Papillon (2018)

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Critic Consensus: Papillon puts its own well-acted, solidly produced spin on a previously adapted tale, although it suffers in comparison to the 1973 version.

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Movie Info

Based on the international best-selling autobiographic books "Papillon" and "Banco", PAPILLON follows the epic story of Henri "Papillon" Charrière (Charlie Hunnam), a safecracker from the Parisian underworld who is framed for murder and condemned to life in the notorious penal colony on Devil's Island. Determined to regain his freedom, Papillon forms an unlikely alliance with quirky convicted counterfeiter Louis Dega (Rami Malek), who in exchange for protection, agrees to finance Papillon's escape.

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Cast

Charlie Hunnam
as Henri Charriere
Rami Malek
as Louis Dega

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Critic Reviews for Papillon

All Critics (102) | Top Critics (22)

There is no discernible benefit or loss at the end of this long drama.

Dec 20, 2018 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

I could never quite figure out why this story was being told again, and I drifted away from its action way too often.

Aug 24, 2018 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…

As director Michael Noer struggles to tease a theme out of a string of exploits, Papillon remains as entertaining as ever.

Aug 24, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

The end result feels routinely anonymous.

Aug 23, 2018 | Full Review…

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.

Aug 23, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Director Michael Noer falls short in a number of ways, leaving a sense of missed opportunity.

Aug 23, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Papillon

½

Competent is the word of the day here. The acting's not great but it's competent. The style isn't blowing my mind but it's shot competently. Papillon is the sort of movie that will have its lead hit near-anorexia to express the level of torture his character has suffered, but can't have him grow a beard past sexy manicured stubble despite being isolated in a cell with nothing for two whole years. It commits hard to half-measures. A very unusual paradox that leads to a movie that's very, very okay.

Gimly M.
Gimly M.

Super Reviewer

½

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."

Philip Price
Philip Price

Super Reviewer

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