Youth Without Youth (15)

Film image

The ViewBirmingham Review

StarNo StarNo StarNo StarNo Star
Review byMatthew Turner12/12/2007

One out of Five stars
Running time: 124 mins

Pretentious, boring and nigh on incomprehensible, this is easily one of the worst films of the year.

What's it all about?
Directed by Francis Ford Coppola and based on a deservedly obscure novella by Romanian author Mircea Eliade, Youth Without Youth stars Tim Roth as 70-year-old scientist Dominic Matei, who receives a new lease of life, literally, when he gets struck by lightning in 1938 Bucharest. Rejuvenated and with a super-sized brain, Dominic embarks on a scientific quest involving language and time, falling in love with the beautiful Veronica (Alexandra Maria Lara, from Control) along the way.

However, Dominic's lightning-based incident also comes to the attention of the Nazis and soon Dominic and Veronica are forced to go on the run. In addition, Dominic discovers he has a series of superpowers such as mind control and the ability to absorb knowledge through touch.

The Bad
Clearly you can have good What the hell is going on? movies (e.g. Southland Tales, Hotel Haribati) and you can have bad ones. Youth Without Youth is definitely one of the bad ones, which is a shame, because you'd think you wouldn't be able to go too far wrong with a film that had both Nazis and mind control in it.

Francis Ford "The Godfather" Coppola hasn't made a movie since 1997's The Rainmaker and he appears to have forgotten how in the interim. The plot is utterly nonsensical, the pacing is extremely slow, the dialogue is either boring or laughable and the cinematography is so murky that it's often hard to see what's going on.

The Worst
Roth does his best under the circumstances but the plot is so infuriatingly pretentious and tedious that it's difficult to care and you soon give up trying to work out what's going on.

Worth seeing?
In short, Youth Without Youth is one of the worst films of the year and it's hard to believe that the same director made both The Godfather and Apocalypse Now. A massive disappointment, to be avoided at all costs.

Film Trailer

Youth Without Youth (15)
Youth Without Youth has been reviewed by 1 users
01 Focus (15)

Will Smith, Margot Robbie, Rodrigo Santoro

02 Selma (12A)

David Oyelowo, Carmen Ejogo, Tim Roth

03 Far from the Madding Crowd (tbc)

Carey Mulligan, Tom Sturridge, Matthias Schoenaert...

04 Chappie (tbc)

Hugh Jackman, Sigourney Weaver, Sharlto Copley

05 A Most Violent Year (15)

Oscar Isaac, Jessica Chastain, David Oyelowo

Content updated: 23/02/2018 04:25

Latest Film Reviews

Film Blog

Urban Pundit

Keep up to date with everything in film and cinema at Urban Pundit, the exciting new blog.

Film of the Week

The Conjuring (15)

Hugely enjoyable, genuinely scary horror flick that provides a welcome throwback to classic 1970s chillers, thanks to impeccable production design, a superb script, powerfully atmospheric direction, intense set-pieces and terrific performances.

Latest Close Up

Noah Baumbach Interview

The Frances Ha director discusses co-writing the script with Greta Gerwig, shooting against the backdrop of New York and the real lives of the city’s people, Greta Gerwig’s performance, the music in the film and the picture's visual style.