Girl with a Pearl Earring 2003

Critics score:
72 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: Beautifully lit, designed and photographed, it is, like much of the Dutch master's work, more to be admired than emotionally embraced. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: Lavish attention to historical detail, the thorough immersion in this unusual world and Johansson's impressive performance make Girl With a Pearl Earring memorable but not a masterpiece. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Both lovely to look at and intriguing to hold in the mind. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: For the first time in her brilliant young career, Scarlett Johansson is the centerpiece of a film -- and she carries it mostly through her wonderfully expressive face. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: It's a striking experience of light, color and composition. But it's also somewhat stifling. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Dancing on the edge of dullness, Girl is continually saved by the look of things. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Even if Girl With a Pearl Earring is not nearly as remarkable dramatically as it is visually, it is, finally, a film of great beauty, and that is something worth appreciating. Read more

Eric Harrison, Houston Chronicle: Nearly every shot is suitable for framing. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: To earn its props, a period film must resonate in our time. A movie about art doubles that demand. Webber has delivered the goods and then some. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: [Johansson] gives a nearly silent performance, yet the interplay on her face of fear, ignorance, curiosity, and sex is intensely dramatic. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: An extraordinary embodiment of the period, [Johansson] looks to have stepped right into a Vermeer frame. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Like the painting itself and the young woman who inspired it, Girl With a Pearl Earring is a quiet jewel. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: A slight but considerably enchanting tale of impossible romance and artistic discovery. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: Visually, the film is breathtaking. And Johansson, while not looking much like the Girl with the Pearl, does achieve a Vermeer- like sublimity, against which the ill winds of 1600s Holland blow. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: Pretty much the whole movie is a series of poses, static and uninvolving, except for cinematographer Eduardo Serra's lighting, which makes everything look convincingly Vermeer-ish Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It's meant to deliver conflict and characters, motivation and crisis. Instead it delivers period details, pretty scenery, interesting landscapes and elegant still lifes. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: Like stepping inside a Vermeer painting. The light, color and composition are eerily perfect. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Seems to have been made to appeal to viewers who believe that a prestigious painting is infinitely more important than a mere movie that celebrates the exalted existence of this painting. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: A rare and elegant film bathed in the kind of soft, delicate light that can build unexpectedly to feelings of both anxiety and bliss. Read more

Elvis Mitchell, New York Times: An earnest, obvious melodrama with no soul, filled with the longing silences that come after a sigh. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: Working from an intelligent, understated screenplay by Olivia Hetreed, director Peter Webber (an acclaimed documentarian) proceeds with a stunning assurance. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Offers sumptuous visuals and compelling drama effectively intermingled in a pleasing, satisfying production. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I can think of many ways the film could have gone wrong, but it goes right, because it doesn't cook up melodrama and romantic intrigue but tells a story that's content with its simplicity. Read more

Charles Taylor, Vermeer's famous painting comes semi-alive in this stultifyingly tasteful adaptation of a ludicrous book. Go to the museum instead. Read more

Ruthe Stein, San Francisco Chronicle: The movie offers tantalizing glimpses of the leaded glass windows, rich mosaic fabrics and cobbled streets immortalized in his work. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: We're left wishing for more insight into the people and less into the process. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: The picture is simply ravishing, but at times it falls prey to its own contemplations. Read more

Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine: You've never seen so many people talking and walking so slowly or registering their emotions so unblinkingly. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: A rich gem expertly told in a surprisingly scant 95 minutes. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: With concision and well-chosen detail, Peter Webber's exceedingly accomplished first feature beautifully evokes the world the artist inhabited 340 years ago while deftly and discreetly delineating the personal intrigue within his teeming household. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: As the imaginary historical subject, Johansson holds her frequent close-ups with considerable authority. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Webber makes a confident if torpid debut here. Read more