Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. 100
    This is a breathless, exciting story, heartbreaking and exhilarating at the same time.
  2. 100
    A terrific yarn, one so engrossing and surprising that the nature of the story's structure -- each question Jamal gets asked on the show corresponds with a traumatic or momentous moment from his childhood -- never feels like a contrived framing device.
  3. 100
    Four stars simply aren't enough for Danny Boyle's Slumdog Millionaire, which just may be the most entertaining movie I've ever labeled a masterpiece in these pages.
  4. It doesn't happen often, but when it does, look out: a movie that rocks and rolls, that transports, startles, delights, shocks, seduces. A movie that is, quite simply, great.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    100
    Director Danny Boyle's riveting and kaleidoscopic tale, based on Vikas Swarup's debut novel "Q and A," is exquisitely adapted to the screen by Simon Beaufoy.
  6. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    100
    You may even feel like dancing in the aisles yourself. Sure, the real world doesn't always work this way. Have you forgotten that this is one of the reasons why we go to movies in the first place?
  7. The story may stretch credibility until it's ready to pop its seams, but Patel conveys the simple confidence of a prodigy who has learned everything important in life, except how to lie.
  8. 100
    Slumdog Millionaire dives headfirst into something greater than a subculture - the enormous unchronicled culture of India's mega-slums - and achieves even more sweeping impact.
  9. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    100
    Danny Boyle's finest since "Trainspotting." In fact, it's the best British/Indian gameshow-based romance of the millennium.
  10. Slumdog Millionaire is the film world's first globalized masterpiece.
  11. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    96
    Romantic, action-packed and always held together by an intriguing social conscience, Slumdog Millionaire is a rapturous crowd pleaser.
  12. This is Boyle's fullest, most satisfying work and an audience-pleaser that deserves to be a big hit.
  13. 91
    Slumdog Millionaire features the simplest story Boyle has ever told, which may explain why its many pleasures are so pure.
  14. The whole thing is irresistibly preposterous.
  15. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    An almost ridiculously ebullient Bollywood-meets-Hollywood concoction--and one of the rare "feel-good" movies that actually makes you feel good, as opposed to merely jerked around.
  16. Boyle has been nothing if not bold with this film. He's dared to use so many venerable movie elements it's dizzying, dared us to say we won't be moved or involved, dared us to say we're too hip to fall for tricks that are older than we are.
  17. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    90
    Driven by fantastic energy and a torrent of vivid images of India old and new, Slumdog Millionaire is a blast.
  18. 90
    Like all good fairy tales, this outsize celebration of perseverance and moral triumph contains within it a deeper idea -- in this case, the relative nature of what we think we know, and what's worth knowing at all. No doubt Dickens himself would approve.
  19. 89
    Like Mumbai, Slumdog pulses and throbs with raw, unadulterated life and the hope for a better Bombay, today. It's brilliant.
  20. 88
    Brimming with humor and heartbreak, Slumdog Millionaire meets at the border of art and commerce and lets one flow into the other as if that were the natural order of things.
  21. Reviewed by: Jason Buchanan
    88
    A great movie is something more than the sum total of all its parts, and here, the elements all come together to form a feature that speaks a universal form of optimism that isn't likely to get lost in translation, no matter where it screens, or who is watching.
  22. 88
    The result is magical and life affirming, and will enrapture those who are not scared away by the mention of "subtitles."
  23. 83
    Boyle, one of the premier stylists in the world fills "Slumdog" with ebullient energy and ceaseless invention.
  24. Reviewed by: Scott Mendelson
    80
    Absolutely perfect family entertainment for anyone over the age of ten. It is a celebration of not just the usual triumph of the human spirit, but a celebration of the human experience.
  25. 80
    The real star of the film is not a person but a city, the vertiginous, exciting, massively overcrowded "maximum city" of Mumbai. On one hand, this environment of Dickensian, almost hallucinatory contrasts between rich and poor, good and evil feels perfect for Danny Boyle.
  26. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    80
    A stylish, ingeniously constructed bit of hokum, a sparkling trinket of a movie that's as implausible as it is irresistible.
  27. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    80
    Despite its elements of brutality, this is a buoyant hymn to life, and a movie to celebrate.
  28. After last year's black-hearted "No Country for Old Men," the Oscars may well be in the mood to embrace a fairy tale sampling every imaginable genre, with a note of triumph accompanying even the worst suffering, capped by the snazziest ending money can buy.
  29. Slumdog Millionaire is nothing if not an enjoyably far-fetched piece of rags-to-riches wish fulfillment.
  30. Reviewed by: Peter Brunette
    70
    What's perhaps most fascinating about the film is Boyle's relentless focus on the realities of present-day India as a vehicle for his spectacle and laughs.
  31. In the end, what gives me reluctant pause about this bright, cheery, hard-to-resist movie is that its joyfulness feels more like a filmmaker's calculation than an honest cry from the heart about the human spirit (or, better yet, a moral tale).
  32. 70
    What IS surprising is the unembarrassed energy that Boyle devotes to his pursuit of the obvious; there’s nothing wrong with the formulaic, it would appear, so long as you bring the formula to the boil.
  33. 70
    The movie brushes against some of India's worst social ills, but it's essentially a fairy tale.
  34. The entire film has the glibness of a music video. Boyle has managed to make dire poverty seem glossy.
  35. Doesn't hit its stride until the last 30 minutes, and by then, it's just a little too late.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 567 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 197
  1. Jan 12, 2012
    9
    Slumdog millionaire does suffer from some silly dialogue, but the film is beautifully filmed, mighty, wondrous, romantic and just fantastically acted. It deserves its Oscar. I give this film 87%. Full Review »
  2. May 9, 2011
    10
    A liberating and uplifting movie and the feel-good film of the decade, Danny Boyle delivers the Oscar Winning Slumdog Millionaire. And it's easy to tell why the film has won numerous awards. The film focuses upon Jamil Malik (Dev Patel) an 18 year old orphan from the slums of Mumbai and a constant on the Indian version of Who Wants To Be A Millionaire, who is one question away from winning 20 million rupees. However he arrested in suspision of cheating. During his interrogation Jamil reveals his incredible and heartwrenching story of his life as a young boy growing up on the streets of Mumbai with his brother Salim, and how he loved and lost the girl of his dreams Latika (Freida Pinto), each question links to a memoir of Jamil's exhilarating life. Superbly well directed in the ever capable and inspring hands of Danny Boyle who delivers a beautiful film from start to finish and one that will live long in the memory, utterly unmissable! Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2010
    5
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This film starts in the slums of Mumbai where life for city's underclass is an unending struggle. Life is cheap, childhood ends early and exploitation is everywhere. It's dark, depressing, realistic. But things get better for our protagonists. Social realism is abandoned in favour of the drama / thriller (there's even a few nods to bollywood). There is a love story. This feels like a made-for-TV movie. As entertainment it fails miserably, and so it should. The reality of the slums casts a shadow over the whole movie. It's not uplifting, it just feels tawdry. Full Review »