Papillon Reviews

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June 29, 2020
It drags on for two-and-a-half hours... to show us that the talents of even Dustin Hoffman and Steve McQueen can be buried under endless restatement of the obvious and that the best of adventure stories can be attenuated into boredom.
January 30, 2020
Charrière's book has been treated well...
January 27, 2020
The film offers such a spectrum of good and evil solutions to the general misery that it often transcends the genre of prison melodrama and becomes an existential statement.
December 17, 2019
Papillon is too lifeless, too long and too late.
September 14, 2018
The narrative is epic and life-spanning...The locations are stunning...and the surreal touches...add to the sense of a highly original art-movie spectacular.
August 28, 2018
Classic prison-escape movie has intense peril, violence.
September 23, 2015
McQueen works hard and al most manages to triumph over his star presence, while Hoffman submerges himself eccentrically and amusingly in his coward's role.
September 23, 2015
Director Franklin J. Schaffner has succeeded in making a two-and-a-half-hour film that seems like six.
September 23, 2015
But Dustin Hoffman produces a splendid depiction of cunning corruption that acts as a perfect balance to McQueen's superstar charisma.
September 23, 2015
Schaffner, who expertly captured the gritty story of Patton, does not flinch from showing every conceivable horror of the French penal system.
September 23, 2015
Papillon was not a complicated man but his experiences changed him almost beyond recognition, and McQueen does a good job of portraying the survivor, broken in body, but not in spirit.
September 6, 2015
This consummate prison-break epic features Steve McQueen's greatest transformation of character creation over the course of his estimable film career.
May 14, 2011
The narrative unfolds slowly, but the two stars are compelling and cinematographer Fred Koenekamp's photography is striking.
March 26, 2009
The script is very good within its limitations, but there is insufficient identification with the main characters.
August 3, 2007
A rousing drama of endurance, opportunism and friendship under fire.
February 10, 2007
Based on the memoirs of Henri Charriere, the only man to have successfully escaped from Devil's Island, this is a grim and brutal prison drama, made more likable due to the lead star performances.
June 24, 2006
With Schaffner unable to find the necessary perspective to prevent the film from becoming unevenly episodic, it ends up looking as if it were tacked together by at least three different directors.
November 4, 2005
October 6, 2005
May 9, 2005
A big, brave, stouthearted, sometimes romantic, sometimes silly melodrama with the kind of visual sweep you don't often find in movies anymore.
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