The Player (1992) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Player (1992)

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AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: Bitingly cynical without succumbing to bitterness, The Player is one of the all-time great Hollywood satires -- and an ensemble-driven highlight of the Altman oeuvre.

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Movie Info

Robert Altman's provocative satire of the movie industry stars Tim Robbins as Griffin Mill, an unscrupulous Hollywood studio executive who finds himself threatened not only by up-and-comer Larry Levy (Peter Gallagher) but by the stranger sending out postcards calling for Mill's death. Having concluded that the mysterious correspondent is screenwriter David Kahane (Vincent D'Onofrio), whose film treatment Mill rejected, the producer arranges a meeting that ends with Mill killing Kahane, resulting in a murder investigation.
  • Rating:
    R (for language, and for some sensuality)
  • Genre:
  • Directed By:
  • Written By:
  • In Theaters:
     wide
  • On DVD:
  • Runtime:
  • Studio:
    Fine Line Features

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Cast

Tim Robbins
as Griffin Mill
Greta Scacchi
as June Gudmundsdottir
Fred Ward
as Walter Stuckel
Whoopi Goldberg
as Detective Avery
Peter Gallagher
as Larry Levy
Brion James
as Joel Levison
Cynthia Stevenson
as Bonnie Sherow
Vincent D'Onofrio
as David Kahane
John Cusack
as Himself
Richard E. Grant
as Tom Oakley
Sydney Pollack
as Dick Mellon
Lyle Lovett
as Detective DeLongpre
Jeremy Piven
as Steve Reeves
Gina Gershon
as Whitney Gersh
Cher
as Herself
Peter Falk
as Himself
Jack Lemmon
as Himself
Nick Nolte
as Himself
Bruce Willis
as Himself
Paul Hewitt
as Jimmy Chase
Randall Batinkoff
as Reg Goldman
Frank Barhydt
as Frank Murphy
Mike E. Kaplan
as Marty Grossman
Kevin Scannell
as Gar Girard
Margery Bond
as Witness
Michael Tolkin
as Eric Schecter
Stephen Tolkin
as Carl Schecter
Pete Koch
as Walter
Steve Allen
as Himself
Karen Black
as Herself
Gary Busey
as Himself
James Coburn
as Himself
Brad Davis
as Himself
Paul Dooley
as Himself
Felicia Farr
as Herself
Kasia Figura
as Herself
Dennis Franz
as Himself
Teri Garr
as Herself
Scott Glenn
as Himself
Joel Grey
as Himself
Buck Henry
as Himself
Martin Mull
as Himself
Bert Remsen
as Himself
Guy Remsen
as Himself
Jack Riley
as Himself
Mimi Rogers
as Herself
Annie Ross
as Herself
Alan Rudolph
as Himself
Susan J. Emshwiller
as Detective Broom
Adam Simon
as Himself
Rod Steiger
as Himself
Brian Tochi
as Himself
Lily Tomlin
as Herself
Ray Walston
as Himself
Marvin Young
as Himself
Scott Shaw
as Himself (uncredited)
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Critic Reviews for The Player

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (9)

[It's] supposed to be scathing, but the pleasure it affords is like what you get from watching the Oscars: celebrity spotting and in-jokes.

Full Review… | April 28, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

Mercilessly satiric yet good-natured, this enormously entertaining slam dunk quite possibly is the most resonant Hollywood saga since the days of Sunset Blvd. and The Bad and the Beautiful.

Full Review… | April 28, 2008
Variety
Top Critic

A movie about today's Hollywood -- hilarious and heartless in about equal measure, and often at the same time.

Full Review… | October 23, 2004
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Mr. Altman's most subversive message here is not that it's possible to get away with murder in Hollywood, but that the most grievous sin, in Hollywood terms anyway, is to make a film that flops.

May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

[Altman] sticks it to every target, himself and us included, with a wicked zest that hurts only when you laugh.

June 6, 2001
Rolling Stone
Top Critic

The Player is a rare commodity. It's brilliant and a guilty pleasure.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Washington Post
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Player

Robert Altman uses his street cred to phone in a few favors, namely "will you be in my next film? You get to play yourself." There's a plot here, murder or something, some adultery, some lying, but it's way secondary to the taking of this over-an-hour-long Hollywood selfie that has so many cameos that you'll be wondering when a fresh face arrives onscreen if they're integral to the plot or simply another celeb strolling past the camera to wave at you. Behind the scenes, a idea for a film drama portraying "real life" is pitched, meant to have no stars in it at all to detract from focusing on the story. Guess what?

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Doesn't start off well, but overall well played.

familiar stranger
familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

½

Brilliantly constructed comedy drama, The Player is a richly detailed effort, one that has a well layered story that keeps you involved because you are left wondering how this will end. Hearing great things about the film, I gave a shot, but at times I felt like it was a bit overrated. The Player is far from a bad film and what we have here is a very good picture that combines effective storytelling with wonderful acting. I enjoyed the film, and felt it was well done, and it definitely kept you on the very edge of your seat despite the lack of truly entrancing storytelling. To me, this is a film that works well enough to make you think hard, and you get sense of that when you watch the film, but at the same time you wonder why the film has gotten so much praise. Tim Robbins is as usual in top form here and he acts quite well and he's a wonder to watch here on-screen. The Player is one of those movies that tend to be overhyped, but once you see it you are left wanting a bit more as well. Don't get me wrong, I enjoyed the film, but I simply didn't enjoy it as much as what everyone did. This is an engrossing picture, but there is a few times where the film could have been improved upon. Overall, this is well worth seeing, and it's a film that merits recommendations despite its flaws.

Alex roy
Alex roy

Super Reviewer

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