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A Very Long Engagement Review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Rapturously beautiful, startlingly audacious and often very funny, the film employs many of the techniques that were used so pleasingly in "Amélie."

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    It's a magical film which manages to transport and rivet us in the same highly-imaginitive, breezily playful way "Amelie" did.

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  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Jeunet provides numerous pleasures, particularly visual, along the way.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Mike Clark

    A long movie that almost wears out its 21/4-hour welcome, yet it's full of surprises.

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  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    This is a movie that considers graphic violence with a refined taste for the sensuous: Guts spill, blood spurts, corpses stink, but there is a handsome, absurdist humanity to the way Jeunet (who wrote the script with Guillaume Laurant) maps out the crossroads of human carnage and human caring.

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  • See all A Very Long Engagement reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Iffy for 16+

Beautiful WWI love story with gruesome battle scenes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this beautifully rendered story of romantic love set in France in the years during and after World War I pulls no punches in showing the death and destruction of trench warfare. The gruesome battle and murder scenes will be difficult for some viewers. Also, as this is ultimately -- above the layers of war and mystery -- a romance, there are brief sexual situations without nudity throughout the film as well. 

  • Families can talk about how war -- and the soldiers' reactions to war -- is portrayed in this film. How is this similar and different to other films set around wartime? 
  • How is the violence handled in this movie? What elements of the film (lighting, music, cinematography) affect the way the violence is experienced by the viewer?
  • Many different film genres are explored in this film: war, mystery, romance. What type of movie do you ultimately think this is?

The good stuff
  • message true4

    Messages: The message that hope and love can ultimately triumph over the horror and ravages of war is portrayed in a powerful way.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: In spite of a death notice and eyewitness accounts to the contrary, Mathilde refuses to believe her fiance Manech has perished during the trench warfare of World War One, and stops at nothing until she finds out the truth. Her dedication to love and truth are romantic and admirable.

What to watch for
  • violence false5

    Violence: An unsparing portrayal of the ravages of World War I -- the violence and death of battle is graphically shown throughout the film. The gruesome injuries of the soldiers are on full display. Also, in one of the subplots of the story, a vengeful prostitute is shown killing the men who sent her lover to be slaughtered on battlefield.

  • sex false4

    Sex: While not graphic, characters are seen having sex. Halfway through the film, a character's buttocks are exposed as she undergoes a massage treatment.  

  • language false3

    Language: The word "s--t" is yelled on the battlefield several times. 

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of wine drinking (it's France).