Shall We Dance


Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 7 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. A warm-hearted and understated entertainment that's blissfully free of the heavy-handed crudity and other elements that have ravaged 21st-century Hollywood comedy.
  2. 75
    Gere is a pleasure, smiling and spinning and high-fiving his two classmates -- played by Bobby Cannavale and Omar Miller -- and the movie is happy and extremely likable.
  3. 75
    Conventional as it may be, Shall We Dance? offers genuine delights. The fact that Paulina is uninterested in romance with John comes as sort of a relief, freeing the story to be about something other than the inexorable collision of their genitals.
  4. It's an intelligent, funny, mature comedy that wears its heart on its sleeve and makes you care about the inner lives of ridiculously privileged human beings.
  5. The new film compensates with Gere's wry performance as a man who lacks for nothing material but hungers for something spiritual. Even better is Stanley Tucci's delirious turn as Gere's balding, button-down colleague.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    This is Gere’s movie, and Sarandon and Lopez graciously let him dance away with it.
  7. As glossy and overproduced as the thing is, it's a GOOD Big Stupid American movie.
  8. A sleek Hollywood crowd-pleaser, more movie than art film, but its makers have wisely stuck not only to the spirit but often even to the letter of the original.
  9. 67
    When it works, Shall We Dance? has a way of sweeping you off your feet.
  10. 63
    I walked out of the original Shall We Dance? with a silly grin on my face. I left this one shaking my head, wondering where it had all gone wrong.
  11. The movie tries hard to duplicate the original's mood and story, but, like Gere or Lopez, is too much of a visual knockout to rope us in.
  12. 63
    Goes too far in its slapstick efforts to please mainstream audiences, but there's no denying the genuine appeal of -- and I can't believe I'm actually writing this -- Richard Gere and ballroom dancing.
  13. 60
    Only Lopez, the film's ostensible star, seems to be struggling; she's a lovely dancer, but the only reason Lopez's expressionless performance isn't this sweet picture's downfall is that the script makes so few demands on her.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    An unabashedly old-fashioned entertainment loaded with traditional dancing and music.
  15. An old- fashioned feel-good fantasy that piles on the euphoria.
  16. Considering the talent on both sides of the camera and a story that worked beautifully the first time around, Shall We Dance? should have been a lot better than OK.
  17. 50
    The movie feels choppy and rhythmless. And he's (Chelsom) rather hopeless at dance sequences.
  18. The movie never gives its heart freely and honestly to the satiny whirl of post-"Chicago" showbiz spectacle it so clearly wants to be.
  19. Runs out of breath and collapses into a heap of feel-good endings that turn a soaring feeling into a sinking one. But by then, the audience that adores it will forgive it its sins.
  20. 50
    Shall We Dance?, which roams all over the emotional map without landing anywhere, is an unwieldy mess that gives every impression of having been made under a mandate to fill the Miramax crowd-pleaser slot.
  21. The warm performances give the film momentum, but writer Audrey Wells and director Peter Chelsom (who chops dance sequences clumsily) often stumble.
  22. 40
    Manages to transplant the action to Chicago without completely ruining it, though the emotional impact is largely deflated by the change in cultures.
  23. Even those who have never been exposed to the considerable charms of the Masayuki Suo original will likely find Peter Chelsom's all-American version of Shall We Dance? to be a dishearteningly sullen, lead-footed misstep.
  24. 40
    Chelsom has transformed a low-key charmer into an overblown shtick-com whose idea of restraint only extends to forgoing wacky sound effects, a laugh track, and amplified rim-shots every time a character delivers a wisecrack.
  25. Reviewed by: David Ng
    While Suo's original was hardly a masterpiece, it featured a subtle performance from Koji Yakusho. Gere doesn't even compare, playing the part of a despondent lawyer with the empathy of a mannequin.
  26. 40
    Occasionally charming but ultimately forgettable bit of fox-trot fluff.
  27. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Do yourself a favor and rent the 1996 original from Japan instead.
  28. This is a "What were they thinking?"-size disaster, with the wrong actors in the wrong roles in a project that had no reason to be remade in the USA.
  29. Now, forcibly deported to Chicago and peopled with American stars, the same story is huffed and puffed and squeezed into an entirely different cultural context. Guess what? Sayonara sushi, hello turkey.
  30. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    A remarkably ill-advised remake.
  31. 25
    The low point of the new Shall We Dance comes when Miss Paulina finally confesses why she's so sad.
  32. Falls flat, with more "sound design" than delicious music, more slick film editing than graceful ballroom gliding.
  33. 25
    What's left is a lot of strenuous playacting when what's called for is the finesse of the Japanese original. Skip this stub-toed substitute.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 43 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 28
  2. Negative: 8 out of 28
  1. horsth.
    Dec 23, 2005
    Easy entertainment.great music. Afeelgood movie.