The Great Dictator - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Great Dictator Reviews

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Franz Hoellering
The Nation
January 18, 2013
The only trouble is that such perfect scenes as this are followed by more conventional passages which would be funny enough in an average picture but let one down in a film that deals so ambitiously with so great a theme.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 20, 2012
...a great movie because it works as a film, and because it is a document of courage and faith, the prime exhibit in Chaplin's humanist brief ... Dictator is a comedy, the work of a clown, but it is no joke. Chaplin had lethal intent.
| Original Score: 90/100
Top Critic
William Goss
June 1, 2011
The first full-blown talkie from the biggest star of the silent era, complete with a message that Chaplin couldn't have sent more loudly or clearly.
James Kendrick
Q Network Film Desk
May 30, 2011
While it is not the greatest of Charlie Chaplin's feature films, it is certainly his bravest, if not one of the bravest films ever made.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Chris Barsanti
May 20, 2011
...stared evil in the face long before the rest of Hollywood even thought it was possible.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
September 3, 2010
Through no fault of Chaplin's, during the two years he was at work on the picture dictators became too sinister for comedy.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
September 3, 2010
Chaplin is at his most profound in suggesting that there is much of the Tramp in the Dictator, and much of the Dictator in the Tramp.
Dan Jardine
July 22, 2010
Despite the film's weaknesses, Chaplin's lampooning of Hitler is a moment of comic genius, complemented by Jack Oakie's ridiculously exaggerated portrayal of the Mussolini-like Italian fascist
Full Review | Original Score: 81/100
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
December 23, 2009
Like all major Chaplin works, Dictator was a cheaply, but methodically, made film, a cardboard act of humanist defiance, and, thanks to its purity of purpose, the cheesier the jokes get, the harder they land.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
October 9, 2008
It's when he is playing the dictator that the comedian's voice raises the value of the comedy content of the picture to great heights.
Emanuel Levy
February 23, 2008
Chaplin's film hasn't aged well, but in 1940 it was perceived to be original, bold and controversial due to its combination of slapstick satire of Hitler and agit-prop.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
David Parkinson
Empire Magazine
December 30, 2006
Though the slapstick may seem tired now, there are moments of greatness.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Mark Bourne
April 14, 2006
So Chaplin may not have halted a war, but he still left us with more than just a funny movie.
Top Critic

Time Out
February 9, 2006
The representation of Hitler is vaudeville goonery all the way, but minus the acid wit and inventive energy that Groucho Marx managed.
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
July 30, 2005
Charlie Chaplin's first all-talking feature is a controversial one.
Full Review | Original Score: B
December 16, 2004
The Great Dictator mérite amplement de faire partie des éléments clés du cinéma.
| Original Score: A+
Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan
October 25, 2004
A fascinating, unprecedented spoof of Hitler, one of the few before WWII that dared to take him on.
Full Review| Original Score: A+
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 23, 2004
It is a funny film, which we expect from Chaplin, and a brave one.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Alex Ramirez
January 11, 2004
Un clásico
| Original Score: 5/5
Jamie Russell
August 12, 2003
Charlie Chaplin's first talkie, made over a decade after the introduction of sound, stands as a brave and controversial piece of filmmaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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