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Amelia (2009)


Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 157
Fresh: 32
Rotten: 125

Critics Consensus: Amelia takes the compelling raw materials of its subject's life and does little with them, conventionally ticking off Earhart's accomplishments without exploring the soul of the woman.

Average Rating: 4.4/10
Reviews Counted: 41
Fresh: 7
Rotten: 34

Critics Consensus: Amelia takes the compelling raw materials of its subject's life and does little with them, conventionally ticking off Earhart's accomplishments without exploring the soul of the woman.


Average Rating: 2.8/5
User Ratings: 99,284


Movie Info

An extraordinary life of adventure, celebrity and continuing mystery comes to light in "Amelia," a vast, thrilling account of legendary aviation pioneer Amelia Earhart. After becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia was thrust into a new role as America's sweetheart -- the legendary "goddess of light," known for her bold, larger-than-life charisma. Yet, even with her global fame solidified, her belief in flirting with danger and standing up as her own, outspoken woman never … More

PG (for some sensuality, language, thematic elements and smoking)
Directed By:
Written By:
Ron Bass , Anna Hamilton Phelan
In Theaters:
Feb 2, 2010
Box Office:
Fox Searchlight Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Amelia

All Critics (158) | Top Critics (41) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (125) | DVD (15)

It has beautiful cinematography, a star performance that is shocking in its authenticity, a careful eye for nuance and detail and an irresistible blend of action and romance that should spell automatic success.

Full Review… | December 10, 2009
New York Observer
Top Critic

Inoffensive, arcane and ultimately rather sweet, 'Amelia' is one to take your grandmother to.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Time Out
Top Critic

Wwhy does such an exciting life make such a dull movie?

Full Review… | October 26, 2009
At the Movies
Top Critic

Amelia is handsome yet predictable and high-minded -- not a dud, exactly, but too proper, too reserved for its swaggering subject.

Full Review… | October 26, 2009
New Yorker
Top Critic

It's all so glancing and superficial that the movie doesn't seem to have a present tense. It goes by like coming attractions. It is, however, a treasury of bad biopic dialogue.

Full Review… | October 26, 2009
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic

Directed by Mira Nair and executive-produced by its star Hilary Swank, the movie seems oddly preoccupied with the audience's approval for its subject.

Full Review… | October 23, 2009
Top Critic

Unfortunately, the drama is nil, and the laughs come thick and fast.

Full Review… | January 13, 2014

As a rule, biopics are really hard to do, and that's because it's almost impossible to strike the perfect balance between truth and drama.

Full Review… | July 21, 2012
7M Pictures

What on the surface looks like a plush period piece with best picture aspirations, is actually a bland biopic of an otherwise interesting figure in Amelia.

Full Review… | July 6, 2010
Matt's Movie Reviews

Stuart Dryburgh's sweeping panoramas of Canada and Cape Town %u2013 standing in for Nairobi, Papua New Guinea and Hawaii %u2013 deserve to be enjoyed on the big screen.

Full Review… | July 4, 2010

Feels like a tomb, lending itself to a slow, quiet pace that's possibly meant to be reflective but is instead dirgelike.

Full Review… | February 12, 2010
Window to the Movies

While Amelia was no airhead, the film flies above the fray, barely skimming the surface of a life and time, including traumatic world wars, the Great Depression and her mystery disappearance.

Full Review… | February 6, 2010

Watching Ms. Swank struggle to emote through carefully-patterned enunciation is an exercise in patience.

Full Review… | December 6, 2009

Never takes off.

Full Review… | November 28, 2009
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Amelia provides only a cursory look at Earhart's commercialization, more a way to delineate her marriage troubles than investigate her self-image or her treatment as a pop star.

Full Review… | November 19, 2009

Much like one of Earhart's trans-Atlantic flights Amelia just goes on and on without deviation.

Full Review… | November 15, 2009

When it takes to the skies Amelia really soars with thrilling recreations of Earhart's solo flights but when it returns to earth all that remains is soap opera.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Daily Express

Swank's moving performance, the period dressing and beautiful planes all appeal, but dramatically it doesn't really soar.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Empire Magazine

Hilary Swank is forced to deliver dialogue that sounds as if it was written in Chinese and then translated into English by a computer.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Times [UK]

A tinny and barnacled affair, showcasing a peculiarly awful performance from Hilary Swank.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009

If you're the kind of person who deplores the modern vogue for debunking historical figures, and who welcomes the opportunity to indulge in heroic feats and lush landscapes... then this is the film for you.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Daily Telegraph

The movie is so dragging and dull that it's a squandered opportunity.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Digital Spy

[Earhart's] trajectory from bubbling wannabe to national treasure is never less than compelling thanks to a no-nonsense performance from Swank.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Sky Movies

An extraordinary life winds up feeling like a series of random blips on the radar screen.

Full Review… | November 13, 2009
Radio Times

Audience Reviews for Amelia

Amelia is a flawed, but nonetheless entertaining biopic on the adventures of Amelia Earhart. Although the film flawed, the movie does have a strong lead performance by Hilary Swank in the title role, and she is wonderful in the part. The film's limitations are overcome with Swank's engaging performance. The film tends to be a little light in content, considering that Earhart is such an iconic historical character. But there are enough elements here to make it an interesting viewing. Overall this is a good film, but there could have been a bit more material added to the script to really make this one stand out. Amelia is a good film, but will certainly disappoint viewers looking for a great biopic to watch. The film should have focused lot more on the achievements of Earhart and made it a slightly longer picture. Enjoyable drama for what it is, Amelia is a well acted picture with a good story that had the potential of being so much better. Like I said, Hilary Swank's acting holds this film together and manages to make the film worth seeing. Amelia Earhart's story is truly compelling and exciting, but ultimately sad due to the fact that her final adventure ended with her disappearance and death. This film can introduce you to her wonderful and exciting life, but if you want the in depth facts of Amelia Earhart's life, this film will leave you wanting more in that area. Worth seeing, and despite its flaws, it's underrated and it deserves to be seen, as it has the knack of making the viewing wanting to know more about this incredible icon.

Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer


A boring and utterly pedestrian chunk of Oscar bait, "Amelia" is the film equivalent of reading a wikipedia page; you get the gist of the story but it's not particularly memorable and just doesn't do it's subject justice. Lazy writing and generic direction (Mira Nair - "Monsoon Wedding") plague the film, as does the shockingly poor lead performance from the incredibly inconsistent Swank. At two hours, the film started to drag and take it's toll on me, adding to an already unpleasant home video experience. Skip this film and just turn to Scorsese's 2004 near masterpiece to get your aviation fix and to see just what a Biopic can be!

Michael S

Super Reviewer

Hilary Swank delivers a good performance as the legendary American aviatrix, Amelia Earhart, who boldly flew into the annals of history.
The film is not just about one person, but about a person's dreams, desires and ambition. Ameila lectured and spoke out for women's rights, advocated for them to follow their dreams of either became a pilot like her, or just living their life the way they wanted to.
The airplanes and the overall look of the 1930s are wonderful in here, often capturing my attention more than the dialog.

Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

This is a prestige picture that is really aiming for Oscars and all kinds of critical acclaim, but sadly, it falls way short of the mark. The subject is interesting, but this is a standard biopic that isn't really remarkable. Everything is just rather average here. Well, the acting stands out, it's better tha navwerage, but even that is underwhelming.

Swank does nail the voice, likeness, and mannerisms of Earhart, but the film just feels kind of hollow and pointless. That's a shame too, especially since the subject is so interesting and intriguing. The other cast members are good, but this is really Swank's show. Too bad it falters.

There are some good moments, but this film just kind of drags and is really pretty boring. The camera work is good though. That's another positive thing it has going for it. I blame the writing though. The script could have been far better. It's undercooked and just reeks of "typical", I haven't seen any of Mira Nair's other films, but I do know a little about her. That said, maybe she wasn't the right choice. I'm not sure who else I'd pic though, but it would probably be someone with more clout and experience.

Like I said, the acting and camera work are good, and there a few nice scenes, but other than that, this is a big disappointent that I just can't recommend.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

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