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The Muse (1999)

tomatometer

52

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Reviews Counted: 77
Fresh: 40 | Rotten: 37

Despite quirky and original writing, the subject matter feels too removed to produce laughs.

46

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Critic Reviews: 24
Fresh: 11 | Rotten: 13

Despite quirky and original writing, the subject matter feels too removed to produce laughs.

audience

33

liked it
Average Rating: 2.6/5
User Ratings: 6,640

My Rating

Movie Info

Actor/writer/director Albert Brooks turns his satiric gaze on the film industry in this comedy about a screenwriter who has hit a rough patch. Steven Philips (played by Brooks) has enjoyed a celebrated career in Hollywood, but one day he has a meeting with his agent, who informs him his career is suddenly going nowhere. Steven quickly finds himself at the end of his rope and is unable to put a decent sentence on paper. Desperate, he hears that there's a bona fide muse in Hollywood, Sarah (played

PG-13,

Drama, Comedy

Albert Brooks, Monica Johnson

May 1, 2001

October Films - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (101) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (37) | DVD (10)

The Muse is as consistently funny as it is smartly tooled.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Smart, funny -- and edgy.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Typically fresh and idiosyncratic in the writing but often flat directorially.

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

Perversely amusing!

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Satire, Hollywood in-jokes won't appeal to kids.

December 28, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

Like the character he plays here, Albert Brooks needed someone or something to re-inspire him while working on this plodding comedy.

October 30, 2009 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Albert Brooks' mildly amusing satire about the inner workings of Hollywood benefits from Sharon Stone's droll and sexy performance, but as a comedy it's too familiar and not funny enough.

August 20, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

Brooks' gentle satire of Hollywood.

August 25, 2008 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

In its story of a terrible filmmaker, it almost manages to explain the madness behind why Brooks still gets to crank out excrement like this.

March 7, 2002 Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Comment (1)
Matinee Magazine

Squeezes out plenty of laughs at the expense of the Hollywood film community.

February 28, 2002 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

A hit-and-miss affair, banking a bit too much on its one joke premise.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Cinematter
Cinematter

The Muse is an underdeveloped, lackluster effort, despite a sparkling comic turn by Sharon Stone.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

A writer and comic who's the best when he's the nastiest, Brooks creates for himself a character that's way too accommodating and sweet.

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

I thought Brooks mailed this script in.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Though consistently fun in an Albert Brooks kind of way, this film drags its feet with the business of building to a climax.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Hollywood Report Card
Hollywood Report Card

The clear potential that The Muse possesses only makes the final product even more of a disappointment.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: DustinPutman.com
DustinPutman.com

Appropriately enough, it seems that Brooks and Johnson needed a muse of their own to really make this film work.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: TheMovieReport.com
TheMovieReport.com

Audience Reviews for The Muse

Original neurotic comedy, Albert Brooks' The Muse it's not very funny, dispite being entretaining.
January 2, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

Albert Brooks tale of a Hollywood writer facing the end of his career is unintentionally ironic and kinda sad to watch. The help of major Tinseltown players do little to support a work wherein Brooks himself only comes across as bitter and alienating. Sharon Stone as the titular character: blech. Only Andie MacDowell escapes unscathed. Pass.
July 21, 2011
ApeneckFletcher

Super Reviewer

I normally like Albert Brooks's films. Obviously Broadcast News and Defending Your Life are fantastic, and in those films, his neurotic, Woody Allen demeanor is charming, clever, and funny. But here he's just annoying and occasionally he's almost creepily over-bearing. As a film, The Muse has a lot of wasted time spent on people driving in the "beautiful" plasticity of L.A. and banal dialogue like "You should call him." [Dramatic pause.] "I'll call him." A film exploring the writing process might have been more interesting, but like his character, I fear Brooks has lost his edge.
July 20, 2010
hunterjt13
Jim Hunter

Super Reviewer

It's gentle, warm and funny rather than being a hilarious attack on Hollywood. Yes it captures the natures of Hollywood fads and the shallow nature of the industry, but never in a convincing way. This isn't ALtman's The Player. Some celebrity cameos are quite funny with Cameron and Scorsese parodying themselves, but they do feel rather thrown in at the last minute. Not enough of Bridges, who can own any film, and Brooks just comes off as whiny and stupid. Perhaps it could have been better if the screenplay to Brooks' movie within a movie sounded any good, but all Stone can inspire is a tepid Hollywood idea like so many others.
August 21, 2008
kiriyamakazou

Super Reviewer

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