User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 113
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  1. wendys
    May 2, 2009
    10
    Incredible movie. One of the best I've seen. Beautiful imagery and moving stoy. I loved this one.
  2. SusanS.
    Dec 16, 2008
    9
    Captivating, a well acted period piece that was engaging enough to require further reading and research after the movie credits ran. Completely engrossing...the characters were multi-dimensional and well layered. The depths of each character kept me interested in their demons and wanting to know more. Wonderful film.
  3. MarianneH.
    Dec 24, 2006
    10
    A beautiful love story set in 1925 China with breath-taking nature and exotic production and costume design. A feast for the eyes and the heart. Naomi Watts and Edward Norton are both excellent and together create lovely onscreen chemistry.
  4. JasonP.
    Feb 25, 2008
    9
    A very good movie that slipped under the radar. The cinematography was excellent, as was the acting. Anthony Wong is always a face I'm glad to see in a film. To Evie B. : how can Watts' accent be bad if she IS English?
  5. miriamk.
    Jul 9, 2008
    10
    One of edward norton's best performance. long drawn out affair between himself and kitty fane. no better job could of been done. portrays most of somerset's ideas. Two thumbs up.
  6. Kathleen
    Jan 7, 2007
    9
    Stunningly beautiful to watch with a terrific musical score, this movie is perfect for people who enjoy period films. It was painful to watch Norton's character at times--he delivered an inspired performance. Naomi Watts captured my attention far more in this film than any other I've seen her in. I didn't expect to enjoy it so much.
  7. KittyH.
    May 13, 2008
    10
    This beautiful, moving film has become one of my favorites. The splendid cast lifts Maugham's story off the page. A film with something to say about love and commitment and a gorgeous score to boot.
  8. ChristineM.
    Jan 21, 2007
    10
    Romantic , both contemporary and retro. Glorious photography and exquisite acting by all.
  9. JulieS.
    Apr 30, 2007
    10
    Despite the poor reviews on TV and in newspapers we went to see this film. I think the reviewers need to have a more positive attitude to films like this - they can really put people off and many many people will love this film. The scenery was fabulous and acting brilliant. I enjoyed every minute - it was a change from the usual blockbusters.
  10. NancyE
    May 22, 2007
    10
    The Painted Veil should have been nominated for best film in 2006. The story of how a married couple finally come to love and respect each other with grace is haunting. Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Diana Rigg gave beautifully modulated performances. The music weaves gently throughout.
  11. KimA
    Jan 16, 2008
    9
    This is what happens when really great actors tell a sensitively filmed story written by a great writer. As I recall, Somerset Maugham doesn't do "happy" at the end, but something that feels more true.
  12. PaulK.
    Dec 13, 2006
    9
    Great film...Edward Norton, Naomi Watts, and Toby Jones all gave impeccable performances...the final scene wasn't the strongest way to end the film, but an ending nevertheless.
  13. CinBuff
    Mar 23, 2007
    9
    Well done with nice touches making the characters viable and very human. Slightly deceptive early in the plot, but it works none the less. Photography is very .. well ... visual. Color could have been a bit more sumptious but it is carried along by the story line, the characters, and the visuals. a solid 8.5 if not a 9.
  14. KathleenG.
    Apr 3, 2007
    10
    I loved this movie. I had no idea how great it would be. Edward Norton gives a stunning performance; the locales are breathtaking; and the humanity painfully poignant. It should have been the best picture of 2006 instead of the weak slate of movies nominated.
  15. BarbaraB.
    Jun 30, 2007
    10
    This was a beautiful movie with complex characters, beautiful scenery and a haunting score. It was simply a pleasure to watch.
  16. JuliaB
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    Amazing, literally. Great acting from every actor and beautiful scenery with an actual REALISTIC romance.
  17. SeanM.
    Sep 18, 2007
    10
    Thoroughly enjoyable from beginning to end and so refreshing to see a film whose pace respects the characters, the story and the scenery. The acting is excellent and, despite what one user wrote, the accents were spot on. I'm English, by the way.
  18. ShelleyX.
    Feb 24, 2008
    10
    A most compelling story about love and forgiveness, perfectly portrayed by a wonderful cast. Its heartaching beauty will bring me back to see it again and again.
  19. ElenaM
    Mar 9, 2008
    10
    It was compelling and sad. It was a journey of love, forgiveness and tolerance.
  20. JennyR.
    May 1, 2008
    10
    This is Naomi Watts' best role yet. She is one of the greatest actor's of our time. Edward Norton was surprisingly excellent in this film and has turned me into a fan of his. Sad but realistic love story.
  21. RatC.
    Sep 18, 2008
    10
    Great Movie! Deep, thoughtful, inspiring, heartbrokenly romantic, another excellent performance from ED and NW! 100% positive.
  22. Jehanzeb
    Feb 11, 2009
    10
    Very touching story with good pace. beautiful sceneries, lush photography..excellent acting. The sceneries and emotions were given due time and regard. Slowliness was necessary to maintain quality. Must see phenomenon.
  23. SteandricD.
    Dec 17, 2006
    10
    Avery good movie with excellent acting and great cinematography. Naomi Watts should be nominated for the Academy Award.
  24. JohnC.
    Apr 16, 2007
    10
    Wonderful movie! See it on the big screen if you still can, it has such a wonderful atmosphere and sense of place. Best movie I've seen all year, really stuck with me.
  25. avaL
    Jul 22, 2007
    10
    I really liked how the couple in the movie met, and married for the wrong reasons, but after time grew so much in love until they couldn't live without each other!! Plus Norton and Watts are great actors!!This movie is a must see!!
  26. PokyM.
    Jul 13, 2008
    9
    This is a welcome change from the usual stuff coming from Hollywood. The ending came on rather abruptly just as the viewer has setteled down to enjoy the slow pace. A pleasurable way to while away time while peeking into the social life, customs and traditions of early 20th century England and the wide ranging effects and repercussions of the presence of the British Empire in China.
  27. IanB
    Apr 12, 2009
    10
    This really is a superb film, meant for an adult, educated audience, lacking car chases and kung foo fights. Great acting by leading roles and a gentle but powerful story development. It's nice to know there are still movies like this being made in spite of the needs of our age for instant amusement.
  28. CarlosR
    Jul 27, 2009
    9
    Beautiful photography, astounding music and very good acting from Norton and Naomi.
  29. RichardM.
    Dec 15, 2006
    10
    Best movie of the year. best performance by naomi watts and edward norton. it should be a multiple oscar awards winner.
  30. Mar 18, 2012
    10
    Excellent, emotionally moving story. The intellectual growth of the main character is nicely portrayed. Gorgeous scenery perfectly, profesionally captured.
  31. Mar 6, 2014
    10
    Beautiful and tragic love story. Plot is quite simple but emotionally really complex. I also love the gloomy atmosphere and music through the film. Definitely one of my favorites.
Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
  1. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    60
    Intelligent scripting, solid thesping and eye-catching location shooting aren't enough to make a compelling modern film of The Painted Veil.
  2. The film is unusual in that it is a co-production with the Chinese. Whatever difficulties this imposed on the Western filmmakers, the reward is a period film that feel authentic to its time and place.
  3. 75
    The Painted Veil has the power and intimacy of a timeless love story. By all means, let it sweep you away.