Papillon

1973, Mystery & thriller, 2h 30m

30 Reviews 25,000+ Ratings

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Movie Info

Convicted murderer Henri Charriere (Steve McQueen), known as "Papillon" for his butterfly chest tattoo, is transported to French Guiana to serve his sentence in a work camp. Determined to escape, Papillon forms an unlikely relationship with the frail but notorious forger Louis Dega (Dustin Hoffman), who reluctantly joins in the attempt. Despite the harshness of solitary confinement, brutal conditions and constant threats of betrayal, Papillon leads a desperate escape off the island.

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Critic Reviews for Papillon

Audience Reviews for Papillon

  • Oct 02, 2013
    With an excellent performance by Steve McQueen and a stunning cinematography that employs a large depth of field to explore the setting and thus the gravity of the situation, this compelling prison film works so very well despite losing some of its credibility in the third act.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2012
    Ultimately, "Papillon" lags in too many places for it to be considered a classic, but it is a decent prison drama with enough moments of brilliance to ensure that it won't be forgotten. Some scenes are better directed than others and there are a lot of narrative elements that aren't ever fully explained, but "Papillon" also has a brilliant breakout sequence and several others moments of peril that succeed in providing a high level of tension. Plus, even though Steve McQueen's acting is a little uneven, the good parts of his performance outweigh the bad. "Papillon' is quality entertainment that moves at a quick pace, but it might have been better under more cohesive direction.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2012
    A great prison escape movie, Papillon features terrific performances, a thorough and smart script, and a gritty and unflinching look at penal colonies. Steve McQeen anchors every scene with his gripping and nuanced portrayal, a character we see grow, but with an uncanny resilience that only McQueen can muster. He is also matched well by Hoffman, who injects his role with humor and despair. The film does an excellent job of going all-in, in that we see every aspect of the colony, and the unrelenting horror. My only real issue with the film is the overly lethargic pace in parts, and perhaps a bit of a lack of focus towards the end, tending to meander too much on certain threads. Overall, a very strong and memorable classic. 4/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2012
    Tense and scary, Papillon it's with no doubt about it, is one of the most breathtaking escape movies that I ever saw, with a likable duo, form by McQueen and Hoffman.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer

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