST3K crew.
  23. 38
    Is there another great modern writer so hard to translate successfully into cinema? Saul Bellow? Again, it's all in the language. The only thing Saul and Gabo have in common is the Nobel Prize. Now that's interesting.
  24. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    38
    Huge in scope and beautifully shot on location in South America, this ambitious production is undone by terrible casting choices.
  25. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    30
    Easily the worst adaptation of a major novel by a Nobel Prize–winning author. Easily.
  26. Reviewed by: Toddy Burton
    30
    Not surprisingly, it’s better to just read the book.
  27. As for the splendid Spaniard Javier Bardem, now knocking socks off in "No Country for Old Men," his lot is worst of all. He's miscast as the romantic Florentino.
  28. Reviewed by: Ryan Stewart
    25
    What doesn't work at all -- saving the worst for last -- is a ship-sinking performance by John Leguizamo as Lorenzo.
User Score
5.3

Mixed or average reviews- based on 31 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 14
  2. Negative: 7 out of 14
  1. Feb 4, 2015
    3
    First 1 hour is very very boring.I didn't watch rest of the movie.Some one was saying it better towards the end.......................................
  2. Mar 29, 2014
    10
    incredible....................................................................................................................................incredible....................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................................Very Good Full Review »
  3. Nov 12, 2012
    1
    You can't just take a novel, no matter how great, and translate it to script word for word. Chances are, you'll need to make adjustments.You can't just take a novel, no matter how great, and translate it to script word for word. Chances are, you'll need to make adjustments. Because if you don't, you get an indolent, sporadic lump of doo-doo like this. Insufferable. Full Review »