Flushed with emotion and a buoyant earthy humor, Malena is a yarn that sticks with you. full review
[Tornatore] eludes sentimentality with a romantic vision wide enough to embrace the range of human experience. full review
Bereft of the more richly textured sentiments of Tornatore's Cinema Paradiso. full review
Despite Bellucci's strong presence in a role with little dialogue, the central character never really comes alive in any way interesting enough to give her ordeal much genuine pathos. full review
Like so many movies these days, Malena is a jumble of ideas from earlier films. full review
Its heart is in the right place.
Transparently misogynist at its core.
The result is like a bad novel in which the personalities and feelings of the characters are described to us rather than revealed through what they do. full review
Not for decades has Italian film offered a presence so sexy and mythic as Bellucci.
The film lacks a focused, compelling narrative -- perhaps because Tornatore is trying to manufacture a hit by juggling story elements more forced and manipulative than felt. full review
Like Malena herself, the movie ends up nothing more than a great-looking mess. full review
Renato does not intervene to correct the false impressions of the townspeople, nor does he courageously stand for Malena ... What happens instead is far more compelling, but no less merciful and moving.
Any moral lesson the film pretends to hold is as muddled as it is misguided.
A well-crafted, provocative film by one of Italy's consummate screen artists. full review
Makes something wistful, enduring and even optimistic out of humanity's basest instincts. full review
[Bellucci] has presence, maybe even talent, but you wish that Malena's inner life had been given as much accent as her outer charms. full review