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The Birdcage (1996)



Average Rating: 6.6/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 33 | Rotten: 10

Mike Nichols wrangles agreeably amusing performances from Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in this fun, if not quite essential, remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles.


Average Rating: 7.6/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 2

Mike Nichols wrangles agreeably amusing performances from Robin Williams and Nathan Lane in this fun, if not quite essential, remake of the French comedy La Cage aux Folles.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.3/5
User Ratings: 102,781

My Rating

Movie Info

Director Mike Nichols teams up with his former partner/screenwriter Elaine May for the first time in many years and for the first time together in films to create this sophisticated, remake of the phenomenally popular French musical farce La Cage aux Folles that stars Robin Williams, Nathan Lane, Gene Hackman and Diane Wiest as two dramatically disparate couples who manage to reconcile their vast differences for the sake of their children who are getting married. Williams plays Armand Goldman,


Gay & Lesbian, Comedy

Elaine May

Mar 25, 1997

MGM Home Entertainment

Watch It Now



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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (33) | Rotten (10) | DVD (5)

This isn't the supreme masterpiece it might have been, but Nichols's direction is very polished and some of the lines and details are awfully funny.

May 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If The Birdcage isn't exactly the Mike Nichols-Elaine May movie of our dreams, it does manage to transform what was formerly a campy bit of French fluff into one of the loopiest, most hysterical family-values movies ever made.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Birdcage is a scream.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It doesn't so much champion diversity as celebrate conformity.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A glossy miscalculation with Nathan Lane and Robin Williams.

June 18, 2002 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One of those rare motion pictures with side-splitting laughs where the humor never stays dormant for long.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What might be a surprise, given the talents involved, is how relentlessly unfunny it is.

May 29, 2011 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

It undoubtedly remains a genial crowd pleaser. If the dress fits, wear it.

May 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Colourful, camp, beautifully acted and brimming with gags, Mike Nichols The Birdcage sits comfortably in Hollywood's canon of unchallenging, 'It's OK to be gay' films.

May 29, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4

Shows no reason why it had to be made again.

November 9, 2008 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

If you like to laugh and laugh hard, don't miss this one. It's a genuine hoot.

October 21, 2005
Fantastica Daily

Broadly funny, with solid performances all around.

July 6, 2005
Capital Times (Madison, WI)

Birdcage does a remarkably good job of delivering a movie that puts its own decided spin on the tale.

April 9, 2005 Full Review Source: Reeling Reviews
Reeling Reviews

[Not] nearly as funny as it has been made out to be.

January 13, 2004 Full Review Source:

Pretty funny comedy from the days when Williams didn't feel he had to be either A. TOTALLY CHARMING or B. ABSOLUTELY EVIL.

April 14, 2003 | Comment (1)
Juicy Cerebellum

It is not the Broadway classic, but it's ok. Just for fun.

October 18, 2002

Broad and fairly belabored, but Williams' ceaseless energy, Hackman's dry wit, and Azaria's insanity save the day.

July 26, 2002

This feel-good family comedy with a twist is based on the 1978 French film La Cage aux Folles.

June 5, 2002 Full Review Source: Boxoffice Magazine
Boxoffice Magazine

This critic admired Robin Williams's performance as well as some of the minor actors, but found the film's depiction of gay people more insulting to them than funny.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Internet Reviews
Internet Reviews

The result is a nearly flavorless 118 minutes punctuated with a few hilarious scenes -- mostly owed to the physical comedy of stage actor Nathan Lane.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: SPLICEDWire

Audience Reviews for The Birdcage

A pretty funny film. A must see!
June 23, 2011
Bethany Murphy

Super Reviewer

There have been some exaggerations of the gay lifestyle, but I've never felt they were as in your face as the performances of Lane and Williams in The Birdcage. Equally atrocious was the anti-gay Hackman, and the uber gay Hank Azaria. It felt a bit forced, like an awkward family gathering.
December 2, 2010

Super Reviewer

September 8, 2010
MisterYoda ?

Super Reviewer

I love La Cage Aux Falles, this film is good for a remake and I'm disappointed to see that some people can't appreciate the brilliance in this film! Robin Williams is on top form, with 'you're taking your toothbrush to the grave, how Egyptian' brilliantly improvised. Weiss is convincing in her role, as usual. Hackman is great, as usual, and Nathan Lane is overly feminate, as usual. Wonderfully cast and with a great script, it will please anyone with a sense of humour. I pity anyone who can't enjoy it, for whatever reason- homophobia, lack of intelligence, arrogance, narrow mindedness etc. I'll admit that originals are often better, but that doesn't stop this from being a film to be enjoyed. I recommend it to anyone looking for a good laugh, happy watching
August 9, 2010

Super Reviewer

    1. Armand Goldman: Its like riding a psychotic horse into a burning barn.
    – Submitted by Loren T (9 months ago)
    1. Armand Goldman: I see. You're going to the cemetery with your toothbrush. How Egyptian.
    – Submitted by Christian C (11 months ago)
    1. Albert Goldman / Starina: I know what you're thinking: dress like this, I'm even more obvious.
    2. Albert Goldman / Starina: Tannins?
    – Submitted by Christian C (11 months ago)
    1. Armand Goldman: You do an eclectic celebration of the dance! You do Fosse, Fosse, Fosse! You do Martha Graham, Martha Graham, Martha Graham! Or Twyla, Twyla, Twyla! Or Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd, Michael Kidd! Or Madonna, Madonna, Madonna!... but you keep it all inside.
    – Submitted by Jillian L (16 months ago)
    1. Agador: I don't wear shoes they make me fall down.
    – Submitted by Carrie K (21 months ago)
    1. Senator Keeley: I don't understand.
    2. Barbara Keeley: He's a man, the're both men.
    3. Senator Keeley: Can't be, you can't be jewish.
    4. Barbara Keeley: No Kevin, Kevin, Kevin. This is a man.
    5. Senator Keeley: What?
    6. Louise Keeley: Don't you understand the're gay. They own the drag club downstairs, the're two men.
    – Submitted by Daniel R (22 months ago)
View all quotes (13)

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