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Based on 9 Reviews
critic reviews (9)
fan reviews ( 2 )
  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    It's a strange film, very original and very good. Just by virtue of the subject matter, it can't help but be erotic, and yet eroticism is not the movie's purpose. show more

  • 100
    Slant Magazine

    A brief history of time and space, according to Bertrand Bonello. show more

  • 88
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    No one, male or female, has any fun, but the men behave as if they do. They are all half-stupefied by the languor in which they drown. show more

  • 63
    V.A. Musetto New York Post

    Despite copious full-frontal female nudity, House of Pleasures isn't mere sexploitation. Rather, it's a gorgeously filmed portrait of a bygone era, with painstaking attention to period detail. On the downside, the movie is overlong. show more

  • 60
    David Fear Time Out New York

    The result is erratic, occasionally WTF hilarious (three words: revenge by panther!), and in its transgressive tracks-of-my-tears climax, capable of finding pleasure in being bat-shit crazy. show more

  • 80
    J. Hoberman Village Voice

    The filmmaker gives full vent to his romanticism by staging an End of the Epoch party, with tearful sex workers dancing to "Nights in White Satin," then steps on the mood with yet another farewell fête, commemorating Bastille Day. The prisoners are free - to walk the streets. Ironic, no? show more

  • 80
    Chicago Reader

    Like Walter Benjamin, Bonello associates this insularity with both innocence and the 19th century; and when, in the final sequence of House of Pleasures, he dispenses with the security exuded by these subjects, the effect is like being shaken violently out of a dream. show more

  • 60
    Stephen Holden The New York Times

    Throughout the film there is an abundance of sumptuously photographed flesh on view. But House of Pleasures is not an erotic stimulant so much as a slow-moving, increasingly tragic and claustrophobic operatic pageant set almost entirely in the brothel. show more

  • 91
    Scott Tobias The A.V. Club

    Without soft-pedaling it in the least, Bonello nonetheless mourns the passing of a time where prostitutes didn't control their destinies, but at least had each other. show more

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