Critic Reviews



Based on 22 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
Qualifies as director Giuseppe Tornatore's second full-fledged masterpiece. His first: "Cinema Paradiso."
Malena the film is as beautiful and seductive as its heroine, with its ravishing Lajos Koltai cinematography and sweepingly romantic Ennio Morricone score.
Philadelphia Inquirer
Gives audiences something more than just a heart-stopping beauty to contemplate.
What begins as a blushing, priapic opera buffa about coming of age turns into a verismo shocker, before softening into something mellower.
Village Voice
A nostalgic coming-of-age sex comedy tastefully lecherous enough to indicate that its intended demographic is several decades past puberty.
Portland Oregonian
Intriguing, containing a truthful kernel of sweetness, rot and brutality that will shock many.
Christian Science Monitor
Striking photography, period detail, screen-filling crowd scenes, and veteran composer Morricone's score make this one worth seeing, but the sheer nastiness of the town's people drags it down.
There's definitely some paradiso in watching Malena walking, but not enough to sustain almost two hours of cinema.
Chicago Reader
Somewhere in writer-director Giuseppe Tornatore's overstyled movie, about a 12-year-old boy (Sulfaro) during the Italian fascist period who has the hots for a mistreated war widow (Belluci), is a pretty good short story about the fickleness of community and the cruelty of gossip struggling to get out.
In the end, Malena is an unlikable and foul farce, unworthy of Tornatore's previously gentle touch.

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