Bel Ami Reviews

Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
June 21, 2012
"Bel Ami" is a handsome production, yet riddled with weaknesses.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
June 21, 2012
The supposedly cunning protagonist registers as a cipher, and the directors' tendency to shoot dialogue scenes in close-up blunts any understanding of the social milieu he's trying to conquer.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
June 21, 2012
The women are all elegant and intelligent, they know the ways of the world, and they know Georges' history. Why do they find him attractive? We don't, and that failure is the downfall of the film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
June 15, 2012
Pattinson's passion is bloodless, his rakish George Duroy a font of undelivered potential.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
June 14, 2012
Good actors flit in and out of the movie - particularly Kristin Scott Thomas and Colm Meaney - but no one seems able to conquer the essential silliness of it all...
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
June 8, 2012
What distinguishes Pattinson in the role is the sense he conveys of someone roiling and churning beneath a surface that is almost, but not quite, calm.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
June 8, 2012
Cramming over 400 pages into a little over 100 minutes not only skips over important incidents - like Georges' embarrassed return home with one love -- but rushes the characters through emotional arcs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
June 8, 2012
With that cast, we rightfully expect fireworks. What we get is the film equivalent of a wet blanket.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
June 8, 2012
Pattinson's callowness and tendency to play rage as petulance don't help.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
June 8, 2012
Pattinson's performance is so enervated that his Georges Duroy comes across as something of a cipher.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
June 7, 2012
An enjoyably soapy 19th-century costume drama with a crackling, female-centric cast that features Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristin Scott Thomas.
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Sheri Linden
Los Angeles Times
June 7, 2012
Intriguing political aspects of the story involving military designs on Morocco and the influence of the media would have more resonance if the human drama had more heft.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Stephen Holden
New York Times
June 7, 2012
Although this is potentially juicy stuff, it is as dry and tasteless as a shrunken piece of fruit left in the refrigerator far too long.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
June 7, 2012
Te casting of an inexpressive pinup boy in the lead role is the most up-to-date thing about Bel Ami. Everything else is as conventional as the plodding, pudding-thick score.
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
June 7, 2012
The results aren't ribald or provocative or particularly exciting in any way; it's just a slog that will appeal mainly to enthusiasts of 19th-century undergarments.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
June 7, 2012
Robert Pattinson isn't all that bad in "Bel Ami." He just isn't right.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
June 7, 2012
It's based on Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel, but an old-school must-see-TV sitcom has more depth.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
June 7, 2012
It's the total lack of empathy these characters elicit (or don't) that is Bel Ami's overarching problem.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
June 7, 2012
Pattinson portrays a man who has no moral code and gets to have tons of sex, with various women of smart Parisian society, played by the likes of Uma Thurman, Christina Ricci and Kristen Scott Thomas. Yet mysteriously, the tedium continues.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 7, 2012
Though gorgeous to look at, the first feature from Declan Donnellan and Nick Ormerod has an undeniable void at its very center: an utterly blank leading man.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Noel Murray
AV Club
June 7, 2012
This new Bel Ami has a lot to recommend it, but it never seems as artful or smart as Dangerous Liaisons, the film it most resembles.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
June 5, 2012
De Maupassant's story was subtitled "The History of a Scoundrel"; this is more like "The Summary of a Scamp."
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Eric Hynes
Village Voice
June 5, 2012
What could be hotter than a bed-hopping bodice-ripper in which the movie hunk of the moment plows through three of the sexiest actresses of the 1990s? Most everything, it turns out.
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
June 5, 2012
...a relentlessly leaden rethink of the rollicking tale of opportunism and social-climbing in late 19th-century Paris
Full Review | Original Score: 1/5
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 30, 2012
Based on Guy de Maupassant's 1885 novel, Bel Ami is the meandering, unfocused tale of the rise of an unprincipled opportunist in the upper class circles of late 19th century Paris.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
April 13, 2012
A flavorless literary adaptation sunk by a lead actor, screenwriter and co-directors that are all out of their depth.
Top Critic
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
March 6, 2012
This 'Bel Ami' is spirited and sensible but little more than period fluff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5