Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. This beautifully sculpted poetic naturalism has more in common with the expressive use of words in the great screenplays of '40s and '50s than with modern movies.
  2. What could have been a parlor game becomes a surprisingly rich sketchbook, boosted by the work of fine actors.
  3. A bold film both in its storytelling strategies and its filmmaking logistics.
  4. Reviewed by: Rory L. Aronsky
    Garcia is a thoughtful filmmaker not only by the group of actors he has gathered, but in remembering that there has been and will be people watching his movie.
  5. 90
    As a film composed entirely of nine continuous long takes, Nine Lives certainly qualifies as unique. But what makes it rarer and more auspicious is that it offers such a rich bounty of great roles for middle-aged women.
  6. That rare episode film that actually accrues a cumulative power and doesn't merely proceed from one segment to the next.
  7. Together, however, they add up to a film that may be the closest movies have come to the cinematic equivalent of a collection of Chekhov short stories.
  8. GarcĂ­a wanted to paint a canvas of nine elements, rather than one large element; and, though only a few of the vignettes are related, the film leaves us with a sense of wholeness, not of stunt.
  9. 90
    The scenes are so dramatically cogent the characters' lives seem to stretch far beyond the concluding blackouts.
  10. 88
    A movie like this, with the appearance of new characters and situations, focuses us; we watch more intently, because it is important what happens.
  11. A disturbingly frank look at people and relationships in contemporary Los Angeles and a thrilling dramatic showcase for a brilliant cast.
  12. In refusing to pigeonhole its characters, Nine Lives is less like those L.A. road-rage melodramas "Short Cuts" and "Crash" than those all-of-us-are-interconnected dramas "Amores Perros" and "21 Grams."
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Though the episodic structure results in a whole not quite equal to some of its parts, pic is an unusually tender, perceptive character study buoyed by stellar performances from a who's who of talented (and many underused) actresses.
  14. 80
    The beauty of Nine Lives is that its occasionally overlapping stories feel entirely unforced; Garcia's is a filmmaking style of rare lyricism, compassion and discretion.
  15. One wishes perhaps for a more thumping conclusion, but what we have instead is something perfectly in the spirit of the piece, reaffirming that life, big and little, happens in 10 minutes chunks.
  16. A couple of the stories don't quite accomplish what Rodrigo intends, but most are poignant, disturbing, and superbly acted.
  17. An emotionally satisfying example of a genre whose sketchiness can be off-putting.
  18. 75
    Beautifully acted and emotionally devastating.
  19. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Not all of Nine Lives clicks, but at its best it finds an inarticulate sisterly solace that makes you want to see what this director could do with one life per film.
  20. 75
    The snaky cinematography pulls you through even when the writing doesn't, and the best performances keep you hoping that you'll feel the next one or the one after that just as powerfully.
  21. Five or six lives might have felt more concise; nine test the patience a bit, though it is impressive that each is composed of a single Steadicam shot.
  22. The uneven Nine Lives has an impressive cast, but the best section features the great Mexican actress Elpidio Carrillo as a prison inmate kept from her child.
  23. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Nine Lives hands the viewer a lot of work -- learning a whole new set of characters every few minutes -- for a disappointing wage. The bad stories waste your time, and the good ones leave you unsatisfied.
  24. 50
    In yet another roundelay that, like "Crash" and "Heights," follows the "Short Cuts" template of cosmic interconnection.
  25. 38
    Movies like this usually have something interesting to say about the human condition, but not Nine Lives. It makes an insufferably obvious observation: we live boring lives, shit happens, and we die.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 13
  2. Negative: 3 out of 13
  1. tokiasme
    Dec 17, 2007
    Lovely, touching and profound.
  2. Shauna
    Apr 12, 2006
    Terrible! what was the point of this? the last story was the worst. i thought it was alright, thinking that everything was going to be connected in the end but no! nothing! terrible movie. I watched it because the other user comments made it seem like anyone who likes art movies would like it, but i love art movies and this sucked! Full Review »
  3. AwalK.
    Apr 9, 2006
    Average. While certain stories stand out - Robin Wright at the supermarket and Glenn Close at the cemetary - most are rather boring. I thought the nine different stories should have been more connected and weaved together. I don't expect 'Crash' or 'Pulp Fiction' but this movie seemed rather disjointed. The cinematography (each vignette is one long, continuous shot) is extraordianry, though. Full Review »