Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 22
  2. Negative: 3 out of 22
  1. Qualifies as director Giuseppe Tornatore's second full-fledged masterpiece. His first: "Cinema Paradiso."
  2. Malena the film is as beautiful and seductive as its heroine, with its ravishing Lajos Koltai cinematography and sweepingly romantic Ennio Morricone score.
  3. Gives audiences something more than just a heart-stopping beauty to contemplate.
  4. What begins as a blushing, priapic opera buffa about coming of age turns into a verismo shocker, before softening into something mellower.
  5. 70
    A nostalgic coming-of-age sex comedy tastefully lecherous enough to indicate that its intended demographic is several decades past puberty.
  6. Reviewed by: Frank Lovece
    70
    It differs from American films about the period in its evocation of day-to-day passion. The power of beauty is often dealt with in films, but not so often its powerful curse.
  7. 70
    Nothing new here except model-turned-actress Bellucci. To call her noteworthy would be an understatement.
  8. 67
    Intriguing, containing a truthful kernel of sweetness, rot and brutality that will shock many.
  9. You wish that Malena's inner life had been given as much accent as her outer charms.
  10. Striking photography, period detail, screen-filling crowd scenes, and veteran composer Morricone's score make this one worth seeing, but the sheer nastiness of the town's people drags it down.
  11. Too often seems like a slightly silly film.
  12. No period of Italian history has produced more great movies than the WWII years . But, Malena romanticizes and even sentimentalizes those years.
  13. If Mussolini had a Monica Bellucci to inspire his troops, we might still be trying to take Palermo.
  14. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    There's definitely some paradiso in watching Malena walking, but not enough to sustain almost two hours of cinema.
  15. Somewhere in writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore's overstyled movie, about a 12-year-old boy (Sulfaro) during the Italian fascist period who has the hots for a mistreated war widow (Belluci), is a pretty good short story about the fickleness of community and the cruelty of gossip struggling to get out.
  16. 50
    There is noting quite so awkward as a film that is one thing while it pretends to be another.
  17. 50
    When the film changes gears from light coming-of-age comedy to ex-post-facto war parable midway through, it loses its focus and suddenly becomes a much darker beast.
  18. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    50
    Combining a coming-of-age story with the sad odyssey of a woman punished for her beauty, the film ultimately has too little depth, subtlety, thematic consequence or contemporary relevance.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    40
    Things finally work out all right--except for audiences, who will find this thin movie bereft of the more richly textured sentiments of Tornatore's "Cinema Paradiso."
  20. 20
    Giuseppe Tornatore has long been a master of cheap sentiment ("Cinema Paradiso," " The Legend of 1900"), but his latest film is his most shallow, reprehensible exercise in nostalgia to date.
  21. Feels more like "Porky's" with marinara sauce than "Summer of '42."
  22. 10
    In the end, Malena is an unlikable and foul farce, unworthy of Tornatore's previously gentle touch.
User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 58 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21
  1. Jun 7, 2015
    7
    A really nice movie. The plot is good and shows the European style of cinematography and especially the Italian one very nice. There would beA really nice movie. The plot is good and shows the European style of cinematography and especially the Italian one very nice. There would be no a better actress for the Malena role than Monica Bellucci. Also, the kids play so well like professionals and especially the boy who comes very close with Malena in the nude scene is a very good actor. Nice cast, wonderful directing in the whole movie but the only scene which stands out in directing is the scene where Malena is drugged in the square. Full Review »
  2. R.L.
    Jan 5, 2009
    10
    A truly extraordinary film! I loved every minute of it.
  3. sathyav.
    Dec 18, 2007
    10
    I love this movie. we must view this film in an auto-analystic way of admiring the characters. this movie has some magic that we keep on I love this movie. we must view this film in an auto-analystic way of admiring the characters. this movie has some magic that we keep on thinking about it even after weeks or months...oops! i must say this is a movie of a life time. i'm glad to have it in my collections of dvd. tornatore is way ahead of mankind. Full Review »