Critic Reviews

59

Metascore

Based on 32 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A deeply moving blend of cold terror and rapturous hilarity. Lovingly crafted by Italy's top comedian and most popular filmmaker, it's that rare comedy that takes on a daring and ambitious subject and proves worthy of it.
88
Chicago Sun-Times
Finds the right notes to negotiate its delicate subject matter.
88
USA Today
To see someone even attempt bittersweet treatment of this subject is surprising, but to largely pull it off is a major feat.
88
New York Daily News
A rare blend of comedy and tenderness whose point is not the horrors of war but the lengths a parent will go to protect his child's innocence.
75
San Francisco Examiner
Succeeds better than it ought to, largely because of the personality and prodigious talents of its director and star, the Italian comedian Roberto Benigni.
75
ReelViews
It's the depiction of the love and sacrifice of a father for a son that makes Life is Beautiful worthwhile.
75
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
Ultimately, Benigni's comic refinery merely transforms the banality of evil into a lesser sin -- the evil of banality.
67
Entertainment Weekly
Starts out as sentimental whimsy and ends as sentimental kitsch.
60
Mr. Showbiz
Has one of the most stupendously tasteless premises in cinema history, and much of the time when this movie tries to beckon a smile, the effect is closer to astonished nausea.
50
San Francisco Chronicle
Benigni sets out to do the impossible.
50
Christian Science Monitor
Has good intentions, but its exaggerated celebration of quick-witted improvisation ultimately trivializes the human and historical horrors evoked by the story.

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