Metascore
70

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. The film's freedom and control, its inspiration and focus, announce it as the work of a confident and mature artist.
  2. 91
    It's a summery idyll: his most entertaining picture since "Bullets Over Broadway" (1994) or maybe "Sweet and Lowdown" (1999).
  3. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    90
    Allen has crafted a wry and thoughtful film about the peculiar stirrings of the heart that is certainly his most accomplished piece of work since 2005's "Match Point" and arguably his funniest in the eight years since "Small Time Crooks."
  4. 88
    After years of diminishing returns, Woody Allen spectacularly returns to form with Vicky Cristina Barcelona, his funniest movie in years and arguably his sexiest.
  5. Smoking, shouting, practically shooting off sparks, Cruz spreads a wildfire sexuality across Allen's sunny tableau of Catalan country picnics and scenic Barcelona ramblings.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    As exhilarating, captivating and enjoyable as a summer romance in an exotic city.
  7. 83
    Through it all, Vicky Cristina Barcelona remains unaccountably romantic, a confirmation that love, elusive and painful as it can be, is still worth pursuing.
  8. The two most hilarious characters, played by Spain's two most famous actors, Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz, are nothing if not cliches about tempestuous Latin lovers. But, boy, does Allen have fun with those cliches.
  9. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    80
    Within Allen’s recent output, Vicky Cristina is the highlight. See it for beautiful locales, an ambivalent look at human relationships and a clutch of great performances, especially from Cruz.
  10. Ought to have been an eye-roller. What a surprise that it's so seductive. The Woodman lives!
  11. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Offers potent romantic fantasy elements for men and women and a cast that should produce the best commercial returns for a Woody Allen film since "Match Point."
  12. Reviewed by: Dan Zak
    80
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona is beautiful because Allen is now decidedly in control of this phase of his career, which blends the sharpness of his older dramas with a newly acquired expatriate hipness.
  13. 80
    Allen can be literal-minded about his thematic polarities, but, in this movie, he has put actors with first-class temperament on the screen, and his writing is both crisp and ambivalent: he works everything out with a stringent thoroughness that still allows room for surprise.
  14. 75
    Woody Allen's sexiest movie ever.
  15. 75
    The actors are attractive, the city is magnificent, the love scenes don't get all sweaty, and everybody finishes the summer a little wiser and with a lifetime of memories. What more could you ask?
  16. I enjoyed it as much as any Allen film of the last 20 years.
  17. 75
    Cruz, who has never been able to fully show what she's capable of as an actress in an English-language film, takes to the role of the dark-haired hellcat with a sexy, bewitching fury.
  18. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    75
    Allen does craft a fairly observant account of human behavior, so that the solemn aspects don't put a damper on the humor, or vice versa.
  19. Gotham gives way to Gaudi and the Met to Miro, but the sensibility is the same, the city as a precious treasure, and so is the message: Life may be hard and short, love may be flawed or doomed, but, my, aren't we blessed with lovely distractions.
  20. 75
    Sincere, delicately funny, a little staid, a little precious, and more interested in the ebb and flow of the heart than in the dubious rewards of sensational narrative twists.
  21. The movie goes down very easily.
  22. With all this going for it, Vicky Cristina Barcelona should be better than it is. But there's something intriguing going on here. It's a movie about the sacrifices that people make to be happy.
  23. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    70
    Let's not kid ourselves: There's something about Javi.
  24. Although Vicky Cristina trips along winningly, carried by the beauty of its locations and stars -- and all the gauzy romanticism those enchanted places and people imply -- it reverberates with implacable melancholy, a sense of loss.
  25. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    It's just fine. Not great; just fine.
  26. Reviewed by: Joanne Kaufman
    70
    The narration, aided by a terrific score, does streamline the storytelling, and adds to it a faintly sardonic top note.
  27. The writing is zippy, the story spins like a top, and Bardem turns out to be the wittiest of leading men.
  28. 63
    There's a terrific movie buried in Woody Allen's tale of two American girls broadening their horizons in Barcelona, and every once in a while tantalizing glimpses penetrate the twee narration and mannered performances.
  29. 63
    An atypical Allen film. Some of his usual themes are present - in particular, his neuroses about sex and love - but this movie does not bear enough Allen hallmarks to single it out as his work.
  30. There are two stormy performances from Javier Bardem and Penelope Cruz that elevate Allen's melancholy thoughts on love and relationships.
  31. 60
    It's literally difficult to believe that the person who made this picturesque, clueless, oddly misanthropic picture also made "Annie Hall" and "Crimes and Misdemeanors."
  32. Bardem's performance is so good it tends to mask how lacking much of what surrounds it is.
  33. Something is terribly amiss when the American actors sound like English is their second language.
  34. Allen's laziness is startling, even in so mechanical a filmmaker. He uses a monotonous narrator to tell us what the characters think and do, though he then shows them performing the actions that have just been described.
  35. 30
    Watching Allen fart out a story when he has no characters is always painful, as people are defined through clumsy expository dialogue and ranked according to their cultural accomplishments. But the script here is lazy even by his standards.
User Score
6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 185 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 49 out of 78
  2. Negative: 24 out of 78
  1. Feb 8, 2012
    8
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona is one of the strangest movies of Woody Allen, because it is extremely artistic, also the point of view towards art is unique and not influenced by the consumerist society. So if art is out of influence, human relations work in the same way, that is why the affairs between two, three and even four people are normal and accepted.
    Another remarkable thing is that the character of Woody Allen, who is well expressed in Annie Hall and Zelig, jumps from person to person; the first in line is Cristina, because she is looking for true love knowing what she does not want and settling for nothing; second we have Juan Antonio, who is trying to defend his concept of art and balancing it with his relationships; third it is Vicky who is doubting about her marriage and husband; then we see Maria Elena, she wants to get back what she had, no matter what she must do; finally it is Judy, who tries to fulfill her dreams using other people.
    This film has amazing performances, but the one of Penelope Cruz is the most outstanding, the academy award for best supporting actress is definitely well deserved. Also the script is one of the bests from this director. All this is surrounded by peculiar music and the beautiful environment of Spain.
    Full Review »
  2. Jan 23, 2012
    1
    It's almost impossible to find anything at all to like about Vicky Cristina Barcelona. Woody Allen's direction is lazy and heavy-handed, and his dialogue is completely lifeless. All the characters featured in the film are thoroughly unlikeable and impossible to relate to on any level, and every actor involved, while turning in completely competent performances, just look bored with what they are being asked to do. Instead of using a narrator as a device to drive the plot, and make some amusing comments about the events we are witnessing as he did in Annie Hall, Allen this time uses it to state the bleeding obvious, and therefore makes it completely unnecessary. The very worst of the film's numerous crimes, however, is the message about love it attempts to communicate, which is insulting to men, women and everyone's intelligence. Basically, Allen would have us believe that all women are either easy (like Scarlett Johansson's Cristina) or prude (like Rebecca Hall's Vicky) but both types of women can be seduced by a pretty disgusting misogynist so long as he's got nice eyes and a sexy accent (which describes Javier Bardem's Juan Antonio perfectly). The only smiles raised for the entire film are embarrassed ones, and you feel slightly emotionally drained by the film's conclusion, not because you've had an involving viewing experience, but because you've struggled for 95 minutes to find something to keep you watching. Still, the Spanish guitar music is nice, and Penelope Cruz makes a good crazy person. Full Review »
  3. Jan 31, 2014
    9
    Damn. Not bad, didn't think I'd like a Romantic Drama movie, but I enjoyed it thoroughly.
    A lot of the movies I watch seem to drag on at some
    points, some are tedious to watch at some parts. This one doesn't have that, and that's precisely why I believe it deserves around 8.5 (closer to 9 though).
    Woody Allen is really good at character development, and the actors really did a good job of conveying Woody's characters.
    Recommended.
    Full Review »