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The Phantom of the Opera Reviews

David Ansen
Newsweek
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November 1, 2007

Time Out
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June 24, 2006

AV Club
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September 26, 2005
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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July 30, 2005
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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My own reaction to the current version fashioned by Mr. Schumacher is one of pure stupefaction.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

January 27, 2005
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
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The plot is impressively free of anything that does not smell of unpasteurized melodrama.

January 15, 2005
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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Takes everything that's wrong with Broadway and puts it on the big screen in a gaudy splat.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 27, 2004
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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This guy's not the Phantom of the Opera, he's the Fashionably Scarred Stud of the Opera and that just doesn't work.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 27, 2004
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Joel Schumacher's film adaptation of Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera combines fingernails-on- blackboard audio agony with bamboo- under- fingernails physical torture.

| Original Score: 1.5/4

December 23, 2004
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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The movie version of Lloyd Webber's swooning 1986 horror operetta has been directed, by Joel Schumacher, as if Schumacher were the world's hardest-working upholstery salesman.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C+

December 23, 2004
Philip Kennicott
Washington Post
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The movie version of Lloyd Webber's smash hit does to the music what the music did to the words and story: It distracts the mind and cajoles the eyes to the point that one doesn't really care that everything the ears are hearing is pure nonsense.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 22, 2004
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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For those whose primary experience with musicals is on the screen, this melodramatic tale with the familiar soundtrack should hold substantial appeal.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2004
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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The film overflows with overkill, from the amped-up orchestra that constantly threatens to submerge the singers to the ornate silliness of each and every scene involving the Phantom.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 1/5

December 22, 2004
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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It's a shamelessly over-the-top wallow in romantic obsession, and a thoroughly enjoyable one.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 22, 2004
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
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The movie misfires as often as it connects.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 22, 2004
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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It was the '80s. You really had to be there. Preferably with low expectations.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 2/5

December 22, 2004
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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If you want something more from musicals than a single syrupy hit, though -- and have fond memories of the Phantom as our most romantic of monsters -- then seek out the old Lon Chaney silent instead, and put on your own darn music.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 22, 2004
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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The falling chandelier, the signature moment of Phantom, has been moved from the end of the first act to the climax of the movie -- by which point non-devotees may need to be roused from their sleep by their companions.

| Original Score: 1/4

December 22, 2004
Sid Smith
Chicago Tribune
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Andrew Lloyd Webber's kitschy theatrical spectacle is now a kitschy theatrical movie, a mix of melodrama, horror, romance, mystery and melody heaped together into a cinematic smorgasbord, one heavy in starch.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

December 22, 2004
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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Where's Homeland Security when you need it?

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 2/4

December 22, 2004
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Schumacher has bravely taken aboard this dreck and made of it a movie I am pleased to have seen.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2004
Carina Chocano
Los Angeles Times
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It's a slow-moving orgy of lowbrow grandiosity that's as tedious as it is overblown and pretentious. Songs, scenes, dance numbers, lyrics and set pieces all blend together into an indistinct, ludicrously self-serious mush.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 1/5

December 22, 2004
Leah McLaren
Globe and Mail
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Christine is a dipstick, a trait that the vapid, but pretty-voiced Emmy Rossum brings across with effortless, blank-eyed aplomb in this similarly idiotic film.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 1/4

December 22, 2004
Tom Long
Detroit News
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With its stately pace and theatrical roots showing at all times, Phantom may work as a reproduction for the faithful, but it never really connects as a film.

| Original Score: C-

December 22, 2004
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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The Phantom is the furthest thing from a monster, and the movie holds no threat whatsoever, unless you have a morbid fear of gilded staircases, seductive lighting, brocade costumes and overwrought, over-orchestrated pop balladry.

| Original Score: 2/4

December 22, 2004
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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Director Schumacher understands what he has in Rossum and often frames her with the sort of close-up that evokes a Golden Age movie star in her budding glory.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 3/4

December 22, 2004
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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Webber's lushly romantic score (played in this instance by a 100-piece orchestra) has the ability to overpower lingering reservations.

| Original Score: B

December 22, 2004
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Schumacher's film is, at times, unintentionally entertaining, as its tone shifts from ridiculous to overwrought.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 1/4

December 22, 2004
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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The screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical lacks both authentic romance and the thrill of memorable spectacle.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

December 21, 2004
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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It's questionable whether fans of the musical will be enamored with this adaptation. The energy that characterizes a live performance is absent, resulting in a production that often feels sluggish and slow-moving.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 2/4

December 21, 2004
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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The story has an intrinsic appeal, part nostalgic valentine and part root-for-the-underdog thriller. For all the film's missteps, it remains watchable.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B-

December 21, 2004
Jan Stuart
Newsday
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For some of us, the phenomenal popularity of Phantom remains the greatest mystery of all, one left unsolved by this interminable screen spectacle.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 21, 2004
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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On its own terms, the film is just about perfect. Viewers who accept it on those terms will be swept away.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3.5/4

December 21, 2004
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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Its close-ups of belted numbers command attention without truly commanding our hearts.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 2/4

December 21, 2004
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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Butler doesn't have the necessary screen presence, and without a good Phantom, the movie fails to capture the imagination.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

December 21, 2004
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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Bottom line: If you love the show, you'll most likely love the movie. But if you think Webber's cash cow is a bloated monstrosity, well, there's always Lon Chaney.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: C

December 21, 2004
David Edelstein
Slate
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I'm more inclined to suggest that it be used to entertain the prisoners at Abu Ghraib and Guantanamo -- at least until Amnesty International gets wind of it.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 21, 2004
Jorge Morales
Village Voice
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Sure, all the ingredients of camp are there (oh, the hubris!), but this isn't a so-bad-it's-good classic. It's worse.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 21, 2004
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
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Watching the passionless Phantom, with its geriatric story-framing device, gooey dimestore romanticism and tawdry pop ballads about unrequited yearning, feels akin to dying and waking up in your parents' easy-listening-radio hell.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 16, 2004
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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A rapturous spectacle.

| Original Score: 3/4

December 15, 2004
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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A pale -- dare we say ghostly? -- copy of the original coup de theatre directed by Harold Prince.

December 10, 2004
Derek Elley
Variety
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Evokes the original show while working as a movie in its own right.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 9, 2004
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