Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 105 Ratings

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  • Summary: Based on Patrick Suskind's best-selling novel, Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is set in Paris and revolves around an eccentric 18th century murderer with an extraordinary sense of smell.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. 100
    This is a dark, dark, dark film, focused on an obsession so complete and lonely it shuts out all other human experience. You may not savor it, but you will not stop watching it, in horror and fascination.
  2. The film is downright repulsive in places, and otherwise pushes the envelope for an art film, but it's a dazzling piece of filmmaking that wins us over with its boldness and artistry.
  3. 75
    It is to director Tykwer's credit that, although you never come close to understanding Jean-Baptiste, you don't turn your nose up at him, either.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Perfume is a pitch-black period epic of squalor and enterprise.
  5. 58
    Perfume is ultimately an unmistakable failure, but there's a strange majesty to its epic overreaching. It can be faulted for many things, but not for lacking the courage of its convictions.
  6. While Tom Tykwer's lavish and lively screen adaptation of Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is certainly not a stinker, there is something decidedly off about it.
  7. 25
    Perfume offers eau de crud.

See all 30 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 45
  2. Negative: 11 out of 45
  1. JochenD.
    Jul 15, 2009
    One of the best films ever made. Great direction and cinemathography, magnificent decors, great performances, great music, ... Tom Tykwer did what Stanley Kubrick found impossible: he adapted Suskind's wonderful novel to a fantastic movie. An outstanding masterpiece. Collapse
  2. JohnM.
    Jan 17, 2009
    Easily in the top five best movies I've seen, and probably my new favorite movie. Extremely dark, creative, and captivating.
  3. Oct 5, 2013
    this movie makes me feel that life is an art! any smell, color sound is perfect a visual beauty highlighting the most beautiful colors and places. on the other hand shows a macabre and brutal reality of this times! Perfume is a Great an powerful Masterpiece full of love passion art music colors and murder. Expand
  4. JeffA.
    Jan 14, 2007
    I thought it was visually mesmorizing, and transported the viewer into the world of a seemy and "smelly" world of a long ago France. I felt the main character was portrayed adeptly as this sadly inept and tortured soul, without any real sense of the world or what it was to be alive. He survived through scent and it ironically lead to his demise. [**SPOILER**] The only out of place and seemingly ridiculous scene was the orgy that made a 10 an 8. Expand
  5. scotth
    Dec 23, 2006
    Very well made. If one's read the book it is hard to imagine a good film rendition of the wonderful details on smells and smelling that Suskind conveys. Nevertheless, filmmaker and actors have done a good job at portraying the essence of the story. Expand
  6. May 26, 2012
    I didnt like this movie at all. It's really sadist and incredibly annoying to watch. I watched it a month ago and I still can't believe what I've seen. The actors are amazing and the pressure that makes me feel its weird but I dont know, I just dont feel good about it. Expand
  7. NikkiI.
    Dec 20, 2007
    One of the dumbest movies I have ever seen that tries to be so much more. I must admit that the first hour or so is good, at best, but the ending was so completely absurd and ridiculous I had a hard time just trying to get through it. Its disappointing, as I was told this was a relatively good movie... but it was garbage. Absolute garbage. Expand

See all 45 User Reviews