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Mysteries of Lisbon

HD   Unrated

Raúl Ruiz

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About the Movie

Raul Ruiz’s masterful adaptation of the eponymous nineteenth-century Portuguese novel by Camilo Castelo Branco evokes the complex intertwined narratives of Victor Hugo and Charles Dickens. The core story centers on Joao, the bastard child of an ill-fated romance between two members of the aristocracy who are forbidden to marry, and his quest to discover the truth of his parentage. But this is just the start of an engrossing tale that follows a multitude of characters whose fates conjoin, separate and then rejoin again over three decades in Portugal, Spain, France and Italy.

Rotten Tomatoes Movie Reviews


  • Reviews Counted: 52
  • Fresh: 44
  • Rotten: 8
  • Average Rating: 7.6/10

Top Critics' Reviews

Fresh: The storytelling is straightforward, with a classical sheen, even as mischief and hallucination puncture the serene surface. – Sheri Linden, Los Angeles Times, Aug 11, 2011

Fresh: It's telling that the movie, after reaching a tidy payoff, takes one last spin into an epilogue that questions the actuality of almost everything that's come before. – Mark Jenkins, NPR, Aug 5, 2011

Fresh: [Ruiz] stages the events with an air of intrigue that's amplified by his sly, insistently roving camera and his sinuous, theatrical long takes. – Richard Brody, New Yorker, Aug 8, 2011

Rotten: The story is nothing if not convoluted. Characters, subplots and overlapping narratives come and go. – V.A. Musetto, New York Post, Aug 7, 2011

Read More About This Movie On Rotten Tomatoes

Customer Reviews


It is agood movie if you have some time to kill. Make that a lot of time.

Fabulous Raul Ruiz film

It's over 4 hours long, but it could have been longer. (The original was a 6-hour TV series). I loved every moment of it. I can't get get it out of my head. 18th and 19th century Portugal and Paris. Plenty of historic references. Great acting. Beautiful settings. Stories inside of stories. In Portuguese with English subtitles. The film is faultless. I just wish that I-Tunes allowed for a two-day rental period for a film of this length which is divided into a Part 1 and Part 1.


I love period movies and I rarely complain about a movie being dull, but this one went on forever (4 1/2 hours) and had way too many stories to be coherent. Because they often used the same sets to tell the stories of others, it made it even harder to follow. The only good actor in the whole movie was the Brazilian man. And the best part of the movie is that they ragged on the US and Brazilian slave trade, like Portugal never thought of slavery! The whole movie was about how the whole upper class slept with anything that move like a game of sport. By the last 45 mins. I just speed through to the end.

Mysteries of Lisbon
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  • $19.99
  • Genre: Drama
  • Released: 2010

Customer Ratings