Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 20
  2. Negative: 2 out of 20
  1. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Nov 29, 2011
    80
    Leigh does a stellar job of showing how these events seep into the unaware girl's everyday existence - almost all of the film's sequences are photographed in precisely composed, inherently surreal single shots.
  2. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Oct 10, 2011
    80
    This will divide audiences as much as "The Tree Of Life," but it's a brave and beautiful calling card for both filmmaker and star. Drink it up, sit back and think of a very different Australia.
  3. 75
    At its simple core, Sleeping Beauty is a perfectly pitched chamber piece about the menace of voluntary oblivion.
  4. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Dec 2, 2011
    75
    I'm not, finally, sure what Leigh is saying - but she is a filmmaker with a voice.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Dec 1, 2011
    75
    Sleeping Beauty is best experienced as a piece of fragmented poetry rather than a strict ideological tract.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Nordine
    Nov 28, 2011
    75
    Julia Leigh's take on the fairy tale is a study in detachment and unspoken dissatisfaction, traits that imbue the proceedings with a barely-contained sexual energy lurking beneath a thin veneer of calm.
  7. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Dec 2, 2011
    70
    Leigh, a novelist making her cinematic debut here, directs with a cold and distancing eye. Sleeping Beauty has the deliberate grace of Kubrick, and while comparisons to the sex parties of "Eyes Wide Shut" are inevitable, Leigh's approach is even more sexless and sterile than the master's.
  8. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    Nov 28, 2011
    70
    To be at once earthy and ethereal is an uncommon gift. I noticed it, in Browning, when she starred in "Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events," as the calmly eccentric Violet Baudelaire. Already, as a teen-ager, she seemed older and wiser than the events unfolding around her, and, likewise, in Sleeping Beauty, she impugns the drooling antics of the elderly.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Oct 10, 2011
    70
    I found it gorgeous, opaque and disturbing in roughly equal portions, but it was a riveting experience all the way through.
  10. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Dec 1, 2011
    67
    Emily Browning gives a game performance as the unconscious sex object, but Leigh doesn't provide her with a lot to work with in terms of motivation, dimension, or any kind of rich interior life.
  11. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Dec 9, 2011
    60
    As repellent as Lucy's story can be, its mystery has a seductive sway, and it does add up to more than the sum of its insistently elliptical parts.
  12. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Dec 27, 2011
    50
    Novelist-turned-director Leigh's dryly efficient style is perched between the matter-of-fact and the impossibly arty.
  13. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Dec 1, 2011
    50
    Though the tone is quiet and the pacing serenely unhurried, Sleeping Beauty is at times almost screamingly funny, a pointed, deadpan surrealist sex farce that Luis Buñuel might have admired.
  14. Reviewed by: Melissa Anderson
    Nov 29, 2011
    50
    Sharp and precise as its tableaux might be, though, Sleeping Beauty never burrows into the brain, and its tenuous provocations fizzle out quickly.
  15. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 2, 2011
    50
    Sleeping Beauty is one of those self-consciously artsy motion picture that promises more than it delivers.
  16. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    Oct 10, 2011
    40
    While this psychosexual twaddle will no doubt have its admirers, it seems a long shot to attract a significant following or herald the arrival of a director to watch.
  17. Reviewed by: Richard Mowe
    Oct 10, 2011
    40
    Leigh certainly has a sense of cinematic style and Emily Browning possesses a fragile beauty that hides a remarkably resilient interior. It's a pity, however, that Jane Campion did not exert a more powerful sway on the result.
  18. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Oct 10, 2011
    40
    The film's frustratingly elliptical style and lack of character insight give it a distinctly first-draft feel.
  19. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Nov 30, 2011
    25
    Movies like Sleeping Beauty are as sensual as cottage cheese, not to mention passé.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 3, 2011
    20
    Though Julia Leigh's surprisingly dull debut is meant to present the mysteries of a troubled young woman, you're more likely to wonder why its star, Emily Browning, is drawn to such demeaning roles.
User Score
4.5

Mixed or average reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 8
  2. Negative: 3 out of 8
  1. May 8, 2012
    8
    I actually really liked this film. I like it because it stays with you after it has ended (like Eyes Wide Shut, Mulholland Drive...etc). Although it has nudity throughout, it's not erotic nudity. It's got an almost "cold, sterile" vibe riding alongside in the passenger seat. There's plenty of questions to ask yourself when watching (1.The meaning behind the character "Birdman"... 2.The "Lack of Kissing"... 3.The "Will You Marry Me?"... 4.The ending...etc)

    There's definitely multiple hidden narratives or meanings that this film operates on and it's definitely trying to examine the objectification of females, and what constitutes as a sexualized image or the nature of sexual aggression. It's also notably showing the parallel of being asleep through her entire life (seemingly not being fazed by anything) and to finally "wake up" at the finale... hence a play on the title.
    Full Review »
  2. Apr 12, 2012
    7
    Definitely not your everyday film. I understand how some people could be offended or dislike the movie as a whole, however, if you watch the trailer before hand or read the synopsis, you should know what you are getting yourself into. The trailer really shows the sexuality of it. So that being said, it wasnt a bad movie. Some silent moments to show the boredom in her regular life but again, its an artsy film so sit back and enjoy. Passing grade. Full Review »
  3. Dec 3, 2011
    2
    One of the worst films I've seen all year. Julia Leigh's directorial debut looks and feels like a second rate Hanake film. Rarely have I seen a movie devoid of any real point. The word "pretentious" is often thrown around too easily to describe movies these days, but it's a word that is largely deserved for this ugly and exploitative film.

    "Art House crap is still crap"
    Full Review »