User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 158 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 11 out of 158

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  1. Nov 24, 2014
    In "The Diving Bell And The Butterfly," the pairing of Julian Schnabel's clever directorial skills and Mathieu Amalric's stellar acting chops results in a truly memorable and brave film with rich thematic threads.
  2. Mar 31, 2014
    The cinematography is so beautiful, you just wish that the plot went deeper into the questions about life it raises. The storytelling's simplicity does not mirror the visuals' ambiguity.
  3. BKM
    May 30, 2013
    Right from the very first scene when Jean-Do awakes from a coma to learn that he is paralyzed and unable to speak, we are pulled right into the fear, grief and loneliness that he is enduring. But as he refuses to be a victim locked in his own body, we also share in his joy, love and hope and get a first hand account of his memories and imagination. A truly resonant film that takes you on a journey into one man's unbreakable spirit. Expand
  4. Nov 17, 2012
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly offers up a kind of harmonic tranquility that's just too good to resist. Watching it is like taking that hot shower after a long, debilitating day, and having that numbing ecstasy wash through your bones.
  5. Jun 18, 2012
    The French drama film provides an exceptionally powerful message that nothing is as precious as our consciousness through a miraculous and inspirational story of a guy who lost almost all of his physical senses except for only one, his consciousness. Despite how naturally the story progressed, the movie evokes such powerful inner subject of life that it is difficult not to be aware and realize the fact of how blessed we are to be born and be well at present time. An immensely inspirational film. Expand
  6. Nov 26, 2011
    The Diving Bell and the Butterfly paints a pretty picture that can be brought into a full length film. This inspirational feature is based on a true story about a man who becomes a vegetable for the rest of his life and somehow later can communicate by only blinking one eye, which leads him to pursue his imagination in writing a story. The motifs and symbolism in the film keeps you thinking at first, but once you analyze those motifs, you will understand perfectly as to why those themes are there, including to add the things from the title of the film to the actual plot itself. The use of the camera movement and spaces are natural and unique compared to a typical Hollywood flick, though beware of many extreme-close ups and canted angles in this film if you have a fear of claustrophobic spaces. However those chosen spaces and shots are used for a reasonable purpose. For artistic filmmakers alike, The Diving Bell and the Butterfly is a must recommend feature to view. Expand
  7. Jun 13, 2011
    Definitely one of the best films of the year. This film is very beautiful and moving. An idea is fresh and stunning. "Let your imagination set you free".
  8. Sep 29, 2010
    The Diving Bell and The Butterfly is seriously one of the best films I have ever seen, and I am just going to disregard anything anyone is going to say about it. I have never felt so emotional when watching a movie, it is truly beautifully miserable; Not to mention that the acting crew is brilliant.

Universal acclaim - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 34 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. The film is a masterpiece in which “locked-in” syndrome becomes the human condition.
  2. 100
    Schnabel’s movie, based on the calm and exquisite little book that Bauby wrote in the hospital, is a gloriously unlocked experience, with some of the freest and most creative uses of the camera and some of the most daring, cruel, and heartbreaking emotional explorations that have appeared in recent movies.
  3. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Most compelling in its attempts to re-create the experience of paralysis onscreen, gorgeously lensed pic morphs into a dreamlike collage of memories and fantasies, distancing the viewer somewhat from Bauby's consciousness even as it seeks to take one deeper.