Critics Consensus

Altman's take on the iconic cartoon is messy and wildly uneven, but its robust humor and manic charm are hard to resist.



Total Count: 29


Audience Score

User Ratings: 56,106
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Movie Info

In the town of Sweetville, lovable sailor Popeye seeks out his long-lost father. Along the way, he vies with the rough Bluto for the affections of Olive Oyl and adopts the young Sweet Pea. This unconventional musical was based on the enduring (and endearing) cartoon character.

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Critic Reviews for Popeye

All Critics (29) | Top Critics (5)

  • The plotting of this 1980 feature -- outsider in a hostile environment -- is personal to Altman, though few of the feelings survive the clutter.

    Apr 16, 2007 | Full Review…
  • It is more than faint praise to say that Popeye is far, far better than it might have been, considering the treacherous challenge it presented. But avoiding disaster is not necessarily the same as success.

    Apr 16, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • You wonder how on earth Altman did it; equally often, you feel you are watching a wacky masterpiece, the like of which you've never seen before.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • He takes one of the most artificial and limiting of art forms -- the comic strip -- and raises it to the level of high comedy and high spirits.

    Oct 23, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • A thoroughly charming, immensely appealing mess of a movie, often high-spirited and witty, occasionally pretentious and flat, sometimes robustly funny and frequently unintelligible.

    Aug 30, 2004 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Reputation be damned, Popeye is a wonderful movie, beguiling and deeply strange. It's also a stealth remake: McCabe for kids.

    Jul 31, 2015 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Popeye

  • Feb 13, 2016
    It's hard to believe that this is the first movie that Robin Williams appeared in. Even though it is terrible at parts it definitely has some charm and it isn't as bad as some of the more modern musicals of late. Robin Williams shows the world a glimpse of what was to come.
    Ian W Super Reviewer
  • Sep 01, 2014
    A delightful and sweet adaptation that captures the innocent spirit of the comic strip and the cartoon, translating it to the screen with great songs, a splendid production design (the entirely constructed set of Sweethaven is fabulous) and priceless moments between Williams and Walston.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 29, 2014
    I get why it's not well liked, but I really do appreciate the film's unique weirdness . . . a mishmash of cartoonish antics and Altman's style.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Aug 16, 2014
    Absolutely dreadful...hands down one of the shittiest films I've ever seen. I'd be lying if I said it wasn't entertaining as hell though lol.
    Stephen S Super Reviewer

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