Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 4, 2011
    100
    Once you start to ride with the rapturous, gorgeous, digressive symphony of images and words and music in this film it's completely absorbing and unlike anything you've ever seen.
  2. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Aug 4, 2011
    100
    This enveloping dream of an epic narrative experiment comes from the great Chilean-born, France-based filmmaker Raúl Ruiz (Time Regained).
  3. Reviewed by: J. Hoberman
    Aug 2, 2011
    100
    Leisurely and digressive, this generally exhilarating saga ("a storm of misadventures" per Ruiz) variously suggests Victor Hugo, Stendhal, and (thanks in part to the unnatural, emphatic yet uninflected, acting) Mexican telenovelas. The score is richly romantic; the period locations are impeccable.
  4. Reviewed by: Rob Nelson
    Aug 1, 2011
    100
    A handsomely mounted adaptation of the like-titled Portuguese novel, Ruiz's 4 1/2-hour epic establishes the essential ambiguity of its chameleonic characters from the get-go and proceeds thereby, with riveting results and revelations that continue right to the end.
  5. Reviewed by: Ignatiy Vishnevetsky
    Sep 15, 2011
    90
    It's smart, energetic filmmaking that also makes for engrossing entertainment.
  6. 90
    In Mysteries of Lisbon, the prolific Chilean-born director and egghead Raúl Ruiz has achieved something remarkable, at once avant-garde and middlebrow: the apotheosis of the soap opera.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 15, 2011
    88
    It's a lot. But if you're at all inclined, it's just right.
  8. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Sep 14, 2011
    88
    I got a little lost while watching Mysteries of Lisbon and enjoyed the experience. It's a lavish, elegant, operatic, preposterous 19th century melodrama, with characters who change names and seemingly identities, and if you could pass a quiz on its stories within stories, you have my admiration.
  9. Reviewed by: Fernando F. Croce
    Aug 1, 2011
    88
    A marvelously elastic storyteller, a dry wit, and a Rivettean anti-determinist, the Chilean auteur Raúl Ruiz is fascinated by narratives that dilate from within, images seemingly full of secret passageways, and fabulists who collect tales like toys.
  10. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    Aug 5, 2011
    85
    Ruiz, whose best-known films include his 1999 adaptation of Proust's "Time Regained," coolly roams the ambiguous territories between tragedy and soap opera, and between the traditional and the modern.
  11. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Aug 3, 2011
    83
    Mysteries Of Lisbon is an odd kind of epic: It's digressive and even trifling at times, and though a large cast wanders through the frame, the individual scenes tend to be focused on just two or three people, having winding conversations about political intrigue and affairs of the heart.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 0 out of 3
  1. Sep 26, 2011
    8
    The Mysteries of Lisbon are not so much mysteries as they are a series of conversations which always lead to some sort of revelation. TheseThe Mysteries of Lisbon are not so much mysteries as they are a series of conversations which always lead to some sort of revelation. These revelations are melodramatic punch lines with interlocking characters continuously finding out who their parents are, where they came from, the results of lost loves, and everything in between. If the script was written in a linear fashion with no time jumps or flashbacks, there would be no mysteries; it would just be a meandering retelling of Romeo and Juliet (and all of their cousins).

    The word meandering sounds harsh and an indictment of a script which does not know where it is going. However, I mean meandering as in there are multiple lead characters to follow and each of them has a very complicated past which takes its time to tell. The Mysteries of Lisbon is four and a half hours long; the director threw out accepted norms for audience patience in favor of showing the whole story. It is based on an 1854 novel by the Portuguese author Camilo Castelo Branco and it appears it was filmed in an unabridged fashion.

    The main character is a village priest, Padre Denis (Adriano Luz), who at first is indirectly involved in a coupleâ
    Full Review »
  2. Sep 2, 2011
    8
    Saw this at the San Francisco Film Festival in April 2011. Long production, well produced, well acted and epic in scope. If you go for largeSaw this at the San Francisco Film Festival in April 2011. Long production, well produced, well acted and epic in scope. If you go for large epic tales, this is a good one to watch. Full Review »
  3. Aug 27, 2011
    7
    A little over half for the four hour-plus-intermission riveting BBC miniseries-esque film that played at the new Bunim Munroe center at FilmA little over half for the four hour-plus-intermission riveting BBC miniseries-esque film that played at the new Bunim Munroe center at Film Society last weekend. The first half was incredible! The characters, the plot twists, dialogue, costumes, intrigue. Passion. Managed to feed the flame of 19th-century obsession for a whole two hours, that is until the second act when it imploded of its own over-the-top quirks and romantics. Would it really have been asking too much to sustain the handsome, childlike wonder that was Joao for just a little while longer? Full Review »