Broken Embraces isn't quite up there with Pedro Almodovar's finest work, say critics, but the noirish tribute to '50s Hollywood looks fantastic and tells a compelling story.
- "While it may not elicit the affection reserved for some of Almodovar's more heartfelt films," writes Claudia Puig in USA Today, "Broken Embraces is a tale of lust, treachery and guilt, with artful homages to classic films."
- The movie is "gorgeous and seductive, if pitched at Almodovar fans and perhaps a touch long," writes Kim Newman at Empire. Viewers drawn by star Penelope Cruz "will wonder why it takes so long to get to her—though she is wholly dazzling when it does."
- The Spanish master "is a film-maker so innately talented that even when half-cocked, as he is in Broken Embraces, he can somehow produce a movie that is effortlessly superior to most features," writes Kevin Maher at the Times of London.