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Overall Rating
4.7

Awesome82.96%
Worth A Look: 11.85%
Average: 0.74%
Pretty Bad: 0.74%
Total Crap: 3.7%

2 reviews, 123 user ratings


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Cinema Paradiso
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by Scott Weinberg

"A resoundingly romantic love letter to those of us addicted to the movies."
5 stars

Few films come close to encapsulating that ‘movie addiction’ that the most ardent cinephiles are afflicted with. A handful of films have come close (Woody Allen’s "Purple Rose of Cairo" and Joe Dante’s "Matinee" are among my favorites) but none can touch the majesty of Giuseppe Tornatore’s sublimely satisfying "Cinema Paradiso". This film is to cinema what "Field of Dreams" is to baseball. And slightly less sappy too.

I’d heard this movie mentioned as a ‘love letter to movie fans’ for several years before I actually sat down to watch it for myself. To say Cinema Paradiso capably lived up to its lofty reputation would be an extreme understatement. Winner of the 1989 Academy Award for Best Foreign Film (and currently ranked as #104 on the IMDb’s Top 250 of All-Time!), Cinema Paradiso is, at its core, a simple romance movie. But a wondrous and adoringly personal romance it is.

Sure, the main meat of the film focuses on that most traditional of movie romances (i.e. boy and girl) but it’s also about one boy’s love for the movies. Young Salvatore is growing up in a quaint (see boring) little Sicilian village, and the boy quickly finds himself the most wonderful escape plan a little kid can have: the movies. Rascally old Alberto is the devoted projectionist and lifelong movie lover. Despite the well-meaning protestations of Salvatore’s mother, Alberto fans the flames of the kid’s cine-mania.

As Sal grows up his attentions turn to more…feminine pursuits, though he’s now known as the village’s new projectionist. (How Alberto loses his position is one of the film’s more bittersweet subplots.) The story is told through extended flashback, and we learn that Salvatore will one day become a world-renowned filmmaker. To allude to anything else would rob you of some of the film’s richest moments; suffice to say that Cinema Paradiso is laden with wonderful moments and ideas. It’s quite simply one of the most beautifully romantic films ever made. (Sure, I haven’t seen every romance movie ever made, but I’d still stand by that statement.)

Miramax releases the DVD with two separate versions: the original theatrical (Oscar-winning) print, and a very extended director’s cut which runs nearly an hour longer. I’m of the opinion that the “new” version is wholly unnecessary, in that it colors in a lot of blanks from the original. This is not nearly a good thing. Still, fans of the film (and there are a lot of you out there) should certainly enjoy the extended edition if only for curiosity value.

It’s the 1988 version that you’ll come back to time and time again.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1267&reviewer=128
originally posted: 04/30/04 00:21:18
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User Comments

3/17/17 Far A Masterpiece 5 stars
4/27/16 Ken Beautiful movie from Italy. 5 stars
4/15/15 Hadrianus not better tha LOTR: ROTK 2 stars
4/13/15 trasd number 1 really??? not even close top 50 1 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
2/20/15 Chris Jarmick overly romanticized perhaps but beautifully done 4 stars
1/19/15 orlando stevan overrated piece of shit in cinematic history 1 stars
10/03/12 Katherine Just wonderful! Beautiful! Will stay with you forever. 5 stars
8/29/12 Omlopez8 Watched this movie in high school, still a classic 5 stars
3/29/12 Marty Beautiful unassuming story with relatable themes. little slow at parts tho 4 stars
8/01/11 Piz One of the best movies of all-time. Truly, subtitles and all. It's a masterpiece. 5 stars
3/04/11 Roger an outstanding movie, 5 stars
11/26/10 Sia Shar hello to nostolgia.the art of cinema which is shown in cinema paradiso is cinema.TOTOOOOOOO 5 stars
1/22/10 PAUL SHORTT A FILM LOVERS' DELIGHT 5 stars
12/02/09 Mark My favorite movie of all time. I weep. So beautiful. 5 stars
8/30/09 Cliff Truly one of the best movies ever made!!! 5 stars
5/21/08 sebastian rea one of the best films i've ever seen. A film lover must see and have. ! 5 stars
4/28/08 R.W. Welch Director's cut is overlong but has a certain genius to it. A- 5 stars
12/26/07 Eleanor and Ady Telemaque Beautiful and bittersweet 5 stars
12/08/07 Giovani If you ever thought about the meaning of love you will remember this movie. 5 stars
11/01/07 michael wexler Wonderful story, it grabs you and doesn't let go 5 stars
8/28/07 Bianca So Sweet!!! Loved It!!! 4 stars
6/29/07 Endbag One of the greatest films ever made. Viva Italia! 5 stars
6/24/07 drew this film is never to be forgotten, the simplicity and sense of feeling almost hurts you ! 5 stars
5/17/07 luis una de las mejores peliculas que he visto 5 stars
5/11/07 ElGuapo Soul Stirring!!!!!!!!the greatest love story ever. Emotion evoking.. 5 stars
4/28/07 mahipal it's a good film 5 stars
3/21/07 rhoda extraordinary romantic film'', 4 stars
2/13/07 Baldeadly The Awesomeness is just as good as its GREATNESS! 5 stars
1/20/07 Connie Beliisimo Cinema! 5 stars
11/10/06 Jason Amazing new version! 5 stars
9/19/06 Jim McNulty Swoontastic movie..more Hollywood than Hollywood.Loved it! 5 stars
3/13/06 Roderick Cromar Worth learning Italian for! Absolutely top-class. 5 stars
12/05/05 Gene Carmean One of the best 5 stars
11/24/05 John Dog Great movie! 5 stars
11/06/05 Ben Classic movie. A must-see for movie fans. 5 stars
10/08/05 n. wickramasooriya very romantic 4 stars
10/06/05 alan granville watch it with your heart the way movies were meant to be watched. the most moving, romantic 5 stars
9/08/05 paki_munda its super good 5 stars
6/06/05 Fatima Laouini I just love it. Touching, hilarious sometimes, ravishing in its warmth and love for movies. 5 stars
6/01/05 Lakshmi Udranand A great movie to watch, a great text to teach 4 stars
4/17/05 sidman656 i loved this movie ever since i saw it first on IFC 5 stars
4/09/05 craig varney great movie a love story actually worth caring about 5 stars
3/14/05 priyanka kapoor the movie exhibits the various stages through which cinema has passed. 4 stars
2/22/05 Captain Craig If you dont love this cinamatic treasure you must be dead 5 stars
2/01/05 Emily Bezemek Touching film...great characters and story. 5 stars
12/17/04 beverly caboteja its really a must-see movie. Undeniably, heart-warming and one-of a kind 5 stars
12/04/04 Vannessa VERY VERY WONDERFUL MOVIE 5 stars
8/05/04 psychotic black dwarf I saw the extended version 1st & will love it 4eva, I feel cheated by the original cut. 5 stars
7/29/04 hannah Laygan it was a beautiful yet awe-inspiring movie ive ever watch 5 stars
6/25/04 Barbara Some of review on your site are not correct..."Alfredo" is the name of the projectionist an 5 stars
6/14/04 dfc Excellent, the original shorter version is better. 4 stars
6/05/04 David One of the best films ever made. 5 stars
4/01/04 sansho Appealing, nostalgic feel for childhood and the excitement of the big screen. 4 stars
3/21/04 Kris Klewin worth the subtitles 5 stars
12/18/03 Adriana See the original theatrical release first- it's great! The Director's Cut can get tedious. 5 stars
10/03/03 Ed of Aberdeen AWESOME! 5 stars
9/11/03 roberto martell hurtado excellent 5 stars
9/09/03 leigh hutson the best movie I have ever saw! 5 stars
7/10/03 Ma. Rochelle O. Basilio An unforgettable masterpiece 5 stars
9/29/02 Matylda I loved this movie! 5 stars
8/17/02 Summer OMG. So Good. If you love movies, you'll LOVE this! 5 stars
6/25/02 james Better than the original if that's possible 5 stars
3/27/02 Amrita Paul Makes you want to love the movies even more. 5 stars
2/18/02 Student This film did nothing for me. Most of the time, it was boring. 1 stars
2/01/02 B. Alexander One of the best. A Hall of Fame film!!! 5 stars
1/26/02 ateneo de davao university philippines excellent 5 stars
1/19/02 Magnum Craphole Good film, if slightly overlong and overrated. 4 stars
1/17/02 Philip Keeler This film got me into movies its wonderfull 5 stars
12/17/01 Andrew Carden Pretty Good Foreign Film...Surprised A Ton. 4 stars
12/13/01 Lauren E. Brown Beautiful! 5 stars
12/11/01 Balint teaches about what love should be like 5 stars
11/30/01 Cookie Cutter Good, but vastly overrated. Good performances, apart from the teenager (sucked). 4 stars
11/05/01 The Bomb 69 powerful and poignant, I laughed, I cried, extremely solid stuff 5 stars
10/14/01 i hate reese witherspoon and mark wahlberg it was great 5 stars
10/12/01 Patina Italians RULE! 5 stars
10/11/01 delly i liked it but i wouldn't rave about it 4 stars
10/03/01 Krisite Movie full of superb insight and not afraid of being romantically optimistic. 5 stars
8/21/01 david This movie is overwhelmingly good. Music, story, characters, the best. 5 stars
8/04/01 david sentimental but wonderful ---and best ever score 5 stars
7/21/01 gus hi 5 stars
5/07/01 Cristina Cavicchia The BEST Italian film I have seen! 5 stars
5/06/01 Ian Richardson My favourite film ever ! 5 stars
3/15/01 Orlaith Heron Outstanding, heart-touching 5 stars
3/09/01 Nelson PC S I M P L E M E N T E M A R A V I L L O S A . . . 5 stars
1/04/01 koray This is absolutely the best movie that I have ever seen. 5 stars
12/19/00 Martin Persson Good, but to sentimental 4 stars
12/11/00 Allison Wentzel Very sad, but yet very "touching". 4 stars
12/01/00 Steve One of the best movies I've ever seen 5 stars
11/17/00 rajasekhar superb 5 stars
11/15/00 Jenn This movie is one of the best i've ever seen - and i've seen a lot of them. 5 stars
11/15/00 salvo toscano Bellissimo! Sicilians do it better. Does anyone succeed in not crying at the very end? 5 stars
11/08/00 Kristen Puccetti WONDERFUL 5 stars
11/03/00 Alvin Santoso Good movie 5 stars
10/28/00 Mic It hasn't aged and it's not long. It is brilliant and has a wonderful, wonderful ending 5 stars
10/27/00 radhika memorably sweet 5 stars
10/26/00 Dave Jackson Brilliant, engaging, elegantly simple entertainment 5 stars
10/11/00 Elvisfan Have trouble crying? Try the last ten minutes of this-you're cured! 5 stars
9/20/00 Jeff sweet and sentimental 4 stars
9/15/00 Jan Erik Finsæther Great movie. It has every thing a film needs! 5 stars
9/06/00 celeste one of the best movies that i have ever seen 5 stars
6/15/00 juliet beautiful 5 stars
6/09/00 Nick Cheesman This is an amazing film. Everybody should watch it. 5 stars
6/01/00 rjdellea A beautiful movie 5 stars
4/24/00 Noel Canlas amazing, brilliant! 5 stars
4/12/00 Roz Kohen Drohobyczer Most appealing, fun movie..you laugh and cry at the same time..just like in real life! 5 stars
4/07/00 RoNiN One of the best movies I ever saw 5 stars
3/10/00 Marsela Castro Makes you feel warm and loved. 5 stars
3/06/00 JMountain a wonderful, beautiful story!!! 5 stars
3/04/00 Gaddi Shlasky moving, touching, a movie about love. The movie I love the most! 5 stars
2/18/00 Julia Morris Absolutely excellent, take a box of tissues!!! 5 stars
11/30/99 MSJMurphy As good as movies get 5 stars
9/16/99 Nelson very good Italian film, much better than 'Life is Beautiful' or 'la vita 'e bella' 5 stars
6/29/99 JORDAN MULARZ La mejor película de la historia. Un film para llorar, analizar y disfrutar de lo mejor 5 stars
6/23/99 king_feral the film chosen for my media studies exam...now one of my # 1 films. 5 stars
4/19/99 jimmy jam Boy and girl movie. Good story 5 stars
4/04/99 Albert Doesn't hold up to repeat viewings. 3 stars
2/18/99 Piz A Sentimental treat, wonderful sound and visuals, another great Italian product. 5 stars
1/26/99 Sissy Boy..OH! at the end of the movie, i cried for my lost childhood and b/c I stubbed my toe 5 stars
11/23/98 Lord Of The Dunce This is a great film about the old days of cinema. Without peer, a must see. 5 stars
11/10/98 Silent Rob A cinematic valentine to those who love film, and those that show them the way. 5 stars
11/09/98 {{{OZ}}} A very good story about a man and his love for old time cinema. Subtitled but superb. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  02-Jul-1989 (PG)
  DVD: 07-Nov-2006

UK
  N/A

Australia
  02-Feb-1990 (PG)




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