88

Boston Globe

By Jay Carr
The Pillow Book is Peter Greenaway's most stunning and accessible film since "The Cook, the Thief, His Wife and Her Lover." Dense, gorgeous and inexorable - once you give yourself over to its logic - it's a boldly erotic explosion of Asian chic, taken to places no film has gone before. [20 Jun 1997]
Full Review
88

Chicago Tribune

By Gene Siskel
Greenaway is a unique filmmaker in that he layers images upon one another in a single frame and doesn't require dialogue to make his films arresting. [18 Jul 1997]
Full Review
88

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
The Pillow Book, starring Vivian Wu, is a seductive and elegant story.
Full Review
75

ReelViews

By James Berardinelli
The great irony of this film, which is (at least on one level) about the power of writing, is that the words are of secondary importance to the overwhelming visual presentation.
Full Review
67

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
I can't say that I've ever entertained fantasies of writing on someone's body. But Peter Greenaway's The Pillow Book (Cinepix) does, at least, succeed in making it look like an erotic activity.
Full Review
63

The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

By Rick Groen
There's as much to draw us in, but far less to put us off. [13 Jun 1997]
Full Review
63

TV Guide

By Maitland McDonagh
With its attractive cast, beguiling score and relatively straightforward narrative, this dark fable of letters and lust is one of Greenaway's most accessible works.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Examiner

By Walter Addiego
At 126 minutes the movie is excruciatingly long, but it is still too short to pack in all the subtle changes in character he means but fails miserably to convey.
Full Review
50

San Francisco Chronicle

By Ruthe Stein
The Pillow Book sometimes seems like three different movies, each one an eyeful but together too much of a good thing.
Full Review
30

Empire

Here both Greenaway's strengths and weaknesses are on show as he toys with the viewers' capacity to ingest blurring metaphors and convoluted content.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.