Box art for Red Violin

Red Violin

  • Rated R


An epic adventure unfolds when an appraiser discovers a rare violin. Before auctioning off the instrument, he tries to unravel its rich and powerful history -- and reveals a shocking secret.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

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  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

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    reviews counted: 17
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Top Critic Reviews


- Andrew O'Hehir,, Saturday, January 1, 2000


- Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle, Saturday, January 1, 2000


- David Stratton, Variety, Thursday, July 31, 2008

Audience Reviews

4 stars


- liquidchick76, Saturday, September 18, 2010

4 stars

An interesting movie that follows the life of a 17th century violin through its many owners across centuries and continents, all tied together by the words of a soothsayer.

- Redlats, Tuesday, November 11, 2008

4 stars

Charles Morritz: What do you do when the thing you most wanted, so perfect, just comes? A very good story that spans several centuries, telling the story of a number of characters in relation to a particular musical instrument, a red violin, an instrument constructed perfectly, but also cursed to bring some kind of harm to almost anyone who comes into contact with it. As stated, the movie spans over 300 years. We see the violin's creation in the 1680s and where it ends up in the 1990s. Between this time we are given about five stories, each in a different time period. For example, one involves a skilled musician in Oxford, who becomes consumed by writing music with the violin, so much so, his life eventually deteriorates. All of the stories are somewhat threaded together by the present day narrative, taking place at an auction house where it will be sold to a willing enough bidder. It is here that we see a role from Sam Jackson, which is always welcome. As interesting and well handled as the story is, and as good looking as the film is, much of the joy comes from the score of the film, which won an Oscar. It is of course fully composed by violins, centering around a main theme that plays in each story. At over two hours, there is certainly a lot of movie here, with a somewhat slow progression, but even then, the story, which moves around in terms of its time, works well enough at revealing various elements and does so in a fairly clever manner. Charles Morritz: Yes, I'm coming back soon, and I have a present for you. Something very special.

- DrZeek, Wednesday, May 28, 2008