It reduces a legendary figure to conventional movie-hero size amidst magnificent and exotic scenery but a conventional lot of action-film cliches.
Bosley Crowther - New York Times
This is a movie with the excitement of a cavalry charge.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The only thing that really dates it is the awful makeup, orangey pancake for Lawrence, a gray-green nose for Quinn and cordovan shoe polish for Guinness.
Rita Kempley - Washington Post
Lawrence is too emotionally overpowering for critical reservations.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
An epic achievement in filmmaking.
Janice Page - Boston Globe
We remember the quiet, empty passages, the sun rising across the desert, the intricate lines traced by the wind in the sand.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's an astonishing, unrepeatable epic.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
[It] remains one of the most intelligent, handsome, and influential of all war epics.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Approach it from whatever angle you like, performances, script, cinematography, score; David Lean's sweeping biography of T.E. Lawrence is unarguably magnificent.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
It was a big bold project and has turned out a big bold film.
Variety Staff - Variety
This is that rare film whose weaknesses are not only swallowed up by its vast, disturbing ambition, but somehow become part of its strengths.
Gary Kamiya - Salon.com
Riveting from beginning to end, featuring stellar performances, amazing cinematography, and a story without a trace of fat, the film does everything an epic is supposed to do -- and more.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
Even the flies in the opening Cairo scene jump out at you.
Douglas Pratt - Hollywood Reporter
It is O'Toole who continually dominates the screen, and he dominates it with professional skill, Irish charm and smashing good looks.
Dean Essner - TIME Magazine
How did David Lean and star Peter O'Toole achieve such perfection? If we could define and distil it, we wouldn't need a special category for those flicks we call 'classics.' Lawrence of Arabia is that, and then some.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
This seven-Oscar wonder remains exhilarating thanks to Freddie Young's majestic desert lensing, Maurice Jarre's gorgeous score and Peter O'Toole's career-defining portrayal of the feted but flawed protagonist.
William Parker - Total Film
To appreciate the film fully, Lawrence must be seen in a cinema, in 70mm on the widescreen and in stereophonic sound, and the present theatrical revival is not to be missed.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
It may be legend, and it may be romanticized, but "Lawrence of Arabia" feels authentic. It's as stirring an epic as Hollywood has ever produced-one reason why the American Film Institute has named it the Number 1 epic of all time.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
O'Toole, all piercing blue eyes and steadfast idealism, buzzes with charisma in the role of a lifetime.
Simon Reynolds - Digital Spy
Does it really matter that the sun that rises in the film is a 'real' sun as opposed to a CGI sun?
Roger Moore - McClatchy-Tribune News Service
...an overlong yet watchable epic...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Mature teens will appreciate this gripping epic.
M. Faust - Common Sense Media
One of the cinema's grandest spectacles, Lawrence of Arabia is at turns exhilarating, devastating, and puzzling as it ponders the mystery of a man who was a mystery to himself.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
It's probably heresy to suggest it's overlong, but if Lean's epic outstays its welcome, there are more than enough magical moments to explain why it enjoys its lofty reputation.
Dean Essner - Film4
Sweeping, epic, majestic, awesome, sumptuous, you name the grandiose superlative and you'll be right, with amazing performances and gorgeous visuals, although very, very long.
Dean Essner - Empire Magazine
A gorgeous epic with an outstanding performance from Peter O'Toole.
Wesley Lovell - Oscar Guy
Wesley Lovell - Cinema Sight
Lean's epic biography of the enigmatic and complex British hero is visually mesmerizing, even if it omits crucial aspects of Lawrence's life, and it boasts a radical, riveting performance from Peter O'Toole.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
The passage of time has only proved how difficult it is to run ideas, history, characterisation and landscape in harness on this sort of scale.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
The only way to properly see Lean's overstuffed epic is on the big screen, the better to appreciate the glorious desert vistas, Maurice Jarre's soaring score and the glowing performance by then-unknown Peter O'Toole as a messianic T.E. Lawrence.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Elegant and literate.
Paul De Angelis - culturevulture.net
It's a truly magnificent film.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Spence D. - IGN Movies
For all the stunning shots of windswept dunes and battle sequences featuring a cast of hundreds, this is the study of a man in deep conflict.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Lawrence of Arabia is a stunning 'classic.'
Marco Lanzagorta - PopMatters
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
The English-language cinema's exemplary historical drama, gorgeous, complex, passionate, vivid and engrossing a full four decades after its premiere.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
Both the man and the movie, are treated with a detached reverence that keep them essentially unknowable...as glorious but inscrutable as the dunes.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
Best appreciated on the big screen.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
The sweeping sands and landscapes in this film are breathtaking and that's what puts David Lean as one of the great epic filmmakers of all time.
Michael Szymanski - Zap2it.com
Stirring historical biography is epic, intimate and awe-inspiring.
James Rocchi - Netflix
A movie with scope, tremendous clarity of vision and purpose; simply put, it is a film for the ages, an epic in every sense.
Brent Simon - Entertainment Today
A shining example of a vanished breed of epic filmmaking.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Released in 1962, it was pretty clearly the most intelligent spectacular within living memory. On its 40th anniversary, it's even better.
Andy Klein - New Times
A cracking good adventure yarn, as well as a disturbing psychological profile of a man destined to become a great leader but an even greater dupe.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
If nothing else, this film is absolutely gorgeously shot.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
In the power, sweep and realism of its story dealing with the legendary war hero, the picture has rarely been equalled.
Dean Essner - Boxoffice Magazine
One of the rare instances of "Oscars" ending in right hands.
Dragan Antulov - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Grand in every sense, David Lean's film is an example of an established director full of confidence and ambition.
Martyn Glanville - BBC
Still looks awesome and packs a tremendous punch.
Brian Webster - Apollo Guide
...the best epic the screen has ever seen. In terms of sheer sweep, intelligence, and star power, nothing much comes close.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
I am convinced that it is simply one of the finest works of cinematic genius to ever illuminate the big screen.
Robert Marley - Filmcritic.com
Lawrence luxuriates in the tremendous.
Stanley Kauffmann - The New Republic
Lawrence of Arabia (1962) is the filmic retelling of T. E. Lawrence's heroic, autobiographical account of his own Arabian adventure, published in "The Seven Pillars
Tim Dirks - Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
This is a film for the ages.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A very good film.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
There are great action scenes, and the photography by Lean regular Freddie Young is, I believe, is the best ever put on film.
Matt Easterbrook - Matt's Movie Reviews
If one can continue to see a work such as this 35 years later and still remain entranced by its spectacle and its drama, then surely, that is a classic indeed.
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
one of those rare films that runs on all cylinders
John A. Nesbit - Old School Reviews
At the center of Lean's superbly sun-drenched, 70mm canvas is Peter O'Toole's eccentric but magnificent portrayal of the erudite, Oxford-educated lieutenant.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
If ever there was a movie worthy of restoration and reissuing it is Lawrence of Arabia.
Chris Hicks - Deseret News, Salt Lake City