Little Buddha
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Bernardo Bertolucci attempts to mix Buddhist spirituality with childhood fantasy in Little Buddha. When Dean Conrad (Chris Isaak), a Seattle architect, comes home from work one day, he finds two robed Buddhist monks sitting in his living room talking with his wife Lisa (Bridget Fonda). Guided by a series of disturbing dreams, the monks have traveled from Nepal to Seattle because they believe that the Conrad's ten-year-old son, Jesse (Alex Wiesendanger) may be the reincarnation of a legendary Buddhist mystic. The Conrads are initially skeptical, particularly when the monks want to take… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 65%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Bertolucci's celebrated burnt-orange-and-burnished-lemon look remains handsome, and the story itself still commands some interest as a pivot into daunting material."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Though uneven, the film is engagingly moving and often humorous."
‑ Joe Brown, Washington Post
"An intimate, spiritual film from Bertolucc, which trying to combine elements of mysticism and Western culture."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Has some captivating qualities about both contemporary American life and Tibetan Buddhism."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Some of the movie's mysteries are more unsuccessfully secular than rapturously eternal, but the doorway opens far enough to offer a few glimpses of nirvana."
‑ Marjorie Baumgarten, Austin Chronicle
"Bertolucci's epic is a disappointment."
‑ Wally Hammond, Time Out
"Little Buddha succeeds precisely because of its guileless innocence."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Excellent introduction to Buddhism--strongest portions are mythical excerpts of Buddha's life."
‑ John A. Nesbit, Old School Reviews
"A well-realized parable about Siddhartha, the Dalai Lama, reincarnation, and a boy's journey of discovery and death."
‑ Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat, Spirituality and Practice
"It was easy to forget logic and go with the story."
‑ Steve Rhodes, Internet Reviews
"A crazily mesmerizing pop artifact that ranks alongside Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha in terms of extreme earnestness and quasi-religious entertainment value."
‑ Janet Maslin, New York Times
"The modern sequences lack realism or credibility. The ancient sequences play like the equivalent of a devout Bible story."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Although the search for enlightenment may not have much in the way of high-concept appeal, the film should satisfy adventurous moviegoers as well as the large number of adults already intrigued by eastern religions."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"Part fairy tale, part travelogue, and part kindergarten lesson in Eastern religion. Not a single part is persuasive or compelling."
‑ Stephen Farber, Movieline
"Cynics may turn away, but I found the ideas and their execution quite fascinating."
‑ Chris Hicks, Deseret News, Salt Lake City
More reviews for Little Buddha on Rotten Tomatoes