User Score
8.5

Universal acclaim- based on 113 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 6 out of 113
Watch On

Review this movie

  1. Your Score
    0 out of 10
    Rate this:
    • 10
    • 9
    • 8
    • 7
    • 6
    • 5
    • 4
    • 3
    • 2
    • 1
    • 0
    • 0
  1. Submit
  2. Check Spelling
  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. Kathyl
    Mar 21, 2009
    8
    I thought this movie was very, very good. The relationship between the two characters was believable and moving. Their passions and emotions were real. The acting was superb and the cinematography was excellent. I can't understand why this movie did not do better--it is a gem.
  3. 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.
  4. 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.
  5. LindaL.
    Jun 5, 2007
    8
    I just watched two of the old B&W films made of Maugham's short stories ("Quartet" and "Trio") and this movie made for a really nice continuation of that whole repressed British era -- only in gorgeous, panoramic color. I think Watts is pretty much always excellent, and the not-really-handsome Norton was perfect in this part. Somehow the denouement and ending weren't that I just watched two of the old B&W films made of Maugham's short stories ("Quartet" and "Trio") and this movie made for a really nice continuation of that whole repressed British era -- only in gorgeous, panoramic color. I think Watts is pretty much always excellent, and the not-really-handsome Norton was perfect in this part. Somehow the denouement and ending weren't that satisfying, though. Expand
  6. 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?
  7. 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.
  8. JoanneG.
    Jan 16, 2007
    7
    The movie had the potential to be an important love story and period piece, but failed due to a weak ending. Just as it was getting started, the movie ended abruptly leaving the viewer feeling rather empty. This chilly feeling was due to a poorly scripted conclusion rather than the acting ability of Norton and Watts who gave strong performances.
  9. 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.
  10. TonyB.
    Apr 26, 2008
    8
    Genuine atonement for one's sin can lead to full redemption. That is the theme of this beautifully designed, photographed, edited and scored film. Naomi Watts and Edward Horton are extremely effective in two challenging and complex roles and are complemented by some admirable work from the film's fine supporting cast. It is unfortunate that one of the best pictures of 2006 did Genuine atonement for one's sin can lead to full redemption. That is the theme of this beautifully designed, photographed, edited and scored film. Naomi Watts and Edward Horton are extremely effective in two challenging and complex roles and are complemented by some admirable work from the film's fine supporting cast. It is unfortunate that one of the best pictures of 2006 did not get the attention it deserved. Expand
  11. 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.
  12. tinaholmes
    Jan 2, 2007
    3
    Too slow and boring. I didn't care about the characters. Why was it called The Painted Veil. It just didn't do it for me.
  13. eve
    Apr 9, 2008
    3
    Cannot enjoy it, it needs a stronger more charismatic lead than Ed Norton. How does he manage to make every movie he is in such a clunker?
  14. PnArdyPnArdy
    May 13, 2007
    4
    Rather boring drama romance with Naomi Watts and Edward Norton who plays a loving husband and doctor who volunteers to go to the central China to help treat its growing epidemic of cholera in the beginning of a century. [***SPOILER***]Unfortunately he dies.
  15. EvieB.
    Jun 19, 2007
    4
    Nice looking, but boring. Plus Edward Norton and Naomi Watts have terrible British accents.
  16. May 28, 2013
    2
    The Painted Veil is an excruciating lengthy bore that doesn't have a minute that is worth acknowledging. The romance between the leads is so unconvincing it becomes worthless, similar to the rest of the film.
  17. ChristineM.
    Jan 21, 2007
    10
    Romantic , both contemporary and retro. Glorious photography and exquisite acting by all.
  18. J.S.
    Feb 4, 2007
    7
    I may have to read the original story to determine if the affair of the heroine is the catalyst to both her personal growth and her new found understanding of what her husband lacks, the tools to elicit better behavior from him and the ultimate, tragic revenge she wrecks on him. The beauty and the pathos of the film are exquiste. I, also, wonder of the significance of the title.
  19. 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.
  20. 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.
  21. 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.
  22. 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.
  23. 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.
  24. 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.
  25. ChristopherW.
    May 23, 2007
    6
    Naomi Watts and Edward Norton are immensely gifted actors, and if not for their presence, the film would lose several points right off the top. While the story is provocative and quite graceful, it feels interminable. The pace moves at a chugging thud, and what should have been an emotional wallop at film's end, instead feels like a respite. It's over! Wonderful performances and Naomi Watts and Edward Norton are immensely gifted actors, and if not for their presence, the film would lose several points right off the top. While the story is provocative and quite graceful, it feels interminable. The pace moves at a chugging thud, and what should have been an emotional wallop at film's end, instead feels like a respite. It's over! Wonderful performances and gorgeous photography help a lot. Very slow! Expand
  26. 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.
  27. JuliaB
    Jul 28, 2007
    10
    Amazing, literally. Great acting from every actor and beautiful scenery with an actual REALISTIC romance.
  28. 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.
  29. 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.
  30. ElenaM
    Mar 9, 2008
    10
    It was compelling and sad. It was a journey of love, forgiveness and tolerance.
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.