Critic Reviews

56

Metascore

Based on 30 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
This is a dark, dark, dark film, focused on an obsession so complete and lonely it shuts out all other human experience. You may not savor it, but you will not stop watching it, in horror and fascination.
88
Charlotte Observer
Most horror movies try to show us the man inside the monster, so we'll empathize with his moral dilemmas or feel his suffering. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer shows us a man who is all monster, whose colossal amorality makes him a potential Messiah or menace to humanity.
75
Entertainment Weekly
Perfume misses some of the subtler base notes of Süskind's creepier, more self-aware original, but Whishaw and Tykwer blend the movie into something quite heady in its own bottle.
75
New York Daily News
This is a crazy, gorgeous, disturbing, darkly comic horror story about an early-18th-century Frenchman born in a Paris fish market without any odor of his own but with a sense of smell that would make a pack of bloodhounds wail with envy.
75
Miami Herald
It is to director Tykwer's credit that, although you never come close to understanding Jean-Baptiste, you don't turn your nose up at him, either.
75
New York Post
Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, crosses over from thriller into magic realism for a lavishly staged climax that's a bit much.
75
Premiere
Perfume is sure to annoy as many moviegoers as it entertains, but at least even the naysayers would find it difficult to argue that film is nothing if not a departure from the ordinary.
70
The Hollywood Reporter
Long regarded as unfilmable, Patrick Suskind's 1985 novel "Perfume" has finally reached the screen in a blockbuster production that succeeds reasonably well in achieving what many said was beyond the scope of cinema: conveying the world of scent and smell.
50
Wall Street Journal
Weaves a sensual spell of extraordinary delicacy, then sustains it -- up to a point.
50
Philadelphia Inquirer
There are sniff movies and there are snuff movies, but Perfume: The Story of a Murderer is both. It has the bouquet of balm and blood. Imagine "Fragrance of the Lambs."
25
This isn't pleasant to watch. Neither is it amusing, intellectually engaging, whimsically fascinating, coldly satirical or painfully poignant, though at any given moment in this erratic film director Tom Tykwer might be trying for one of these conflicting tones.

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