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critics consensus

Exquisitely shot and simmering with unease, Michelangelo Antonio's Blow-Up is an enigma that invites audiences to luxuriate in the sensual atmosphere of 1960s London chic. Read critic reviews

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Blow-Up Photos

Movie Info

Thomas (David Hemmings) is a London photographer who spends his time photographing fashion models. But one day he thinks he may have photographed something far more sinister: a murder. After taking pictures in the park, Thomas is horrified to find an ambiguous image lurking on the edge of the frame, which could be a shadow, but looks like a gun. The only thing clear is that the woman (Vanessa Redgrave) in the photo has appeared at his studio -- and wants the pictures he took.

Cast & Crew

Jane Birkin
The Blonde
Gillian Hills
The Brunette
Harry Hutchinson
Shopkeeper (uncredited)
Susan Broderick
Antique shop owner (uncredited)
Mary Khal
Fashion editor (uncredited)
Júlio Cortázar
Writer (Short Story)
Michelangelo Antonioni
Writer (Screenplay)
Tonino Guerra
Writer (Screenplay)
Edward Bond
Writer (Dialogue)
Pierre Rouve
Executive Producer
Herbert Hancock
Original Music
Carlo Di Palma
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Blow-Up

Critic Reviews for Blow-Up

All Critics (50) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (6)

  • I always liked to think that even the worst film by Antonioni would be better than the best by almost any other director. Now I know that this is so, because I've just seen his worst film, and I was right: Blow-up is still an absolute must.

    March 21, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Michelangelo Antonioni's film is an inquiry into the modernist concern of what art is and how it affects life.

    July 6, 2017 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A prize '60s artifact, Michelangelo Antonioni's what-is-truth? meditation on Swinging London is a movie to appreciate -- if not ponder.

    February 4, 2013 | Full Review…
  • In Blow-Up [Antonioni] smothers this conflict in the kind of pompous platitudes the press loves to designate as proper to "mature," "adult," "sober" art.

    February 4, 2013 | Full Review…
  • Despite its thriller hook, Blow-Up is less a mystery than a portrait of swinging alienation.

    February 4, 2013 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • This is so ravishing to look at (the colors all seem newly minted) and pleasurable to follow (the enigmas are usually more teasing than worrying) that you're likely to excuse the metaphysical pretensions.

    July 31, 2007 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Blow-Up

  • Mar 02, 2021
    Thanks, I hate it. A barrage of disjointed, inconsequential storytelling and dialogue. Thomas is a man devoid of meaning, enabled at every turn by folks that follow suit. He makes a discovery only to remain half-ass interested in his own discovery. The passivity of voyeurism would have been an interesting theme if Antonioni actually went anywhere with the concept or raised more questions. Stylistically influential and "captures a movement in history"? Sure. I can acknowledge a film's function of inspiring others to make superior films while also admitting that the film itself is not substantial. 'Blow-Up' is empty, toothless hooey that waits until the last 30 minutes to kind of be about something that might bear any consequence, psychologically, emotionally, or physically, to any character in the film. Oh, the pointlessness IS the point of it all, you say? Congratulations then, it's all yours. This is a film where discussion about it is far more stimulating than the film itself. The kind of film a philosophy major would have a field day with, which I am not.
    Marisol M Super Reviewer
  • Apr 23, 2017
    24/04/2017 - This film is very similar to watching paint dry, except i think i would find watching paint dry more interesting. By the time the picture comes to its "climax" i was too bored to really care. A pretentious film that just doesn't have enough going on.
    Peter B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 30, 2013
    I can see why this is considered a great movie, but I didn't connect with it at all. The first thirty minutes were too slow for me, and while I liked the ending and thought it was very clever, there just wasn't enough to keep me fully interested in the movie.
    Joey S Super Reviewer
  • Sep 19, 2013
    I get what 'Blowup' is about. What's reality and what isn't? Believe me, I get it. I don't need arthouse folk to get in my face and explain the whole film to me because it's actually very simple. It's not hard to understand. Is it an interesting film? Yeah, I guess so. Is it boring? Yeah, I guess so. The truth is I don't really know how I feel about. There are moments that I like, there are moments I find mind-crushingly dull. It doesn't add up to much, but there's enough strangeness in it to make you feel like you haven't totally wasted your time.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer

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