The Magnificent Ambersons Reviews

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Josh Larsen
April 16, 2015
The bold cinematic techniques Welles employed in Citizen Kane are put to even more sophisticated use here.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Nathanael Hood
The Young Folks
April 16, 2015
The performances, the cinematography, the melancholy tone of loss make [The Magnificent Ambersons] one of the most technically inspired films of Hollywood's past.
Top Critic
Pauline Kael
New Yorker
January 5, 2015
Even in this truncated form it's amazing and memorable.
Michael E. Grost
Classic Film and Television
August 22, 2014
Visually creative classic.
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
March 12, 2013
Ambersons is not another Citizen Kane, but it is good enough to remove Director Welles for keeps from the novice or one-picture-prodigy class.

August 30, 2012
The editors might have molested it, but The Magnificent Ambersons remains on a par with Orson Welles's greatest achievements.

Total Film
August 30, 2012
What remains is inevitably, irritatingly uneven, but still tender and insightful. It will cut you up.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
August 30, 2012
Although reams have been written about the mutilation of Orson Welles' second feature, what remains of it is nevertheless a major accomplishment.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Manny Farber
The New Republic
August 30, 2012
While telling this story, haltingly and clumsily, the movie runs from burdensome through heavy and dull to bad. It stutters and stumbles as Welles submerges Tarkington's story in a mess of radio and stage technique.
Richard T. Jameson
Parallax View
May 1, 2011
The essence of the Ambersons and of Ambersons is mortality.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
July 6, 2010
Orson Welles devotes 9,000 feet of film to a spoiled brat who grows up as a spoiled, spiteful young man. This film hasn't a single moment of contrast; it piles on and on a tale of woe, but without once striking at least a true chord of sentimentality.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
April 6, 2007
The emotional sense of America in the late 19th and early 20th centuries is so palpable you can taste it.
Top Critic
Don Druker
Chicago Reader
April 6, 2007
A masterpiece in every way (but ignore the awkward ending the studio tacked on without Welles's approval).
Shawn Badgley
Austin Chronicle
April 6, 2007
This is Orson Welles' lost movie, one he might have been able to rescue, had he been less brash -- and a film he and others believed to be superior to Citizen Kane.
Emanuel Levy
August 23, 2006
Having mastered film technique in Citizen Kane, Welles devotes more attention to the characters, all of which are all individual creations rather than types. It's a deeper, more personal work than Kane even if it lacks the latter's narrative pull.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Thomas M. Pryor
New York Times
August 8, 2006
All in all, The Magnificent Ambersons is an exceptionally well-made film, dealing with a subject scarcely worth the attention which has been lavished upon it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Geoff Andrew
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Hacked about by a confused RKO, Welles' second film (from the novel by Booth Tarkington) still looks a masterpiece.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
June 1, 2005
Told in a magnificently opulent cinematic style.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan
October 23, 2004
Not 'Citizen Kane,' but what is?
| Original Score: 4/5
Douglas Pratt
October 14, 2004
Orson Welles' heavily chopped up drama, it is still a nostalgic, dramatically powerful tale and should ultimately be savored for what it is rather than rejected for what it is not.
| Original Score: 5/5
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