• PG, 2 hr. 30 min.
  • Drama, Romance
  • Directed By:
    Frank Darabont
    In Theaters:
    Dec 21, 2001 Wide
    On DVD:
    Jun 18, 2002
  • Universal Pictures

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The Majestic Reviews

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Clintus M.
Clintus M.

Super Reviewer

January 6, 2013
Although it has flaws, I enjoyed The Majestic, an atypical Jim Carrey film which functions as sentimentality and symbolism. This is kind of The Andy Griffith Show meets Its A Wonderful Life with Goog Night,Good Luck thrown in to teach a lesson. Set in post-WW II redscare paranoia, the villains are the paranoid beaurocrats, not the Communists themselves. The Majestic is a study in contrast of small town values vs. sell-out political expediency. Also, the town of Lawson, CA becomes reborn much as the theater called the Majestic is reborn.

Jim Carrey eshews his trademark goofiness for a sensitive portrayal, kind of a follow-up to 1998's Truman Show. Martin Landau, likewise truly shines as Harry Trimble, Carrey's character's surrogate father. This may be my favorite of his films, although he stole the show in Ed Wood.

In conclusion, this film is overly deliberate and didactic, but I appreciate it as a slice of Americana and sentimentality. The amnesia angle has been done to death, and better also. The movie with a movie, The Sand Pirates is pretty awesome too!
Phil H

Super Reviewer

July 26, 2012
OK this isn't exactly the most original idea ever and the whole thing feels a bit like an extended 'Twilight Zone' episode (one of the more sensible ones), but this truly is a beautiful film with the kind of performances that are guaranteed to make you smile.

A simple tale set in the 50's, a young man is accused of being a Communist and his life is turned upside down. One night he gets slightly drunk and drives his car off a bridge accidentally and ends up almost drowning. He gets washed up on the shores of a small town where he is believed to be a WWII soldier killed years before.

This is complete and utter American pie through n through and I mean that in the best way possible. Generally things like this can be quite sickening with all the Stars n Stripes patriotism and this does have that, truth be told this actually has more treacly gooey hanky moments than you can shake a stick at.

There is also the element of the all American Communist 'witch hunts' which is the whole plot beneath the surface. Its only kinda touched on really but its played out in a typically heroic way for the main character in the end. You think he will submit to the government, a government of so called democracy, but he fights for truth and justice and the American way. Yes the finale is a bit too vomit inducing for us non Americans.

What works for me is the pure visual spectale of the film with the typically quaint white building built US town set amongst the glorious Californian woodlands on the pacific coast. In short this film looks stunning, its made to look extremely whimsical of course but it works. The era makes this work even better as the sight of old classic US cars cruising around, small diners, the smart fashions, jazz/big band music etc...give the film a very homely taste that I think anyone (more so adults probably) can enjoy.

The cast is another reason to like this film, how can you not enjoy seeing Martin Landau in a brilliantly moving role. I loved 'Ed Wood' and this yet another portrayal of angst and heartbreak but even stronger than before. Gerry Black also gives us a lovely performance for the old caretaker of the Majestic, his gravelly raspy voice draws you in whilst his cheeky grin is heartwarming. James Whitmore has a small role but he sure fits in well, performance is perfect as is his costume and character design, looks good with the pipe. To be honest all the main roles are played well by a host of solid actors, many I have seen before and merely know by face, reliable character actors.

Then we have Mr Carrey, to be honest a brave move as before this he was known only for his comedies. This doesn't mean he was the right choice of course hehe, in my opinion he can't quite handle the kind of serious emotion involved here (at least at this period in his career) and you can see it. A case of being type cast for over the top crazy ass characters or idiots, due to this you keep half expecting him to do something or say something daft. Carrey never really looks too comfortable in this film surrounded by proper quality character actors, he was yet to break away from his over acting lunacy.

A charming nostalgic film that manages to homage the golden age of small town 50's America and the classic (and much missed) age of big regal looking cinemas, but is also a stirring tribute to the fallen of WWII. It is extremely cliched and cheesy, love it or hate it I doubt there will be any middle ground here. It really does pull all the obligatory heart strings to get you choked up, every old trick in the mushy book, but damn it...it works!.
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

May 18, 2007
Still not sure if this was Carrey's best or worst role.
MANUGINO
MANUGINO

Super Reviewer

February 6, 2010
Sometimes your life comes into focus one frame at a time.

Good movie, not bad. I often wondered how Jim Carrey would handle a drama and now I know. I kinda enjoyed this trip through nostalgiatown as Carrey rejuvenated a town with his infectious personality. Heavily dramatic at times but always with an undercurrent of jollity running through it. If you wanna see Jim Carrey in a whole different way you go see this one.

Peter Appleton is an ambitious young screenwriter working for HHS Studios during Hollywood's Golden Age, 1951 in particular. "Ashes to Ashes" is about to be released, and he's dating the attractive movie star, Sandra Sinclair. Just when everything seems to be going his way, it is discovered he (unwittingly) attended a Communist meeting during college when pulled there by his girlfriend at the time, and thus heavy suspicion settles over him and he'll have to stand before Congress. Afraid of what might happen if they don't, HHS cancels Appleton's contract and aborts the release date of the film. Appleton promptly begins to wallow in self-pity and spends nearly an entire night at a bar, then drives intoxicated through the streets of the California course until plummeting into a stormy river and getting knocked unconscious. Washing up on the beaches of a small town called Lawson. Although the people there are pleasant and likable, the town is depressed and lifeless due to having lost 62 of its sons in World War II. One of them, Luke Trimble, was missing in action; and miraculously, Peter bears a striking resemblance to the black and white photos, close enough to fool even Luke's father, Harry. However, thanks to the blow to the head and the alcohol, Peter has suffered amnesia and decides he must be who they think he is. Besides, it's not a bad life: Luke's beautiful lover, lawyer Adele Stanton, is all over him, the town has suddenly come back to life with excitement, and he and his "father" rebuild a movie palace Harry used to run, the Majestic. Unfortunately, Peter's memory returns in time for G-men to track him down.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

June 14, 2011
A pure feel-good film, typical of Frank Darabont who was obviously highly influenced by Capra. The Majestic is quite cheesy but deliberately so I believe, the 50's are depicted the Hollywood way, by memories of people to young to remember, not false but very sugar-coated. This is one of the few Jim Carrey films I've enjoyed, I wish he'd play it straight a little more often. The supporting cast is also very strong, I particularly enjoyed the Bruce Campbell cameo that I was unaware of and rather pleasantly surprised by. It's all a bit of nonsense really at the end of the day but it's very easy to watch, makes you feel good and it does invoke the same magic that the films it's influenced by do. Frank Darabont really doesn't make enough films considering his talent and success.
Apeneck F

Super Reviewer

May 25, 2011
A tribute of sorts, to Frank Capra and Jimmy Stewart, to those who gave their lives in combat, to small town America, to Hollywood, and, what the hey, to the movies that may've touched our lives. Martin Landau practically steals the movie.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 22, 2007
although heavily criticized, i really like this film. emotional, mature, and full of great performances, this is a feel good film that draws attention to the majesty of film, and thats never a bad thing.
michael e.
michael e.

Super Reviewer

January 14, 2011
it was done fantastically
Richard C

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2010
B
LorenzoVonMatterhorn
LorenzoVonMatterhorn

Super Reviewer

December 26, 2008
"Sometimes your life comes into focus one frame at a time."

Set in 1951, a blacklisted Hollywood writer gets into a car accident, loses his memory and settles down in a small town where he is mistaken for a long-lost son.

REVIEW
In the tradition of Frank Capra comes this enchanting fable, an ode to small town values, American ideals, and even movies themselves. I have long been a fan of Frank Capra, his movies are timeless, but often deemed old fashioned. Few even try to imitate him today. The director, Frank Darabont, for the most part succeeds. Some have complained that the film is too long. Others were unimpressed, perhaps because they had their standards too high (this film did come after the top notch films Shawshank Redemption and The Green Mile). This film has a solid cast, Carrey gives a surprisingly earnest performance, and Martin Landau is heartbreaking. As an added bonus, we even get Bruce Campell in a small cameo. I really enjoyed this film, and I think if you go in with an open mind, you will too.
thmtsang
thmtsang

Super Reviewer

August 24, 2007
More serious role for Jim Carrey. He is a Hollywood scriptwriter who is involved in a car accident where he loses his memory. He is marooned in a small town where he is mistaken for a long lost war hero. Interesting plot.
Leigh R

Super Reviewer

September 13, 2008
It was that memorable, but it was alright.
Jose Z

Super Reviewer

April 20, 2007
It was good, not the best by Jim Carrey. The story is interesting, but the plot although its good, it has a very slow rythm and begins to bore after a while. Jim Carrey's performance is good, could be better. One thing that its really awesome about the movie is the photography, I really got amazed by the landscapes in the film.
Jens S

Super Reviewer

April 12, 2007
Jim Carrey proves once again what a fine and serious actor he can be and the rest of the cast is just as convicning. The problem of the movie is that it's trying to combine too many story ideas in one plot: some criticism of communist-witchhunts after World War2, a country in shock after having lost its young ones and a man without memory starting over. Unfortunately the combination is not very exciting, sometimes even really slow. 30 minutes shorter the movie still would have gotten its message across and that in a much more convenient pace. That being said, it's hard to dislike the movie because of its sweet nature and likeable characters. Still, far from the excellence of Carrey's Truman Show or director Darabont's Shawshank Redemption.
Drew S

Super Reviewer

February 11, 2007
Overworked, garish and cheesy; it's a miracle that Jim Carrey deigned himself to waste his time with this nonsense. This is almost as overt an effort at tugging the heartstrings than Radio.
Jason S

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2007
A story about love, loss, war, and the blacklist era.
Michael G

Super Reviewer

November 5, 2006
It's like a cover version of a Frank Capra movie. Just not as well done.
MissMorganLeee
MissMorganLeee

Super Reviewer

September 30, 2006
idk...just not my type of movie. dont make jim carrey serios it totally kills him...
Tom R

Super Reviewer

December 21, 2012
A decent movie, but a little too sappy and patriotic. Good to see Jim Carrey doing something a little different.
stevetheman1236
stevetheman1236

Super Reviewer

August 15, 2011
An ugly, sappy film that is poorly acted and filled to the brim with dramatic cliches. It's designed to evoke a sense of patriotism, but it failed to do so.
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