The Red Violin

Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 22
  2. Negative: 1 out of 22

Where To Watch

Stream On
Stream On
Stream On

Critic Reviews

  1. 60
    Audaciously conceived, yet at times curiously flat, at others incongruously prosaic in its emotional tone.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    60
    These stories, alas, are utterly predictable. Still, Samuel L. Jackson breaks through the crust of cliches as an expert called in to verify the instrument's provenance, and violinist Joshua Bell plays and Esa-Pekka Salonen conducts John Corigliano's score ravishingly.
  3. Wants to make a grand statement about the mystical power (both celestial and demonic) of great music. But give or take some scattered musical moments, the frame in which that message is couched is too kitschy to let that vision catch fire.
  4. 50
    It's almost as lame-brained as any Hollywood blockbuster, if prettier and more pretentious.
  5. Reviewed by: David Stratton
    50
    Fails on a number of counts, mostly because the individual stories aren't very gripping.
  6. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    Almost by himself, Jackson transforms the film's final chapter into a serviceable view -- faint praise, perhaps, but a crumb to savor, given what has come before. [11 June 1999, Life, p. 6E]
  7. Girard and his collaborators are so focused on the stunning tableaux that all other considerations fall by the wayside, leaving their visual achievements -- miraculous on such a small budget -- mired in the elaborate but maladroit storytelling.
  8. 50
    The filmmakers have created a pretentious extended "Twilight Zone" episode with obscenely high production values.
  9. 40
    It sustains its purplish, epic sweep by thrusting broadly etched characters into extravagantly hokey situations, and registers mainly as a flamboyant joke.
  10. 40
    There's no denying the fact that Jackson is woefully miscast here, and as a result spends much of his time struggling to define his role as a “serious” collector of objets d'art in this muddled-though-gorgeous omnibus film.
User Score
7.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Nov 29, 2015
    10
    I thought this was a novel approach to a movie, to see the lives of the owners of a musical instrument over the centuries. I was amazed atI thought this was a novel approach to a movie, to see the lives of the owners of a musical instrument over the centuries. I was amazed at the critics low score. Maybe showing the many owners made the movie too choppy and didn't allow for a more in depth look at each. But then the movie would have been 4 hours long. I don't have many DVDs but this one is in my collection. Full Review »
  2. Jun 8, 2014
    4
    This movie may no doubt be spectacular to violin fanatics or those who can appreciate extensive periods of violin solos, but for the averageThis movie may no doubt be spectacular to violin fanatics or those who can appreciate extensive periods of violin solos, but for the average viewer these moments are too numerous and repetitive and frankly boring. The ending is also poor, but overall (despite overdoing the musical scenes) it is a watchable movie. Could have been shorter though. 4/10 Full Review »
  3. AaronP.
    Jun 10, 2007
    9
    I'm not sure why the critics of this movie don't like a story about a violin, and want it to be rewritten as a story about love and I'm not sure why the critics of this movie don't like a story about a violin, and want it to be rewritten as a story about love and romance. This is a perfect instrument, born from the passion of a master craftsman and the blood of his sacrifice. People possess and lose it in the course of their lives, marking them and marking the violin. If you want action, adventure, and witty dialogue, go watch SpiderMan...if you want a Buddhist-like story of transcendence and meaning, this movie might be for you. Full Review »