Citizen Kane - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Citizen Kane Reviews

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December 15, 2017
Visually stunning but lacking in plot depth. I would watch it again, but it's better to expect that it is great for the cinematography and not for the storytelling.
December 4, 2017
Orson Welles created a intriguing film that holds up. It changed cinema forever
½ December 2, 2017
Reading reviews and public opinions on "Citizen Kane" really made me wonder if I'd watched the same film, as it's - overwhelmingly often - praised as being the best film ever created. To my understanding, Orson Welles and Gregg Toland could barely be seen as innovators in regards to the various cinematographic techniques used; the thing which made "Citizen Kane" stand out among its predecessors, was rather the combination of many existing ones, combined with an achronological narrating style. Even so, it does not fulfill its contemporary premise.

The film, in its whole basically mixing some sensationalised mystery with a description of newspaper magnate William Hearst's ever-deprecating life (portrayed by none other than Orson Welles himself, a performance which certainly is commendable, in all), is able to deliver good dialogue, with some exceptions wherein the conversations feel forced and too theatricised. Editing is also good, but really nothing to write home about, as this too sometimes leaves (much) to be desired. (And that is without mentioning the consequential and terrible attempts at making fourth wall breaks seem fashionable.)
The so-called "pan-focus" (i.e. the focusing on multiple layers of depth in one shot) seems peculiar the first time it's used, but Welles and Toland milk this kind of camerawork so much that it quickly becomes a - surprisingly annoying - gimmick.
Ironically, the story is built around a single word, "Rosebud", whispered by Kane in his last breath seconds before dying, and the journalistic research thereafter trying to figure out the meaning of said word. Seeing as to how this is the premise of the whole movie, it forms a gigantic plot hole from the very start and at the very base of it; after all, given that not a single person is within hearing range to perceive Kane's dying word and subsequently get the word out about it, the plot driving the movie just doesn't make sense.

Ultimately, where I land on this film, is that it really suffers from the status it's been given: frankly, placing a movie on a pedestal arguing it to be "the best movie ever made" diminishes just such a status, and moreover makes it dilapidate into a category of lesser film. Why? Because of the extreme bias forced onto fresh audiences. Mind you, "Citizen Kane" was crafted very creatively, but in its essence, it's become nothing more than an idolisation and idealisation of its medium, causing nothing but letdown.
I can see the glory which was once there, but also that it has faded just because of its presence. Quite sad, really.
November 26, 2017
This story is as classic as it gets. A beautifully shot film that takes a unique approach on how to view a character. Charles Foster Kane is not a hero nor a villain, just a human being who was set up for failure from childhood. His rise and downfall is one of cinemas greatest.
November 22, 2017
Removing the title of "forced" for any movie lover, or "the best movie of all time" Citizen Kane is a relic of humanity and a reflection of that American society at the beginning of the 40s, living that American dream, all represented in a person who really makes us reflect for the first time through the seventh art that the happiness does not reach in the way that everyone believed, and still believes...
½ November 3, 2017
The emperor has no clothes. It's all right, but a lot of movies are all right.
November 3, 2017
This Is My Favorite Film Of All Time.
November 1, 2017
I think that this mvie sucks!!!! there is no action scenes. super boring. if you like this movie your a dumb sheep and unable to grasp how boring this film really is. Stupid! this film shouldn't be so high rated but people are dumb and they think that because everyone else say it good movie that it is. dont watch.
October 24, 2017
It's been over 75 years since this overrated "classic" was first shown in theatres and I have yet to see anyone address the fatal flaw in the screenplay that occurred to me when I saw it about half a century ago: How did anyone know that Charles Foster Kane's last word was "Rosebud"? Nobody heard it; he was entirely alone when he died. Don't take my word for it; go back and watch the death bed scene of "The Greatest Movie of all time." How do you like them tomatoes?
October 16, 2017
It is a cliche now for a film snob say Citizen Kane is "the best movie ever made," Well, I do not consider myself a snob nor am I an expert so I do not think I have the authority to say it is. But, Citizen Kane is one of the best films I have ever seen. Top three hands down (because my favorite is Seven Samurai). Citizen Kane is as compelling as it is inventive as it is clever as it is influential. I would say it is necessary viewing.
October 7, 2017
Incredible movie. There isn't a single sour note.
September 28, 2017
Citizen Kane (1941) - O. Welles

A flop at the time, Citizen Kane has now been acknowledged as one of the greatest movies of all time. Orson Welles was a young wunderkind given carte blanche by RKO to make whatever movie he wanted and he brought his Mercury Players from New York (where they had triumphed on Broadway and on the radio, with help from the WPA). Although the script included extensive contributions from Herman J. Mankiewicz (as documented by Pauline Kael but disputed by others) and the deep-focus cinematographic wizardry came courtesy of Gregg Toland, there is no doubting Welles' imprint as an auteur. First, the theme of the egotistical power-hungry man who is also vulnerable, makes mistakes, and comes to a shoddy end appears more than once in his oeuvre (MacBeth, Mr. Arkadin, Touch of Evil), alongside the theme of nostalgia for days gone by, one's youth and innocence, before those mistakes were made (The Magnificent Ambersons, Chimes at Midnight, also Touch of Evil). "Rosebud" represents this latter theme well. Second, Welles' energy and enthusiasm devoted to the style of the picture are everywhere to be seen - in Kane we get thrilling montage after montage, beginning with the faux newsreel and extending to various ways that time is denoted as passing (those breakfast scenes with first wife Emily, the Opera sequences with second wife Susan). The camerawork (with long tracking shots), the sets (with ceilings), the overlapping flashback structure, the ensemble acting (by Joseph Cotton, Everett Sloane, Dorothy Comingore, Ruth Warrick, Agnes Moorehead, Ray Collins, George Colouris, and of course, Welles himself in all sorts of makeup), the chiaroscuro lighting, the baroque excess of it all - these things make appearances in much of Welles' future work. He never stopped experimenting (as witnessed by his late essay films F for Fake and Filming Othello) but it all started here. Even seen many times, it is still astonishing to see just how creative the filmmaking was and how much freedom Welles was granted to do whatever he wanted (freedom he never had again). The rise and fall of Charles Foster Kane, American, although perhaps a lightly veiled swipe at media tycoon William Randolph Hearst at the time, still has parallels to larger-than-life business/politicians today (yes, Donald J. Trump). Some lessons are never learned. Fortunately, Welles' own story was never conceived of as a tragic rise and fall by the man himself, who knew that artistic pleasures were to be gained through the process rather than necessarily in the end product alone. However, with Kane, everything came together to produce an incredibly influential work of art that remains fresh 75 years later.
September 10, 2017
Citizen Kane (1941) Has a tremendous history of being called one of the greatest movie of all time. This is mainly because of the films innovations; as well as changing the form of cinema. Charles Foster Kane (Orson Welles) is a character who feels that achievement is everything in life, yet at some point something is bound to happen; causing Kane's situation to be shifted. Welles had no clue how to make movies. Fortunately for him, he watched (or in this case study) a western classic by John Ford entitled, Stagecoach (1939) 40 times. Another history about this film is the fact that William Randolph Hearst was willing to ban the film by the media for infringing his life, which is some way failed. When I first saw this movie I was completely blown away by how fresh it was. Definitely a favorite!
½ September 7, 2017
Proactive, interesting and intense, this is how percolating drama, consistent acting, ground breaking camber work, and the ultimate in B&W cinema can be played to the hilt.
September 5, 2017
The most exciting narrative story about the meaning of life
September 3, 2017
Disgusting. Not appropriate for children or adults. This should be banned in the United States and Canada and Brazil and Ukraine. After purchasing and watching this movie on google docs, I have to say I am scarred for life. The message is negative and not a good influence on the wee ones. I recommend that if you have a copy of this movie anywhere, (Blu-Ray, DVD, VHS, Nintendo Wii, etc.) that you burn it, and just for good measure- burn your television and your eyes. Citizen Kane will forever be regarded as one of the worst movies in history. I am so glad Orson Welles went to prison and then the prison fell off a cliff into lava on the moon. Rest in absolute chaos, Mr. Welles.
September 1, 2017
'Citizen Kane' doesn't need any other praise (mine especially) for its reputation. But it's such a FILM that I have to write one. When I first saw it I had no technical awareness of its genius, what I saw was a sensational use of light and dark shot by a sublime camerawork in an inventiveness that is astonishing with modernity even a 21st century audience, an indecent maturity in the acting and directing of a 26-year old Welles, and an extraordinarily innovating non-linear structure, telling with dexterity a tale. And what a tale! The expressive and thought-provoking tale of successful Charles Foster Kane from its childhood to its death (which are shown to be connected), and whose first and final 'Rosebud' comes to crown 'Citizen Kane' as not merely a cinematic apotheosis, but an unforgettable work of art. Is it the greatest film of all time? I dislike that expression, it doesn't make any sense. 'Citizen Kane' deserves better - like to be called a Grand Film.
August 27, 2017
I can appreciate this film for its brilliance in cinematography and overall moral (Rosebud), but I fail to see why it is considered arguably the most pristine cinematic accomplishment of all time.
August 24, 2017
No, it's not the greatest film of all time, but certainly the greatest template for greater films, a movie that has been used as a foundation for film construction for years and years to come. As to whether or not it's ahead of its time is a tough question, I guess the inferior film "Rebecca" is more modern in style, but the substance in Citizen Kane is more refreshing and influential. Still impulsively watchable and not boring like some mainstream moviegoers will tell you.
August 17, 2017
It's not hard to see why people love this movie so much!
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