Hollywoodland - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Hollywoodland Reviews

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Trevor Johnston
Time Out
November 23, 2006
It's worth seeing for Affleck alone, deftly communicating the distance between the put-on cardboard debonairness of this hunk-about-town and the gnawing uncertainties beneath his Superman outfit.
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
September 23, 2006
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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
September 20, 2006
Take my word for it: Hollywoodland is well worth seeing.
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
September 14, 2006
Reeves had an easy but peppy presence that was very likable, and Affleck's moroseness doesn't do him justice.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
September 10, 2006
... even though parts of the picture don't quite hold together, in the end, it sticks with you.
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
September 8, 2006
In this bland, ultimately dull reimagining, the question of who killed Superman turns out to be less of a mystery than a plodding attempt at what has been done so much better before.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
September 8, 2006
Hollywoodland explores an intriguing bit of Hollywood history, and through the strength of its performances keeps us engaged and entertained.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
September 8, 2006
In his generous spirit toward a forgotten icon, Affleck turns the death-obsessed Hollywoodland into, of all things, a film about resurrection.
| Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
September 8, 2006
The pacing is slow and deliberate, but the story never ceases to intrigue.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
September 8, 2006
With a more restrained, subtler actor, Hollywoodland could have been what it aspires to be: a study of twin trajectories (Reeves and Simo) caught in the spotlights of Tinseltown, where dreams crash headlong into hard reality -- and dubious ethics.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
September 8, 2006
The film, actually, is a little like Reeves himself: It starts promisingly and trails off into indistinctness and mystery.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
September 8, 2006
[Hollywoodland] holds interest as a whodunit that's refreshingly compassionate toward the fates of its characters. Warts and all, they're likable dreamers in a town where dreams don't always come true.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Susan Walker
Toronto Star
September 8, 2006
The interplay between hard facts and the dreams that are the currency of movie actors, agents and producers that gives Hollywoodland both its glitter and its grit.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
September 8, 2006
It's almost a good movie.
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
September 8, 2006
The movies love a tasty murder, which is why Ben Affleck has packed on the pounds, slipped on some tights and given this exasperating film far more than it gives in return.
| Original Score: 3/5
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
September 8, 2006
It's just another sordid tale from a city famous for them. But Hollywoodland explains so much about today's Hollywood, from the cozy ways the cops have always played ball with the studios and stars, to the career-killing pain of type-casting.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
September 8, 2006
Want a place where everything ends nicely? Where even tragedies end in a lesson learned? Forget it, pal. It's Hollywoodland.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Kyle Smith
New York Post
September 8, 2006
Hollywoodland is laden with atmosphere but moves like it has lead in its tights.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
September 8, 2006
Hollywoodland, a fascinating, intelligent and probing new film noir about the unsolved Tinseltown mystery surrounding the death of actor George Reeves.
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Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
September 8, 2006
A bit of a hodgepodge -- unnecessarily complicated, clumsily structured, uncertainly directed and, as a whodunit, ultimately unsatisfying.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
September 8, 2006
Hollywoodland offers three scenarios to choose from, but the mystery becomes less rather than more interesting as the film goes on.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
September 8, 2006
The film has potent things to say about the way Hollywood dreams can raise, then crush, the spirits of those with more ambition than chops.
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Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
September 8, 2006
While it doesn't innovate, it does surprise.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
September 8, 2006
Could it be that Hollywoodland is something like real life -- a muddle that goes down, down and away?
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
September 8, 2006
This isn't the sort of film you stand up and cheer for -- it's too subtle and dark for that. But it is a film that lingers in the mind, asking questions without answers, telling a story that has no clear ending.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
September 8, 2006
Hollywoodland tries way, way too hard to evoke a corrupt, L.A. Confidential-like portrait of an Eisenhower Hollywood with a dark, hidden underbelly, to the point that the mystery of Reeves' death becomes all but irrelevant.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Nathan Rabin
AV Club
September 8, 2006
Like Affleck's performance, Hollywoodland has its affecting moments. But generally, it feels like an HBO original movie, where respectable but uninspired execution mars a fascinating subject and a great cast.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
September 8, 2006
Coulter's mostly languid pacing doesn't create the right kind of film-noir urgency, and Hollywoodland winds up feeling like an imitation of a great movie rather than the real thing, a cut-rate Chinatown.
| Original Score: B-
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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post
September 8, 2006
In the noir tradition of Chandler and Hammett, little in Hollywoodland is what it appears.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Philip Wuntch
Dallas Morning News
September 8, 2006
Hollywoodland is filled with dazzling ingredients that never fully congeal. The sparks don't always connect. Nevertheless, they do sparkle.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
September 8, 2006
The period details and performances are uniformly superb (Bob Hoskins is especially good as MGM executive Eddie Mannix), and the major characters are even more complex than those in Chinatown.
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
September 8, 2006
The movie doesn't build to anything dramatic or enlightening.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Scott Von Doviak
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
September 8, 2006
A mishmash of fact, fiction and innuendo that sheds little light on Reeves' life or his death.
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
September 7, 2006
Hollywoodland has too many leaks. The movie is also too ambitious for its own good.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
September 7, 2006
The movie plays as an engaging jaunt into the past, which not only re-creates old Hollywood but comments on the superficial and fleeting nature of fame.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
September 7, 2006
What's gratifying about Hollywoodland, a mood-inflected autopsy of Reeves' own hopes and dreams, is that while its characters may be prone to pathos, they elude easy pity by being mostly (if merely) human.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
September 7, 2006
A character study of a low-rent private eye who gets in way over his head when he tackles a high-profile case, a role brilliantly brought to life by Oscar-winner Adrien Brody.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
September 7, 2006
It's not a definitive Reeves biography. It's not trying to be. Hollywoodland is after something more off-center, and more interesting.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Bob Longino
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
September 7, 2006
We could say, Forget it, Jake. It's Chinatown. But that just conjures up memories of the kind of mystery movie Hollywoodland only wishes it could be.
| Original Score: B-
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
September 7, 2006
The elegant biodrama Hollywoodland presents all options in its meditation on the price of the American way of fame, a toll exacted even back when 'land' still completed the letters of the sign famously visible from high in the Hollywood Hills.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
September 5, 2006
To the credit of the director, the writer and the set design team though, Hollywoodland still succeeds, I think, as a minor period piece.
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J. Hoberman
Village Voice
September 5, 2006
Like its protagonist, Hollywoodland has an easy, sleazy appeal -- a languid descent into the mystery's murky depths.
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Anthony Lane
New Yorker
September 5, 2006
For every Burt Lancaster, there have been thousands of George Reeveses, and Affleck pays them the kind of fond homage -- an offer of limelight -- that they otherwise never get.
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Todd McCarthy
Variety
August 18, 2006
Bernbaum uses the doubt that has swirled around the circumstances of Reeves' death as a framing device that serves to enumerate the other possibilities... but that annoyingly distracts from the most flavorsome and involving matters at hand.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
August 18, 2006
This noir take on George Reeves' death has its high points but doesn't quite fly.