Rules Don't Apply (2016) - Rotten Tomatoes

Rules Don't Apply (2016)



Critic Consensus: With Rules Don't Apply, Warren Beatty takes an overall affable -- but undeniably slight -- look at a corner of old Hollywood under Howard Hughes' distinctive shadow.

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Movie Info

An aspiring young actress (Lily Collins) and her ambitious young driver (Alden Ehrenreich) struggle hopefully with the absurd eccentricities of the wildly unpredictable billionaire Howard Hughes (Warren Beatty) for whom they work. It's Hollywood, 1958. Small town beauty queen, songwriter, and devout Baptist virgin Marla Mabrey (Collins), under contract to the infamous Howard Hughes (Beatty), arrives in Los Angeles. At the airport, she meets her driver Frank Forbes (Ehrenreich), who is engaged to be married to his 7th grade sweetheart and is a deeply religious Methodist. Their instant attraction not only puts their religious convictions to the test, but also defies Hughes' #1 rule: no employee is allowed to have any relationship whatsoever with a contract actress. Hughes' behavior intersects with Marla and Frank in very separate and unexpected ways, and as they are drawn deeper into his bizarre world, their values are challenged and their lives are changed.

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Warren Beatty
as Howard Hughes
Lily Collins
as Marla Mabrey
Alden Ehrenreich
as Frank Forbes
Matthew Broderick
as Levar Mathis
Alec Baldwin
as Bob Maheu
Annette Bening
as Lucy Mabrey
Candice Bergen
as Nadine Henly
Dabney Coleman
as Raymond Holiday
Steve Coogan
as Colonel Nigel Briggs
Ed Harris
as Mr. Bransford
Oliver Platt
as Forester
Martin Sheen
as Noah Dietrich
Taissa Farmiga
as Sarah Bransford
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News & Interviews for Rules Don't Apply

Critic Reviews for Rules Don't Apply

All Critics (166) | Top Critics (35)

If Rules Don't Apply is merely a nostalgic love letter to Beatty's early days as an actor in the years before 1961's Splendor in the Grass made him an international sex symbol, that's enough. Give it a whirl. You'll be time traveling with one of the best.

December 5, 2016 | Full Review…

Beatty's vision of showbiz corruption is hardly novel, but as a writer and actor, he's created the most wistful and complex portrait of Hughes I've ever seen.

December 1, 2016 | Full Review…

Warren Beatty plays Howard Hughes with seductive charm, sneaky intelligence and buggy eccentricity. Sadly, Beatty as writer and director has chosen to make Hughes a supporting role, teasing a much deeper portrait..

November 25, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

This is a picture Beatty has wanted to make for years, and if the movie isn't the achievement it should be, it's at least entertaining in fits and starts.

November 25, 2016 | Full Review…

[It's] a rousing entertainment with eye candy in abundance. Rules Don't Apply is witty and weird by turns.

November 23, 2016 | Full Review…

The central problem with "Rules Don't Apply," unfortunately, is the central romance. The characters don't appeal - the starlet has no particular spark, while the driver is a pushy go-getter.

November 23, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Rules Don't Apply

More humorous than I expected. It's kind of a mess, but I still admire Beatty's bizarre vision.

Alec Barniskis
Alec Barniskis

Super Reviewer

At the core of this slice of late 50's, early 60's Hollywood is, tah-dah, (of course) a love story. Unfortunately both of our young lovers come off as opportunistic wannabes, particularly when played against the always-in-shadow Howard Hughes (writer/director/producer Beatty) who seems bewildered as to why they seem bewildered over being played so, um, ruthlessly. And he does play them both. Sucks all the charm right out of the thing. Somehow Annette Bening escapes as the only sympathetic character onscreen and she's only there for a minute.

Kevin M. Williams
Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

Rules Don't Apply is a film that fails on just about every conceivable level. The only good thing I can say about it is, that it's probably one of Lily Collins better performances, too bad it's wasted in this punchbowl of a film. The flaws are simply too much for you to take it seriously on any level. It's like someone decided to do a 1950s love story and a Hollywood Biopic and failed to do either one properly. It's ironic that this film is about a Hollywood Legend who's trying to be the boss while whacked outta his mind because after watching this movie, I think it's time for Warren Beatty to enjoy the rest of his life at home before he gets sectioned.

Jacob Smith
Jacob Smith

Super Reviewer

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