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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer
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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

2006
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 27m
Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, born with no smell, develops a superior olfactory sense, which he uses to create the world's finest perfumes. His work, however, takes a dark turn as he searches for the ultimate scent. (imdb)
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Perfume: The Story of a Murderer

2006
Drama
Suspense/Thriller
2h 27m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 56.19% from 5521 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(5521)
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Rated 24 Feb 2007
92
95th
Disgustingly beautiful style that perfectly captures the character of Jean-Baptiste. You can almost smell and taste it's odors. Ben Whishaw is perfect in his role. The soundtrack is hauntingly beautiful. The film is just so elegantly psychotic it's enthralling.
Rated 06 Dec 2007
74
55th
An interesting narrative and great visuals keep this film going until the final act, where one part of me was impressed that the film carried its premise to its ultimate, hyperbolic conclusion, but the other part sensed it was a bit silly and tried not to guffaw at the film's earnestness.
Rated 02 Jun 2007
65
76th
Tykwer is some kind of a clever experimentalist. He usually both fails and succeeds at the same time. Perfume can be edited into two films where one contains visually stunning and throughly designed sensitive scenes. The other generally mediocre, well-acted with some fame aid, watchable piece. It is one's choice to edit the movie while experiencing and omit "beautiful on paper, absurd on pelicule" scenes.
Rated 12 Feb 2007
74
66th
I thoroughly enjoyed it.
Rated 16 Sep 2007
95
99th
Terrific in almost every way. A totally different experience.
Rated 01 Feb 2007
90
85th
Can you film a smell? Tykwer can. A stylish and strange tale about smells and perfumes with several memorable moments. It's also an ode to women (especially red-haired women) featuring the most beautifully filmed murders ever. Yes, I know it sounds sick. It probably is. Charming, though. Very European, too. Wonder what the Americans will think.
Rated 24 Apr 2007
45
16th
The sets, costumes and art dritection are the only fully-achieved aspect of this movie. The rest is corny, self indulgent and halfway made.
Rated 24 Aug 2007
90
95th
Excellent. I find this film very hard to review because it provokes and invites the viewer to experience so many raw emotions and feelings. It shows you absolute beauty and in the very next scene makes you cringe with anger and disgust, yes it actually does make you angry. Its amazing how the director, Tom Tykwer, shows you with such simplicity that a most innocent and guileless person can be a true monster to the core. Just watch the movie for what it is, a study in obsession.
Rated 09 Mar 2008
75
75th
Great photography and art direction.
Rated 06 Aug 2008
98
98th
I applaud the director of this film. Perfume: The Story of a Murderer, can be best described as a difficult piece, because the plot revolves around a sense in which Hollywood has not dominated yet. As strange as it may seem- my heart went out to Jean-Baptiste Grenouille, regardless of what he did. The story, the directing, the acting... everything was beautiful and breath-taking. However definitely not for folks with are easily offended or have a weak stomach.
Rated 25 Mar 2009
55
18th
I promise I tried to like this. The Good: The art direction...glorious. Tom Tykwer made me smell the movie, which is a series of words I never thought I would string together. I haven't seen the era's filth captured in such authenticity. The Bad: Besides Ben Whishaw, the acting was too over the top. Hoffman (once again) overacts to the nth degree. The final 30min made me turn away from the screen in fear of bursting into laughter. A silly, albeit beautiful, film
Rated 02 Jan 2010
80
80th
It's a bit irritating to see other people bash the ending since it's so faithful to the book. Overall, a pretty solid adaption.
Rated 12 Dec 2010
75
82nd
Fucking bizarre, would recommend
Rated 31 Jan 2007
100
99th
Amazingly well acted, well shot, well scored, there isn't a single flaw that i can find in this movie. Except maybe Alan Rickman's "crying" but that's not enough to detract away from the flim at all. Very well done.
Rated 01 Aug 2011
70
80th
the movie is quite well paced and adeptly edited, and the musical score and visuals are top caliber, but Tykwer tries to undertake an impossible task: convey the world of scents through dominating visuals. the sight and sounds drown out the scents, and the story suffers as a result. Still, it still holds up, thanks to some solid acting by Whishaw and company.
Rated 25 Aug 2007
65
25th
Not bad, but it seemed mostly like an exercise and didn't have any soul to it. The period reproduction was overkill. Yes, it was visually arresting but it felt as if Tykwer tried too hard to be convincing. I was left with questions, which I perceived as gaps in the story rather than mysteries to be solved. I didn't think Grenouille was compelling enough. Certain elements were intriguing, such as the way all his caretakers died after letting him go, but nothing was developed to satisfaction.
Rated 09 Sep 2007
96
99th
I don't think this story was meant for movie-format, but I thought that the director did a good job. It isn't the same experience as the book, but I love the story in itself so much that it was difficult not to enjoy the movie.
Rated 08 Oct 2007
60
46th
I dont understand how it is possible to make a movie be so interesting, so "perfect" and to spoil everything in the final minutes.
Rated 25 Nov 2007
98
96th
Peliculon!
Rated 08 Jan 2008
89
85th
Great film but I just LOVED the book!
Rated 11 Jan 2008
75
83rd
Well, there's always that snob who tells you "the book is better". Hello, I'm one of them.
Rated 01 Feb 2008
86
91st
A new approach for the serials killers. Haunting mood and well acted leads... Well, maybe Dustin Hoffman was a bit too comical. Nice special effects and sets. Easy to review several times.
Rated 02 Feb 2008
70
66th
Defies description. I'd love to have a bottle of that perfume though, man.
Rated 24 Feb 2008
75
70th
Tykwer has the gift of make you feel breathless in a moment of sheer beauty (and then the next moment ruins it with cheesy storytelling!). The scenes with the plum-girl is an example of this. I wish this craft would have been preserved throughout the movie, then it would be nothing short of a masterpiece.
Rated 24 Feb 2008
87
92nd
Very good and realistic film. The story is built very exciting and enjoyable to follow. I've read the book and I always asked myself how they would show us that sentence-experience of grenouille but thet really did a great job here. Everything seems te fit very well and they have made the very long and boring part of the book(the seven years in the cave) much shorter and much more enjoyable. Very good acting also btw, with a great performance of Ben Whishaw.
Rated 03 Apr 2008
93
93rd
What an incredible film.
Rated 15 Aug 2008
90
83rd
This is a great movie. Brilliantly made. But not sure about the tangent spun in the latter part of the movie.
Rated 27 Sep 2008
80
78th
Tykwer has done an amazing job here. Great cinematography, brilliant acting and also the smells and scents are fabulously depicted. Could never top the novel, but comes very close in terms of adapting the original story in a visual form.
Rated 15 Nov 2008
95
91st
One of the most underrated movies of all time. A must see for everyone who admires film!
Rated 24 Nov 2008
80
85th
The first half carries the whole movie. While Dustin Hoffman's uninspired performance and totally unbelievable Italian accent is a kick in the gut, Alan Rickman does a wonderful job with his character. The final 15 minutes is ridiculous, but I liked the first 1:45, that I'll let it pass.
Rated 11 Jan 2009
68
23rd
I may have had a preconceived disinterest in this film, but I couldn't stop laughing throughout. It's gimmicky pretense wreaked. The cast and script lacked, also.
Rated 12 Oct 2009
10
3rd
Would have been a great film if Rocco Siffredi had come along and given his usual treatment to Jean-Baptise's asshole at the end, then killed him. I had no sympathy for the main character at all.
Rated 24 Oct 2009
62
41st
Feels a bit pointless and I probably won't remember a lot of it in a few weeks. Even though the visuals are pretty beautiful or disgusting when they need to be, the story just never really comes alive. Whishaw seems to have only one facial expression, Hoffman and Rickman felt a bit wasted on this. It's been ages since I read the book, but I remember it being more engaging.
Rated 15 Jan 2012
92
94th
A movie that will haunt you long after you've seen it. It's not impossible to imagine that exquisitely beautiful young women might possess the most sublime of intoxicating smells. The theme is taken to its ultimate extreme. The raw presentation of filth and degradation is unnerving at times. The narration was brilliant. The faithful recreation of the period in costumes, sets and characters transports you to a long gone era with stark contrasts and harsh realities. Masterfully produced.
Rated 26 Jul 2013
4
91st
Wonderfully gothic but nudges melodrama in places. Some great visuals and a (sometimes too) romantic score helped convince me that super smell isn't as bad a super power as I thought.
Rated 06 Feb 2007
70
67th
Beautiful imagery and excellent production design. I didn't know the book so i have to say i was surprised by the film's plot. My biggest complain would have to be that the dialogues are way too academic and formal. But overall a nice surprise.
Rated 28 Apr 2007
80
95th
Excellent film.
Rated 07 May 2007
59
30th
cheesy
Rated 16 Aug 2007
95
99th
9+ amazing :: visceral
Rated 18 Sep 2007
75
73rd
Extremely creepy with an interesting if odd ending.
Rated 27 Jan 2013
90
76th
Real creative movie. The history of a well intentioned sick mind.
Rated 30 Oct 2007
86
80th
I do wish they could have done without the voice over narration, but this film should have had a better reputation here in the States. The orgy sequence is an amazing piece of cinema and truly nothing short from chilling.
Rated 04 Nov 2007
81
83rd
Beautiful but brutal tale. I doubt there's a better way to express all those scents in a movie. Very well done all the way from the dark beginning to the colorful and "perfect" ending.
Rated 05 Nov 2007
88
75th
How can a man attain godliness? He searches to create the scent of heaven... Beautifully written and acted.
Rated 10 Nov 2007
80
69th
Does the book great justice.
Rated 25 Nov 2007
85
86th
Brilliant. A really nice story.
Rated 23 Dec 2007
77
64th
null
Rated 16 Feb 2008
83
93rd
Amazingly put together, and beatiful made scenes. The end sequence is just stunning.
Rated 29 Jun 2012
8
55th
A beautiful film bordering on masterpiece that might leave some wrinkling their nose in disgust, but will most certainly leave others absolutely in awe and enraptured.
Rated 08 May 2008
65
69th
Great or bad? Well I it is a bit of story and how you accept it. Sometimes how they say here, rough translate "not smell can tell".
Rated 18 May 2008
80
89th
TOM TYKWER TARZINDAN HIC ODUN VERMEMIS..ETKILEYICI BIR SINEMA SOLENI..
Rated 13 Jun 2008
80
90th
Very Nice
Rated 04 Jul 2008
95
34th
This sensational journey through the life of a serial killer in eighteenth century France is remarkably well scripted, acted and directed. Tom Tykwer skillfully brings you into the world of Jean-Baptiste Grenouille through narration and superb imagery. Grenouille is born with an extraordinary sense of smell, and Tykwer brings this gift to the screen in such a magnificent way, that the viewer will feel they can 'smell' the film. (Hard to believe unless you watch, but it is true.) Awesome...
Rated 06 Aug 2008
60
4th
Oh well, at least he doesn't think all women smell like fish. Not really worth all the gorgeous art direction, but I thought Hoffman's performance was charming.
Rated 16 Sep 2011
30
0th
A pointless movie with an unsympathetic main character and a ludicrous and sick plot. The first part wasn't too bad tbf with good cinematography and Dustin Hoffman in a decent role but the idiocy soon overwhelmed everything and turned it to shit.
Rated 29 Aug 2008
65
69th
Great visuals
Rated 21 Apr 2014
75
32nd
Long, but briskly paced. The lead is amazing especially for having virtually no lines.
Rated 19 Oct 2008
80
79th
this perfume dude is one sick motherfucker !
Rated 12 Jul 2012
82
77th
The score in this film will sneakily wrap itself around you like a classic Guerlain, the film is lit impressively as well. I'm not sure how people have a problem with the final sequence, the man has perfected his artform, consuming what is needed, information, support for life, from each character until they can offer no more, they wither and die as soon as he parts company. He has nothing left to take, finally he has reached perfection so he becomes his art leaving only the legacy portrayed.
Rated 16 Nov 2008
70
48th
It's very well done, especially the depiction of scents, until the ridiculous ending almost ruins the whole movie.
Rated 02 Dec 2008
72
63rd
[SUPPORTED THEATRICALLY]
Rated 15 Dec 2022
35
23rd
hani olur ya böyle evvel zaman içinde götten uydurma hikayeler anlatılır. he işte bu film de o kafada bi film. yok 3 km ötedeki kokuyu duymalar, yok kokuyu saklamak için 1 yıl yürümeler. tam kalfa olup evden ayrıldığı gün evin yıkılması, yetimhanede 5 yaşındaki çocuklar tarafından boğulmak (!) üzereyken son saniyede kurtarılması ve tabiki son 15 dakikadaki kahkaha attıran rezillikler. kısaca biz masallar için çok büyüğüz. hadi bunu geçtim bari 1(bir) işe yarar alt metni olsa. o da yok
Rated 26 Dec 2008
1
10th
Entirely devoid of dramatic purpose, lacking a single sympathetic character, and tasteless to the extreme, Perfume stinks to high heaven. Rather than compiling a laundry list of objections, I'll let my pitiful little score speak for itself. This is the pure, extracted stench of nihilism, and it doesn't smell pretty. That I'm supposed to sympathize with this asshole is sheer lunacy.
Rated 25 Jan 2009
80
88th
The book is better. But the movie is well made.
Rated 02 Feb 2009
76
62nd
Novel much better. I think they felt they needed to spend so much on the orgy scene since they had to pay so many extras. Some of the better parts of the book just wouldn't adapt very well I guess. A few interesting effects.
Rated 13 Sep 2011
3
45th
Its tone is very novelistic and literary, vividly realized with great cinematography and performances. However the last act is bothersome and jarring, though I'll spare the details for the spoiler-wary.
Rated 02 Mar 2009
85
61st
I loved the book and thought the film was well done.
Rated 10 Aug 2017
70
64th
Perfume is a unique serial killer movie set in 18th century France. I have yet to read the novel upon which it is based so can't comment on how faithful it is (or isn't), but the story is strange and dark, the setting grim, and it kept me entertained throughout. Not sure about Dustin Hoffman's accent though...
Rated 09 Apr 2009
85
84th
I gave it a score of 75 after first 2 viewings. However, after 3 more viewings, would like to upgrade it. This is real horror people. This movie, the story, the characters and the whole plot just grows on you with repeated viewings and the debauchery, the terror-it has made a little place in my heart.
Rated 09 Apr 2009
81
80th
A lot of creativity and attention to detail went into depicting an 18th century Paris which seems utterly complete, right down from the aristocrats to the filthy undercrust of society. The story was fresh and unique, and brought to life by Tykwer's direction and a lot of magical realism and exotic ideas. Good performance from Whishaw. The murdering aspect eventually spiralled into silliness, but not before a very entertaining and captivating couple of hours had been spent.
Rated 17 Jun 2009
60
49th
Since Smellovision is not the technology of our generation, the use of beautiful, warm sounds with soft, picturesque visuals worked in the absence of our scent. The film went from an X-Men: Origin film detailing the birth of fish stew boy to the mystery of The Fountain and The Prestige, but ended up as a story that lost its focus the last half hour.
Rated 17 Jun 2009
72
68th
I'll have to get around to reading the book, it's supposed to be terrific. I didn't think the film was bad either though. Most people are put off by the ending, branding it inconceivable, I disagree.
Rated 21 Jun 2009
73
66th
The concept of showing 'smell' in a film is explored here, and the results are visually beautiful. The plot is interesting until the last half-hour or so, which are not fulfilling.
Rated 28 Jun 2009
75
72nd
Overall Enjoyment: 30/40, Plot/Themes: 15/20, Cinematography/Direction: 15/20, Acting/Writing: 15/20 Very unique enjoyable film.
Rated 28 Jun 2009
74
61st
Great cinematography.
Rated 08 May 2016
69
81st
The film weaves a compelling tale that is as much comedy as it is horror, with a visual aesthetic that is ordinarily limited to the fantasy genre. None of the characters are particularly likeable, but with solid performances from Winshaw and Rickman, they don't need to be. Hoffman's performance felt a bit odd, but his character's arc is still interesting and necessary. The film is also a decent satire on mob mentality, with an ending that suitably fits everything that came before.
Rated 07 Jul 2009
63
46th
I am sad to say that I can't stand Hoffman in this film.
Rated 01 Aug 2009
58
54th
Awesome cinematography and beautiful soundtrack, but the content doesn't smell so good, to say the least. I haven't read the book, but the movie goes downward spiral until it reaches rock bottom with that last act. I'm not even sure what emotions the ending was supposed to give, but for me it was a mix of 'LOL' and 'WTF' (both in a bad way).
Rated 22 Apr 2014
85
32nd
I found the atmosphere similar to films like The Prestige, The Illusionist, and some other particular films I just can't quite remember at the moment. Really enjoyed the way the story was told, as well as the story itself.
Rated 05 Sep 2009
65
22nd
Could have been more developed. The plot is amazing but the rest is a bit shallow.
Rated 14 Oct 2009
70
48th
A very atmospheric film, but entirely too gruesome for my sensibilities.
Rated 23 Feb 2015
99
98th
Perfection.
Rated 18 Dec 2009
73
74th
Great cinematography and sound editing convey a sense of smell unlike ever before. Perfume is a creepy movie, yet I found myself very much intrigued by Jean-Baptiste. He freaks me out, but at the same time he's consumed by his work in a graceful and artistic manner. The ending though I found a bit disappointing. It made me wonder if I would find it equally silly if I had read the novel beforehand...
Rated 06 Jan 2010
77
51st
Great cinematography but the forced colour contrasts get old after a while. Well crafted story that's very engaging despite the story telling being a bit choppy and the ending really straddles the line between daring and absurd. Strong individual performances but very little inter character dynamics. In all a very good and original film that's worth watching but with too many flaws for me to be truly impressed.
Rated 28 Mar 2012
70
39th
Bizarre tale. Kept me interested.
Rated 10 Mar 2010
88
91st
10-3-2010
Rated 06 Aug 2011
50
42nd
A bit long in the tooth, but a gritty, adult fairy tale awaits. Perfume works best when dabbling in Twilight Zone levels of irony while being narrated by Jon Hurt. Remind you of Hellboy? Del Toro directed Hellboy and Pan's Labyrnth, another 2006 film that came to mind while watching this. Not sure why this Tykwer film didn't quite click with me, but if it were about 20 minutes shorter, I'd have recommended it to most anyone.
Rated 09 Apr 2010
70
29th
i'm a dustin hoffman sucker, i'll watch him in anything, i was glad i didn't read the book
Rated 11 May 2015
55
48th
Had to read this for German class, but I banked on this and a synopsis instead. Based on having seen this and passing the test anyway, I regret nothing.
Rated 04 Mar 2013
72
57th
It's hard to watch a movie about scents when you cannot smell them. This may be the reason why I couldn't feel the atmosphere of the movie to its fullest - this, or just silly moments and acts. The idea itself is interesting and the plot's development takes many turns which is a good thing, but many problems remain unsolved. The movie gets worse when reaching the end and sadly turns ridiculous. That's a real shame, because it was so scientific (in terms of the main subject) at the beginning...
Rated 18 Nov 2012
70
58th
Slow in parts and not put together very tight, but the set designs were pleasant
Rated 24 Jul 2010
87
69th
The book was much better as usual. I liked the movie in general but Grenouille was supposed to look like a creature more than a human. Ben Whishaw is not a good choice for the character, as he is a good-looking man.
Rated 22 Oct 2010
74
58th
I really enjoyed the book back in the day. But what made it a special book, which was its reliance on a sense which was not easy to visualise and quite novel to describe in an elaborate fashion, also made it a very hard text to adapt. Thus, with that in mind Tykwer did a commendable job; aside from relying too much on grossing you out. But then again, without the frame set in the book and oversimplification of Jean's psyche rendered the movie at places, literally to a guy sniffing around.
Rated 22 Oct 2010
85
43rd
A wonderful story of passion and poverty.
Rated 06 Nov 2010
75
37th
Not a bad adaptation (and God it's famous for being impossible) although the end is really odd.
Rated 17 May 2011
3
65th
After a second view, I find this very peculiar, but beautiful at the same time. It sadly never reaches it's full potential. Whishaw definitely does not show his potential acting skills, and even though we know Rickman and Hoffman possesses these skills, it doesn't really show. I wouldn't know who I would recommend this to, but I myself still enjoyed it. - Good
Rated 25 Sep 2012
73
64th
This is the first Tykwer movie I've seen, and it was pretty good. Part thriller, part dark comedy, and maybe a hint of fantasy. The story might drag in a few places, but the ending was so ridiculous that I couldn't help but love it.
Rated 20 Jan 2011
50
43rd
I'm as surprised as you are, that a movie with such an ending, didn't appeal more to me. 'Perfume' is beautiful, but somewhere along the road it seems to deflate enormously, and end up being more creepy-annoying strange than WTF-weird.
Rated 06 Apr 2011
7
73rd
Heavy on narrative and short on dialogue. An interesting story and it did evoke a sense of the smells of the time. However the most memorable scenes were too lynx advert like to be taken seriously.
Rated 11 Apr 2011
70
62nd
An interesting fable that doesn't quite work as a piece of narrative cinema. Enjoyable nonetheless.

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