Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 26
  2. Negative: 0 out of 26

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Critic Reviews

  1. Shot mostly in black and white and imbued with a romanticism that's at once nostalgic and exhilarating, Tetro sneaks up on you. What threatens to be a mere exercise in style proves to be as involving as it is inventive.
  2. As with "Youth Without Youth," this new movie feels like a transitional work but also an inspired one, the creation of a director who, having recently turned 70, has set off on a new adventure that requires more from his audiences than some might be willing to give. Which is itself a sign of vigorous artistic renewal.
  3. 80
    Certainly it isn't the greatest of Coppola's pictures, or even of his independent productions, but those are pretty high standards. It has a verve and vitality that's been missing from his pictures for 25 years, and its various and visible flaws all result from too much of that verve rather than too little. I enjoyed it tremendously.
  4. 75
    It's the product of a great dreamer and aesthete, rather than an authentic emotional experience--a gorgeous, crystalline bauble that really catches the light.
  5. 75
    Here is a film that, for all of its plot, depends on characters in service of their emotional turmoil. It feels good to see Coppola back in form.
  6. 75
    A family melodrama with charm.
  7. Unabashedly theatrical and richly cinematic, even when it's falling apart.
  8. The movie is alive from beginning to end, and it's a pleasure to see at least one big-name director get out of the prison of his own reputation.
  9. The result is visually inventive, narratively edgy, and unlike anything else.
  10. Tetro is Coppola's best film since Apocalypse Now because the filmmaker has abandoned conventional drama – what for him had become a straightjacket – indulging in a collage style that allows him to honour favourite filmmakers.
  11. 75
    What a grand and dazzling route Coppola takes.
  12. It has style to burn, eye-catching acting by an international cast and a story that harkens back to many literary classic with its themes of a family torn apart, brothers in conflict and a son's rivalry with a towering father figure.
  13. 70
    For writer-director Coppola, Tetro is a cri de coeur, one more from the heart.
  14. Tetro turns out to be not one movie but, at the very least, two--a Fellini-esque (or Coppola-esque) concatenation of drama, dance and opera (with a nod to Alphonse Daudet), and a modest, appealing coming-of-age story that involves Maribel Verdú (from “Y Tu Mamá También”) as Tetro’s girlfriend.
  15. 70
    Coppola's fondness for the operatic gets the better of him as the action approaches a climax, but the movie is girded by a sense of knotty family history.
  16. Like Orson Welles, Francis Ford Coppola has gone from being the filmmaker of his time to becoming a make-it-up-as-you-go-along indie free-shooter.
  17. 67
    The increasingly crude plotting and stock dialogue are killers. All the beauty the eye can hold can't, in this case, fool the ear and brain into falling for Coppola's strained tale.
  18. In Tetro, nearly every time Coppola should have clung to intimacy, he opts for excess. Especially tedious are the meta excerpts from staged productions -- overcompensation trying to masquerade as illumination. Regrettable since there is such fine work being done in the smaller moments.
  19. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    When Coppola finds creative nirvana, he frequently has trouble delivering the full goods. Tetro represents something of a middle ground in that respect.
  20. 50
    The more dramatic revelations and tragic inevitabilities that turn up, the harder it is not to laugh. Give credit to its maker for directing with an earnestness suggesting a pretentious 22-year-old. Having passed through the phases of Interesting Apprentice, Mad Genius, Chastened Bankrupt and Shameless Wage Slave, Coppola at 70 may be the world's oldest student filmmaker.
  21. An inchoate mass of half-baked (and sometimes blackened) Oedipal dramaturgy. Coppola has made some of the greatest films ever made in traditional narrative mode, but whenever he goes into his indie-outsider dance, he stumbles badly.
  22. 50
    Tetro has no internal tension and should have been a comedy.
  23. Coppola’s rejuvenated sense of career is a welcome addition to the world of filmmaking, even if the two films he’s made in the new millennium (2007’s "Youth Without Youth" and now this) are not up to his own self-set high standards.
  24. Despite the overwrought plot and unabashed pretension, there's something admirable about the fact that Coppola clearly made this movie for himself. But he shouldn't be surprised if few others join him in watching it.
  25. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Alas, in Tetro he (Coppola) has made a movie in which plenty happens but nothing rings true.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 18 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. AlanY
    Jul 17, 2009
    Visually and dramatically spellbinding. The dramatic tension is perfectly paced, the principal actors are riveting, and I especially liked Visually and dramatically spellbinding. The dramatic tension is perfectly paced, the principal actors are riveting, and I especially liked the cinematography. This is not a mass-market film, but the work of an artist. Full Review »
  2. amk76mak
    Jun 28, 2009
    Just want to say that i love the Dracula and Apocalypse But..... You everyone begging for FFC and don/t see that whole 15 years he shot holy crap.
  3. Drew
    Jun 18, 2009
    Coppola is back! I couldn't be happier with the film. It had a great story, great acting, it was beautiful to look at, and I was Coppola is back! I couldn't be happier with the film. It had a great story, great acting, it was beautiful to look at, and I was captivated by it the whole time. Bravo, Mr. Coppola. Full Review »