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Hollywoodland (2006)



Average Rating: 6.5/10
Reviews Counted: 179
Fresh: 123 | Rotten: 56

More than a movie star murder mystery, Hollywoodland takes it slow in order to reveal the intriguing details of the rise and fall of superstar fame.


Average Rating: 6.4/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 27 | Rotten: 17

More than a movie star murder mystery, Hollywoodland takes it slow in order to reveal the intriguing details of the rise and fall of superstar fame.



liked it
Average Rating: 3/5
User Ratings: 77,372

My Rating

Movie Info

The mysterious and unexpected death of an iconic Hollywood star may be just the tip of an iceberg of scandal in this showbiz drama based on a true story. George Reeves (played by Ben Affleck) was a journeyman actor who had played a small role in Gone With the Wind and appeared onscreen with the likes of James Cagney, Rita Hayworth, and Marlene Dietrich, but his career was not exactly booming when he was cast as comic-book hero Superman in a 1951 B-movie, Superman and the Mole Men. A year later,


Mystery & Suspense, Drama

Paul Bernbaum

Feb 6, 2007


Focus Features - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (188) | Top Critics (45) | Fresh (123) | Rotten (56) | DVD (26)

It's worth seeing for Affleck alone, deftly communicating the distance between the put-on cardboard debonairness of this hunk-about-town and the gnawing uncertainties beneath his Superman outfit.

November 23, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Take my word for it: Hollywoodland is well worth seeing.

September 20, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reeves had an easy but peppy presence that was very likable, and Affleck's moroseness doesn't do him justice.

September 14, 2006 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

... even though parts of the picture don't quite hold together, in the end, it sticks with you.

September 10, 2006 Full Review Source: | Comments (2)
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In this bland, ultimately dull reimagining, the question of who killed Superman turns out to be less of a mystery than a plodding attempt at what has been done so much better before.

September 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Hollywoodland explores an intriguing bit of Hollywood history, and through the strength of its performances keeps us engaged and entertained.

September 8, 2006 Full Review Source: USA Today
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Outside of the novelty of seeing Ben Affleck assaying a dramatic role, there isn't much in Hollywoodland to keep us hooked.

August 16, 2010 Full Review Source: Cinema Writer
Cinema Writer

Starts with artful delusions before dribbling into nothingness

August 30, 2009 Full Review Source: CinePassion

Despite a stellar cast, Coulter and screenwriter Paul Bernbaum can’t decide whether to plumb the depths of 'noir' or tug at the heartstrings of failed ambition.

July 23, 2009 Full Review Source: JWR

Like Ben from Bennifer, George Reeves aspired to be a Great Actor, but was weighed down by audience expectations. Affleck does a terrific job with this role.

December 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinerina

Strong ensemble performances, tight direction, and a stand out from Affleck make this an excellent revisiting of an old Hollywood case...

September 19, 2007 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

every bit as ambitious, if never as flawed, as the characters it portrays.

June 19, 2007 Full Review Source:

May not have all the answers about the death of one of the icons behind the big red 'S,' but by gathering one of the better ensembles of the year, it makes the legend interesting again.

March 24, 2007 Full Review Source: UGO

Tentando evocar a mesma atmosfera sufocante de Los Angeles %u2013 Cidade Proibida, surge como pálida (literalmente) imitação do excepcional trabalho de Curtis Hanson.

March 11, 2007
Cinema em Cena

From a character point of view, Adrien Brodey's emotional journey as a broken down investigator and a broken down father from a broken marriage, is the film's incomplete centrepiece, Ben Affleck's superb portrayal of George Reeves notwithstanding.

March 10, 2007 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Un atractivo y bien logrado ejemplo de cine negro donde se mezclan glamour y misterio, con estupendo elenco y excelente recreación de época y atmósfera.

March 4, 2007 Full Review Source: Uruguay Total
Uruguay Total

Tells this tale with energy and panache.

March 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

Middle-aged angst - and not the mystery of Reeves' unsolved death - lies at the heart of Hollywoodland.

January 10, 2007
SA Movie & DVD Magazine

Worthwhile for the amusement of the escape to a bygone era alone. But when you factor in an absorbing pulp fiction plotline, you've got all you can ask of a cinematic experience.

January 9, 2007 Full Review Source:

But dreams of fame evolve. And where once it would have just been enough to be recognized, it becomes apparent only later that this is not quite enough.

December 31, 2006 Full Review Source:

Frustratingly ambiguous as a thriller, Coulter's strong debut should be approached as a disturbing parable on the nature of fame.

December 30, 2006 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

It is not just that people die in the film, its the way their souls get mauled while they are still alive.

December 6, 2006 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

It's Affleck's ghost of film future. Watch his hurt-glazed eyes as he sits in the screening of From Here to Eternity while all around him people laugh at 'Superman' pretending to be someone else.

November 28, 2006 Full Review Source: thelondonpaper

Stark, probing and beautifully crafted, Hollywoodland is a slow-burning mystery/thriller that intriguingly jumps along with each suspenseful frame.

November 24, 2006 Full Review
Movie Eye

A well-meaning mediocrity.

November 11, 2006 Full Review Source: The Nation
The Nation

Audience Reviews for Hollywoodland

This is a slick period piece with some great production values that concerns the final days and mysterious circumstances surrounding the death of actor George Reeves, the original Superman before Christopher took over the role for the films. It looks at Reeves, but mostly follows the efforts of a private eye determined to figure out the truth behind what really happened and why.

The concept and set up are great, but the results are unfulfilling. This one is really trying to swing for the fences and place itself amonsgt the ranks of Chinatown (possibly) or L.A. Confidential. It's a noble try, but it doesn't quite make it. The performances are actually pretty decent, especially from Affleck and Brody, but the story is meandering, plodding, and not as gripping as it needed to be.

It's a bit of a bore, and doesn't really provide the insight I was hoping it might. I dug the technical side of things, and there are some good sequences, but ultimately this is just an unfocused bore.
May 11, 2012
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A detective investigating the suicide death of a famous TV actor is the entry point for this informed discussion about some of the effects of our society's fixation on celebrity. Brody's great as a smart detective who's not famous for anything, totally unaware how desperately wants to be, while Affleck's spot-on as George Reeves, who was famous, only not the way he wanted to be and consequently unappreciative of what fame he had. I learned many things about one of my childhood heroes I hadn't known before ... and a little about myself too.
May 1, 2012

Super Reviewer

Hollywoodland is a fictionalisation of the circumstances surrounding the death of George Reeves whose first acting role was in the legendary Gone With The Wind but found fame as the TV incarnation of Superman. Aping the Noiresque feel of 40s and 50s detective movies, Adrien Brody is excellent as the down at heel, ambulance chasing private eye who is more interested in self aggrandizement than justice, as is Ben Affleck who puts in a fine performance as the charming rogue who feels he is better than the lot in life he has been handed. Sensitively directed with a nice sense of period, this is not a lurid true crime story, more a character study with an intelligently plotted investigative spin and it works really well. Those expecting a slam-bang finale may be disappointed but it has a poignancy that rounded off the story perfectly for me. Not in the same league as L.A. Confidential but head and shoulders above the likes of The Black Dahlia.
May 11, 2011
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

The only reason Hollywood isn't considered a modern classic is because it was Ben Affleck's follow up to Gigli. This has an amazing sense of style and storytelling ability. I like the idea of having a plot revolve around the three main theories around George Reeve's death and not just a gradual progression like in most detective stories. Adrien Brody's surprisingly dead on likeness to a film noir detective is what really makes the movie though. Without his dynamite performance and anchor to the mystery, no one would care what happened to Superman.
April 7, 2011

Super Reviewer

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