Critic Consensus: Papillon puts its own well-acted, solidly produced spin on a previously adapted tale, although it may not be quite enough to erase viewers' memories of the 1973 version.
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Critic Reviews for Papillon
I could never quite figure out why this story was being told again, and I drifted away from its action way too often.
As director Michael Noer struggles to tease a theme out of a string of exploits, Papillon remains as entertaining as ever.
It is an impressively staged and appropriately rain-soaked, mud-splattered, bone-crunching tale, more violent and filled with rougher language than its predecessor, if not quite as powerful or moving.
Director Michael Noer falls short in a number of ways, leaving a sense of missed opportunity.
Audience Reviews for Papillon
Before you ask: No, I haven't seen the original. And no, this thing doesn't have any excuse to be nearly two and a half hours, but it mostly makes it worth your while. Director Michael Noer, who largely works in the world of documentaries, paints some beautiful canvases in contrast to the ugliness with which human life is subjected in this journey of a relentless man, unwilling to give in to a system dead set on cutting him down. Hunnam is solid, sells it, and obviously dedicated to the part while Malek is charming, oddly endearing, and the point of the dynamic that forces us to genuinely engage. There is an epic sense to the execution here and the entertainment factor is large if not somewhat distant, but I'd hoped we might be instilled more into the minds of these characters and how they dealt with the confinement and quiet more so than the film accomplishes. A for effort though (or B-). "Keeping you is no benefit. Losing you is no loss."
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