Coco Before Chanel gets mostly positive reviews for its portrayal of the legendary designer in the days before her rise to fame.
- “The most obvious credit goes to the strong, sure performance of Audrey Tautou,” writes Kenneth Turan in the Los Angeles Times. “Tautou not only resembles Chanel, she inhabits the role completely."
- “Because it's more superficially stylish than profound, Coco leaves one wanting more—more of an in-depth examination of her complex nature," writes Claudia Puig in USA Today. Still, the film is "beautifully woven."
- It "bears less resemblance to a standard-issue biopic than to a novel by Émile Zola or Theodore Dreiser,” writes AO Scott in the New York Times. “The result is an unusually vivid and convincing account of the historical past, composed in the present tense.”