Life Is Beautiful (La Vita  bella)
Life Is Beautiful (La Vita bella) (1997)

In this WW II tragicomedy, famed Italian funnyman Roberto Benigni (The Monster) portrays Guido, who moves during the '30s from the country to a Tuscan town, where he is entranced by schoolteacher Dora (Nicoletta Braschi, Benigni's… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Release Date: December 20, 1997
DVD Release Date: November 9, 1999
Add Your Rating
Rotten Tomatoes™
Critic Score
User Score

Available Online

Critic Score: 80% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Benigni's earnest charm, when not overstepping its bounds into the unnecessarily treacly, offers the possibility of hope in the face of unflinching horror.

Rick Groen
Globe and Mail

Yes, there are heaps of charm and poignancy in this trifle, but it's a trifle nonetheless -- light-and-bright, for sure, but also slight-and-trite.

Full review…
Paul Tatara

The lesson that Benigni ultimately imparts is that it's easy to convince a child horror doesn't exist as long as it stays out of the way while the two of you are goofing off.

Full review…
Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Wrenching Holocaust fable with bittersweet humor.

Full review…
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times

Its sentiment is inescapable, but genuine poignancy and pathos are also present, and an overarching sincerity is visible too.

Full review…
David Edelstein

Benigni's movie made me want to throw up.

Jordan Hiller

The film's title, which very well could have been a straightforward declaration prior to the war, becomes a source of twisted irony once we witness Guido pull down the grate outside his humble bookshop and the words JEWISH STORE are seen sprayed across th

Full review…
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times

In the real death camps there would be no role for Guido. But Life Is Beautiful is not about Nazis and Fascists, but about the human spirit.

Full review…
Cole Smithey

Roberto Benigni's finest hour arrived in 1997 when the triple-threat writer/director/actor delved deep into Charlie Chaplin territory - see "The Great Dictator" (1940).

Full review…
Rob Gonsalves

With Life Is Beautiful, the final frontier of schmaltz has been reached.

Full review…

Flixster Audience Score: 96% Flixster User Reviews
Ross Collins
Buongiorno Principessa! A very powerful film that begins pre-war as a slap-stick comedy, introducing our characters with some memorable clever scenes, but then… More
paul oh
Saying perfect really sets a bar for a film. For Life is Beautiful, there truly is a perfect blend of happiness and sadness in the span of 2 hours. The story is… More
Chris Weber
I think you have to give this film credit just for having the guts to address a heavy subject like the Holocaust in the manner done here, which is… More
Albert Kim
Really long time ago that I've seen this, but I remember the powerful ending and how impacting it was.
Kevin M. Williams
The film's highlight is one man's battle to keep the ugliness of the world from his innocent son, no matter how ugly the world might be, and in this… More
Jack Hawkins
I entered 'Life Is Beautiful' not really knowing what to expect, I certainly didn't anticipate a part slapstick comedy. The film charts… More