The Impostors Reviews

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cosmo313
Super Reviewer
½ December 2, 2012
This is a star studded tribute to the slapstick comedic farces of the 1930s, and a real labor of love for its writer/director/producer, and star Stanley Tucci. He, along with Oliver Platt, play a Laurel and Hardyesque pair of out of work actors struggling to scrape by in Depression-Era NYC, mostly by way of petty cons and swindles.

After incurring the wrath of an overrated drunken actor, the two mistakenly stow away aboard an ocean liner where the actor after them also happens to be. And not only do they get caught up with having to avoid him, but they find themselves continually caught up in a series of ever escalating over-the-top madcap shenanigans involving the eclectic passengers and crew of the ship, many of whom aren't what they initially seem, hence the film's title being The Impostors.

In many ways this feels like a high class Woody Allen film that Woody didn't write and direct. Interestingly enough, he actually makes a hilarious uncredited cameo here. This is a real love letter to the 30s slapstick comedies, as well as the silent era, as evidenced by the film's opening scene.

All in all I liked it. I'm not a huge fan of slapstick, but I found this to be overwhelmingly charming, funny, and absurd. There's really not much of a plot, but I think that's more of a benefit than a detriment. It's really hard to care too much about many of these people, but I don't think that's the point. I think the main focus is just on the absurd and ridiculous comedy of life, and how existence is full of all kinds of diverse and nutty people.

And the cast is where this film really shines. Besides Tucci and Platt, there's also Steve Buscemi, Billy Connolly, Campbell Scott, Allison Janney, Richard Jenkins, Alfred Molina, Elizabeth Bracco, Lili Taylor, Hope Davis, Dana Ivey, Tony Shaloub, Isabella Rossellini, and a few others I'm probably forgetting. They all seem to be having an absolute blast here, and exhibit some great chemistry, as well as a flair for the material.

The period details are pretty decent, there's a wonderfully nostalgic score, and the overall sense of energy and fun is just bursting all over the place.

It did take me a bit to get into things, and I was a bit taken back until I realized what type of movie this was going to be, but once I got into it, and things really kicked in, I ended up having a pretty good time, and think you might enjoy it as well.
ScoopOnline
Super Reviewer
December 19, 2009
A great SciFi with a twisting end which will blow your socks off. lol
Super Reviewer
½ March 20, 2008
It was different. Usually I don't care for slapstick comedy, but this one was alright.
March 8, 2010
I admire it?s unusual style and story line. Wonderfully acted by everyone, good first time direction from Stanley Tucci. It has Wood Allenish touches to it. Great and effective score and well made. It doesn?t always work, some scenes are a bit strained, but it works often enough to entertain. The bakery scene is particularly good.
August 5, 2009
This movie is especially funny if you know actors or are one. It's a bit odd and I wouldn't be surprised at all if it was based off of a play.

I find it very unsettling to see Billy Connolly as a sex crazed gay man, though. As funny as it is.
½ May 23, 2007
Such a wonderful try, and a delightful tribute to character actors and character roles, worth it for the remarkable performances, especially of Stan and Ollie
½ April 10, 2007
I love this.. classy comedy set in a wistful time.. "Slaving in the eye of pheobus!!!" Great, just great..
½ February 7, 2007
Hilarious, quirky, different, fun! It's a great film that deserves attention. Great performances by the all star cast.
September 10, 2006
I think people don't understand this film is supposed to be campy and it does a wonderful job. The characters are hilarious and they are what makes the movie. If you're looking for plot, look elsewhere.
½ October 4, 2014
Uneven comedy. Quite funny at times. The plot parallels A Night at the Opera substantially - that's okay, it rarely comes across as derivative. Very good acting and fascinating characters make the show well worth seeing.
December 10, 2013
"Clue" on an ocean liner. Fast paced, and funny. Highly recommend.
½ October 28, 2013
Absolutely dreadful! I love Stanley Tucci but this was a dramatic fall from grace. Supremely unfunny, clumsy, trite - I stayed as long as I could stand it just to see if there actually was one laugh - but no. Mr Tucci must have made a lot of friends along the way to pull this rubbish off.
July 2, 2013
I quite enjoyed the madcap slapstick throwback comedy. The only drawback is there are so many members of the cast who weren't used as much as they could have been such as Steve Buscemi and Billy Connolly.
May 11, 2011
Breezy throwback film with a great who's who cast, everyone has fun. Capital "E" Entertainment --- I was humming Skokiaan for days.
November 29, 2010
While rough in a few spots, it manages to be an intelligent and whimsical take on the classic Marx-brothers style comedy.
March 8, 2010
68/100. I admire it's unusual style and story line. Wonderfully acted by everyone, good first time direction from Stanley Tucci. It has Wood Allenish touches to it. Great and effective score and well made. It doesn't always work, some scenes are a bit strained, but it works often enough to entertain. The bakery scene is particularly good.
September 24, 2008
This is one of my all-time favorite movies - top ten. I almost died with laughing and have seen this wonderful, sweet, hy-larious movie about five times. It's sublime.
½ August 20, 2006
The Impostors
Starring: Oliver Platt, Stanley Tucci, Alfred Molina, Campbell Scott, Tony Shalhoub, and Lili Taylor
Director: Stanley Tucci


When a pair of down-and-out actors (Platt and Tucci) inadvertently stow away onboard a crusie ship, they engage in a series of deceptions to avoid being caught by Nazi-like ship's steward (Scott), to get revenge on a hammy rival they hate (Molina), and to stop a crazed revolutionary (Shalhoub) from blowing up the ship to assassinate a single passenger.

"The Impostors" is a fun movie that manages to capture the zaniness and frenetic energy of the 1930s comedies from the likes of Laurel & Hardy and the Marx Brothers. For the most part, the script plays as though it could have been written in that period, and the actors mostly perform as though they were in a movie from those days. It's a great ride if you enjoy the screwy comedies of that period.

It's not perfect, however. Some of the actors (with Steve Bucemi being the greatest offender of these) don't manage to convey either the stylr or the energy of the 1930s comedic film actors, and the the script occassionally drags or lets routines go on just long enough to allow them to cross from funny into dull.

This film feels through and through like it's a "fan-film" made as a tribute to the great comedies of the black-and-white era of cinema. However, it's an excellently photographed film, with mostly great performances and a script that's above average despite a few rough spots. I recommend it if you love those old, crazy movies.
½ April 28, 2006
Oliver Platt is good in anything he does, but this movie didn't quite do it for me. The scenes and jokes were funny(esspecially the bakary scene) but not enough to make me laugh-just sorta a half-smile was made, but other than that,nothing. With better writing and directing, it could have been better:down:
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