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8 1/2 (1963)

tomatometer

91

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 11
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 1

No consensus yet.

audience

92

liked it
Average Rating: 4.3/5
User Ratings: 43,234

My Rating

Movie Info

Fresh off of the international success of La Dolce Vita, master director Federico Fellini moved into the realm of self-reflexive autobiography with what is widely believed to be his finest and most personal work. Marcello Mastroianni delivers a brilliant performance as Fellini's alter ego Guido Anselmi, a film director overwhelmed by the large-scale production he has undertaken. He finds himself harangued by producers, his wife, and his mistress while he struggles to find the inspiration to

Dec 4, 2001

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All Critics (39) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (38) | Rotten (1) | DVD (13)

In terms of execution I cannot remember a more brilliant film.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: The New Republic
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unless Fellini's problem has been preying on the mind of the viewer, he may not care to take on the director's doubts and confusions.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine | Comments (16)
TIME Magazine
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It's Fellini's last black-and-white picture and conceivably the most gorgeous and inventive thing he ever did.

July 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
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Here is the author-director picture par excellence, an exciting, stimulating, monumental creation.

July 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
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Amiably spiking all criticism through a gloomy scriptwriter mouthpiece, Fellini pulls a multitude of rabbits out of the showman's hat.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
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Here is a piece of entertainment that will really make you sit up straight and think, a movie endowed with the challenge of a fascinating intellectual game.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

8 1/2 is probably the most potent movie about film-making, within which fantasy and reality are mixed without obfuscation, and there's a tough argument that belies Fellini's usual felicitous flaccidity.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

A sprawling anything-goes portrait of the artist and the creative process in crisis.

January 6, 2014 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

If a Fellini fan, this one is a must see.

June 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

A marvellous and immensely personal piece of self analysis, which journeys into the heart, mind and soul of its illustrious director, Frederico Fellini.

July 6, 2010 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

gets to the core of creativity

July 5, 2010 Full Review Source: Old School Reviews

... a delightful piece of filmmaking full of imaginative flights of creative delirium and accomplished with wit, verve, style, grace, and a tongue-in-cheek joy.

January 13, 2010 Full Review Source: MSN.com
MSN.com

There's no clean way to boil the characters of 8 1/2 down to their psychoanalytical essence.

January 13, 2010 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

Fellini has made many masterpieces, but this 1963 Oscar-winner is arguably one of his most brilliant and influential films, boasting a seminal performance from Marcello Mastroianni.

July 18, 2009 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com
EmanuelLevy.Com

[A] fascinating and highly-influential masterpiece from Federico Fellini.

April 27, 2009 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

a true masterpiece

June 6, 2006
Shadows on the Wall

Fellini's manic, larger-than-life 8 1/2 rules as the king of all Italian movies.

August 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Fellini was so incredibly creative that when he was mentally blocked, he turned his inner struggle into a phenomenal masterpiece of introspection.

May 20, 2005 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Comments (2)
Arizona Daily Star

Astute beyond words.

November 25, 2004
New Times

Fellini's flights into the surreal are his self-examination and confession. Alas, unlike Bergman, his confession is without moral rigor; he wants to be indulged, not absolved.

November 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Most overrated film of all time.

August 22, 2003 | Comments (6)
Pasadena Weekly

Audience Reviews for 8 1/2

An author trying to find his story. I saw this movie in an art house when I was a kid and didn't get it. I didn't understand the imagery. I certainly didn't understand his problem. Now I do.
March 3, 2014
Bathsheba Monk
Bathsheba Monk

Super Reviewer

A movie director is trying to make a film but he's constantly being interrupted by doubts, personal problems, flashbacks and dream sequences. This stream-of-consciousness classic shows Fellini laying out the creative process right before our eyes almost in real time; despite their superficial appearance of randomness, the scenes flow together amazingly well, and each individual segment is a flawless gem in a sparkling bracelet. The fantasy scene with Mastroianni ruling over an imaginary harem with a whip still shocks and amazes to this day.
July 21, 2012
366weirdmovies
Greg S

Super Reviewer

Like the troubled director at the core of the story, and the actual director, 8 1/2 kind of roams aimlessly for a long time. Yet, when it finally tells us something, it does so with a type of profound insight that all filmmakers would aspire to.
April 18, 2012
Sam Barnett

Super Reviewer

To say that 8 1/2 is a biopic would be only part of the truth. The film is, in fact, an autobiography of Guido Anselmi, the alter ego of the film's own director and screenwriter. The crucially notable fantasy twist, therefore, must tell the viewer one of two things: either Fellini was taking a leap of faith, or he is simply losing his mind. In this case, it happens to be both. Though Federico Fellini was clearly blending the biopic genre with the fantasy genre and praying for something astounding, we get a good view of his mentality from a good portion of the film. With the fashion in which Fellini presents various flashbacks and dreams, the word "psychedelic" barely begins to serve as the correct word for his strange (but irresistible) thought process. Furthermore, it is quite likely the English language does not own such a word or phrase.

Full Review: http://wp.me/p1Urcx-zY
December 27, 2011
spielberg00

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Achteinhalb (DE)
  • Federico Fellini's 8 1/2 (UK)
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