Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. 91
    An indie version of Gondry's "Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind," albeit with none of the star power, a quarter of the budget, half the angst, and twice the charm.
  2. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    It's not likely you'll see a film more visually exhilarating until, well, Gondry's next.
  3. 88
    Bernal continues to demonstrate an impressive range; the character requires the normally laid-back actor to be a wild ball of energy, and he's more than up to the challenge. His performance is hilarious, heartfelt and more than a little creepy, which could also be said about the movie itself.
  4. 83
    This fascinating and occasionally transporting film never quite transforms into something really great.
  5. Very difficult to characterize and that's why I like it. The best I can do is to call it a sunny tragedy.
  6. This scruffy, unkempt tale lacks the narrative satisfaction of Kaufman's dramatic design, but between the chaotic zigs and creative jags, it proclaims its own kind of messy authenticity and a bittersweet beauty.
  7. Gondry is a soft surrealist without much of a sociopolitical agenda, closer to Dr. Seuss than Luis Buñuel,
  8. Reviewed by: Oliver Richards
    It suffers occasionally from self-consciousness and over-indulgence in its own oddity, but Gondry’s grasp of emotion and visuals is enchanting. Even if he seems several sandwiches short of a picnic.
  9. 80
    The Science of Sleep truly has to be seen to be believed.
  10. 80
    Sweet, crazy, and tinged with sadness, Michel Gondry's new feature The Science of Sleep is a wondrous concoction.
  11. 80
    For the soul of Gondry's work, it seems to me, is neither its soaring flights of visual fancy nor its sometimes crude slapstick, but rather its pained understanding of a generation hopelessly tongue-tied when it comes to matters of the heart.
  12. 80
    No one who sees it will confuse it with anything else. Fans of Gondry's DIY low-tech aesthetic, which he blends, as always, with exceptionally sophisticated animation techniques, will adore it.
  13. Never intends to be deeper than a magician's hat, and its wonderfully low-tech stop-motion technique is not only a nod to Czech animator Jan Svankmajer but a tacit rebuke to computer-graphics-heavy fantasies such as "The Chronicles of Narnia" or the "Lord of the Rings" trilogy.
  14. It's rare for young actors to exude as much charisma and charm as Gainsbourg and García Bernal.
  15. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    To me, the movie feels like a small but ingeniously crafted gift.
  16. 78
    I think it's a mess, but - and this is a major caveat - an endearing, beautiful, hopelessly honest mess that's supported by a pair of performances so unnaturally natural that they draw you in and clutch you, struggling, to their flipping, flopping hearts.
  17. The title is all that's boring about director Michel Gondry's latest mind bender, as trippy as LSD.
  18. 75
    This pop-up book of a film is an ideal arrangement between director and star.
  19. It only works about half the time, but it's an interesting half.
  20. Unlike Gondry's previous features, Human Nature and Eternal Sunshine, Science lacks the sturdy armature of a Charlie Kaufman screenplay to support its eccentricities. The flood of delight in the film's first 90 minutes slowed to a trickle and, finally, a drip.
  21. 75
    Fusing animation and live action with a series of outrageous props, Gondry veers dangerously close to being precious. But make no mistake: Gondry's hallucinatory brilliance holds you in thrall.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The look of the film is dazzling, even hallucinatory, and the concept is beyond quirky as conceived by Gondry, a talented visual stylist, in his first film based on his own script. The story is compelling, unconventional and diverting in its blurring of reality and fantasy.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    With Mexican star Gael Garcia Bernal energetically playing a vulnerable graphic artist with a hyperactive imagination and little confidence with women, picture has an overriding quality of sweetness that will prove endearing to audiences, especially younger females.
  24. 70
    So while The Science of Sleep may not, in the end, be terribly deep, it is undoubtedly -- and deeply -- refreshing.
  25. The Science of Sleep is like a weird dream that tugs at the memory throughout the day with its intriguing, misshapen pieces.
  26. It's this edge that saves The Science of Sleep from its own whimsy.
  27. The result is a charming, inventive, ambitious, surreal mess.
  28. 63
    Watching it is like being the only non-stoned person in the room as someone tells a long, long story.
  29. 50
    Certainly pleasant, and occasionally endearing, but it's also strangely empty and unsatisfying, like hearing about someone else's wild dream: You can appreciate the details, but you don't really care how it turns out.
  30. The Science of Sleep transports you, but it strands you, too. Apart from the time-machine bit and two or three other daft exchanges, Gondry’s scenes tend to circle around the same drain: the hero’s insufferable narcissism.
  31. 50
    A frantic and funny diversion, but it pales and tires before its time is up. It doesn't know the meaning of enough.
  32. 50
    What "Eternal Sunshine" did with magic and whimsy, The Science of Sleep accomplishes with confusion and pretentiousness.
  33. 25
    You have to identify pretty strongly with suffering artistes to find anything to root for in The Science of Sleep.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 85 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 41
  2. Negative: 5 out of 41
  1. MattC
    Aug 23, 2007
    Well, i do Strongly the believe the movie, alone, is a good and interesting movie. But to personally mention, I think the response depends on Well, i do Strongly the believe the movie, alone, is a good and interesting movie. But to personally mention, I think the response depends on the situation you, the viewer, are in. For example, if you have feelings for someone and have interest in him/her, the movie probably will suck you into it's imaginative world. The film depicts the sadness but warmth feeling of 2 people's elevating yet confusing love for each other.It's a peaceful film. Full of imagination and creativity. It's its own little world. Although a good movie as it is, it may sadden you in specific parts. But that's what makes a good movie. Overall, To understand & enjoy the movie, you will have to be in subtle peace and relaxation and must just let the film convince you hat is happening is real. Full Review »
  2. Apr 13, 2012
    Il est très difficile d'entrée dans la tête de ces rêveurs, aussi bien dans celle duIl est très difficile d'entrée dans la tête de ces rêveurs, aussi bien dans celle du personnage principal que celle du réalisateur Michel Gondry. Et pour cause, le réalisateur français s'est emparé d'une banale histoire d'amour et l'a transformée en une sorte de trip en carton de pâte que seul un enfant pourrait imaginer (et encore!). Pour les personnes qui ne sont pas habituées à ce genre de cinéma (comme moi), il est difficile d'y trouver son bonheur. Il faut que l'on reconnaisse la qualité du casting, de la mise en scène et des effets spéciaux simplistes mais qui offrent au film un certain charme. Mais difficile d'apprécier pleinement ce film. Full Review »
  3. GinaR
    Oct 5, 2009
    I loved this has a manageable amount of confusion & the necessary amount of comedy to really entertain! The involvement of the I loved this has a manageable amount of confusion & the necessary amount of comedy to really entertain! The involvement of the office colleagues were my one of my favorite elements. I just love the creative handling of this film. I could identify with so many of the so-human emotions that were dealt with -- the embarrassment of mis-understanding when trying to gain favor with somebody...and things going wrong, out of control. The film was a tiny bit long, but Gael Garcia Bernal is so gorgeous, that I didnt mind watching him for the extra time!! Beautiful & subtle, worth watching if you like arty type movies rather than the sensationalist main-stream 1+1. Full Review »