The Majestic (2001)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Ponderous and overlong, The Majestic drowns in forced sentimentality and resembles a mish-mash of other, better films.


Movie Info

Hollywood screenwriter Peter Appleton, a staff writer at HHS Studios in 1951, is an ambitious up-and-comer. His first produced screenplay, a B movie swashbuckler entitled "Sand Pirates of the Sahara," has just opened on a double bill with John Huston's adventure, "The African Queen," at Grauman's Chinese Theater on Hollywood Boulevard. Not only is Appleton enjoying professional success, he has a hot starlet girlfriend, Sandra Sinclair, the female lead in his big screen debut. However, life is … More

Rating: PG (for language and mild thematic elements)
Genre: Drama, Romance
Directed By:
Written By: Michael Sloane
In Theaters:
On DVD: Jun 18, 2002
Box Office: $27.7M
Runtime:
Universal Pictures - Official Site

Cast


as Peter/Luke

as Harry Trimble

as Adele Stanton

as Leo Kubelsky

as Sandra

as Majority Counsel Elv...

as Sheriff Cecil Colema...

as Ernie Cole

as Congressman Doyle

as Kevin Bannerman

as Doc Stanton

as Stan Keller

as Emmett Smith

as Bob Leffert

as Avery Wyatt

as Fed. Agent Saunders

as Carl Leffert

as Fed. Agent Ellerby

as Spencer Wyatt

as Roland the Intrepid ...

as The Evil but Handsom...

as Studio Executive

as Studio Executive

as Studio Executive

as Studio Executive

as Studio Executive

as Luke Trimble

as Newsreel Announcer

as Subpoena Server

as Coastal Engineer

as Grauman's Usher

as Kindly Old Professor...

as Jerry the Bartender

as Reverend

as Boy on Beach

as Western Union Man

as Grauman's Bon-Bon Gi...

as Boy on Beach

as Nurse Muriel
Show More Cast

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Critic Reviews for The Majestic

All Critics (163) | Top Critics (37)

The first part of the movie will strike some viewers as inspiring and others as manipulative; at any rate, it's clearly the better half, since the final act is patently false and a queer whitewash of a tragic chapter in US history.

Full Review… | March 4, 2015
Creative Loafing

Darabont is seeking to recapture the spirit of Frank Capra - with Carrey in the role of a James Stewart or Gary Cooper. Yet even though Darabont shares Capra's dewy-eyed optimism, his film's sluggish pace means he lacks Capra's screwball zest.

Full Review… | April 15, 2013
Movie Talk

This corny movie may not appeal to kids.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Carrey is excellent in the lead role supplying both vulnerability and wit...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

Don't even look for Clarence the Angel in this slow paced, but effective story.

| October 30, 2004
Kansas City Kansan

... The kind of uplifting movie that I think many would enjoy around the holidays ...

Full Review… | January 7, 2004
Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)

Audience Reviews for The Majestic

½

Although it has flaws, I enjoyed The Majestic, an atypical Jim Carrey film which functions as sentimentality and symbolism. This is kind of The Andy Griffith Show meets Its A Wonderful Life with Goog Night,Good Luck thrown in to teach a lesson. Set in post-WW II redscare paranoia, the villains are the paranoid beaurocrats, not the Communists themselves. The Majestic is a study in contrast of small town values vs. sell-out political expediency. Also, the town of Lawson, CA becomes reborn much as the theater called the Majestic is reborn.

Jim Carrey eshews his trademark goofiness for a sensitive portrayal, kind of a follow-up to 1998's Truman Show. Martin Landau, likewise truly shines as Harry Trimble, Carrey's character's surrogate father. This may be my favorite of his films, although he stole the show in Ed Wood.

In conclusion, this film is overly deliberate and didactic, but I appreciate it as a slice of Americana and sentimentality. The amnesia angle has been done to death, and better also. The movie with a movie, The Sand Pirates is pretty awesome too!

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

½

OK this isn't exactly the most original idea ever and the whole thing feels a bit like an extended 'Twilight Zone' episode (one of the more sensible ones), but this truly is a beautiful film with the kind of performances that are guaranteed to make you smile.

A simple tale set in the 50's, a young man is accused of being a Communist and his life is turned upside down. One night he gets slightly drunk and drives his car off a bridge accidentally and ends up almost drowning. He gets washed up on the shores of a small town where he is believed to be a WWII soldier killed years before.

This is complete and utter American pie through n through and I mean that in the best way possible. Generally things like this can be quite sickening with all the Stars n Stripes patriotism and this does have that, truth be told this actually has more treacly gooey hanky moments than you can shake a stick at.

There is also the element of the all American Communist 'witch hunts' which is the whole plot beneath the surface. Its only kinda touched on really but its played out in a typically heroic way for the main character in the end. You think he will submit to the government, a government of so called democracy, but he fights for truth and justice and the American way. Yes the finale is a bit too vomit inducing for us non Americans.

What works for me is the pure visual spectale of the film with the typically quaint white building built US town set amongst the glorious Californian woodlands on the pacific coast. In short this film looks stunning, its made to look extremely whimsical of course but it works. The era makes this work even better as the sight of old classic US cars cruising around, small diners, the smart fashions, jazz/big band music etc...give the film a very homely taste that I think anyone (more so adults probably) can enjoy.

The cast is another reason to like this film, how can you not enjoy seeing Martin Landau in a brilliantly moving role. I loved 'Ed Wood' and this yet another portrayal of angst and heartbreak but even stronger than before. Gerry Black also gives us a lovely performance for the old caretaker of the Majestic, his gravelly raspy voice draws you in whilst his cheeky grin is heartwarming. James Whitmore has a small role but he sure fits in well, performance is perfect as is his costume and character design, looks good with the pipe. To be honest all the main roles are played well by a host of solid actors, many I have seen before and merely know by face, reliable character actors.

Then we have Mr Carrey, to be honest a brave move as before this he was known only for his comedies. This doesn't mean he was the right choice of course hehe, in my opinion he can't quite handle the kind of serious emotion involved here (at least at this period in his career) and you can see it. A case of being type cast for over the top crazy ass characters or idiots, due to this you keep half expecting him to do something or say something daft. Carrey never really looks too comfortable in this film surrounded by proper quality character actors, he was yet to break away from his over acting lunacy.

A charming nostalgic film that manages to homage the golden age of small town 50's America and the classic (and much missed) age of big regal looking cinemas, but is also a stirring tribute to the fallen of WWII. It is extremely cliched and cheesy, love it or hate it I doubt there will be any middle ground here. It really does pull all the obligatory heart strings to get you choked up, every old trick in the mushy book, but damn it...it works!.

phubbs1
Phil Hubbs

Super Reviewer

½

Still not sure if this was Carrey's best or worst role.

Raajay
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

The Majestic Quotes

– Submitted by Nik M (3 years ago)

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