Rolling Stone concludes, "Jarmusch, as ever, has the power to sneak up on you. He’s a spellbinder. The same goes for his movie." Slate says of the film's style, "Stillness and silence, the cardinal virtues of his method, have never been so pertinent as in the lives of the undead".
Roger Ebert's site calls it a "pleasurably droll and languorous soak in a pool of comical musings, nostalgic longing and sorrowful loss." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics rating of 84%.