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Phil Spector Reviews

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Carla Meyer
Sacramento Bee

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.

Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee

May 28, 2013
Al Alexander
The Patriot Ledger

Pacino seldom fails to cut straight to the soul of a character who is both brilliant and pathetic.

Full Review Source: The Patriot Ledger | Original Score: B+

May 24, 2013
Tom Conroy
Media Life
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The film is an engrossing drama, with a dazzling performance by Al Pacino in the title role.

Full Review Source: Media Life

May 22, 2013
Linda Stasi
New York Post
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Mirren and Pacino are fantastic, and Tambor rightfully underplays the larger-than-life Cutler, who rivals Spector himself.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 4/4

May 22, 2013
Tim Goodman
Hollywood Reporter
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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.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

May 22, 2013
Mark Dawidziak
Cleveland Plain Dealer

Mamet fails to present an overwhelming case, but it's just enough.

Full Review Source: Cleveland Plain Dealer

May 22, 2013
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
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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 Source: AV Club | Original Score: B

May 22, 2013
David Zurawik
Baltimore Sun

The cast and crew for Phil Spector is pretty much a pop-culture dream team. And its members deliver a film worthy of their reputations and talents.

Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun

May 22, 2013
David Wiegand
San Francisco Chronicle
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Mamet's script and direction are spot on and richly detailed, from the crisply naturalistic dialogue to the details of Spector's reclusive life.

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

May 22, 2013
Dorothy Rabinowitz
Wall Street Journal
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Mr. Pacino's portrait of Spector is stunning in its guile and vitality.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

May 22, 2013
Robert Bianco
USA Today
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If you are willing and able to take it on its own fictional terms, it does work as a well-acted legal drama, though even on that level, you're better off watching The Good Wife.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 2.5/4

May 22, 2013
Rob Owen
Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

Fans of legal dramas should be intrigued by Phil Spector, a well-paced 90-minute character-driven film

Full Review Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette

May 22, 2013
Ed Bark
Uncle Barky
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In the end, Phil Spector succeeds on the strength of its two marquee thespians.

Full Review Source: Uncle Barky | Original Score: B+

May 22, 2013
Curt Wagner
RedEye

Doesn't matter whether any of the story actually happened--you should read newspaper archives for that anyway-Mamet and his actors have created a fascinating character study that puts our notions of prejudice,celebrity,media and justice in the spotlight.

Full Review Source: RedEye | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 22, 2013
Chuck Barney
Contra Costa Times

Pacino and Mirren make for a dynamic pair.

Full Review Source: Contra Costa Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

May 22, 2013
Brent Simon
Shared Darkness

A strange thing -- a film that at times feels like it's trying to cancel out the very reason for its existence -- powered by the magnetic watchability of its two leads.

Full Review Source: Shared Darkness | Original Score: C+

April 24, 2013
Brian Orndorf
Blu-ray.com

Doesn't display any dramatic direction, but it has thespian verve and more than a few great scenes to help digest any inconsistencies and interruptions Mamet refuses to iron out.

Full Review Source: Blu-ray.com | Original Score: B-

March 29, 2013
Alessandra Stanley
New York Times
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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.

Full Review Source: New York Times

May 22, 2013
Robert Lloyd
Los Angeles Times
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It's better than most films of its kind, even as it remains unsatisfying as historical re-creation, philosophical meditation or pure drama.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times

May 22, 2013
Matt Zoller Seitz
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Pacino and Mirren's teamwork keeps Phil Spector watchable even when it's dousing itself in dramatic ethanol and lighting a match.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

May 22, 2013
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