Capote - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Capote Reviews

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Super Reviewer
February 9, 2014
The late, great Philip Seymour Hoffman gives the best performance of his career. The film follows the writing process of Truman Capote as he researches and gathers info for his book, In Cold Blood. Along the way, he becomes connected with those he is researching and realizes how must he relates to them. A deeply emotional masterpiece that works both as a character study and psychological thriller.
Super Reviewer
½ June 5, 2013
Hoffman plays an its-the-end-of-days-but-we're-still-very-civilized attention whore who discovers a way to get noticed all w/o reading the warning "objects in mirror are closer than they appear". Hoffman is beyond superb and Keener proves she can really shine if given space and a intelligent script.
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2012
From first frame to last, this is an extraordinary film. I advise you actually read 'In Cold Blood' before you see the it, but even if you don't you can appreciate this solid movie. Phillip Seymour Hoffman definitely deserves the Oscar, and there are great performances from the rest of the cast as well. The film is so superbly shot that the cinematography alone entrenches you in the experience. Deserving of all its praise, 'Capote' is a true crime film for the ages.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
August 7, 2012
Phillip Seymour Hoffman was the best part and thats why he won the oscar. Thats also why nothing else won an oscar that year as well. There are no real redeeming qualities because the story is cold and brittle.
Super Reviewer
October 28, 2007
I feel really bad giving this a poor review but i strongly disliked this movie!
Yes Philip Seymour Hoffman did a great job and portrayed Capote extremely well, and apart from the supporting cast and the good acting everything else is poor in my opinion!
I don't think i like Truman Capote at all he needed a smack in my opinion and there was no way you can feel sympathy for the murderers even if they were being used by the writer as they did a horrible crime for so little money!
I did like the line where PSH is on the phone to Harper Lee and he says 'There was nothing more he could have done' and Harper Lee replies 'That may have been the case but in all honesty you didn't really want to' i thought that was really interesting it certainly shows you the true character of Capote and it makes you wonder and question whether hes any better than the guys he condemmed to death !

Philip did great as did the rest of the cast, movie was boring, slow and annoying.
Super Reviewer
November 28, 2011
Truman Capote: If I leave here without understanding you, the world will see you as a monster. Always. And I don't want that. 

Capote is a slow moving, quiet and totally engrossing film that shows how Truman Capote came to write In Cold Blood. We watch him go to great extents to write the book. He talks to everyone who was somewhat touched by the murders. Then he gets close to the actual murderers and ends up spending a great deal of time with them up until their eventual hangings.

Really when describing Capote all you need to say are three words; Philip Seymour Hoffman. The guy is amazing, as always, but this is the best work I have ever seen from him. He becomes Capote in just about every conceivable way. His performance in Capote is career defining. It is definitely what he should be remembered for most. The movie also features an extremely underrated actress Catherine Keener as Harper Lee. Keener is always an extreme joy to watch and her presence in this movie is no exception.

What I really liked about the movie was just how soft spoken it was, just like Capote. It doesn't do anything to excite the viewer, but just quietly walks us through Truman's work. The film is beautifully shot and has a quiet, hypnotizing score. It is just beautifully and brilliantly made on every front, but it isn't for the type of person who only likes movies that are action packed. 

The movie is a must watch if you are a fan of Capote or Hoffman. It is an amazing look at an amazing writer as he worked his way through his most famous and critically praised work of his career. 
Super Reviewer
June 23, 2011
Amazing performance by Hoffman. Really enjoyed it and the fact it was a true story really made it that much more heart wrenching.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2011
The greatest acting performance ever done. Capote is an incredible movie on every scale, it as a great story, great backround, and Phillip Seymour Hoffman deserved the Oscar more than anyone else. This movie shouldve won Best Picture if you ask me,
Super Reviewer
October 12, 2010
Capote is the incredible true story of writer Truman Capote who researched and wrote the first non-fiction book, In Cold Blood. This book set new standards in the literary world. In his novel, Truman Capote documents the brutal murder of the Clutter family in Holcomb Kansas, a small farming community in 1959. In the film, Truman Capote befriends the population of Holcomb and initially intends to write an article on the matter. He soon realizes he has too much source material for a single article, and decides to write a book on the tragic events. With the Help of fellow friend and author Nelle Harper Lee (author, To Kill A Mockingbird) they set out to do research for Capote's work. It's not long after that the killers are captured, and after a swift trial, are condemned to death. After the trial Capote tries to discuss and get information about the night of November 15th, 1959. The film is a brilliant work of drama. The entire cast do a phenomenal job and the film is simply one of the best works in the drama genre in a long time. Phillip Seymour Hoffman gives one of his greatest performances here, and he's played some terrific parts in the past, but in Capote he delivers something truly unique. Director Brennett Miller tells a compelling story, and the film owes much to it's grandeur with it's incredible cast of talented actors. Capote is a film that shows the conflicted side of an incredibly talented writer. In the film we are shown how the case of the Clutter family, and ensuing research came to affect Truman Capote, and as a result, he never finished another book. Capote is a brilliantly told film, and Hoffman definitely deserved the Oscar for best actor. For me Capote is a work of sheer brilliance and is definitely a well told film. Other reviewers have praised the cinematography, which of course is breathtaking, but the aspect of this film that truly surpasses any filming method is the brilliant story telling and acting by the actors. Director Brennett Miller has told a masterful story and he is a terrific director. Capote is proof of that.
Super Reviewer
½ January 10, 2009
Philip Seymour Hoffman turns in one of my all-time favorite performances. For one hour and fifty five minutes, he IS Truman Capote.
Super Reviewer
April 4, 2010
Very true to Capote, In Cold Blood, and the whole horrible process. Hoffman dazzles, Keener is great as Harper Lee, and the murderers are...murderers.
Super Reviewer
April 27, 2006
A Murder Most Foul And An Actor Most Brilliant. Capote is a complex story with uncommon depth and insight into murder and the mind. Played to perfection by Philip Seymour Hoffman in his Oscar destined performance. In Cold Blood, the book that made and destroyed Capote in one lifetime.
Super Reviewer
½ September 16, 2007
An extremely dark but well-acted look on Truman Capote, and how he manipulated two criminals into thinking he was their friend, when he was just looking to make money off of their tale of how they broke into a small farm house in Kansas and murdered an entire family. The atmosphere is very downbeat, and the movie is anchored by a simply outstanding performance from the always impressive Philip Seymour Hoffman (is there anything he can't do?). It's closing sections are the most haunting, as the film gives us a look into what the writing of the book cost this selfish, flawed individual, and how the two criminals he vowed to fight for accepted him and trusted him. Clifton Collins Jr. is another standout as one of the men who killed this family, and the movie does a really incredible job humanizing its "monsters", as well as enriching you with how arrogant and self-centered some authors can get.
Super Reviewer
February 3, 2010
A Hitchcockian paced film, most certainly. A chilling look into not just the story of the gruesome Kansas murders, but Capote's obsession into delving into the twisted minds of those murderers. Philip Seymour Hoffman has come a long, long way from playing Dusty in Twister. His performance in this film was sheer brilliance and I can't even begin to understand how to would have attempted to get into this character. From his voice, to the appearance, to the mannerisms, he was fantastic.
Super Reviewer
October 4, 2007
Pretty slow, but an interesting piece of history. Good acting and all that jazz.
Super Reviewer
½ November 17, 2009
Phillip Seymour Hoffman has got to be one of the most talented people in Hollywood. Everything he is in, he brings something truly great to it. He even made Along Came Polly good. As for the actual movie, it was really great. The story is really moving and makes you think about certain aspects of our justice system and how wrong it can be at times.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2009
PSH is great, no doubt there, but the film feels a bit uneven in it's focus.
Super Reviewer
May 7, 2007
Capote delivers on its biggest promise: an outstanding (Oscar-recognized) performance by the one and only PSH. Slow-paced but impossible to turn away from, it's a sort of "biopic by numbers" that is nevertheless compelling thanks to the hero's double-bind: he is stuck between needing to let his subject die and wanting to save him, and the drama comes from the conflict inside the man and its effect on him as a writer.

A related knock against biopics as a whole: is anyone else tired of the "this will really change [hero's metier] forever" line in this kind of movie? I know, I know, it's filmic hindsight, some kind of dramatic irony that allows the audience to say "hey, that's right, it _did_ change...", but can you actually imagine sitting in a room with Truman Capote (or Ray Charles, or Johnny Cash, or Muhammad Ali, etc.) and actually talking about how great he is? It seems like the most pompous conversation in the world... anyway, my rant, Capote is good for a biopic.
Super Reviewer
December 8, 2008
The best way to gauge a great acting performance is for you to spend the entire length of the film you're watching believing that you're seeing THAT character up on screen, not just the actor whose playing him. That's what you get with Philip Seymour Hoffman as Truman Capote. He becomes Truman Capote as DeNiro became Lamotta. It's a total transformation in which the actor gets lost inside the character and it pays dividends in the final product.The film is basically a look at the making of Truman Capote's masterpiece book In Cold Blood, the story of two drifters who murder a family in a Kansas farmhouse in late 1959. It starts out as a simple magazine article, but the idea explodes as Capote's relationship with one of the men becomes closer and his obsession with the book grows deeper. Capote is an emotional film, yet there are no happy endings. There's no happiness at all. The film is more a document of what Capote did to get his masterpiece and what he paid when he got it. Two sides and the demons fighting each other back and forth. And Hoffman gives us all of that in all of its detail and shows us how a sad story can become even sadder.
Super Reviewer
½ November 11, 2008
Truman Capote: "On the night of November 14th, two men broke into a quiet farmhouse in Kansas and murdered an entire family. Why did they do that? Two worlds exist in this country: the quiet conservative life, and and the life of those two men - the underbelly, the criminally violent. Those two worlds converged that bloody night."

The creation of one of the most memorable books of the 1960s -- and the impact the writing and research would have on its author -- is explored in this drama based on a true story. In 1959, Truman Capote (played by Philip Seymour Hoffman) was a critically acclaimed novelist who had earned a small degree of celebrity for his work when he read a short newspaper item about a multiple murder in a small Kansas town. For some reason, the story fascinated Capote, and he asked William Shawn (Bob Balaban), his editor at The New Yorker, to let him write a piece about the case. Capote had long believed that in the right hands, a true story could be molded into a tale as compelling as any fiction, and he believed this event, in which the brutal and unimaginable was visited upon a community where it was least expected, could be just the right material. Capote traveled to Kansas with his close friend Harper Lee (Catherine Keener), herself becoming a major literary figure with the success of To Kill a Mockingbird, and while Capote's effete and mannered personal style stuck out like a sore thumb in Kansas, in time he gained the trust of Alvin Dewey (Chris Cooper), the Kansas Bureau of Investigation agent investigating the murder of the Clutter family, and with his help Capote's magazine piece grew into a full-length book. Capote also became familiar with the petty criminals who killed the Clutter family, Dick Hickock (Mark Pellegrino) and Perry Smith (Clifton Collins Jr.), and in Smith he found a troubling kindred spirit more like himself than he wanted to admit. After attaining a sort of friendship with Smith under the assumption that the man would be executed before the book was ever published, Capote finds himself forced to directly confront the moral implications of his actions with regards to both his role in the man's death, and the way that he would be remembered.

"Capote" is a fantastic, superb photography, and most enjoyable, Capote himself. I can't say that I've seen a more haunting and comical performance this year. The pace of the film is strikingly fast but that is to be expected with the time-frame conveyed. One of my favorite elements of this film was the coloring, whether it was the cityscape of New York or rural Kansas. The palette used to depict the wheat fields was utterly striking. It's as if the color is a representation of the despair of that small town, Holcomb.

Is it worth seeing? Yes. Did it deserve the Oscar gold and other certain accolades? Yes. Is it perfect? most definitely not. But no film is. The only regret that I felt was that I wanted more. Gerald Clarke's book is a voluminous work and it seemed as if the film came to a close too soon. Perhaps it was Hoffman's bravura performance that will be so missed.
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