Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
Detroit Free Press:
It effectively explains why we obsess over movies and rock and roll and honest communication long after those passions have been hijacked by parodists and advertising agencies.
The entire film is a charged sensory experience -- a cinematic turn-on.
It's a movie so physically beautiful and ardent that it can make you fall in love or lust against better judgment.
A rare movie made by and for adults, haunts its watcher for some time, despite its shortcomings.
It's funny, affecting, interestingly twisted, and seriously erotic before it heads south in the final stretch.
Los Angeles Times:
If you don't glow with the same pleasure [Bertolucci] feels when the characters in The Dreamers alternate brashness with callow immaturity, you're going to be in for a very long evening.
Its nostalgia and narcissism are ultimately two versions of the same thing, and neither can reopen cross-cultural channels. Instead they keep this story stuck in the past, frozen and intact and irrelevant.
It is a well-made film in many ways, but I found in the callowness of these youths nothing to admire.
A rich movie filling the viewer with a four-course French meal of sensuality, politics, ideas and character.
Bertolucci is so drunk on deja vu he has made a movie that's really a flossy assemblage of Bertolucci signifiers.
Globe and Mail:
A film about youthful passion -- for sex, for politics, for music and, above all, for film itself -- that feels passionless.
The dialogue is so trite you wouldn't want to be that young again ... and the rococo nature of the erotic entanglements make one pine for the relatively old-fashioned romance of Last Tango in Paris.
This isn't one of those old 'adults-only' movies. This is, simply, a movie only for adults -- and worthy of their attention and debate.
New York Daily News:
For the easily titillated, among whose company I count myself, the rewards are plenty in this curious menage a trois among college students in 1968 Paris.
New York Times:
Bernardo Bertolucci's new film is an ardently romantic love song to sex, cinema and the spirit of the 60's.
New York Observer:
At a reflective and still romantic 63, Mr. Bertolucci pays heartfelt hommage to Henri Langlois' famous theater, Cinematheque Francaise.
Swept away by the intensity of the characters' movie debates and sexual games, Bertolucci often recaptures the film-besotted spirit of the period.
Above all it evokes a time when the movies -- good movies, both classic and newborn -- were at the center of youth culture.
San Francisco Chronicle:
An ambitious and exciting piece of work, a movie about sex and movies made by a filmmaker who understands the power of each to set off fantasy, create addiction, incite danger and transform the spirit.
It's possible that the NC-17 has never been used to such PG-13 ends.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
It's wonderful to see a film that takes back sex from the smutty teen comedies, that grapples with political ideas and shouts its love of cinema from the rooftops.
Anyone seeking cheap titillation would do better to invest their movie cash in a fresh copy of Playboy or Penthouse than to spend the two hours of contemplation needed to fully appreciate the myriad layers of The Dreamers.
The siblings, in particular, grow so irritating with their cultural tunnel-vision that even the film's explicit sex grows monotonous, and its lack of humor grows irritating.
Bad, but unlike the similarly camped-up Little Buddha or Stealing Beauty, it's not exactly boring.