Phil Spector Reviews

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Carla Meyer
Sacramento Bee
May 28, 2013
The movie broadens from Spector's legal case into larger explorations of prejudices people can harbor about celebrities and eccentrics. The result is a thoughtful, sometimes fascinating, purposefully inconclusive character study.
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger
May 24, 2013
Pacino seldom fails to cut straight to the soul of a character who is both brilliant and pathetic.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Alessandra Stanley
New York Times
May 22, 2013
Even with a Mamet screenplay and actors like Mr. Pacino and Ms. Mirren there is not much anyone can do to make the audience care.
Top Critic
Robert Lloyd
Los Angeles Times
May 22, 2013
It's better than most films of its kind, even as it remains unsatisfying as historical re-creation, philosophical meditation or pure drama.
Top Critic
Matt Zoller Seitz
New York Magazine/Vulture
May 22, 2013
Pacino and Mirren's teamwork keeps Phil Spector watchable even when it's dousing itself in dramatic ethanol and lighting a match.
Top Critic
Tom Conroy
Media Life
May 22, 2013
The film is an engrossing drama, with a dazzling performance by Al Pacino in the title role.
Top Critic
Glenn Garvin
Miami Herald
May 22, 2013
It's an insidious whitewash of a convicted killer and an infamous smear of his victim. It's a shame on all involved.
Top Critic
Verne Gay
Newsday
May 22, 2013
A frustrating film that leaves the questions -- pretty much all of them -- unanswered.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Linda Stasi
New York Post
May 22, 2013
Mirren and Pacino are fantastic, and Tambor rightfully underplays the larger-than-life Cutler, who rivals Spector himself.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Sara Smith
Kansas City Star
May 22, 2013
As we're treated to another nonsensical, repetitive soliloquy about the victimization of a violent millionaire, it's worth noting that the Wall of Sound required an echo chamber.
Top Critic
Tim Goodman
Hollywood Reporter
May 22, 2013
Mamet will succeed in planting doubt (reasonable or not) in viewers' minds in this account of the murder trial of the larger-than-life Spector, brilliantly embodied by Pacino.
Brian Tallerico
HollywoodChicago.com
May 22, 2013
Both actors are great and Mamet's gift with dialogue remains intact but the plotting and choice of storytelling in Phil Spector makes for a final product that doesn't make enough of a statement or tell us much about its title subject.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Ethan Alter
Television Without Pity
May 22, 2013
As you can probably tell, I found the message behind Phil Spector pretty laughable. As drama, it's not particularly convincing either, even with Mamet's rat-a-tat-tat flair for dialogue mostly intact.
Geoff Berkshire
Zap2it.com
May 22, 2013
A stronger film could have inspired questions about the legal system, celebrity or the actual personalities involved in this case. The only question Phil Spector inspires is, "What's the point?"
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Willa Paskin
Salon.com
May 22, 2013
Phil Spector is missing dramatic tension.
Mark Dawidziak
Cleveland Plain Dealer
May 22, 2013
Mamet fails to present an overwhelming case, but it's just enough.
Mark A. Perigard
Boston Herald
May 22, 2013
Great moments fail to lead to a satisfying climax.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
May 22, 2013
Mamet treats Spector with morbid fascination more than empathy, like a majestic but strange butterfly he can put behind glass and display but never truly understand.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
May 22, 2013
I'm wondering if it is possible to do something analogous to a citizen's arrest and file a credit dispute on behalf of the viewing public. Nobody produced this film.
Top Critic
Matthew Gilbert
Boston Globe
May 22, 2013
It's as if Mamet, who directed as well as wrote, decided that the point of the venture was Pacino and didn't much bother to paint in around the star.
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