This a movie packed with Ideas — note the capital “I” — so it’s probably not supposed to matter that the thing is incomprehensible. While a movie doesn’t have to make literal sense to be good, a filmmaker can’t be so lost in his own universe that he forgets his job is to open it out to the rest of us. And that, apparently, is what has happened to Coppola here. [...]
[...] There are things in “Youth Without Youth” that are so absurd you can’t help laughing at them (like the way Bruno Ganz, as a helpful doctor, appears to have modeled his shuffling, dotty performance on Tim Conway’s “little old man” routine). But in the end, there’s not much that’s funny about “Youth Without Youth.” It’s such a bummer that even laughing at it seems like a waste of breath.