8 1/2 - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

8 1/2 Reviews

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December 25, 2015
One of most beautifully shot movies ever! Fellini at his best. Insightful but slow at times
December 22, 2015
Beautifully and masterfully shot in black and white, 8.5 is perhaps the singular masterpiece of Italian cinema. Archetypal in its treatment of filmmaker's block as a topic that could provide the foundation for a film, the script moves through dreams and scenes of despair of real life to leave the viewer reflected on a myriad of things. Instantly memorable due to its opening sequence, 8.5 makes up for a lack of plot with nearly an excess of artistic skill and philosophical depth. Mastroianni's Guido is the straight man in a world as zany in its commercial pretension as the dream world he also inhabits.
½ December 21, 2015
Provides the precedent for the film about the filmmaker struggling to make a film about a film. Beautifully shot and highly realized. A master's masterpiece.
½ November 23, 2015
Fellini's masterpiece, totally autobiographical about his own presence and situation regarding pre-production of this movie. Brilliant atmosphere with new-thinking and tasteful actors giving the whole movie a realistic and natural aproach. Dream-seances and lots of symbolism aligned down in every scene. Mastroianni is born for this role, inclining it with pure italian style.
½ November 21, 2015
Perhaps suitingly given the film's title, 8 1/2 feels more like a compilation of tantalising pieces rather than a complete work.
November 5, 2015
Just because a film is a brilliant and innovative piece of art doesn't mean it's a great movie. Personally, I found this to be almost unwatchable. Objectively, it is incredibly innovative, absolutely dripping with symbolism and depth. But that doesn't mean that it's interesting to watch. You feel like you're constantly being battered by Fellini's pompous and self promoting, avant garde intellectual art, and everything you see is symbolic of some greater theme. He's great at that. But if you're not interested in his 20-layer deep symbolism around every corner, it becomes boring and tedious. So yes, I'm an artistic moron and not nearly as cool and intellectual as the rest of the world. It seems to me to be a movie from a guy trying to prove how intellectual and avant garde he is, and an audience who wants to prove how intellectual and avant garde they are. I can't believe that a majority of the audience really enjoy this film. I mean, these are the same reviewers who loved "Airplane"
November 2, 2015
A cinematic schmorgesborg. The mother of all meta-movies. I hope to see it many more times, to fully experience what Fellini wanted us to. As a filmmaker, no other movie has ever better captured the chaos of my nervous, angry mind quite like this one. Guido and his women were tantalizing. I couldn't keep track, but I loved it. It sounds so beautiful in Italian. The set is towering, and the actors are just as tall. My definitive opinion on whether or not I truly adored this movie is going to take some time, but this is truly a film for the ages.
October 31, 2015
Monumental reflection on the role of the film director, his inspiration, his hesitations and his confusion within the 'circus' of the film industry. This gorgeously shot film is a wonderful metaphor about Fellini's own vision of cinema itself. Definitely a must see.
October 18, 2015
Wonderful performances, gorgeous cinematography, beautiful musical score, immaculately directed and an intriguing non-linear storyline. My favourite film of all time. What more can I say.
October 9, 2015
This is one of those films that wouldn't sound like it would have any appeal unless you knew about the film's director, Frederico Fellini. I would, however, recommend this for anyone with a keen interest in film, since this film takes into the world of a director, along with his storied past. Of course, being that this came out in the early 60's, this is in black and white, but this might work to the film's favour rather than to its disadvantage. Call me pretentious if you will, but I find that there's something classy about the black and white look from older films that's lost when newer films try to emulate it. As for the story, it might meander a bit, but it does offer some real drama, and some good performances from the cast. Parts of the film really look like they offered a glimpse into a bleak past (I refer specifically to the scene where Catholic priests are shown shaming the young Guido of the film). It certainly has plenty of artistic merits, as biography and metaphor come together in a carnival of the soul.
October 8, 2015
"I thought my ideas were so clear. I wanted to make an honest film. No lies whatsoever. I thought I had something so simple to say. Something useful to everybody. A film that could help bury forever all those dead things. we carry within ourselves. Instead, I'm the one without the courage to bury anything at all. When did I go wrong? I really have nothing to say, but I want to say it all the same. "- Guido

The perfect film about an artist who simply wants to find his way to the truth. A beautiful dream.
September 2, 2015
Excellent in every way. Simultaneously wildly entertaining and funny while also deeply moving and touching, it's also a delight to watch and listen to.
August 10, 2015
A great film with a classic soundtrack, Marcello Mastroianni, and more food for thought than a hundred Hollywood movies, this shows what the cinematic art form can accomplish at its best. It's profound, self-reflective, witty, inventive, heartbreaking and beautiful. I especially loved the dour screenwriter who keeps popping up to contemplate the symbols, characters, and structure of the film. Asa nisi masa.
August 10, 2015
The only movie to truly show what it is like to make a movie. No one does this stuff like Fellini.
July 29, 2015
A surreal masterpiece
½ July 18, 2015
The film community loves movies about movies, 8 1/2 is the best of the sort ever made. It's a movie about itself as a movie, really. Sharp images, rewarding and challenging dialogue, style...this movie has plenty to offer. It had ambitious and profound ideas yet maintained a joking, not so serious manner. Quite a movie, I will have to return to it for further understanding.
July 6, 2015
Few movies have given such an unsympathetic and unromanticised view of the film industry as Federico Fellini's seminal 8 1/2. Dispelling the dream that movie-making is something of a constant wonderland where you sit in a director's chair, yell 'Action', watch magic unfold before your eyes before screaming 'Cut! Perfect', and walk off grinning like a particularly sprightly Ed Wood. Somewhat based on the directors own life and experiences, Marcello Mastroianni gives a bone-deep portrayal of a film maker so exhausted by his recent project that he can't even bring himself to work on or even talk about his new one. The frustrations of the cinema industry are personified by the constant stream of acting hopefuls, producers, screenwriters, and even Cardinals, all of whom have or want involvement in the project, but Mastroianni is too shut down to really care. There's a lot to admire in the direction, editing, acting, atmosphere and, in particular, its use of flashbacks, which begin and end with almost no transition, reinforcing the movies theme of reality blending in with fantasy, and help establish the movie as one of the first true 'surreal' pictures.
I didn't entirely enjoy the film. The disjointed story and frantic, almost non-stop dialogue get very irritating after a while, and as the movie draws to a close you can feel how exhausted you've become simply trying to keep up with it. But with stellar film-making, timeless themes and a willingness to tackle its issues head-on, this is a movie which, while admittedly dated, is still a landmark of avant-garde cinema.
June 27, 2015
I soon lost interest in this film. Not only are there numerous confusing plot changes, but the subtitles are sometimes very difficult to read and follow with fast dialogue. AAWFL 1001
May 29, 2015
Another wonderful film by Fellini! This portrayal of a film making a film is comical, sad, and just a sight to behold.
May 8, 2015
Really pleased to have finally seen this Italian classic which, admittedly, is much longer, more abstract and ponderous than I'm normally tolerable to. The film is deliberately paced (read: slow), pensive and reflective and the dialogue is often biting and humorously self-referential. However, the film is foremost 136 mins of stunning imagery and visual representations on screen that creates and coheres into a character study of a successful director/artist in crisis, not unlike Fellini's own experience making this film. Postmodernism, anyone? But with amazing visuals that have since been borrowed, homaged or simply ripped off in the decades since it was made, the film literally demands your attention and your respect for the film-maker's audacity in making it. The pinnacle of arty, pretentious foreign films but for once, I ended up quite enjoying it.
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