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The Producers Reviews

Bob Mondello
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October 18, 2008
Trevor Johnston
Time Out
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This is extraneous for anyone who's seen the original film or show, presumably leaving everyone else to wonder what all the fuss has been about.

Full Review Source: Time Out

February 9, 2006
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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Not so much a film as an awkwardly framed souvenir of the Broadway hit musical, The Producers needs a live audience like a candle needs oxygen.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

December 31, 2005
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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... an unabashedly old-fashioned musical filled with song, dance, and shtick so shticky you could hang wallpaper with it.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

December 27, 2005
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
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The jokes are in its tackiness, and gauchery, and raspberry-inducing send-up of Broadway traditions. On that level, the movie works fine -- and is a whole lot cheaper for the ticket buyer.

| Original Score: 2.5/4

December 27, 2005
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Nathan Lane, Matthew Broderick and Gary Beach have their singing, dancing and kvetching in the Broadway smash The Producers immortalized on film.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 3/5

December 27, 2005
Christine Dolen
Miami Herald
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There's a song in the stage musical version of 'The Producers' that, if you flipped the title to pose the opposite question, could summarize the letdown diehard fans will feel if they catch the new movie of Mel Brooks' gloriously retro Broadway smash.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2/4

December 27, 2005
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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... a kitschy celebration of all things Mel.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

December 27, 2005
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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There are bad movies, there are terrible, misguided mistakes and there are unbearable and embarrassing ordeals. The Producers: The Movie Musical is all of those.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 1/4

December 27, 2005
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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On film, Lane and Broderick are stuck in manic overdrive, like a couple of guys who have been assigned the impossible task of reviving vaudeville.

| Original Score: C

December 27, 2005
Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
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It may not be great, but it is a movie.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 27, 2005
Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
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[T]he most recent Producers is a clone of a clone, and what it adds in song and dance it loses in brevity and, as is so often the case, wit.

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

December 27, 2005
Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
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Ms. Stroman's efforts to open up the play lack imagination, and all the musical numbers probably worked better on stage.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: C+

December 24, 2005
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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... to have seen either the original movie, or Lane and Broderick on Broadway (I saw both) is to be reminded what a lamentable knockoff this is.

| Original Score: 1/4

December 23, 2005
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
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So how good is the movie of the musical of the movie? The answer is: It's pretty good.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

December 22, 2005
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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If this film were any funnier, the world would explode.

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

December 22, 2005
Jan Stuart
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Brooks and Stroman have taken a classic and flattened it into just the sort of glib, tired-businessman's musical adaptation that Max Bialystock once built his sagging reputation on.

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

December 21, 2005
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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The small, silly details that made you laugh in spite of yourself are only garish and hammy on a screen the size of a mobile trailer.

December 21, 2005
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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It's not all it was on stage and it's not all it could be on film. The result is a often jolly, highly-polished compromise, which can't be what anyone intended. Or wanted.

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

December 18, 2005
David Edelstein
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The stage performances haven't been scaled down: Everything is pitched to the second balcony. And Mel Brooks' material -- especially the retro queeny stereotypes -- is excruciatingly dated.

Full Review Source: Slate

December 16, 2005

TIME Magazine
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A good time is had by all, and the spirit is infectious.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

December 16, 2005
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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Enough is enough. Somebody should just stop remaking The Producers.

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

December 16, 2005
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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The stage show veterans have done these roles so many times, they're more than second nature, and also a little stale.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 16, 2005
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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You can't kill all the laughs, not from a script by Mel Brooks, but Stroman sells Brooks' songs with the subtlety of cannon fire.

| Original Score: 2/4

December 16, 2005
Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
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The picture is so garish and creatively lazy at times, it almost becomes the very sort of vapid spectacle it parodies.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2.5/4

December 16, 2005
Kyle Smith
New York Post
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Mildness and blandness/ Mugging like madness/ Who knew that Rent would win this fight?/ Murdering a genre's just not all right!

| Original Score: 1/4

December 16, 2005
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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First-time film director Susan Stroman has been painfully faithful in bringing her multi-Tony-winning Broadway musical to the big screen, at full volume and as theatrical as ever.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2/4

December 16, 2005
Paul Clinton (
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This isn't a movie. It's a Broadway musical captured on film.

Full Review Source:

December 16, 2005
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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Stroman keeps things lively, and Lane, in particular, comes into his own. He mugs too much for my taste but then again, The Producers isn't exactly subtle. It wouldn't be The Producers if it were.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: B+

December 16, 2005
Stephanie Zacharek
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Watching The Producers is simply exhausting.

Full Review Source:

December 15, 2005
James Berardinelli
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The Producers is a movie based on a play based on a movie about a play. And that's probably the funniest thing about it.

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

December 15, 2005
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
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If you have seen the play, especially if you've seen it with the original cast, treasure the memory and protect it. The movie will attack it like a virus.

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

December 15, 2005
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
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As creaky as the traditional musicals it once poked fun at, The Producers has been entombed -- lox, shtick and two smoking bagels -- as a theatrical fossil, and reinforces the danger in returning to the same material one time too many.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 1.5/5

December 15, 2005
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Very little of the stage show's fizziness has found its way into a strangely pallid-looking picture.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 1.5/4

December 15, 2005
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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In theory, what's not to like? In reality, the whole schmear.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

December 15, 2005
Scott Foundas
L.A. Weekly
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It may be that as audiences queue up for this latest incarnation of Brooks' undying brainchild - - not unlike the patrons who turn back to their seats, mid-exit, during the opening-night performance of Springtime for Hitler - - the joke is on them.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

December 15, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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The new movie is a success, that I know. How much of a success, I cannot be sure. Someone who has seen the original once or twice, or never, would be a better judge.

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

December 15, 2005
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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Uma Thurman as a would-be actress is the one bit of genuine radiance in this aggressively and pointlessly shiny, noisy spectacle.

| Original Score: 1.5/5

December 14, 2005
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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There's no business like show business, and the musical Producers' considerable success showed the original movie to have been prophetic -- of itself.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

December 13, 2005
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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[It's] a little jarring at first on film because it's so big and so broad and so over the top -- but I like that.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

December 12, 2005
Todd McCarthy
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With hundreds of performances in New York and London under their belts, Lane and Broderick have their characterizations down cold.

Full Review Source: Variety

December 12, 2005
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The Producers is simply a missed opportunity.

December 9, 2005
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