Box art for Biutiful

Biutiful

drama, foreign


Javier Bardem stars in this unflinching, heartfelt story from the director of AMORES PERROS and BABEL.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
    64%
  • Audience Score
    75%

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 17
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
4 out of 5
Language
4 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
1 out of 5
Sex
4 out of 5
Violence
4 out of 5
Consumerism
0 out of 5

Heavy-handed grown-up drama has lots of mature content.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this mature drama from Oscar-nominated director Alejandro Gonzlez Irritu (Babel) is a heavy, lengthy movie filled with adult themes -- including crime, death, disease, adultery, sex, and drugs. There are many violent, scary, and disturbing images, the worst of which is a warehouse full of dead bodies killed by a malfunctioning gas heater. Very strong language includes dozens of uses of "f--k" and "s--t." There's also female nudity and sex, and characters both drink and snort cocaine. Many characters also smoke, including teens (an even younger character is said to be smoking, though vifewers don't see this). Overall the mood is very downbeat, but there are a few moments of hope and inspiration.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the movie's use of sex and violent images. How do these things change the tone of the movie? Do they make Uxbal's story more intense? More downbeat?
  • Is Uxbal a good person? Do you like this character? What are some of the good things he does over the course of the movie? What about the bad things? How do they compare? Would you call him a role model?
  • In one scene, characters discuss how a young boy has smoked cigarettes. Is there a penalty for his actions? What about for the other characters who smoke? Does smoking look enticing in this movie, or is it a turn-off?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    64%
    reviews counted: 3
    see all Biutiful reviews
  • Audience

    75%

Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Proves Irritu as a talent in its own right ... it's good to be able to say that, with Biutiful, Irritu is four for four.

- Joe Utichi, Cinematical, Thursday, June 24, 2010

Fresh:

- Justin Chang, Variety, Tuesday, July 6, 2010

Fresh: This Cannes Festival competition entry may be too dark and depressing for mainstream audiences, but it is clearly the heartfelt and very personal achievement of a master filmmaker with a potentially award winning performance from its star.

- Sara Maria Vizcarrondo, Boxoffice Magazine, Wednesday, July 7, 2010

Audience Reviews

4 stars

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has created a long and demanding journey into one man's final months. Biutiful is not a easy film to sit through. It is near hellish vision of a man tormented by his illness. Uxbal, portayed brilliantly by Javier Bardem, is a father and a man who earns his living by criminal ways. He is not a innocent man but he does it for his kids. Biutiful is film about moral dilemmas also. It put us into Uxbal's position and makes us think. While Inarritu's vision of Barcelona is something more closer to an hell on earth, there are still beautiful moments in here too. Uxbal is only trying to help people but ends up hurting many. His intentions are good but not always they go as planned. It almost feels that Inarritu has injected some religious questions here too. I cannot say that for sure, but it definetly asks big questions. Biutiful may not be as perfect as Inarritu's masterpiece Babel, but it is definetly a solid proof that he is one of the strongest voices in modern day cinema. This is journey worth taking.

- emilkakko, Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 stars

Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu has created a long and demanding journey into one man's final months. Biutiful is not a easy film to sit through. It is near hellish vision of a man tormented by his illness. Uxbal, portayed brilliantly by Javier Bardem, is a father and a man who earns his living by criminal ways. He is not a innocent man but he does it for his kids. Biutiful is film about moral dilemmas also. It put us into Uxbal's position and makes us think. While Inarritu's vision of Barcelona is something more closer to an hell on earth, there are still beautiful moments in here too. Uxbal is only trying to help people but ends up hurting many. His intentions are good but not always they go as planned. It almost feels that Inarritu has injected some religious questions here too. I cannot say that for sure, but it definetly asks big questions. Biutiful may not be as perfect as Inarritu's masterpiece Babel, but it is definetly a solid proof that he is one of the strongest voices in modern day cinema. This is journey worth taking.

- emilkakko, Thursday, August 11, 2011

4 stars

Another tale of death amidst troubling circumstances, in one of Javier Bardem's best roles. Particular accolades for the cinematography, bleak yet vibrant when showcasing the Spanish architecture, pedestrians, and hollow faces. The plot was winding, relying on the actors to showcase emotional diatribes, bearing their souls to one another with the greatest of ease. Their psyches were at times demented, most often fervent to the point of collapsing on themselves. The dingy settings made me feel like I was at the bottom of a deep, dark hole, and I would never be able to crawl back up. Things that make this movie less than, include a running time that could have been lessened by diminishing the first and last scenes, supposedly metaphors for the land of death but come off as cheap imitation. There was also a control about Bardem's performance that was somber yet unrealistic. Death plagues this film, but sometimes not in the best way.

- FrizzDrop, Thursday, June 23, 2011