The Phantom of the Opera 2005

The Phantom of the Opera

Critics Consensus

The music of the night has hit something of a sour note: Critics are calling the screen adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's popular musical histrionic, boring, and lacking in both romance and danger. Still, some have praised the film for its sheer spectacle.

33%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 171

84%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 412,125

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Movie Info

From his hideout beneath a 19th century Paris opera house, the brooding Phantom (Gerard Butler) schemes to get closer to vocalist Christine Daae (Emmy Rossum). The Phantom, wearing a mask to hide a congenital disfigurement, strong-arms management into giving the budding starlet key roles, but Christine instead falls for arts benefactor Raoul (Patrick Wilson). Terrified at the notion of her absence, the Phantom enacts a plan to keep Christine by his side, while Raoul tries to foil the scheme.

Cast & Crew

Gerard Butler
The Phantom
Ciarán Hinds
Firmin
Gaston Leroux
Writer (Novel)
Jeff Abberley
Executive Producer
Julia Blackman
Executive Producer
Keith Cousins
Executive Producer
Louis Goodsill
Executive Producer
Paul Hitchcock
Executive Producer
Ralph Kamp
Executive Producer
Austin Shaw
Executive Producer
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News & Interviews for The Phantom of the Opera

Critic Reviews for The Phantom of the Opera

All Critics (171) | Top Critics (38) | Fresh (56) | Rotten (115)

  • Quote not available.

    March 7, 2005 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
    Independent (UK)
    Top Critic
  • My own reaction to the current version fashioned by Mr. Schumacher is one of pure stupefaction.

    January 27, 2005 | Full Review…

    Andrew Sarris

    Observer
    Top Critic
  • The plot is impressively free of anything that does not smell of unpasteurized melodrama.

    January 15, 2005
  • Takes everything that's wrong with Broadway and puts it on the big screen in a gaudy splat.

    December 27, 2004
  • This guy's not the Phantom of the Opera, he's the Fashionably Scarred Stud of the Opera and that just doesn't work.

    December 27, 2004
  • Joel Schumacher's film adaptation of Lloyd Webber's The Phantom of the Opera combines fingernails-on- blackboard audio agony with bamboo- under- fingernails physical torture.

    December 23, 2004 | Rating: 1.5/4

Audience Reviews for The Phantom of the Opera

  • Nov 29, 2014
    The Phantom of the Opera is a true masterpiece, it not only fully realizes the vision of Andrew Lloyd Webber's musical, but it also retains the spirit of the original novel. Newcomer Emmy Rossum gives a stunning performance as Christine, capturing the character's youth and innocence, and Gerard Butler's depicting of the Phantom embodies the character's tortured soul and disillusionment. The sets and costumes are also extraordinary, creating an immersive, fantastical world that's breathtaking. Yet the stylistic tone never overwhelms the story, but instead services to heighten its romanticism, and the themes of social alienation and artificial reality. Translating a musical to cinema is a difficult task, however not only does director Joel Schumacher succeed brilliantly, the visual style of The Phantom of the Opera excesses Webber's stage production.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • May 14, 2013
    Thoroughly enjoyable.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2012
    It took them, like, 78 tries, but they finally got the musical version, which, in all fairness, didn't hit the stage until nearly 80 years after "Le Fantôme de l'Opéra" came out, but that still narrows the number of adaptations down to about 43 since 1986. Man, this novel has been adapted to death, then back again actually in the form of a phantom, then back to death again, but now, we've got ourselves a little twist... and no film adaptations since, so that should probably tell you about how well this film did with critics... even though it was a booming financial success and hit with audiences, though that's probably because the non-critic drama geeks likely didn't know about Joel Schumacher's filmography. Speaking of finally getting the musical version, this is certainly Joel Schumacher's big return to the magical world of musicals, only this time, he's actually dealing with white people problems instead of trying to be "that white guy" who does a black film, which is probably why this film got better reviews other than "Sparkle", which isn't to say that this film's reviews have been all that glowing. Man, I certainly don't agree with the Rotten Tomatoes consensus, but I love how it goes on and on about how the film is "histrionic, boring, and lacking in both romance and danger", and then they turn right around and basically say, "Oh yeah, but it looks pretty". I reckon the critics can't help but look at cheesiness in a Joel Schumacher film and not think of "Batman & Robin", and considering that Schumacher is nothing short of cheesy, whether it be on a "Batman & Robin" scale or whatever, I guess he'll continue to never catch a break, as sure as Emmy Rossum will clearly have a hard time breaking out as a major star, even with a hit this massive under her belt, and Gerard Butler will never catch a break when it comes to romance films of any kind. Man, that poor son of Scot just isn't doing it for the critics when it comes to romances and, well, that's good, because his romantic comedies deserve it. A film like this, on the other, regardless of what the critics say, is what Butler and Schumacher should be gunning more for. Still, make no mistake, this operatic opus hardly goes unhaunted. Now, we're talking about a Joel Schumacher-directed and written adaptation of a musical adaptation of a romantic drama dealing with an opera here, so it's not like you can't see corny coming, yet that hardly makes the cheesiness any less problematic, for although some fluffiness gets to be snappy, all too often, it's more along the lines of sappy, turning in some cornball set pieces and dialogue that momentarily take you out of the film, though perhaps not as much as much of the forced musicality. The musical aspects that drive this film heavily are indeed competently crafted enough to aid in the final product's being as rewarding as it is, yet the incorporation of the musical goes plagued by a bit of inorganic forcefulness that not only overwhelms certain set pieces with profound prominence of musicality that distances you from reality considerably, as well as over-the-top flashiness to exacerbate the already pretty well-established cheesy aspects, but leaves the plotting that should be built around the music rather than more along the lines of a slave to the musical aspects to come off as more awkwardly manufactured than fluid. The musicality's driving the plot along isn't quite as awkward as I expected, yet awkwardness is there, and common within the musical aspects, and with the musical aspects being so exceedingly prominent in the story structure, you better believe that this film's plotting is often rather problematic. Of course, on the handful of occasions in which plotting isn't driven by musicality, the film's storytelling is still flawed, being not necessarily terribly messy, but rather hurried and under-expository, which isn't to say that Joel Schumacher's directorial missteps end there. Schumacher's directorial efforts are indeed inspired, yet he remains a flawed director handed quite a bit to work with, thus he faults quite often, particularly when it comes to the dramatic aspects, which are generally effective, yet tainted with overblown histroinics that were undoubtedly found and evidently somewhat overlooked in Andrew Lloyd Webber's original play and Gaston Leroux's antecedent novel, yet goes particularly pronounced by the overambition within Schumacher's direction that only drowns out quite a bit of what Schumacher desperately strives to achieve. I'm not at all totally in agreement with the consensus' bold statement that this film fails to capture "both romance and danger", yet there is some spark lost in the midst of Schumacher's overambition, which brings more to light certain aspects of the source material's not translating quite as well as it should have to the silver screen, thus leaving the final product to stand rather short of full potential. Of course, what does make it to the cinematic world organically proves to be a graceful success, maybe not to where the shortcomings are obscured, though certainly to where the final product, as a whole, stands as genuinely rewarding, largely thanks to its, as put best by the consensus, "sheer spectacle". Boasting striking color, near-breathtaking flare and brilliant dynamicity, this film is, if nothing else, a masterpiece of art direction, with John Fenner and Paul Kirby translating Andew Lloyd Webber's spectacular with an abundance of graceful artistry to the thoroughly attractive visuals, complimented by John Mathieson's lushly handsome cinematography. As for the production designs by Anthony Pratt that the art direction compliments, they stand as nothing short of truly tremendous, as well, with Alexandra Byrne's costume designs being cleverly flashy and often memorably definitive of the characters behind the costumes, and Celia Bobak's set decoration being colorfully intricate and engrossingly sweeping in scale, thus truly bringing to life Webber's original vision's spectacle and musicality, which in turn helps greatly in bringing the film to life more than working to the film's detriment, which is saying a fair bit. Clocking in at 143 minutes and going handled by a storyteller who doesn't need substance driven by style to be a flawed storyteller, this film's narrative is told primarily, by a considerable margin, through musical numbers, and while that is certainly a delight to see on the stage, on screen, it often taints storytelling with a kind of awkward style-over-substance that throws off resonance and could very well distance investment, so if you're going to have the guts to make a film of this type, then you better have some powerful musical style, and, well, needless to say, considering the essentially unparalleled success of Andrew Lloyd Webber's original stage vision, this film delivers on upstanding musicality that, I must admit, gets to be a touch flawed, both as a storytelling component and as the holder of the ever so occasional improvable stylistic choice (Seriously, what in Senesino's name is up with that pop rock sound that pops in occasionally?), yet remains thoroughly impressive, with sweeping style and striking substance that both engrosses and entertains as it goes dazzlingly performed, both instrumentally and vocally, which isn't to say that fine singing is the only thing done right by the performers, or at least some of them. Minnie Driver is quite underused as Carlotta Giudicelli, and quite frankly, I'm surprised and a little upset to say that I'm glad, because although Driver has proven herself to be a competent actress, in this film, she slips up, turning in a terrible Spanish accent to make all the worse the overbearing overacting that makes her much more obnoxious than effective as the antagonist, and while no other performance proves to be that faulty, only so many people really standout, due to restraints in material, yet do expect to see quite a few charmers in the secondary or even tertiary cast, and quite a bit of compellingness within the lead cast. Gerard Butler's film-picking tastes have, at least in recent years, proven to be very faulty, and, quite honestly, his overacting self wasn't exactly all the commendable in something like "300", yet I would still consider him a reasonably promising talent who has his moments, with this film being one of his moments, for although he only has so much to work with, Butler captures the misery, mystery and dark depths of the titular and iconic Phantom character with engaging charisma and, towards the end, pretty powerful emotional range, while Patrick Wilson charms as our down-to-earth male protagonist, Raoul, Vicomte de Chagny, and the very lovely leading lady Emmy Rossum compels as the both vulnerable and strong spirit as, Christine Daaé, the iconic center of a dark romance and danger. On-screen performances are hit-or-miss, yet generally work and keep this film going, and really, that's what you can say about a certain off-screen performance, for although Joel Schumacher has never really been all that strong of a director, and one who makes more than a few mistakes with his overambitious execution of this promising project, his palpable inspiration will give this film its fair share of moments of genuinely effective resonance, while keeping consistent in something of a smooth pacing that keeps you generally comfortable with the flow of the film, even with the storytelling mishaps. If nothing else, Schumacher delivers on thorough entertainment value, proving the consensus' statement that this film is "boring" to be particularly wrong by keeping everything lively and colorful, with occasions of true depth, and while such a formula has enough missteps to plague the film with shortcomings, it gets the final product by as a rewarding piece. Closing the curtains, it's hard to look back at this film and not recognize quite a bit of cheesiness in certain dialogue pieces, set pieces and histrionics, as well as a bit of awkwardness to forceful moments in the musicality and other distancing areas of storytelling, thus making for a flawed execution of a promising vision, yet one that still stands strong, supported by the stellar art direction by John Fenner and Paul Kirby, - complimented by striking cinematography by John Mathieson - and production designs by Anthony Pratt that compliment Andrew Lloyd Webber's upstanding musical numbers, which liven up a strong story, brought to life by a couple of charismatic performances - particularly those by our compelling leads - and the, albeit overambitious, yet generally engagingly inspired, smoothly-paced and entertaining direction that goes into making Joel Schumacher's adaptation of Andrew Lloyd Webber's "The Phantom of the Opera" an underrated and fairly worthwhile watch. 3/5 - Good
    Cameron J Super Reviewer
  • Jun 21, 2012
    The Phantom of the Opera is one of the few enjoyable Joel Shumacher films, and whatever problems I had with this film, its still a fantastic musical. I have never seen the original Broadway musical so I may not be the best source for a review, but I have listened to these songs before, and I can tell that they did a fine job at making the songs on the big screen. One large problem I had the film was Gerard Butler, who I felt looked to handsome to be believable as the Phantom of the Opera. His singing voice was the only one I didn't enjoy in the film and its hard to explain but he just doesn't have the voice for a singer. They make his character out to be so hideous when really he just looks like he was given a terrible makeup artist, so I really did not find it believable that everyone would consider him some gross beast. Another problem I had is that I should fee a sense of fear from the Phantom, but they don't give us any thrills are questioning, just Gerard Butler running around in a mask. But I did find I loved the music and was really getting into it, and if I ever got to see the musical in its true form on Broadway I would definently do it. The setting and stage is incredible and everything about the films setting is gorcious, so they really made it all feel beautiful. Its trying to be a good musical and it succeeds, but I wasn't impressed by the cast or the character of the Phantom.
    Bradley W Super Reviewer

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