Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Perry's film lags and limps along its two-hour runtime before finally going whole hog on one of the most dizzyingly weird final acts in recent cinematic history.
New York Times:
Limp pacing and countless shots of Washington's skyline plague the narrative.
A ludicrous marital drama-cum-morality play from contemporary black cinema's most prolific multihyphenate.
It isn't until Temptation grows flamboyantly bad in its final act that it rises to the level of good dumb fun in the trashy tradition of Perry's most entertainingly awful films.
A few wild, third-act twists give Perry's middling melodrama some soap-opera kick. But all the finger-wagging sure does get tiring after a while.
The first half is a functional (if exceedingly predictable) melodrama before devolving, just as predictably, into a cautionary cartoon.
Perry's movies have become so thematically grandiose, visually incoherent, and self-defensively bourgeois that the only way to receive them lately is as a cynic.
This heavy-handed melodrama represents one of Tyler Perry's weakest efforts ever, and that's saying something.
Los Angeles Times:
Perry's ongoing disinterest in improving as a filmmaker is now seemingly part of his unshakable belief in himself, his insistence on doing his thing his way.
If Perry has had one strength as a dramatist, it's been his willingness to empathize with villains as well as victims. In Temptation, he lacks even that.
New York Daily News:
The mixed tones don't quite meld; While Smollet-Bell is fine, the broad comedy is so sporadic it feels out of place.
Tyler Perry's Temptation is an awful, awful film and while it is easy to mock and dismiss, it is also kind of a shame to behold.
And really, who better to shill for the institution of marriage than 43-year-old bachelor Perry, who uses homosexuality as a punch line (or symbol of evil decadence) and HIV as a cheap plot gimmick?
Tyler Perry's insane, inane Old Testament-style morality tale.
Perry has some worthwhile filmic models-Temptation gestures at Woody Allen in its setup, and Douglas Sirk in its melodrama-but he isn't even in the same star cluster as those greats.
Look, we know what's going to happen. The movie's called Temptation, okay? Yet we still have to sit through more than an hour of flirty glances and repetitive conversations between Judith and Harley until anything vaguely adulterous occurs.