Memoirs loses its taste for risk, and settles, throughout the movie's subsequent melodramatic turns, for the familiar blandishments of good looks and technical control.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
Swathed in silk and longing (mostly for a bald guy called Oscar), the big-screen version of Memoirs of a Geisha arrives with good intentions firmly in place.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Andrew Pulver - Guardian [UK]
With its gorgeous cinematography, costumes and production design, Geisha is a visual feast, but it lacks emotional heft and leaves the viewer strangely unsatisfied.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
Memoirs of a Geisha is everything you'd expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It's just not very hot.
Stephen Hunter - Washington Post
Its commercial compromises cripple it as a movie.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
A would-be cross between Showgirls and Raise the Red Lantern, too dumb to cause offense though falling short of the oblivious abandon that could have vaulted it into high camp.
Dennis Lim - Village Voice
In the luxuriant Memoirs of a Geisha, three of the biggest and loveliest stars of Chinese cinema -- Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li -- sharpen their talons.
Jami Bernard - New York Daily News
It is a lush, blushingly romantic portrait of Asian culture as seen through a Western lens.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
Memoirs of a Geisha isn't just drop-dead beautiful, it's cinematically alive with a spirited way that makes most contrivances forgivable.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
... good-looking but not quite memorable ...
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
There is spectacle enough in Marshall's movie -- rows of geisha trainees aligned in formation like Rockettes, acres of low, cedar-and-bamboo buildings with mountains in the distance -- but nothing that comes close to lyricism.
David Denby - New Yorker
I object to the movie not on sociological grounds but because I suspect a real geisha house floated on currents deeper and more subtle than the broad melodrama on display here.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Golden's straightforwardly involving prose, while no great shakes, has been replaced by an extremely fussy affair that is, in effect, its own silk-wrapped pictorial novelization.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Everything is beautiful -- even the squalor of poverty, the suffering of war. And nothing, ever, is revealed.
Steven Rea - Philadelphia Inquirer
Shot for shot, Memoirs of a Geisha is one of the most beautiful movies in years, with due credit to Don Beebe's widescreen camera work, John Myhre's meticulous production design and Colleen Atwood's opulent costumes.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The performances are good, the visuals are lush, the span is epic, but the film simply never soars.
Tom Long - Detroit News
For a while, you're waiting for Memoirs of a Geisha to start. Then you can't wait for it to end.
Bill Muller - Arizona Republic
The subject remained interesting enough to this provincial American to accept and ultimately enjoy the film's well-worn romanticism, even with its resignedly tired happy ending.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
So much to see and hear, yet the magic of Memoirs of a Geisha is the human way it touches the heart. The cumulative effect is like being knocked unconscious by the wing of a butterfly.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
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