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Goya's Ghosts Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… a big bag of self-important gas … 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.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In a season of digital bombast, it can be a relief to walk into a stodgy life-of-the-great-man costume drama. Goya's Ghosts, before it turns into a messy, horse-drawn load, achieves a civilized stuffiness that gives off its own mild pleasure.

    Read Full Review

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    Below-the-line credits are terrific, which only increases an overwhelming sense of disappointment with the film's failed ambitions.

    Read Full Review

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Intense historical epic is for adults only.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that teens may be interested because Natalie Portman stars, but that the film is too intense for tweens and younger teens. It's loosely based on a particularly violent period of history, perceived by the Spanish artist Francisco Goya. Images of torture (woman hangs naked from the ceiling by her wrists behind her back: very painful looking), rape, emaciated prisoners, riots in the street, soldiers on horseback assaulting crowds, underclass attacking a wealthy man who tries to escape; occasional talk of hanging, decapitation, prostitution, and torture.

  • Families can talk about the ways that history is portrayed in fictional movies: How does this movie use Goya's ideas (as well as his paintings and other artwork) to shape its own story of the corruption of the time? You might look at some of Goya's famous "Black Paintings" to see how they compare to images in the film. You can also discuss the idea that art can be used to protest social and political injustice, as Goya tried to use his art. Or you can talk about how the film shows his fight against intolerance.

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Goya observes malevolence by authorities, Church officials, and wealthy clients.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: The cruelty of the Spanish Inquisition and then the French Revolution is focused through very specific images of violence: Inés' painful torture (she screams and cries) is matched by the similar torture of Lorenzo, who also collapses emotionally; her abuse in imprison for years results in a devastating loss of weight, teeth, and hair (made very visible); insinuation that Lorenzo rapes Inés (she accepts his embrace, but she's in prison and afraid); discussion of the Revolution (decapitation); crowds loot and cause a ruckus; soldiers ride horses, shoot guns, cause screams and falling bodies; a woman's rape shown briefly; asylum is full of unkempt, beaten-looking inmates; sentenced to death, an Inquistor begs for his life; Goya's head is cut in a scuffle; rebels attack a party of soldiers traveling with women in a wagon; rebels attack Lorenzo.

  • sex false5

    Sex: Sexual imagery here is frequently entangled with violence. Inés' torture includes being hung up, naked (explicit image) so her arms are pulled backward; in prison, Lorenzo embraces her, intimating that he also rapes her (off-screen); Alicia is a prostitute (discussions of her appearance and procuring her services); when a woman is raped, her breasts are visible; discussion of prostitution (Lorenzo determines to ship prostitutes to America, references to "whore" and "harlot").

  • language false3

    Language: "Bastard," "whore," "harlot."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Wine drinking by upper classes; bawdy scenes at bars.