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Based on 22 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 7 )
  • 80
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    After countless films in which immigration plays a central role -- one of the earliest was Charlie Chaplin's 1917 silent classic "The Immigrant" while one of the best, Jan Troell's "The Emigrants," has never migrated to DVD -- you'd think the canon was essentially complete. Yet this visionary work adds to it by combining harsh realities with magic-realist fantasies. show more

  • 88
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    The Golden Door feels, at points, like a silent film - a silent film with CinemaScope vistas and dazzling, saturated color. show more

  • 50
    Jack Mathews New York Daily News

    The movie never really comes alive, and Crialese's coyness with Lucy's character is more frustrating than mysterious. show more

  • 100
    Wesley Morris Boston Globe

    It's so hypnotically breathtaking, you don't realize you're not breathing. By the final shot, you don't realize you're crying either, but there go the tears. show more

  • 100
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    Sicilian-born filmmaker Emanuele Crialese takes a huge leap forward from his pretty but simplistic "Respiro" with this highly original, startlingly beautiful and emotionally resonant film. show more

  • 88
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    Called "Nuovomondo" in its native Italy, it's bittersweet, neither as comic and sentimental as Charlie Chaplin's 1917 great silent comedy "The Immigrant," nor as cynical and epic as Elia Kazan's 1963 "America, America," but close to both. show more

  • 88
    Peter Debruge Miami Herald

    Virtually everything Americans know about Ellis Island they've learned from the movies, and virtually all those movies were American. Golden Door offers the other side of the story, the one that ends at Ellis Island instead of beginning there. show more

  • 75
    V.A. Musetto New York Post

    The acting is superb, especially the always alluring Charlotte Gainsbourg as a mysterious Englishwoman taking the ship to America. Agnes Godard's lensing is painterly, and Crialese's direction is seamless. show more

  • 75
    Lawrence Toppman Charlotte Observer

    Historians at Ellis Island estimate nearly half of all Americans had at least one ancestor pass through there between 1892 and 1954. show more

  • 63
    Liam Lacey The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    As lovely to look at as it is dramatically inert. show more

  • August 21, 2011 cravely1
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    I very much like the would-be critic above who said: \&************* far too surrealistic and only sporadically at that.\" This is junk writing ****** best.

  • May 22, 2008 ciaoanita1
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    I really enjoyed this movie!! It was very realistic and showed the hard life the Italians had in Sicily at the turn of the century. The voyage was long on then and then they had to endure the hardships at Ellis Island. I think every Italian should see this film!! and even if your not Italian it shows other imigrants from other countries and they had similiar hardships. A must to see and have if they ever put it on

  • May 22, 2008 ceciliagallo
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    I am so sorry I was not able to see it as I feel I would have enjoyed since my parents made that perilous journey and I remember the sories my mother told me of the crossing. I live on Staten Island and was not able to get to Manhattan where it was playing. I hope I will be able to see it on DVD. Thank you for your input.

  • May 22, 2008 dan
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    This is the best, Now if I can just find another copy.

  • May 22, 2008 tontardmore
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    Can a film be more boring???First off - it's far too surrealist and only sporadically at that.The trend has been over - Dali is dead.Every scene is so prolonged. We got the point after the first few cuts.The in crowd will want to tell you how deep is the notion of swimming in milk - complete with the phallic carrot. But it's pointless self indulgence. The few good points, if you speak Italian, are hearing the Sicilian dialect, the Sicilian music and the isolated Sicilian notion of what it means to be Italian.STAY HOME unless you need a good place for a nap - or - if you want to swoon with the pretense of engaging in a "deep" film.

  • May 22, 2008 Sheila C.Lev-Tov
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    Like in the tale of the Emperor's New Clothes, the critics seem afraid to say that Martin Scorscese's coming-to-America film is boring, overly long, and a waste of time. The first third: Barefoot Italian villagers walking over stony hills; the second third: Miserable, cramped voyage over the ocean; last third--the best, but nothing to write home about--unsympathetic reception by U.S. immigration officials at Ellis Island.

  • May 22, 2008 ccorbo920
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    An amazing film every Italian American should see. I had no idea what the conditions on these ships were and how marriages were arranged between perfect strangers just to be granted admitance to America, the mis-treatment at Ellis Island and the heartbreak of leaving behind the things they knew just to give their families a better life. Don't miss it.

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