Memoirs of a Geisha 2005

Critics score:
35 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: ... the movie is a well-meaning, vaporous bore, enlivened only by occasional traces of Showgirls-style camp and plasticine tears trickling down impeccably powdered cheeks. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Ultimately, Memoirs of a Geisha compares unfavorably with the book, though it offers pleasures of its own. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Golden's straightforwardly involving prose, while no great shakes, has been replaced by an extremely fussy affair that is, in effect, its own silk-wrapped pictorial novelization. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: There's a lot of emotion and heart. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: You've always got something to look at -- whether its Sayuri's exquisitely painted face or the perfect twirl of a gorgeously flowered umbrella. But the storytelling is soap-opera banal. Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: For a while, you're waiting for Memoirs of a Geisha to start. Then you can't wait for it to end. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Its commercial compromises cripple it as a movie. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Spanning two decades and a momentous war, Memoirs of a Geisha displays all the pomp and grandeur of an epic, but you wouldn't call it sweeping. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: It is a lush, blushingly romantic portrait of Asian culture as seen through a Western lens. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Director Rob Marshall Chicago is so transfixed by all the ritualistic hoo-ha that he never brings the story down to earth. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: ... good-looking but not quite memorable ... Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: The performances are good, the visuals are lush, the span is epic, but the film simply never soars. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: Memoirs loses its taste for risk, and settles, throughout the movie's subsequent melodramatic turns, for the familiar blandishments of good looks and technical control. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: This is a lavishly detailed memoir in which little turns out to be that memorable. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Memoirs of a Geisha isn't just drop-dead beautiful, it's cinematically alive with a spirited way that makes most contrivances forgivable. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: It's not a great movie, or even a particularly good one, but it's spectacular. Read more

Gene Seymour, Newsday: Arthur Golden's bestselling novel has been transfigured into an overripe romance that manages the not-so-cute trick of being both glitzy and ponderous while straining for delicacy and grandeur. Read more

David Ansen, Newsweek: Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: In the luxuriant Memoirs of a Geisha, three of the biggest and loveliest stars of Chinese cinema -- Ziyi Zhang, Michelle Yeoh and Gong Li -- sharpen their talons. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: ... a fascinating glimpse at a lost world of women with skin of porcelain and spines of steel, and the men in their thrall. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Memoirs of a Geisha is worthwhile on many levels, although it lacks the depth of feeling that would have elevated it from a good movie to a romance for the ages. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I object to the movie not on sociological grounds but because I suspect a real geisha house floated on currents deeper and more subtle than the broad melodrama on display here. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Slowness doesn't necessarily equal beauty or power or profundity. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: It oozes importance, is heavy with worthiness and lies there, waiting to be appreciated for the beautiful thing it is. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: It skips lightly over the surface of its rich material, more preoccupied with making pretty pictures than dipping below the surface so that you can experience the world through the eyes of its traumatized, yet increasingly savvy, heroine. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Shot for shot, Memoirs of a Geisha is one of the most beautiful movies in years, with due credit to Don Beebe's widescreen camera work, John Myhre's meticulous production design and Colleen Atwood's opulent costumes. Read more

St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Read more

Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail: Memoirs of a Geisha is one long oxymoronic exercise in attempting to show delicacy through overkill. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: This is a movie for the ear and the eye, not the brain and the heart. Read more

Time Out: Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: With its gorgeous cinematography, costumes and production design, Geisha is a visual feast, but it lacks emotional heft and leaves the viewer strangely unsatisfied. Read more

Jay Weissberg, Variety: Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Arthur Golden's international best-seller has been moved to the bigscreen with beauty and tact in Memoirs of a Geisha. Read more

Dennis Lim, Village Voice: A would-be cross between Showgirls and Raise the Red Lantern, too dumb to cause offense though falling short of the oblivious abandon that could have vaulted it into high camp. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: Memoirs of a Geisha is everything you'd expect it to be: beautiful, mesmerizing, tasteful, Japanese. It's just not very hot. Read more