Box Office - 07/01/2006 5 stars out of 5 -- "VOLVER finds Spain's favorite cinematic son Pedro Almodovar at the peak of his powers. Not only that, but he extracts a career-best performance from Penelope Cruz."
Total Film - 09/01/2006 4 stars out of 5 -- "[A] story saturated with Almodovar's love and compassion for women of all shapes, sizes and sentiments; a hearty tribute to the Spanish maestro's rural La Mancha roots..."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2006
"VOLVER has the convivial aspect of a family reunion..."
Sight and Sound - 09/01/2006 4 stars out of 4 -- "Cruz vindicates herself in dazzling style as a domestic goddess par excellence."
Rolling Stone - 09/07/2006
"Penelope Cruz comes into her own as an actress, being gorgeous and gritty, alive and thrilling."
Rolling Stone - 11/20/2006 4 stars out of 4 -- "With the help of six extraordinary actresses...Almodovar crafts one of the year's best films....VOLVER is Almodovar's passionate tribute to the community of women -- living and dead -- who nurtured him."
Entertainment Weekly - 11/10/2006
"The movie opens as borderline Hitchcock, echoing the tone of the filmmaker's bravura BAD EDUCATION....Almodovar rips the rug out from under the audience in a most delightful way." -- Grade: B
Film Comment - 11/01/2006
"[T]he most significant reunion in VOLVER is the one that takes place between the filmmaker and actress who has best embodied his feminine ideal: Carmen Maura....An effective example of purely fictional filmmaking, grounded in script and performance."
New York Times - 11/03/2006
"It draws you in, invites you to linger and makes you eager to return. It offers something better than realism."
Premiere - 01/01/2007
Included in Premiere's "10 Best Movies Of The Year" -- "[I]t's a nuanced slow-burner with near-endless resonance."
Rolling Stone - 12/28/2006 Ranked #4 in Rolling Stone's "The 10 Best Movies Of 2006" -- "[N]o one rivals Pedro Almodovar for speaking the language of love in all its permutations..."
Film Comment - 01/01/2007 Ranked #9 in Film Comment's "20 Best Films Of 2006."
Ultimate DVD - 03/01/2007 4 stars out of 5 -- "VOLVER is a vibrant, dazzling film that will surprise with each of its unexpected plot turns."
USA Today - 04/06/2007 3.5 stars out of 4 -- "Penelope Cruz's acting rises to a new level....This cruises on a full tank..."
Wall Street Journal - 11/20/2009
"Penelope Cruz is dazzling, passionate, witty, mercurial and yet unshakably grounded as Raimunda..."
Pedro Almodóvar, the Oscar-winning writer-director of such international successes as TALK TO HER and WOMEN ON THE VERGE OF A NERVOUS BREAKDOWN, returns to his hometown of La Mancha in Spain for the tender VOLVER. Raimunda (Penélope Cruz) is trying to keep her family together despite her husband's (Antonio de la Torre) inability to keep his job; when a terrible incident occurs at home, Raimunda covers it up in order to protect her daughter, Paula (Yohana Cobo). Meanwhile, Raimunda's sister, Sole (Lola Dueñas), believes that their mother, Irene (Carmen Maura), has come back from the dead; Sole even has the resurrected Irene working in the illegal hair salon she has set up in her apartment. Sole and their neighbor Agustina (Blanca Portillo), who had been taking care of their aged aunt (Chus Lampreave), try to keep this secret from Raimunda, with both funny and heartbreaking results--and the revealing of yet more secrets.
Once again Almodóvar, who won the Best Screenplay Award at Cannes for VOLVER, displays his unique talent for creating fascinating female characters in this intricate study of three generations of women. The acting is a tour de force all around; the cast of VOLVER--which means "to return"--is a bit of a homecoming for Almodóvar as well, as he's previously worked with Cruz (ALL ABOUT MY MOTHER), Dueñas (TALK TO HER), and especially Maura (many times, including MATADOR and LAW OF DESIRE, but not in 17 years). VOLVER is a deeply personal, emotionally moving story of a very different kind of family, told by a master filmmaker at the peak of his talent.