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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 29%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"The thing works in its goofy way, mainly because Bille August is a man of apparently dauntless conviction. He has written and directed every scene with serene authority."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"How can an accomplished director take a great novel, the best actors working and the finest technicians available and make a film so... bland? It's a puzzlement."
‑ Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer
"It's also a wretched paradox: a big budget, star-driven art film whose very elements subvert its ambitions and turn it into the thing it least wants to be -- a listless '50s-style Hollywood melodrama."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Baltimore Sun
"The film version stresses political intrigue and revolutionary violence at The expense of the anything-goes dreaminess that gives the book its most memorable moments. A stellar cast doesn't help much."
‑ David Sterritt, Christian Science Monitor
"Antonio Banderas invigorates this glum gothic family saga as a defiant young Chilean revolutionary. And without her idea for The House of The Spirits, Isabel Allende insists she would not be a writer today."
‑ Prairie Miller, WBAI Radio
"The flaws aren't fatal. The beauty and brilliance that might have been, don't preclude the quality and bravery that exist on the screen."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"Inert from its opening moments to its too-long-delayed close, this lackluster production is an example of international filmmaking at its least attractive, and a misstep in the careers of pretty much everyone involved."
‑ Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times
"This isn't just a bad movie -- it's hugely, grandiosely, pompously bad."
‑ Gary Thompson, Philadelphia Daily News
"The story, from the best-selling novel by Isabel Allende, is purely incidental to the unintentionally hysterical stylings of this potential camp cult film. It's truly awful, and one shouldn't miss it for the world."
‑ , TV Guide's Movie Guide
"A total misfire, from conception to execution to casting. With the exception of Banderas, all the leads are played by American and British actors."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"The House of the Spirits is like Gone With the Wind with the fun and excitement replaced by lofty. All that's left is the wind."
‑ Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel
"It's always painful when a brilliant book becomes a bust of a movie."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Similar epics are made with more conviction and less pretension on daytime TV."
‑ , Film4
"Given the talents involved, the film's hesitations in style and consistent failure to really move must be counted as a major disappointment."
‑ Angie Errigo, Empire Magazine
"Sterling cast, but a thoroughly mundane movie"
‑ James Sanford, Kalamazoo Gazette
More reviews for The House of the Spirits on Rotten Tomatoes