Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
Annaud (The Lover, The Name of the Rose, Quest for Fire) may be, with all due respect to Stanley Kubrick, the most talented adapter of literary source material in recent film history. Seven Years confirms his mastery by doling out a perfect ratio of moving interpersonal drama and visual enchantment.
Christian Science Monitor
The movie is a star vehicle at heart, aimed more at marketing Pitt's popularity than probing complexities of empire-building and cultural clash that trouble the Tibetan region to this day.
Beyond his struggles with an unwieldy accent and the screenplay's hokum, Mr. Pitt gives a sincere if labored performance enhanced by a sense of genuine struggle.
Seven Years in Tibet is an ambitious and beautiful movie with much to interest the patient viewer, but it makes the common mistake of many films about travelers and explorers: It is more concerned with their adventures than with what they discover.
Annaud's desire to create an epic tale actually harms the production, since it results in unnecessary scenes that pad the running length to more than two hours.
Rolling Stone
Seven Years in Tibet, however flawed, has feeling and purpose. It bears witness.
Despite some magnificent widescreen lensing, faultless ethnographic detail and a timely sympathy for the plight of the Tibetan people, director Jean-Jacques Annaud's true-life tale about a self-obsessed Austrian mountaineer who learns selflessness in the Himalayas too rarely delivers at a simple emotional level.
The bad news is that Pitt, despite this film's high-minded intentions (there are Yo-Yo Ma cello solos on the soundtrack, and China expert Orville Schell acted as an advisor during the shoot), or more likely because of them, finds himself trapped in a long, earnest movie that fails to ever feel very alive.
Pitt isn't a bad actor, but he's way out of his depth and never disappears into the character -- a selfish rogue who gets a jolt of enlightenment at the feet of the Dalai Lama -- the way a superior actor like Daniel Day-Lewis might have.
Washington Post
An overextended, episodic disappointment.

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