The Dirty Picture has received positive reviews from all film critics, who have lauded actress Vidya Balan's performance, Milan Luthria's direction, Vishal-Shekhar's music, Rajat Arora's script, dialogues, Bobby Singh's cinematography and Pony Prakash Raj's choreography.
The Times of India: Gaurav Malani Rating -
Director Milan Luthria has complete control over the subject matter in almost every aspect - whether it's the story, grammar of milieu or exploring the psyche of the female protagonist. In his biographical account of a sex-symbol, while he explores the sensual side of Vidya Balan to the hilt, at the same time he also shows utmost sensitivity in not exploiting the premise in a way that the film turns vulgar in itself.
The Hindustan Times: Mayank Shekhar's Rating -
The film however, even when not mimicking its subject, somewhat retains its '80s feel: excessive dialoguebaazi, often loaded with double entendres, some loud scenes with actors always in a state of emergency, and the “serial kisser" (Emraan Hashmi) who must land a Sufi song, and a girl"s lips to satisfy his core audiences.
GlamSham: Martin D'Souza Rating - 4.5
This film has a tightly bound script with just one loose sheaf. And frankly speaking, it's unfair on director Milan Luthria because Vidya Balan's electrifying performance, leaves the rest gasping for breath. You just see her grasp the character and make it larger than life. This is perhaps her best performance till date. Even Naseeruddin Shah gracefully blends into the background as the 'Hero' takes Centre stage.
DNA India: Aniruddha Guha's Rating - 4
Meant to be a biopic of south siren Silk Smitha, the film really is a recreation of an era when hyperbole in cinema was cool. It also pays tribute to all things inane about our films. Even as it depicts an era when the formula ruled, The Dirty Picture lives the formula itself.
Rediff: Sukanya Verma Rating - 3
The Dirty Picture just draws an outline of Silk's character instead of painting a layered portrait but Vidya Balan makes it awe-inspiring with her performance.
India Today: Kaveree Bamzai Rating - 4
Balan submits herself to the role and you can see why it would be so disturbing. It's a descent into addiction, which we know will be suicidal. Luthria could have made it less glossy but he gets a little caught up in the fashion of the 80s, the big cars, the big shoes, and the big hair. But his default nature is over the top, and I have to say I loved the outrageous dialogues, written by Rajat Arora, who ought to have been at work in the 80s.
Bollywood Hungama: Taran Adarsh's Rating -
The Dirty Picture banks heavily on shock-value, sex-value and most importantly, script-value. It's an exceptional portrayal of an ordinary person's rise from scratch to extraordinary heights and her subsequent fall.