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Generally favorable reviews- based on 192 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 29 out of 192

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  1. Jan 23, 2012
    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. Expand
  2. Feb 8, 2012
    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.
  3. Dec 22, 2010
    This is not the best of films, that is for sure. Honestly, the most redeeming part of the film are Javier Bardem and especially Penelope Cruz. Penelope gave such an extraordinary performance, which basically carries the film - though she only shows up the second half of the film. Otherwise, the film is rather pretentious and reminds me of "Sideways" a bit... just a pretentious, 'European' version of "Sideways". Still, definitely worth watching for Penelope and the nice scenery of Spain. Expand
  4. Sep 23, 2010
    I keep watching Woody Allen movies for old times sake. Hoping he will make one I can enjoy. It hasn't happened in many years. This is another pretty horrible movie. Shallow, boring, waste of time. I'll just have to accept that I just don't like the guys style anymore. The music was good though.
  5. Nov 24, 2010
    It's time Woody Allen is exposed for the zero he is. I never saw a movie where he didn't make me sick by his self absorption. I saw this film on a transatlantic flight and if not for that venue I would not have continued to watch this silliness. The film is so early 70's in its mentality - apparently the last time Allen was "thinking on life" through the deep prism of 20' something middle class American girls on the loose in Europe when it was still just $5.00 a day, and afforded them plenty of opportunities to get into trouble. It is a commercial ploy from top to bottom using the then (2008) trendy Barcelona as a backdrop, and a lesbian relationship thrown in as a "modern twist" (pun intended )for the old girl boy plot with plenty of "passionate" people being "authentic" (think Bardem's old poet father talking about Maria Elena to throw up). And Penelope Cruz got an Oscar for THIS? PEL-LEASE She is just mimicking old Italian film actresses to the best of her ability being "native" "hot blooded" and "typically emotional" south European. I am shocked by the opinions of critics "who count". Although I only watch movies once every few years, I now know that I will never again trust well known critics but rather check opinions of people who have nothing to gain from their praises.â Expand
  6. Apr 18, 2011
    Amusing, airy, fun, and incredibly artistic, Vicky Cristina Barcelona is beautiful in every possible way. This movie is Woody Allen's true masterpiece. The screenplay, direction, acting, cinematography, music, and location came together in a beautiful, remarkable, revolutionary way.
  7. May 25, 2011
    A well-made comedy directed by the man who proved once again to be a genius - Woody Allen.
    Penelope's performance is brilliant! and the movie had a lot of funny moments.
    but all of that is not enough to distract us from the cheesy script, cheep-looking movie.
  8. Aug 31, 2011
    I fell in love with this movie. I fell in love with the story, the passion and the acting. The direction is really good and the story too. Rebecca Hall, Scarlett Johansson, Javier Bardem and super super Penélope Cruz all acted really great. All the bad comments go to hell...
  9. Aug 25, 2014
    I had this movie borrowed from a colleague, and decided to watch it. I've liked most of Woody Allen's newest movies (Match Point and Cassandra's Dream), and Scarlett Johansson is never a downer either.

    The narration in a movie really set it apart from most films I've seen, but not necessarily in a good way. Frankly, the narration really threw me off; whenever you started to get into the
    movie, the scene changed and there was that voice again. You were told what was going on instead of figuring it out for yourself.

    The plot of the movie in itself moved in plunges; the narration set up a scene, and then it slowed down again. The film wasn't exactly boring, but sometimes it felt like nothing was going on. It was missing something meaningful. The little pieces did not create one, big image after all.

    While the actors were pretty good, in the beginning of the film they seemed very stiff and unreal. Like they weren't really in the scene at all.

    Not my favorite movie of all time, but not a bad one either. It had a good story to tell, leaving the end rather open for possibilities. That, of course, made the film feel sort of inconclusive and pointless; they were back to square one after all that trouble. Perhaps the point of the movie was to show that no matter what, a human nature never truly changes.
  10. Mar 4, 2012
    If someone asked if whether I enjoyed Vicky Christina Barcelona I honestly would not be able to answer. For as much as the feature demonstrates Woody Allen's obsession with neurotic characters within a unique and original setting the outcome of the venture is sure to leave the viewer more exhausted than satisfied. Trademark directing aside, the films premise is strong and original, but the narration too often than not overrides the plot and what we do see becomes a mere snapshot: just like one of Christina's photographs. The acting is certainly great however, and Penelope Cruz rightfully deserves the acclaim she got for portraying a paranoid, delusional Spanish artist. However the character arcs are painfully non-existent leaving the audience thinking whether the features mixture of arthouse and mainstream works at all. Overall, the consistent name-dropping of the title, among other flaws levels this out at a 5 which is a shame because underneath the overstylised visuals there is a great film in here somewhere. Expand
  11. Sep 3, 2014
    If you're looking to continue traveling the world with Woody Allen--Vicky Cristina Barcelona is your film. VCB is your film, regardless. Allen has outdone himself with complex characters and complex relationships. Scarlett Johansson is wonderful alongside a fiery Penelope Cruz.
  12. Apr 8, 2013
    Vicky Cristina Barcelona seems to be a movie that had no direction, with writers that were just as lost as the characters were. Instead of having a narrator say the story, it should have been told through the screen.
  13. Mar 31, 2012
    This was a strange movie. Not quite sure why Penelope won the Oscar. Didn't think she was anything that stuck out. Not really that funny and kind of dull. No big deal.
  14. Aug 5, 2012
    Woody Allen has made a fantastically played romantic drama which besides also is a wonderful homage to Barcelona. The end may let you think the whole movie is useless, but that is definitely not true! It's just extremely beautiful. One and a half hours are very good spent with this work. It's strange and let's you think about the meaning of love, like it was supposed to be. A perfect cast, wonderful pictures of this gorgeous city and an amazing soundtrack - but there are also the bothersome voice-over and the confusing ending. But all in all this is a very good movie for almost everyone! Expand
  15. Jan 4, 2013
    Simply the worst Woody Allen film ever. Some funny moments some good acting do not disguise the narrative shambles. And what's with the voice-over? Although a hall-mark of some of Allens's films in here it justs rubs off as remedial. Poor poor. A gigantic disapointment for a huge Allen fan. See it to believe it.
  16. Feb 3, 2013
    this movie should be watch as (Annie Hall 2), Allen ended the earlier by describing relationships "They’re totally irrational and crazy and absurd", and after many years he completed his idea and made it crystal clear, and now I can see the whole artistic work of Woody Allen as a masterpiece.
  17. Jan 31, 2014
    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.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 2 out of 36
  1. 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.
  2. 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.
  3. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    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."