Bertolucci is so drunk on deja vu he has made a movie that's really a flossy assemblage of Bertolucci signifiers.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Bernardo Bertolucci's new film is an ardently romantic love song to sex, cinema and the spirit of the 60's.
A.O. Scott - New York Times
Not good for you, but wickedly pleasurable all the same.
Peter Bradshaw - Guardian [UK]
The siblings, in particular, grow so irritating with their cultural tunnel-vision that even the film's explicit sex grows monotonous, and its lack of humor grows irritating.
Mike Clark - USA Today
Do these characters really care about the collected works of Godard? Not for one Parisian minute.
Desson Thomson - Washington Post
It is both a love song to escapism and a warm embrace of the real world -- a wake-up call that one place, without the other to occasionally return to, would make life for us (who are the real dreamers) far less wonderful.
Michael O'Sullivan - Washington Post
It's funny, affecting, interestingly twisted, and seriously erotic before it heads south in the final stretch.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Bad, but unlike the similarly camped-up Little Buddha or Stealing Beauty, it's not exactly boring.
J. Hoberman - Village Voice
For the easily titillated, among whose company I count myself, the rewards are plenty in this curious menage a trois among college students in 1968 Paris.
Jack Mathews - New York Daily News
It is a well-made film in many ways, but I found in the callowness of these youths nothing to admire.
Eric Harrison - Houston Chronicle
Ambitious and uneven, visceral and pungent.
Chris Vognar - Dallas Morning News
A rich movie filling the viewer with a four-course French meal of sensuality, politics, ideas and character.
Michael Booth - Denver Post
Peter Rainer - New York Magazine
They aren't making revolution in this hothouse, they're making a listless blue movie.
David Denby - New Yorker
Above all it evokes a time when the movies -- good movies, both classic and newborn -- were at the center of youth culture.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's a movie so physically beautiful and ardent that it can make you fall in love or lust against better judgment.
Michael Wilmington - Chicago Tribune
Its nostalgia and narcissism are ultimately two versions of the same thing, and neither can reopen cross-cultural channels. Instead they keep this story stuck in the past, frozen and intact and irrelevant.
Jonathan Rosenbaum - Chicago Reader
Knowing that a character prefers Chaplin to Keaton tells us only about his taste, not about his soul.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
It's wonderful to see a film that takes back sex from the smutty teen comedies, that grapples with political ideas and shouts its love of cinema from the rooftops.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
An out-of-print postcard of a movie, neither shocking or smart enough to matter in the modern world, and too disjointed to be involving.
Tom Long - Detroit News
The Dreamers makes its point with clips of old films. And yes, there is quite a bit of sex and nudity.
Richard Nilsen - Arizona Republic
A film about youth and passion that seems old and passionless.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
At a reflective and still romantic 63, Mr. Bertolucci pays heartfelt hommage to Henri Langlois' famous theater, Cinematheque Francaise.
Andrew Sarris - New York Observer
David Rooney - Variety
A kind of art-house Showgirls -- which actually exceeds Showgirls in its self-indulgence, shallowness and sheer stupidity.
Jonathan Foreman - New York Post
Swept away by the intensity of the characters' movie debates and sexual games, Bertolucci often recaptures the film-besotted spirit of the period.
Jay Boyar - Orlando Sentinel
Anyone seeking cheap titillation would do better to invest their movie cash in a fresh copy of Playboy or Penthouse than to spend the two hours of contemplation needed to fully appreciate the myriad layers of The Dreamers.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
A film about youthful passion -- for sex, for politics, for music and, above all, for film itself -- that feels passionless.
Rick Groen - Globe and Mail
It's possible that the NC-17 has never been used to such PG-13 ends.
David Edelstein - Slate
Neither the story nor the characters capture the zeitgeist that Bertolucci theoretically set out to celebrate.
Jean Oppenheimer - Hollywood Reporter
Grim and joyless.
Richard Schickel - TIME Magazine
Bertolucci provokes audiences instead of pacifying them. Boy, do we need him now.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
If you don't glow with the same pleasure [Bertolucci] feels when the characters in The Dreamers alternate brashness with callow immaturity, you're going to be in for a very long evening.
Kenneth Turan - Los Angeles Times
Dean Essner - Sight and Sound
Legendary director Bernardo Bertolucci ("1900") crafts a return to social revolt in the form of sexual pursuits by a trio of late '60s teenaged students in this engaging yet insufficient movie.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Despite the movie's well-earned NC-17, Bertolucci's own menage a trois favors cinephilia over the related pleasures of politics and sex.
Rob Nelson - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
Urban Cinefile Critics - Urban Cinefile
It's an amusing, sophisticated movie, true to its times, cheerfully erotic, and played with unselfconscious conviction by its three young actors.
Philip French - Observer [UK]
The film is at once a celebration of the sexual revolution and a celebration of cinema as the secular equivalent of religion, at a time when movies really mattered.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Fans of film and gorgeous naked people of either sex will find much here to interest them. But it also has moments that make you want to throw stones.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
A real pleasure.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
The venue for Pitt's marvelous coming-out performance.
Nick Schager - Lessons of Darkness
...we feel stranded on a soundstage, mummy-wrapped in film studies and bereft of any genuine emotion.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
It's a hot sequence that nudges the boundary of taste, but still manages to come off more as art than porn.
S. James Wegg - JWR
Maximilian Le Cain - Senses of Cinema
Maybe the worst thing Bertolucci has done is make a good film that is too blithe to distance itself from the offensively precious one it constantly threatens to be.
Nick Davis - Nick's Flick Picks
Only time will tell if The Dreamers is a great film. I think it is at the least a very good one.
Forrest Hartman - Reno Gazette-Journal
The cultural revolution reflected in the personal lives of the young people is a distraction. Better to enjoy the movie for the beauty and delight of its love story alone.
John J. Puccio - DVDTown.com
John J. Puccio - Movie Metropolis
It's all quite soporific, because nothing is at stake and there's no reason to care about these self-absorbed twits.
Jean Lowerison - San Diego Metropolitan
Bertolucci indulges too much in the great sin of nostalgia, thus reducing the film's political firepower by washing it in a hazy wave of 'Remember when ...'
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
Dean Essner - Sunday Times (Australia)
Bertolucci and Adair have made a beguiling tribute to the glorious indeterminacy of youth.
Jason Anderson - eye WEEKLY
For all its multi-layered sexuality, the film's bottom line is all about the destruction of the characters' dreams when those dreams are touched by reality.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
The Dreamers is about three people dropping out of the world for a while, even as they imagine themselves an integral part of it.
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
Dean Essner - Baltimore Sun
Ian Waldron-Mantgani - UK Critic
The Dreamers is infused with the same kind of wistful melancholy that made the French New Wave films so winning, and it's all gorgeous to look at.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
It ends up a mess.
Brian Orndorf - FilmJerk.com
The erotic parlor games in Bertolucci's film don't get quite get debauched or deep enough, and once they've run their course, the movie doesn't know what to do.
Lance Goldenberg - Weekly Planet (Tampa, FL)
Up until its final moments, 'The Dreamers' is all too aptly titled. ...two hours of lusciously photographed lollygagging...
James Sanford - Kalamazoo Gazette
It's been described as a love letter to cinema and the heady 1960s, but it plays more like a memoir of infatuation.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Bertolucci and cinematographer Fabio Cianchetti construct every shot carefully, often building shapes out of the characters' positions or referencing shots from other films.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
Dean Essner - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
The whole thing feels a bit scattered.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
The most logical explanation of the bizarre premise: Bertolucci, an inarguably brilliant Oscar-winning filmmaker, is also quite the perv.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
'The Dreamers' comes wrapped in a strange nostalgia, which makes the pretentiousness even sadder.
Sean Means - Salt Lake Tribune
Focus exclusively on the movie's brazen, occasionally gratuitous sexuality and you'll miss a whole other level of pleasure.
Steve Schneider - Orlando Weekly
Bertolucci never lets his obvious pretensions overshadow the characters and the story at the heart of the film.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
It so desperately wishes to be a masterpiece that the result is hopelessly infatuated with its own perceived cleverness.
Mark Palermo - Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)
Bertolucci's best work to date. Film, politics, sex, the cultural divide, love, relationships, parenting - are looked over by his camera, and the result is breathtaking.
Oz - eFilmCritic.com
Boy-boy love masquerading as boy-girl-boy love so you'll go see it.
Victoria Alexander - Movie Reviews in Croatian
There is enough youthful energy and sexual tension to float The Dreamers along, although the film's deeper potential and political context slip away.
Brian Gibson - Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
This works most effectively as an ode to the way cinema infuses the lives of its fans.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
When the sex and weirdness stops, all we're left with is pseudo-intellectual discussions from this trio that is found in every dorm across America.
Kevin Carr - Film Threat
Bertolucci is hardly a klutz with the camera, but to me the movie was always good-but-not-great, it never truly took off.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
Bertolucci pays affectionate homage to cinema, goofy youthful exuberance, romance, innocence and the student revolt of May '68.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
At its heart, The Dreamers is Bertolucci's valentine to the movies that nurtured him in his youth. At worst, it's sort of an NC-17 version of Rugrats in Paris.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Perhaps [Bertolucci] was ambivalent about his feelings for the time. Perhaps he was just sloppy.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr. - Goatdog's Movies
Watching The Dreamers is like receiving a present where the box is nicer than the contents.
Dan Lybarger - Kansas City Star
There are some wonderful moments of bliss, as in all Bertolucci movies... But for all the flash and sparkle, there's little heat.
Shawn Levy - Oregonian
A rare movie made by and for adults, haunts its watcher for some time, despite its shortcomings.
Moira MacDonald - Seattle Times
The entire film is a charged sensory experience -- a cinematic turn-on.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Celebrates the feverish vitality of youth with sexually explicit candor.
Duane Dudek - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
Crammed with indelible images and scenes of sheer beauty and impact.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
The oneiric atmosphere takes a turn for the worse as the focus inevitably turns to a bad daydream and the secluded apartment setting stultifies the aura of film worship...
Greg Muskewitz - eFilmCritic.com
A passionate tribute to the cinema's contribution to the great '60s cultural fusion, as well as a melancholy reminder of just how far it's fallen from that heady era of its highest idealism.
William Arnold - Seattle Post-Intelligencer
A good choice for film buffs; lends itself to analysis, conversation, or maybe even a term paper
Marty Mapes - Movie Habit
The Dreamers is an important film, if for no other reason than it finally offers a mature alternative for adult cinemagoers.
Annlee Ellingson - Boxoffice Magazine
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
Begs the question: Can sex be boring? The answer is yes, if the actors have been cast primarily for their looks.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
Dean Essner - Boston Phoenix
This handsome, mildly brave scrapbook probably won't be prophetic of upheavals to come.
David Elliott - San Diego Union-Tribune
Dresses up its sex with pretensions of high art, but its intellectualism is disposable, and unless brother-sister incest is your cup of tea, the sensuality misses its mark as well.
Mary F. Pols - Contra Costa Times
Bertolucci going through the motions.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Bernardo Bertolucci's love letter to Paris, cinema and sex in 1968 is as uneven and imperfect as it is unique and impassioned.
James Rocchi - Netflix
An ambitious and exciting piece of work, a movie about sex and movies made by a filmmaker who understands the power of each to set off fantasy, create addiction, incite danger and transform the spirit.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Rather than turning into a coming-of-age story, the movie wallows in the cocoon-like insularity of its characters.
Robert Denerstein - Denver Rocky Mountain News
These kids are so languid and lovely, so immersed in each other as reflected images, that they pose a risk for the naive American.
Cynthia Fuchs - Nitrate Online
A pretty silly affair -- a minor film made by a major filmmaker.
Joe Baltake - Sacramento Bee
The real world in which these characters live is only hinted at, making their behaviour look mighty precious most of the time.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
In almost every way, The Dreamers is a less sexy, less successful ode to the innocent passions and energy of a bygone era than Austin Powers.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Marks a long-overdue return to the important themes of human connection and social commitment that run through many of Bertolucci's most memorable films.
Jack Garner - Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
It effectively explains why we obsess over movies and rock and roll and honest communication long after those passions have been hijacked by parodists and advertising agencies.
Terry Lawson - Detroit Free Press
[A] provocative, sensual feast.
Richard Roeper - Ebert & Roeper
No matter how many mirrors he uses to fracture his characters into meaningful multiple images or how many shots he includes of out-of-control falling, [Bertolucci] can't make the naughty innocence compelling.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
The Dreamers is a betrayal of dreaming.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
How much you enjoy The Dreamers will depend on your threshold for flash minus dramatic depth or political subtext.
Glenn Lovell - San Jose Mercury News
While the sexual content in and of itself is hardly transgressive or shocking, the mere presence of it at all in a contemporary film is both a shock and a breath of fresh air.
Peter Sobczynski - Critic Doctor
A pretentious and self-absorbed chamber piece that underscores the importance of the 1968 student riots in Paris.
Angela Baldassarre - Sympatico.ca
The Dreamers devolves into a nostalgia trip for 1970s cinema intellectuals; for them, it pays dividends. Others might do better to check out the films--like Bertolucci's own Last Tango in Paris, The Conformist and 1900.
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
I wish that this first release to show the artistic potential of the NC-17 rating was an undisputedly great film, not merely a brave and intriguing one.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Maybe Bernardo Bertolucci should have stuck with his original plan to make a sequel to his epic 1900, because his latest film is a major disappointment.
Todd Gilchrist - FilmStew.com
Cinematic allusions, both verbal and visual, are tossed around as if in the hope that some of their quality might somehow rub off on the ever-less-interesting movie at hand.
Arthur Lazere - culturevulture.net
...these characters just aren't as fascinating as Bertolucci clearly believes them to be...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The casually edgy eroticism and constant allusions to old movies are in many ways a mask for the fact that (these) aren't especially interesting people, except to each other.
Rob Blackwelder - SPLICEDWire
The seductively charismatic duo of Green and Garrel, who make the siblings' twisted relationship warm yet disturbing, off-putting yet inviting.
Michael Dequina - TheMovieReport.com
An over-ripe orgasm of a film, but also a weary one. After gorging for hours on youthful idealism, Bertolucci finally drops the hammer and confronts its limitations.
Sean Burns - Philadelphia Weekly
Disenfranchised youth spells relentless bacchanalia, without the benefit of narrative structure or purpose.
Jeanne Aufmuth - Palo Alto Weekly
The thrills of this movie are aesthetic ones, the creation of new, ravishing imagery (and all three of our young heroes are beautiful enough to be up to this task), the surrender to dream logic, the adoration of the silver screen.
Glenn Kenny - Premiere Magazine
Like Stealing Beauty, a European-set tale of adolescent sexual awakening, loosely recast here as a heavily affected, awkward polemic.
Brent Simon - Entertainment Today
Just the dose of relatable mainstream art the U.S. cinema desperately requires.
Gregory Weinkauf - New Times
Has an attractive facade, but its apparent audacity turns out to be as empty-headed as its photogenic but vacuous lead characters.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
The rapture of movies themselves has never been more masterfully or evocatively presented. But the movie fails to integrate its themes in a satisfying way.
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Who else but Sartre-reading, Fellini-watching wannabe-sophisticated 15-year-olds will find this film intriguing?
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
A lazy film about lazy people that, predictably, would have lazed me into a coma if it weren't for the near non-stop nudity.
Jon Popick - Planet Sick-Boy
Go see it, even if it's smutty.
Eric Lurio - Greenwich Village Gazette
Like few filmmakers, Bertolucci captures ... the sexual delirium of youth.
Erica Abeel - Film Journal International
Bertolucci undercuts the smarmy quality of most coming-of-age films of this sort but giving weight to the sexuality, and by tying it in with the politics of that period.
Marshall Fine - Journal News (Westchester, NY)
Nik Huggins - Future Movies UK
Dean Essner - Hollywood.com
An ode to the kind of discerning, obsessive movie love that flourished at the time and has never been matched, before or since.
Bob Strauss - Los Angeles Daily News
The Dreamers didn't put me to sleep, but I did start wishing they'd reenact a better movie.
Cherryl Dawson and Leigh Ann Palone - TheMovieChicks.com
Works best when viewed as a tone poem that examines the present through the prism of the past.
Ethan Alter - TV Guide's Movie Guide
This isn't one of those old 'adults-only' movies. This is, simply, a movie only for adults -- and worthy of their attention and debate.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
Encapsulates the sense of innocence and adventure we all wish to carry
Rachel Gordon - Filmcritic.com
There's not a moment in the film's belabored 115-minute running time that feels emotionally authentic.
Timothy Knight - Reel.com
As an erotic valentine to 1960s Paris, it's unlike anything else you are likely to find.
Dean Essner - E! Online
The dialogue is so trite you wouldn't want to be that young again ... and the rococo nature of the erotic entanglements make one pine for the relatively old-fashioned romance of Last Tango in Paris.
John Anderson - Newsday
There's no question about its desire to present a thoughtful exploration of links between political and sexual freedom in the fabled '60s.
David Sterritt - Christian Science Monitor
Explores the twilight realm of longing where three youth embark on an alternatingly intense and playful voyage of discovery.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
A wise, high-energy conjuring of 1968.
F.X. Feeney - L.A. Weekly
A study of corrupt idealism, with a cynical and unforgiving core hiding under a dazed, playful exterior.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
If you could skim away all the gratuitous film-studies crud, you'd have a smaller but more intense little film, a kissing cousin of that other screen classic 9-1/2 Weeks.
Joshua Tanzer - Offoffoff
Meticulously photographed and crafted, it's a sumptuous visual feast that's built around voyeurism.
Susan Granger - www.susangranger.com
By far the most engaging aspect of the film is its celebration of cinema.
Ginette Vincendeau - Sight and Sound
Self-discovery is engrossing and all consuming, even when the world outside is literally erupting. Multiply discovery by three and the pleasure is that much greater.
Marcy Dermansky - About.com
A menage-a-trois drama that's watchable but doesn't live up to its Italian director's towering reputation.
Matthew Leyland - BBC
This is a boring movie and all the sex and nudity, while distracting at times, doesn't change that fact.
Scott Nash - Three Movie Buffs
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
No wonder young Americans love Europe!
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
Dan Callahan - ToxicUniverse.com
Starkly argues the ultimate futility of the cinematic ideal, the insidious love/hate nature of film glamour and the danger it harbors for our real-life psyches.
Gabriel Shanks - Mixed Reviews
A pretentious, pointless picture that produces the same can't-look-away effect as seeing a car wreck.
Steve Rhodes - Internet Reviews
There are two films at work here: a love-struck but tedious ode to cinephilia and a fascinating exploration of sex as a form of political resistance.
Ed Gonzalez - Slant Magazine
I would love to cut all the marvelous film references and footage into a single montage. It would prove the best thing from [The Dreamers.]
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Stylish, erotic, forgivably pretentious drama with lashings of explicit sex and strong performances from its three leads.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Brilliantly referenced cinema history paired with a ridiculous central story make The Dreamers a wash.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
[A] sex-infused film that touches on all kinds of interesting themes... but never goes anywhere interesting with them.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Bertolucci's best film for a long time.
James Mottram - Film4