Papillon Reviews

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Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
September 23, 2015
McQueen works hard and al most manages to triumph over his star presence, while Hoffman submerges himself eccentrically and amusingly in his coward's role.
Top Critic
Don Druker
Chicago Reader
September 23, 2015
Director Franklin J. Schaffner has succeeded in making a two-and-a-half-hour film that seems like six.
David Parkinson
Radio Times
September 23, 2015
But Dustin Hoffman produces a splendid depiction of cunning corruption that acts as a perfect balance to McQueen's superstar charisma.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5

TV Guide's Movie Guide
September 23, 2015
Schaffner, who expertly captured the gritty story of Patton, does not flinch from showing every conceivable horror of the French penal system.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Christopher Hudson
The Spectator
September 23, 2015
Papillon was not a complicated man but his experiences changed him almost beyond recognition, and McQueen does a good job of portraying the survivor, broken in body, but not in spirit.
Cole Smithey
September 6, 2015
This consummate prison-break epic features Steve McQueen's greatest transformation of character creation over the course of his estimable film career.
Full Review | Original Score: A+
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
May 14, 2011
The narrative unfolds slowly, but the two stars are compelling and cinematographer Fred Koenekamp's photography is striking.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Top Critic
Variety Staff
March 26, 2009
The script is very good within its limitations, but there is insufficient identification with the main characters.
Top Critic
Michael Booth
Denver Post
August 3, 2007
A rousing drama of endurance, opportunism and friendship under fire.
Emanuel Levy
February 10, 2007
Based on the memoirs of Henri Charriere, the only man to have successfully escaped from Devil's Island, this is a grim and brutal prison drama, made more likable due to the lead star performances.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Chris Petit
Time Out
June 24, 2006
With Schaffner unable to find the necessary perspective to prevent the film from becoming unevenly episodic, it ends up looking as if it were tacked together by at least three different directors.
Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 9, 2005
A big, brave, stouthearted, sometimes romantic, sometimes silly melodrama with the kind of visual sweep you don't often find in movies anymore.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
An expensive, exhaustive, 150-mintue odyssey that doesn't so much conclude as cross the finish line and collapse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Brian Mckay
March 19, 2003
Awesome jailbreak film with gritty performances.
| Original Score: 5/5
Scott Weinberg
December 4, 2002
Classic grungy prison drama with great performances throughout.
| Original Score: 5/5
Ian Nathan
Empire Magazine
February 13, 2001
One of the greatest behind-bars movies ever, the result finds director Franklin J. Schaffner making the most of both his sun-drenched locations and his leading man, who squintily acts even co-star Dustin Hoffman well off the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Christopher Null
January 1, 2000
There's a lot to like about Papillon.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Thomas Delapa
Boulder Weekly
November 4, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Chuck O'Leary
Fantastica Daily
October 6, 2005
| Original Score: 5/5
Marcy Dermansky
December 15, 2004
| Original Score: 3/5
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