Metascore
45

Mixed or average reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 33
  2. Negative: 9 out of 33
  1. The title doesn't hint at the unsavory mess the film actually is.
  2. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    38
    May not emerge as the biggest disaster of the holiday movie season, if only because we haven't yet seen all the other year-end films. But it is a huge high-energy misfire, bringing Tom Cruise, Penelope Cruz, and Cameron Crowe to earth with a thud.
  3. If Crowe's eyes are open, he seems to have directed most of Vanilla Sky with his mind wide shut.
  4. Probably the most garishly masochistic star turn since Mel Gibson's "The Man Without a Face." It could also be the most baroque chick flick ever made, the freakazoid spawn of "An Affair to Remember" and "The Matrix."
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    30
    It's no wonder that Crowe can't generate any real feeling. The narrative is alien to him on every level. The ear-grating dialogue is a good indication that he didn't know what he was doing; he's usually pitch-perfect.
  6. Its tone is unquenchably pretentious, and its scale is overblown.
  7. 20
    Who would have thought that Cameron Crowe had a movie as bad as Vanilla Sky in him? It's a punishing picture, a betrayal of everything that Crowe has proved he knows how to do right.
  8. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    20
    Every ambitious picturemaker should be allowed one wild misfire at no lasting cost to his reputation. Crowe (Jerry Maguire, Almost Famous) can now put this aside and go back to making good films.
  9. Overblown and idiotic, this new "erotic thriller" is neither erotic nor thrilling; it's long, boring and self-indulgent.
User Score
7.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 180 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 99
  2. Negative: 18 out of 99
  1. Aug 8, 2011
    10
    I disagree with many 'reviewers' and feel that this version is a much more polished movie than the original spanish movie. The soundtrack isI disagree with many 'reviewers' and feel that this version is a much more polished movie than the original spanish movie. The soundtrack is amazing and the suspense is real. An amazing achievement by Crowe. Full Review »
  2. Sep 18, 2014
    10
    For a movie that is 13 years old now and is buried in the past, this is truly a great movie for those that like this kind of film. It reallyFor a movie that is 13 years old now and is buried in the past, this is truly a great movie for those that like this kind of film. It really isn't meant for everyone and I can understand where the displeasure from critics and users alike. However, if you like science fiction thrillers, romance thrillers or mind-bending movies, this movie is for you. It's similar to the likes of Jacobs Ladder to put it in perspective. I'd at least say watch it through once and see what you think. Personally, I think critics were too harsh on this film and that follow the users score more since the users seem to actually understand this film more. I loved this movie and I hope if you watch it that you will too! Full Review »
  3. Dec 4, 2013
    6
    Vanilla Sky is, fundamentally, a movie about lucid dreaming. And there is something about it that only lucid dreamers will recognize. Sadly,Vanilla Sky is, fundamentally, a movie about lucid dreaming. And there is something about it that only lucid dreamers will recognize. Sadly, it's a bit downhill from there. While Vanilla Sky is a solid effort, it's unfortunately short of genius. The very project is a bit curious. Is Cameron Crowe, the permanent teenager responsible for perfectly good yet light-as-a-feather comedies like Jerry Maguire and Almost Famous, up to the challenge of remaking a Spanish psychodrama? Crowe goes through the motions, and from time to time he proves that he can handle heavier material, but Vanilla Sky is too murky to be much more than a holiday distraction far from the cult classic that the original Abre los Ojos (Open Your Eyes) has become. However... Cameron Crowe's DVD commentary track is one of the best I've heard. While he's overly proud of the middling achievement, he's honest about the tepid reaction from test audiences, and he does provide a little extra context for the various interpretations of the movie. (Also of note, this is the first commentary I've heard with a musical score: someone (Crowe's wife, Nancy Wilson) playing acoustic guitar. Crowe also phones up his stars during the recording... bizarre.) Unfortunately, none of this can make Penélope Cruz a good actress. An interview with songwriter Paul McCartney, two featurettes, and assorted trailers round out the disc. Vanilla Sky has moments of brilliance and bears a certain style, but the movie is neither simple enough for sheer popcorn-thriller fun nor complex enough for true psychodrama buffs. It lies somewhere in a middle ground, and anyone that tells you different... needs to open his eyes. Full Review »