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The Emperor's New Clothes (2002)

tomatometer

73

Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 85
Fresh: 62 | Rotten: 23

The premise of The Emperor's New Clothes is intriguing, and Holm gives a delightful performance.

69

Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 29
Fresh: 20 | Rotten: 9

The premise of The Emperor's New Clothes is intriguing, and Holm gives a delightful performance.

audience

62

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 878

My Rating

Movie Info

A fanciful retelling of the story of Napoleon Bonaparte (played by heralded actor Ian Holm, this British costume comedy suggests that it was Napoleon's double, not the man himself, who died on St. Helena Island. The film begins by presenting Napoleon after his defeat at Waterloo, at the home of a young boy (Tom Watson), where he watches a slide show of his actions and begins to tell his story. The film flashes back to Napoleon's six years of house arrest, when he dictated his memoirs to an aide

PG,

Drama, Comedy

Alan Taylor, Kevin Molony, Herbie Wave

Aug 2, 2002

$0.5M

Paramount Classics - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (94) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (62) | Rotten (23) | DVD (7)

A delightful, if minor, pastry of a movie.

July 25, 2002
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Viewers are asked so often to suspend belief that were it not for Holm's performance, the film would be a total washout.

July 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
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It's a great big snore.

July 19, 2002 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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Recent and long-standing fans of Holm must relish the chance to watch Sir Ian in a dual role, one that he explores with customary insight, subtlety and good humor.

July 19, 2002
Detroit News
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[Holm] saves this film time and again with an eagle's gaze that puts you on alert, prompting you to sit up a little straighter in that theater seat.

July 19, 2002
Detroit Free Press
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This new spin on the old switcheroo plot is intriguing, warmly human and gently funny.

July 12, 2002 Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Farcical, old-fashioned Hans Christian Andersen tale.

January 11, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A nifty premise turns into a ridiculous film.

September 3, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A great companion piece to other Napoleon films.

June 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Apollo Guide
Apollo Guide

A unique, and not always successful mixture of comedy and drama, helped by Ian Holm's inspired acting.

October 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Mr. Holm possesses the kind of skill that acting is all about: He can make an audience forget what they know and believe they are watching two different men.

October 15, 2002 Full Review Source: Cincinnati Enquirer
Cincinnati Enquirer

Fails to ignite in the way a film -- even a comedy -- revolving around Napoleon should.

August 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

All of this is written, directed and acted with verve, feeling and wit.

August 8, 2002 Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press
St. Paul Pioneer Press

It may not be history %u2013 but then again, what if it is? %u2013 but it makes for one of the most purely enjoyable and satisfying evenings at the movies I've had in a while.

August 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Unlike a vaguely similarly-themed film, Dave, New Clothes is not concerned with what the unwitting usurper does, but who he becomes.

August 1, 2002 Full Review

The Emperor's New Clothes may not be proper history, but it is good entertainment.

July 28, 2002
Jam! Movies

The story is pure fiction, but told with the dignity and self-assurance of an Oliver Stone conspiracy tale.

July 26, 2002 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

Holm's strong performance never sinks to caricature.

July 25, 2002 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

While Holm is terrific as both men and Hjejle quite appealing, the film fails to make the most out of the intriguing premise.

July 20, 2002 Full Review
FilmsInReview.com

Cleverly upends the goals of the grand strategist, turning him into an underdog to be rooted for. And root we do, quite loyally.

July 19, 2002
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

A bit of whimsically warped history elevated by the central performance of Ian Holm.

July 19, 2002
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

Gives Holm one of his rare cracks at a true starring role, and the man is magnificent.

July 19, 2002 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

Audience Reviews for The Emperor's New Clothes

[font=Century Gothic]"The Emperor's New Clothes" takes place in 1821 as Napoleon Bonaparte(Ian Holm) escapes from St. Helena after a six year exile, exchanging places with a look-a-like. The plan is for him to reach France by boat and the imposter to be revealed, allowing him to retake the throne. But the plan starts to go awry when the boat overshoots France, and he ends up in Belgium instead.[/font]
[font=Century Gothic][/font]
[font=Century Gothic]"The Emperor's New Clothes" is not the broad comedy I was expecting(though there is a little of that here). It is actually a gentle and poignant bit of speculation about history, dreams of glory and the people trying to recapture them. Through this, the movie conveys a subtle antiwar message. And Ian Holm sets the right mood with a magnificent performance. Only the pedestrian direction hurts the movie. [/font]
January 10, 2007
Harlequin68
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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