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Javier Bardem, Maricel Alvarez, Eduard Fernández, Diarytou Daff, Cheng Taishen ... see more see more... , Cheikh Ndiaye , Luo Jin , Hanna Bouchaib , Guillermo Estrella , Rubén Ochandiano , George Chibuikwem Chukwuma , Lang Sofia Lin , Yodian Yang , Tuo Lin , Xueheng Chen , Xiaoyan Zhang , Ye Ailie , Xianlin Bao , Ana Wagener , Karra Elejalde , Nasser Saleh , Tomás del Estal , Ángel Luis Arjona , Dolores Echepares , Adelfa Calvo , Manuel Solo , Violeta Pérez , Germán Almendros , Isaac Alcaide , Nacho Moliné , Carmen La Lata , Annabel Totusaus , Eduardo Gómez , Ramón Elies , Juan Vicente Sánchez , Félix Cubero , Carmen Peleteiro , Federico Muñoz , Leticia Albizuri , María Casado , Judith Huertas , Aroa Ortiz , Victoria M. Díaz , Sonia Cruz , Sophie Evans , Luna Jiménez Colindres , Dunia Montenegro , Rodica Ioana Ungureanu , Lio Jin

Biutiful is a love story between a father and his children. This is the journey of Uxbal, a conflicted man who struggles to reconcile fatherhood, love, spirituality, crime, guilt and mortality amidst ... read more read more...the dangerous underworld of modern Barcelona. His livelihood is earned out of bounds, his sacrifices for his children know no bounds. Like life itself, this is a circular tale that ends where it begins. As fate encircles him and thresholds are crossed, a dim, redemptive road brightens, illuminating the inheritances bestowed from father to child, and the paternal guiding hand that navigates life's corridors, whether bright, bad - or biutiful. -- (C) Roadside Attractions

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75% liked it

20,314 ratings


64% liked it

143 critics

DVD Release Date: May 31, 2011

Stats: 1,935 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (1,935)

  • April 8, 2013
    "Biutiful" is a near masterpiece of human suffering, dank realism, and redemption; being that this is the fourth film from the acclaimed Iñárritu, you should already get the hint that it tends to focuses on the former instead of the latter. Make no mistake, this is a heavy film i... read moren every sense of the word, and that might isolated viewers. But "Biutiful" is more than it's plot synopsis suggests. Iñárritu balances many complex themes effectively, and though the tale concerns a dying man coming to terms with it's predicament, "Biutiful" doesn't pigeonhole itself. It's as expansive and broad as the director's ambitious, multicontinental opus "Babel" from 2006. Javier Bardem gives one of the performances of his career here, and is the reason that the picture is so emotionally devastating and honest, without feeling forcefully so (which is miraculous considering the pigment of it's subject matter). It's a testament to the films craft that even it's unexpected supernatural elements are handled with such conviction, never making a conflict in tone or logic. Unrelentingly Grim, and yes...beautiful, this is in many ways Iñárritu's finest work to date. Same goes for Bardem.
  • December 31, 2012
    Biutiful is a long, endlessly bleak gloomfest made worthwhile by a transcendetal performance by the great Javier Bardem. The talented filmmaker Alejandro Innaritu provides a backdrop rich with detail and atmosphere. All his other tragic films, (worth seeing) contain multiple st... read moreory lines, in the case of Babel, set all over the world, but somehow tied together. These multiple story lines somehow leaven the atmosphere and make the films very eclectic and watchable. Here, for the first time, he focuses on the devastation of one guy in one self contained scenario - and what devastation! And unlike the book of Job, there's no interesting debate on the nature of god or an explanation of the meaning of it all.

    The setting is present day Barcelona among the underclass of illegal immigrants, smugglers, hooker and drug dealer/users. What I quarrel with is that Innaritu has jam packed the woes suffered by Bardem to include, just for a start!!, terminal cancer, two cute kids, who happen to have an irresponsible hooker addict mother (who is sleeping with Bardem's brother), Bardem being complicit in the mass murder of illegal Chinese immigrants who work in a hidden sweat shop.

    The thrust of the drama is wondering whether Bardem will find a way to get his affairs in order before his inevitable death a few weeks hence. There's almost no break for the tragedy, and therefore, one becomes benumbed to the pain quite early in the two hour and forty five minute running time.

    I don't know what message he's after here other than life sucks and everyone you're close to will always let you down and the kids will be the ones to suffer. Also, if you think the lovely Gaudi buildings will at least give some visual relief from the misery, you'll be let down. They are never shown. Instead, it's the mouldy appartments and mean streets of the armpit of Barcelona. If this wallow in hell appeals, it's certainly worth a rental, and Bardem is really worth watching. The real tragedy is that his performance was not in a more balanced and multi-faceted film, but in a dirge like wallow of misery.
  • October 13, 2012
    After discovering that he is dying of cancer, a father and smuggler tries to "put his affairs in order."
    Javier Bardem can do anything. He chilled in No Country for Old Men, he made us laugh in Vicki Christina Barcelona, and his dramatic work in The Dancer Upstairs and... read more The Sea Inside enthralls. And now he brings us Uxbal, a soulful, damaged father who is hard to classify. His profession as a smuggler of illegal immigrants who are essentially slave labor makes him "bad," but when he buys them heaters and frets over the best care for his children, he immediately earns our sympathy. Bardem plays all the nuances. He can scare as readily as he can inspire tears. His work in this film is beyond compare, and if I had seen this film in 2011, I might have changed my Oscar vote (not that I have a vote).
    Writer/director Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu mines familiar territory, and anyone who has seen 21 Grams won't be surprised to see themes of faith, spirituality, and fate explored in this film. But the universality of these themes and Inarritu's deftness as a filmmaker make Biutiful seem fresh, more original than his other films.
    Uxbal seems to have the ability to speak to the dead, and people occasionally perch from the ceiling, which I think is Inarritu's way of showing their souls watching the characters. With all the good filmmaking in Biutiful, the wonderfully human story of a father making sure his kids are well-cared-for after his death, I don't think the film needs this element - the speaker for the dead subplots - in order to be successful.
    Overall, Biutiful is indeed beautiful, made more so by one of the master actors of our time.
  • February 24, 2012
    Too sad and depressing, this solid drama attempts to create an unbearable sensation of tragedy that does not always feel genuine. Even so, it benefits from a strong performance by Bardem, who is able to inject some complexity to his character despite the rather artificial plot.
  • February 1, 2012
    Uxbal's life is quite a mess: he's a sngle father of two, and struggles to raise them, primarily by working on the wrong side of the law trying to help out illegal immigrants. Besides navigating the underside of Barcelona to make end's meet, he also has to deal with his bipolar e... read morex-wife who is a danger to their kids. Oh yeah, and he's also terminally ill with cancer.

    Obviously from that set-up, it is pretty clear that the film is bleak and depressing. Death and despair may be at the center of things, but there's still hope and humanity, so all is not completely lost. This is still a tough one to sit through, not only because of the tone and subject matter, but because it's two and a half hours and moves at an unhurried pace.

    I kinda like that Inarritiu decided to do away with the gimmick of his previous works (playing fast and loose with chronology, narrative, and interconnected storylines), because, even though that sort of thing is fun once in a while, it gets really old really fast. But, even with that element gone, I was unhappy over the fact that this film was needlessly overlong and moved slowly, especially since the plot is rather loose.

    It's a fine story, but it just needs to be tightened up and not so sprawling. It wouldn't be that hard to condense everythng and still get the point across. Ultimately though, things are thankfully saved due to the nice soundtrack, good cinematography, and the performances, primarily Bardem's, who is the sole reason the film is held together and ultimately works. It's a strong and moving performance, and the humanity Bardem brings with it give the audience someone to really empathize with.

    I cared for the character and whatr was happening, but honestly, it didn't last. As I mentioned, the film is over long, so there's lots of repetition and the film just rambles. I could only take so much before I began to get bored and stop caring as much. Even with the good stuff going on here, it's not enough to completely save things.

    I think that Inarritu does some good work, and, as much as I like taking a break from hollow Hollywood crap, pretentious art house fare can become just as stale as that stuff, and just as fast, too.

    Because some of it does work (and work well), I'll inflate what was going to be a straight C into a mild C+.
  • November 18, 2011
    Successes of Amores Perros,21 Grams and Babel were for sake of both Arriaga's scripts and Inarritu's directing.A movie like The Burning Plain proves that Arriaga failed as a director and his movie isn't touching and believable at all without inarritu's directing.In Biutiful the s... read moreame happened and without Arriaga even there is no sign of inarritu's vision.
  • fb1672039553
    November 7, 2011
    The world that Inarritu creates is thick and mysterious. In the first 45 minutes I thought it was over-reaching, including the personal plights of street sellers and an underground asian labor business. We become the young child, trying to make sense of all the pieces. We feel ev... read moreeryone's circumstances, and we wonder how and why they got that way. And like with children, there is a boundary between us and the father that prevents our understanding of these complexities. What we do understand is that he cares, and he wants harmony. Its this broad thickening of a mysterious world that makes the last few scenes so powerful.
  • fb1216165431
    September 10, 2011
    A González Iñárritu transcendental film that features a determined redemption amid a threatening irreversible tragedy, Biutiful is striking and searing blessed with fluent cinematography and faultless performances, notably by Javier Bardem. Arresting.
  • September 5, 2011
    Alejandro Gonzalez Inarritu's 'Biutiful' is not a soulless film-its a film about a soulless place. Javier Bardem's performance is haunting and beautiful, and Inarritu's skill as a director is on full display here. The best part about the film, though, is probably the brilliant an... read mored vivid cinematography that is crafted so assuredly here by Rodrigo Prieto. Each shot is mesmerizing and unforgettable. Yet as powerful as the film is, its flaws (although few) are very apparent. The run time of the movie is way too long, especially for the amount of sorrow and pity it induces. Plus, the ending (and beginning, for that matter) is unclear and confusing, yet it strangely feels right. For the common viewer, 'Biutiful' is a challenging film that many should choose to pass up. Yet for big movie fans and Oscar-watchers, this film is a must-see.
  • July 6, 2011
    "Look in my eyes. Look at my face. Remember me, please. Don't forget me, Ana. Don't forget me, my love, please."

    This is the story of Uxbal, a man living in this world, but able to see his death, which guides his every move.

    ... read morek">REVIEW
    "Biutiful" is devastating. Not only isn't it a comfortable and audience-pleasing film but in this case the story's really shocking, well acted and directed and, overall, terribly sad. The film is basically about good and evil, death and life and similar topics. These themes are very effectively expressed in its atmospheric and innovative photography. Iñarritu's camera gets to detect images of fierce and brilliance in the squalor. Javier's face is painted with light and shadows, as well as with a sinister appearance suggesting strong contrition and redemption. Uxbal's efforts to make some generous deeds before his death are rendered in a terrific performance, which manages to elevate the bleak subject to a sublime level. "Biutiful" is a work of extraordinary vitality and humanity, with figures of untarnished quality (Uxbal's children and the Senegalese immigrant who'll raise them after his death). On a personal level Uxbal comes to terms with the close death but eventually shows a vision of reconciliation with the life he must leave behind. Watching the film is a really a must.

Critic Reviews

Lisa Kennedy
February 11, 2011
Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post

Iñárritu has a delicate yet searing sense of intimacy, which cinematographer Rodrigo Prieto captures with hand-held determination. Full Review

Rick Groen
February 11, 2011
Rick Groen, Globe and Mail

Watch Bardem here -- his eyes speak heart-rending volumes. Full Review

Peter Howell
February 10, 2011
Peter Howell, Toronto Star

With the exception of an otherworldly prologue that remains mysterious well into the film, Biutiful is an unusually linear feature for Iñárritu, but no less involving or challenging than his previous ... Full Review

Joe Williams
February 4, 2011
Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch

When life is less inviting than death, the eye of the beholder is inclined to look away. Full Review

Tom Long
February 4, 2011
Tom Long, Detroit News

An overloaded agony parade of a film that's such a grim march to devastation that it should be hard to watch. And, OK, it is. But with Bardem at its center, it's like watching a lush train wreck. Full Review

John Hartl
February 3, 2011
John Hartl, Seattle Times

Despite a commanding, Oscar-nominated performance by the always-interesting Javier Bardem, there's a quality of manufactured misery to "Biutiful"... Full Review

Steven Rea
February 3, 2011
Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer

[Bardem] draws from a deep, deep well of love, pain, and who-knows-what-else. Full Review

Colin Covert
February 3, 2011
Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune

"Biutiful" is devastating. Full Review

Dana Stevens
February 3, 2011
Dana Stevens, Slate

It's the kind of film that congratulates the viewer on her tolerance for the spectacle of unrelieved misery. Full Review

Bill Goodykoontz
February 2, 2011
Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic

Bardem's performance makes it not just bearable but rich and compelling. Full Review

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    • Tito: It's dangerous to trust a man who is hungry.
    • Ana: What is it? A booger?
    • Uxbal: Don't forget me, my love, please.

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