88

Chicago Tribune

By Michael Wilmington
It's a very classy, finely made film, and, as one watches it -- particularly those last sweeping scenes of political turbulence and escape -- one feels both pain at their (Merchant-Ivory) parting and grateful for what, together, they achieved.
Full Review
83

Entertainment Weekly

By Owen Gleiberman
I don't think it's too much of a stretch to say that this oasis of romance amid the turmoil of Shanghai represents the way that Merchant and Ivory, for 40 years, saw themselves: as a sanctuary of calming, life-size taste in a movie culture grown coarse. It was often far from perfect, but I'll miss that sanctuary.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Carrie Rickey
Any resemblance between this film and "Casablanca" is purely deliberate.
Full Review
75

San Francisco Chronicle

By Mick LaSalle
This is Merchant-Ivory's kind of showmanship, the unflashy adult variety of movie magic that they made their hallmark.
Full Review
75

Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
Richardson -- acting with her mother, Vanessa Redgrave, who plays her aunt, and her aunt Lynn Redgrave, who plays her mother -- finds the story's grieving heart. Fiennes is her match in soulful artistry.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The film takes a long time to unfold, and some scenes feel inert. But ultimately, the conclusion is moving and satisfying.
Full Review
75

Chicago Sun-Times

By Roger Ebert
Fiennes and Richardson make this film work with the quiet strangeness of their performances; if they insist on their eccentricities, it's because they've paid them off and own them outright.
Full Review
70

The Hollywood Reporter

By Frank Scheck
The director has staged the elaborate production in his usual stately but impressive manner, and the production values boast the usual Merchant/Ivory stamp of quality.
Full Review
63

New York Daily News

By Jack Mathews
In any case, the movie moves only when she's (Richardson) in the center of it, and her complex performance as a woman balancing her dignity with her survival instincts is one of the year's very best.
Full Review
50

Boston Globe

By Ty Burr
A watchable disappointment. Sumptuous to look at, tastefully dull, and ultimately rather silly.
Full Review
60 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.