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Biutiful Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Most misleading title of 2011 Read full review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The safe course is to recommend the film, which seems pitilessly long at 147 minutes, only for the transcendent quality of Javier Bardem's performance.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Bardem's soulful turn lends this haunting meditation a sense of hope and saves it from the contrived missteps it teeters toward.

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  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Biutiful has a strong, linear narrative drive. Nevertheless, and most of all, it's a gorgeous, melancholy tone poem about love, fatherhood and guilt.

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For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 17+

Heavy-handed grown-up drama has lots of mature content.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this mature drama from Oscar-nominated director Alejandro González Iñárritu (Babel) is a heavy, lengthy movie filled with adult themes -- including crime, death, disease, adultery, sex, and drugs. There are many violent, scary, and disturbing images, the worst of which is a warehouse full of dead bodies killed by a malfunctioning gas heater. Very strong language includes dozens of uses of "f--k" and "s--t." There's also female nudity and sex, and characters both drink and snort cocaine. Many characters also smoke, including teens (an even younger character is said to be smoking, though vifewers don't see this). Overall the mood is very downbeat, but there are a few moments of hope and inspiration.

  • Families can talk about the movie's use of sex and violent images. How do these things change the tone of the movie? Do they make Uxbal's story more intense? More downbeat?
  • Is Uxbal a good person? Do you like this character? What are some of the good things he does over the course of the movie? What about the bad things? How do they compare? Would you call him a role model?
  • In one scene, characters discuss how a young boy has smoked cigarettes. Is there a penalty for his actions? What about for the other characters who smoke? Does smoking look enticing in this movie, or is it a turn-off?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Uxbal is a good man who tries to help others; even when things go wrong, the movie makes it clear that his intentions were good -- which is a positive take-away. That said, in this movie there are only a few tiny rewards for a life full of misery.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Uxbal tries to do his best for those around him, even if his attempts sometimes turn out badly. Though he could be accused of exploiting immigrants, he truly believes that he's helping them. He proves that he actually cares about them by his deeds. He also helps grieving families by "speaking" with their recently dead loved ones. He attempts to help his ex-wife as well, though his patience with her is quite a bit thinner, and he's also seen getting angry with his children.

What to watch for
  • violence false4

    Violence: There's a very disturbing sequence involving the death of more than 20 immigrant workers, who meet their end due to a malfunctioning heater. This is followed by a gruesome attempt to get rid of the bodies. Cops chase people through the streets and beat them with clubs. Viewers see a fresh, bloody corpse, as well as an old, embalmed corpse. The main character urinates blood on more than one occasion. Characters yell at one another around the dinner table. Some creepy figures can be glimpsed on the ceiling, looking down at the hero.

  • sex false4

    Sex: The main character's ex-wife is seen fully naked. She gets physical with her ex's brother, climbing on top of him and kissing him. Other scenes include the same woman kissing her ex-husband and trying to give him oral sex and two men kissing, with one rubbing the other's crotch. A scene takes place in a sex club where the dancers wear weird costumes consisting of naked body parts in all the wrong places.

  • language false4

    Language: Many uses of "f--k" and "s--t," as well as "damn," "a--hole," "d--k," "son of a bitch," and "for God's sake."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Many characters smoke cigarettes, including teens and younger kids. One boy is said to have smoked (viewers don't see him), and he accidentally sets his mattress on fire. The main character drinks beer on many occasions. The street sellers are said to be dealing drugs on the side, though viewers don't see much. A scene in a club features lots of drinking and some cocaine use; the main character gets completely wasted after a night out.