Little Buddha (1994) - Rotten Tomatoes

Little Buddha1994

Little Buddha (1994)



Critic Consensus: Little Buddha's storytelling may be too childlike to best service its audacious plot, but Bernardo Bertolucci's direction and Vittorio Storaro's cinematography conspire to deliver a visually strong epic.

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Movie Info

Mark Peploe and Rudy Wurlitzer wrote this tale of an American boy who is believed to be the reincarnation of a Tibetan Buddhist spiritual leader. Intercut into this story is a dramatization of the life of Siddhartha (played by Keanu Reeves). Cinematography by Vittorio Storaro; score by Ryuichi Sakamoto.

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Keanu Reeves
as Prince Siddhartha
Chris Isaak
as Dean Konrad
Bridget Fonda
as Lisa Konrad
Alex Wiesendanger
as Jesse Konrad
Ying Ruocheng
as Lama Norbu
Sogyal Rinpoche
as Kenpo Tenzin
Jo Champa
as Maria
T.K. Lama
as Sangay
Mantu Lal
as Mantu
Rudraprasad Sengupta
as King Suddhodhana
Kanika Pandey
as Queen Maya
as Yasodhara
Madhu Mathur
as Prajapati
Anupam Shyam
as Lord Mara
Ruchi Mathur
as Queen's Assistant
S.S. Pandey
as Old Musician
Tarana Ramakrishnan
as Saddiya Siddiqui
Anu Ehetri
as Anita Thakur
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Critic Reviews for Little Buddha

All Critics (25) | Top Critics (10)

It is refreshing to find a heavy-hitting European auteur telling his story with such directness, and delightful to see a serious, artistically exacting film for children, even if you suspect it will soar over that audience.

November 13, 2017 | Full Review…

In a quiet way, this gorgeous movies accomplishes many things.

August 16, 2017 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Bertolucci's celebrated burnt-orange-and-burnished-lemon look remains handsome, and the story itself still commands some interest as a pivot into daunting material.

December 7, 2007 | Full Review…

Bertolucci's epic is a disappointment.

June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

A crazily mesmerizing pop artifact that ranks alongside Herman Hesse's novel Siddhartha in terms of extreme earnestness and quasi-religious entertainment value.

August 30, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5

The modern sequences lack realism or credibility. The ancient sequences play like the equivalent of a devout Bible story.

January 1, 2000 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Little Buddha

Great casting, really splendid, because when I think of Buddha I automatically think Keanu Reeves. Honestly I started to burst out laughing whenever Keanu spoke, it was pretty bad. Other than that I thought the story was interesting, and cute. I thought that it would have been more heavy handed, but it was quite passive in it's views of the world which I found refreshing.

Marion Ravenwood
Marion Ravenwood

Super Reviewer


Ultimately this fell flat for me. I was more interested in the segements relating Siddhartha's story than in any of the modern day goings on, even if Keanu Reeves seems to mainly be in the film to look pretty (which his delivery of lines suggests).

Kylie B
Kylie B

Super Reviewer

I watched this film in my religion class for the first time, and it was enough for me. However, I do give it credit for staying biblically correct to the religion!

KJ Proulx
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

Little Buddha Quotes

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