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Citizen Kane (1941)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 9.4/10
Reviews Counted: 66
Fresh: 66 | Rotten: 0

Orson Welles's epic tale of a publishing tycoon's rise and fall is entertaining, poignant, and inventive in its storytelling, earning its reputation as a landmark achievement in film.

100

Average Rating: 9.1/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 0

Orson Welles's epic tale of a publishing tycoon's rise and fall is entertaining, poignant, and inventive in its storytelling, earning its reputation as a landmark achievement in film.

audience

91

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 151,737

My Rating

Movie Info

Orson Welles first feature film -- which he directed, produced, and co-wrote, as well as playing the title role -- proved to be his most important and influential work, a ground-breaking drama loosely based on the life of William Randolph Hearst which is frequently cited as the finest American film ever made. Aging newspaper magnate Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) dies in his sprawling Florida estate after uttering a single, enigmatic final word -- "Rosebud" -- and newsreel producer Rawlston

Sep 25, 2001

RKO Radio Pictures

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All Critics (69) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (66) | Rotten (0) | DVD (39)

It can be classified as, in a number of aspects, one of the most arresting pictures ever produced.

January 18, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

An ecstasy of light and shadow, of clashing textures and graphic forms, such as hadn't been seen since the silent era.

September 3, 2012 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
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Many of the novel techniques Welles developed with cinematographer Gregg Toland were calculated to offer new angles on film space.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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It is a work of art created by grown people for grown people.

April 21, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (12)
TIME Magazine
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Welles has found the screen as effective for his unique showmanship as radio and the theatre.

April 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It is still the best place I know of to start thinking about Welles -- or for that matter about movies in general.

April 6, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (5)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Perhaps when the uproar has died down it will be discovered that the film is not quite so good as it is considered now, but nevertheless Hollywood will for a long time be in debt to Mr. Welles.

October 9, 2012 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Welles's deeply haunting depiction of the life of William Randolph Hearst has long been synonymous with the director's spectacularly odd and genuinely tragic career.

August 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

One of the best films out there, and certainly a high point in early cinema. The love for Citizen Kane is deserved.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Above all, Welles was a showman and Citizen Kane is a three ring circus of cinematic ingenuity...

September 14, 2011 Full Review Source: MSN.com
MSN.com

Citizen Kane may very well be the most talked-about movie in history.

May 1, 2011 Full Review Source: Parallax View
Parallax View

Orson Welles' epic film, his stunning feature debut from 1941, is an enduring masterpiece that was underestimated at the time of its release due to political reasons.

March 4, 2011 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com | Comments (2)
EmanuelLevy.Com

Citizen Kane has been cited as the greatest film ever made from so many different quarters, it's a wonder that a Congressional law hasn't been passed making it required viewing for anyone who claims they like movies.

January 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

Classic should be required for any movie lover.

December 22, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Citizen Kane is not only an entertaining film, but it is also a deeply heartfelt, though provoking, and intelligent one as well. Like a fine wine it has aged well over the last 60 odd years.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

To revisit it now is still to marvel at its wit, audacity and sheer entertainment value.

November 4, 2009 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

With its spirit of visual and narrative innovation, and Welles's precocious, towering central performance, Citizen Kane almost lives up to its own reputation as the best of all time.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

There's no denying that his bravura performance, both in front of the camera and behind it, is spellbindingly effective.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Times [UK] | Comment (1)
Times [UK]

There can hardly be anything left to say about Citizen Kane, now revived on the big screen, other than to comment on sublime moments.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

A ground-breaking masterpiece. It contains so many examples of cinematic brilliance that it's a shock it won only one Oscar (for the screenplay).

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

Truly one of the greatest films ever.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Sunday Mirror [UK]
Sunday Mirror [UK]

It would be nice to be able to buck the critical orthodoxy and say how tired and overrated Citizen Kane is; but the dulll truth is, it's still, indisputably, one of the great masterpieces of cinema.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: Independent | Comments (2)
Independent

...an impressive dramatic epic that articulates some of the myths of capitalist America in a personal and human way.

July 26, 2009 Full Review Source: ColeSmithey.com
ColeSmithey.com

Audience Reviews for Citizen Kane

There is no confusion about why this is commonly considered one of the greatest films of all time.
June 7, 2013
Idrees Khan

Super Reviewer

Citizen Kane is one of the greatest pieces of cinema that remains one of the most engaging pictures ever put to celluloid. Orson Wells crafts a picture that tells a simple, subtle story that works brilliantly in capturing your attention from the first frame onwards. The cast do an immaculate job in their performances and each actor brings something unique to the screen to really make this film standout among other classics. Wells direction is terrific and he is able to craft a story that uses basic elements to create something truly remarkable with this picture. Orson Wells also stars in the film as the lead characters, Charles Kane who is a powerful tycoon Wells is superb in the part, and his work behind the camera is immaculate, fluent and brings the viewer into a truly special experience. The film is a must see due to its significance to the cinematic medium. Citizen Kane is a film that has stood the test of time, and yet again proves that the best pictures are the ones that tell a good story that is simple, yet well told and elevated by a talented cast that add so much to the film to make it a truly outstanding piece of cinema. Cinema fans owe it to themselves to check this treasure and Wells is a wonderful director that has crafted an excellent, engaging and memorable film that you soon won't forget. The picture is flawless and it has stood out among other classics. With that being said, is this my favorite of classic cinema? It isn't, but it definitely is among the finest pieces of work of this era and any era for that matter. I'd have to say that Casablanca is my favorite, with Citizen Kane a close second. Either way, this is a sweeping masterpiece of film, one that has stood out and lives on through each decade as an exemplary film that each new viewer can take something out from the film. Citizen Kane is a flawless picture that has its place secured in cinematic history.
April 6, 2013
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Orson Welles' great performance in front and behind the camera is highlighted in this classic masterpiece. Citizen Kane's portrayal of rise-and-fall of fame and fortune is remarkable performance-wise and visually. As an individual performance, Welles gives one of the greatest, if not the greatest acting performance in movie history. 4/5
March 20, 2013
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

The craftsmanship alone is still worthy of anyone's full and critical attention, but the history that both preceded and followed this creation is equally worth exploring to better appreciate its place in American cinema.
December 27, 2012
Matthew Slaven

Super Reviewer

    1. Charles Foster Kane: I run a couple of newspapers. What do you do?
    – Submitted by Adam O (4 months ago)
    1. Charles Foster Kane: We have no secrets from our readers. Mr. Thatcher is one of our most devoted readers, Mr. Bernstein. He knows what's wrong with every issue since I've taken charge.
    – Submitted by Adam O (4 months ago)
    1. Charles Foster Kane: I always gagged on the silver spoon.
    – Submitted by Adam O (4 months ago)
    1. Charles Foster Kane: You know, Mr. Bernstein, if I hadn't been very rich, I might have been a really great man.
    2. Walter Parks Thatcher: Don't you think you are?
    3. Charles Foster Kane: I think I did pretty well under the circumstances.
    4. Walter Parks Thatcher: What would you like to have been?
    5. Charles Foster Kane: Everything you hate.
    – Submitted by Adam O (4 months ago)
    1. Boss Jim Gettys: You're the greatest fool I've ever known, Kane. If it was anybody else, I'd say what's going to happen to you would be a lesson to you. Only you're going to need more than one lesson. And you're going to get more than one lesson
    – Submitted by Adam O (4 months ago)
    1. Charles Foster Kane: This gentleman was saying...
    2. Boss Jim Gettys: I am not a gentleman. I don't even know what a gentleman is.
    – Submitted by Adam O (4 months ago)
View all quotes (30)

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  • Ciudadano Kane (ES)
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