Le Havre is utopian precisely because it shows everything as it is not.
—J. Hoberman Village Voice
There is nothing cynical or cheap about it, it tells a good story with clear eyes and a level gaze, and it just plain makes you feel good.
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
...stylized and sentimental...
—A. O. Scott New York Times
...warm-hearted and uplifting, without being schmaltzy or preachy. And, with its illegal-alien theme, it's dead-on timely.
—V. A. Musetto New York Post
Kaurismäki has a narrow vision, disarming and sweet, yet utterly predictable, and there's little distinction between the films he's directing today and the films he directed 30 years ago. They have the wrong kind of timelessness.
—Scott Tobias Onion AV Club