It's all very silly and contrived, but it's also airy and agreeably laid-back, not unlike a decent vacation.
Keith Staskiewicz - Entertainment Weekly
Its Noah's-Ark-like coupling aside, the movie is at times awkwardly charming and generally innocuous: the stepsister isn't the baddie, and female friendship isn't an impediment to a happily ever after.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
Monte Carlo is all about deja vu, cobbling together elements from so many other sources it feels like movie stew.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The movie could have benefitted from shaving about 20 minutes off. There's no need to prolong the inevitable.
Stephanie Merry - Washington Post
Were I a certain 12-year-old girl, "Monte Carlo'' would be a giant frosted pastry, even if that pastry tastes suspiciously like Gomez's 2009 Disney Channel Original Movie, "Princess Protection Program.''
Wesley Morris - Boston Globe
Director and co-writer Thomas Bezucha shows no particular flair for either of his jobs. But kids are unlikely to focus on the terrible editing, flat visuals, or lack of character development.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
After Selena Gomez's auspicious big-screen debut in Ramona and Beezus, Monte Carlo feels like two steps back for the Wizards of Waverly Place star.
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
But it's Gomez, on the poster in a ball gown and cowboy boots, who will lure the audience into the theaters. And she is ... fine.
James Rocchi - MSN Movies
It's chirpy, it's bright, there are pretty locations and lots happens. This is the kind of movie that can briefly hold the attention of a cat.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
Disguises, deceptions -- you could call the narrative of "Monte Carlo" Shakespearean, but I prefer to consider Shakespeare's romantic comedies as "Selena Gomez-esque."
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The movie hits a surprising range of emotional grace notes, including several moments of genuine regret, and concludes with an understated moral lesson about the value of self-respect over social status,
Ben Sachs - Chicago Reader
For girls of a certain age (and their mothers), Monte Carlo hits the sweet spot.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
Director Thomas Bezucha lingers too long on side plots and doesn't give the film emotional resonance.
Adam Graham - Detroit News
It all gets sappy and do-goody and the premise never holds water in the first place.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
A frothy, innocuous smorgasbord of girlhood wish fulfillment that scores a direct hit with its target demo.
Lael Loewenstein - Variety
For a movie called "Monte Carlo," this one keeps the stakes pretty low.
Sara Stewart - New York Post
You take movies like this for what they are and for whom they're intended. But this script, this leaden direction ensures that even as the teen wish-fulfillment fantasy, complete with young women playing dress-up, "Monte Carlo" fails.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The movie sputs out like fizzled fireworks in the Monte Carlo night.
Greg Quill - Toronto Star
It provides young girls with some harmless wish-fulfillment without talking down to them, an increasingly rare quality in movies aimed at young people.
Eric D. Snider - Film.com
Despite its soul-searching pretensions, the movie hinges on what is essentially a con -- one bereft of tension and so sanitized for young female viewers that little room is left for temptation or humour or good old-fashioned summer shenanigans.
Jennie Punter - Globe and Mail
A less-than-bubbly teen comic romp aimed at little princesses.
Todd McCarthy - Hollywood Reporter
Meester and Cassidy provide solid sidekicks, though that perhaps sells them short: They ultimately carry the movie. All of their storylines lead to self-discovery and sappiness.
Jake Coyle - Associated Press
Brent Simon - Shared Darkness
It's all frothy and silly, but Selena Gomez and her co-stars are sweet and appealing and are sure to win over the film's target audience.
Jason Best - Movie Talk
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
More gum-popping than jaw-dropping, it's the kind of light entertainment that Elvis used to make.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
So corny that a cereal company could have sponsored it...
David Aldridge - Radio Times
Short on wit and invention, the film comes over as Texas's answer to Woody Allen's Midnight in Paris.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
Harmless enough to a point... but the idea that girls should aspire to little more than acquiring a boyfriend, a home or a brand-new pair of Blahniks will be desperately depressing for any parents dragged along.
Amber Wilkinson - Eye for Film
Mature viewers will appreciate the rare lack of bad language in what for them will be a reminder of screwball comedies past.
Graham Young - Birmingham Mail
A dull fantasy-farce of luxe hotel suites, hot guys and product-placement jewellery, a pretty unappetising mix that the film tries to justify at the end with some blather about Romanian orphanages.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
A comprehensive waste of time and money.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
Meester especially is a lot better than this.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
A corny grown-up's vision of teenage wish-fulfilment, like a sexless Sex And The City 2.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
[A] good-natured but insipid vehicle for tween star Selena Gomez...
Cliched and glitzy, it throws its lots in entirely with the romantic ideal of love and Monaco, but has a bubbling spirit and Meester drives a scooter in Grecian sandals impeccably.
Antonia Quirke - Financial Times
Gomez, looking every bit the child bride, keeps strutting her actressy ambitions like a pushy diva hogging the dress-up-box.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Trashily enjoyable thanks to some expertly assembled cliches, an assortment of picturesque locations and likeable chemistry between the three leads.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
This is a film that knows what its teen audience wants - and gives it to it in spades.
- Sky Movies
Sluggish, witless and desperately twee.
Henry Fitzherbert - Daily Express
Glossy entertainment for tweens. Avoid if you're over 14.
Anna Smith - Empire Magazine
Ridiculously contrived, superficial throughout and too sugary, 'Monte Carlo' is still too innocent and convivial to cast too many aspersions on.
Derek Adams - Time Out
Teen girls who want a vicarious overseas jaunt are advised to follow Emma's lead in one scene of Monte Carlo and watch To Catch a Thief instead.
The film's tween-age target demographic will be perfectly content with what they see here.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Performances are generally twee, there's not a believable moment in the film -- it's like we're watching children dress up in adult clothes, and that's pretty much how they act.
Margaret Pomeranz - At the Movies (Australia)
Its excess of spun sugar presents a distinct health hazard.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
It's a harmless yarn that's as buttery as popcorn and as sweet as a choc top. And who doesn't like a trip to the candy bar via Europe?
Adam Bub - MovieFIX
The locations make for enjoyable viewing, but disappointingly this bland teenage drama never transcends its formulaic approach.
Belinda Hazleton - FILMINK (Australia)
If ever there was a setting suited to a Cinderella story, it is Monte Carlo and this feel-good chick-flick about decadence, dreams and romance will have every young girl ready to jump on a plane, hoping to live the fairytale
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
A winsome cast, a great location, and keeping the target audience in view bring an entertaining story that manages to have both a conscience and a heart.
Carolyn Arends - Christianity Today
funny in places and while the plot is a rather formulaic take on The Prince and The Pauper, harismatic stars and a brisk pace make the more melodramatic moments forgivable.
James Luxford - The National
...rarely as much fun (or as entertaining) as its premise might've led one to expect.
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Writer/director Bezucha inefficiently draws out this first act. In the process, he encourages expectations of a more earnest, grounded-in-reality picture than the one Monte Carlo morphs into when it hard-turns into mistaken-identity whimsy.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
Ultimately, it's not hateful or anti-girl and if you happen to be 10 years old and female then you're probably going to love it.
Dave White - Movies.com
There isn't much for adults in this at all, but Leighton Meester at least keeps things snappy for anyone trying to enjoy this on an ironic level.
Grae Drake - Movies.com
... the movie does have its little pleasures, in an adolescent high-school-drama-club sort of way ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
More than a bit silly and contrived, but so agreeably cast and well executed as to certainly mitigate these shortcomings for its core audience, who'll lap up the improbably romantic adventure.
Brent Simon - Screen International
Features Selena Gomez in two roles, which is awkward because she only has one and a half expressions.
Betsy Sherman - Boston Phoenix
Frothy, corny, adolescent wish-fulfillment fantasy
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
I'm shocked, but this movie respects its audience more than 'Larry Crowne' or 'Transformers 3'
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
A throwback to escapist rom com fare in the sixties. Totally unrealistic but still fun for the "tween" set.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
"Monte Carlo" fails even as the cheesy teen-girl romantic pap its creators set out to achieve.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
The scenery is pretty, the actresses work hard and it all goes by fairly quickly, if unmemorably.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The luxurious Cote d'Azur town has never seemed so dull.
Radheyan Simonpillai - NOW Toronto
I actually found it to be a decent attempt to give young girls a fun, little fantasy as the boys their age are off watching giant robots pound on each other. But I can't recommend it to anyone else.(Full Content Parental Review also available)
Teddy Durgin - Screen It!
"Monte Carlo" gambles that setting a bland screenplay in one of the world's most glamorous places will jazz up the movie. It loses that bet.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
As a tween dream spin on Roman Holiday by way of Twelfth Night, it does its job quite nicely.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
...directed with benign indifference by Thomas Bezucha, whose main achievement seems to be taking the lens cap off before takes.
Corey Hall - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Bezucha directs the agreeable cast with a deft touch capturing the spirit of the old screwball comedies.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
Meanwhile, those keen to see a rags to riches story in which a young actress grow ups right before your eyes in a career transition movie may rent The Princess Diaries.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
Several times I was tempted to run out of the theater and to the edge of the fourth story balcony of the mall the theater is located in and throw myself off.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
a zany mistaken-identity comedy modeled after the amateurish body-swapping comedies of the 1980s
Sean O'Connell - Filmcritic.com
Even within the manipulative Princess-for-a-Day genre, Disney Channel product Selena Gomez's Monte Carlo is a chintzy knockoff.
Silly but sweet travel comedy says to be true to yourself.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
'Monte Carlo' is a trip.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Glossy and flossy, more like cotton candy than a delicious souffle, this romantic comedy should delight tween girls.
David Noh - Film Journal International
This is going to be the price some boys may have to pay for dragging their girlfriends to the Transformers movie.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Happiness in Monte Carlo is just a scream, a whistle, or a dimmer switch away.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
"Don't mess with Texas!" Emma snarls at the captive Cordelia, the girl tied to a chair with an apple lodged in her mouth. Yes, it's as unclean and creepily disconcerting as it sounds.
Selena fans will be pleased that she's just as spunky as ever. Parents will not be bored...at least too much.
Peter Paras - E! Online
It's unpleasant where it should be pleasant, convoluted where it should be streamlined, anxiety provoking where it should be easy, and long, long, long - at least 20 minutes longer than it has a right to be.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
It doesn't take much more to enchant the target audience than seeing the girls in their party dresses coming down the steps in slow motion on the way to the ball.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
An empty-headed trifle that's the cinematic equivalent of an advertising spread in a glossy teen magazine.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
None of this makes much sense - except for the clear message that Europe is more fun if you're rich - but it doesn't really need to.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The movie has its heart in the right place, but it doesn't have much personality.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Next to all this totally awesome glitz, it's "be happy with who you are" philosophy is as convincing as Selena Gomez's British English.
Sara Maria Vizcarrondo - Boxoffice Magazine
As in Country Strong, Meester's crack timing and irresistible poignancy illuminate a part that would leave other actresses simpering themselves off the screen.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
Shenanigans masquerading as fun.
Matt Pais - RedEye
A silly and inconsequential drama about three girls on a trip.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Solidly acted and sturdily constructed, the picture offers a mellow display of wish fulfillment, more interested in the inspection of feelings than distributing vapid monkey business.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Selena Gomez may have shot to stardom as a bratty wiseass on Wizards of Waverly Place, but it's her featureless dramatic chops that best benefit Monte Carlo.
Nick Schager - Slant Magazine
The biggest of many problems with Monte Carlo is that the fantasy cannot possibly be enjoyed for a second, because the deception looms so large.
Scott Tobias - AV Club