Universal acclaim - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 28
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 28
  3. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. 100
    It is a luxury to be enveloped in a good film.
  2. A major cinema event of the year, a masterpiece of Italian film traditions in social/political realism and historical family epic.
  3. This is epic filmmaking on a profoundly human scale, directed to perfection and magnificently acted by everyone in sight.
  4. So in-depth, so appealing, so easy to sit through and so anomalously grand scale that few who see it will ever forget it.
  5. 100
    In exchange for a small piece of your life, you receive an infinity.
  6. Like a great novel from a more expansive bygone age, The Best of Youth is full of big thoughts; like a great soap opera, it's also full of sharp plot turns, vibrant characters, and great talk. It is, in short, the best of cinema.
  7. Giordana's redemptive vision provides a sense of discovery and a well of hope in the most devastating of troubles, and beautiful surprises in love, friendship and family.
  8. 100
    Those who see it will, quite frankly, not believe their luck. It is that satisfying, that engrossing, that good.
  9. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Smart, generous, as subtle as it is expansive, this is storytelling of a rare order. Six hours may seem like a big investment, but the emotional pay-back is beyond price.
  10. 90
    This is a graceful and enveloping feat of filmmaking.
  11. 90
    And like all great family sagas, The Best of Youth, while tipping its hat to the painful confusion of living life forward, reels it backward to give it the thrilling significance of time and place.
  12. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The Best of Youth doesn't have a boring millisecond. It isn't an art film, with longueurs; it's a mini-series with the sweep of a classic novel, with tons of plot.
  13. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    At nearly six hours, pic's extreme length lets Giordana and screenwriters Sandro Petraglia and Stefano Rulli build up a novelistic rhythm, pulling the audience so deeply and forcefully into their story that it becomes like a enveloping dream; when it's over, parting with the characters is truly sweet and sorrowful.
  14. 90
    The Best of Youth takes its chance--almost unheard of, these days--to bloom and unfurl like a novel.
  15. 90
    The story unfolds at such length and over so many years that politics tend to fade into the wallpaper, leaving an exceptionally rich family story.
  16. 88
    The acting is electric. By the end of this haunting, hypnotic film, you feel you have watched lives being lived, not just imagined.
  17. After all the observations on heartache, politics, art, commerce, passion, identity, mortality, even mental health, six hours begin to seem downright compact.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A slowly flowering miracle: an epic of normal life.
  19. Lo Cascio and Boni inhabit their roles with keen intellectual and emotional vigor.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Rarely have six hours spent doing ANYTHING seemed so rewarding.
  21. 80
    A big, family-style Italian dinner, catered to the broadest tastes, yet satisfying all the same.
  22. 80
    The movie has the addictive episodic intimacy of great TV.
  23. Reviewed by: Michael Fox
    Eminently watchable, The Best of Youth nonetheless lacks the devastating emotional gut punch of its obvious inspiration, Visconti's "Rocco and His Brothers."
  24. Full of nuance and complexity, but it is also as accessible and engrossing as a grand 19th-century novel.
  25. Works as both historical allegory and moving family drama.
  26. Like some wines, The Best of Youth travels well. From its earliest moments the film is intelligently seen.
  27. All the pieces converge in a powerful rush during the second half.
  28. If you've got six hours to invest watching superior television in a movie theatre, then spend the time wisely with The Best of Youth.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 156 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 68 out of 77
  2. Negative: 3 out of 77
  1. AlanL
    Nov 15, 2009
    I saw this film when it was first released. it is now November 2009 and I just recommended it to a friend, deciding for the first time to look at some of the film's reviews. Reading those reviews brought back so much of my pleasure in this film that I began to have tears in my eyes. The film is a great experience. Full Review »
  2. RobertL
    Sep 23, 2009
    One of the best films I've ever seen. Beautiful, warm, suspenseful, tender. Can't recommend too highly. After the six hours you'll still not want it to end. Full Review »
  3. CristinaA
    Aug 9, 2009
    Gripping, wonderful story, great acting. I didn't want it to end.