Sunset Boulevard - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Sunset Boulevard Reviews

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October 5, 2016
Great film with some amazing acting. Gloria Swanson is sensational. All in all one of the best movies in the 50's. Probably the best film about Hollywood.
September 14, 2016
One of the great joys of the film is watching the way in which William Holden's naturalistic performance clashes with an actress and performance style from an earlier age.
August 7, 2016
Up front disclosure: I saw this at Somerset House's outdoor screenings in London, which both aided and took away from its enjoyment.

Overall, it was well acted and had some very witty and funny remarks, particularly if you have any familiarity with LA's film industry, but there wasn't much of a drive or plot throughout. Even halfway through, it felt like it was just meandering through their lives, with no particular understanding for why this movie had been made.

Given that it is on many best of lists (and #52 on IMDB), I just expected more from this film.
½ August 5, 2016
A good reason why this won 3 Oscars!
Super Reviewer
August 3, 2016
The definition of timeless classic, superbly written and directed, blending dark humor and tragic film noir - and it offers splendid performances by William Holden and Gloria Swanson, who play a sarcastic writer and a histrionic diva of yore, respectively.
July 12, 2016
Come out and see for yourself,
The address is 10086 Sunset Boulevard...
One of the Greatest and Most tragic film in the history of Cinema!
American film is nothing without Billy Wilder!!
July 12, 2016
This is an unfolding experience; the fate is set, we know William Holden will die and his narration is otherworldly, from the afterlife presumably. So the challenge is always: can we care about a story whose results we already know? It's Shakespeare's witches on a beach, prophetic, moving in one direction. We only need one look at Gloria Swanson's Norma Desmond - set in a rotting mansion amidst stacks of obsessively writing an epic screenplay that nobody will buy - to know that Holden is falling into a trap with a completely insane woman. I don't know enough movies to say whether or not this really stood out for it's time, exposing the inner world of Hollywood glamour and the hard hit for those who fall from it. But I can say that every beat of this film unfolds to my taste, and it's statement of Hollywood holds true to today. Holden's Joe Gillis is trapped in Dracula's castle, his meat tenderizing to her whims, her every need, and eventually her desire to have a man like him in her life. Here's a young, good-looking stud whose screenwriting career is failing, and out of desperation he allows himself to be taken by this old washup. We get a sense of both Gillis and Desmond's desperation playing off into their inevitable pitfall. Gillis could have a younger, attractive, successful woman like Barbara Schaefer, who is helping him recuperate his career with a screenplay that could actually land him a quality film. She is his only hope, his one way ticket out of hell into a better life. But he's in a bubble with her, dancing on the outskirts, seeing what could've been if his devlish functions weren't so manipulated by the more immediate lavish life Desmond provides. Wilder stages this with delicacy, but is not shy to allow over-the-top moments, particularly by Swanson giving us the ugliest side of fallen stardom one could imagine. From her facelift to her close-up moment after the murder, we get all we could hope to keep reserved in the belly of our deepest nightmares of lost minds and past-dwelling. I only wonder if this film feels very removed to those who don't know Hollywood lingo, which dialogue and narration provide an abundance of. It will also go over many heads the significance of featuring the legendary director Cecil B DeMille as himself, entertaining Desmond in a horrible tease that her screenplay has any promise, only to reveal the sad truth that he had no other way of handling her politely, and has no intention of making her movie. The narration is another great tool, providing the attitude and backdrop of being a screenwriter in Hollywood, not taking from the theatric experience of the story coming to life visually. Desmond's heartbreak is unsettling, unnerving, and an effective lesson about moving on in life.
½ July 7, 2016
They don't make 'em like they used to.
½ June 26, 2016
fabulous insight into post-fame of the 50s! reflects gloria swanson in some ways to the character of norma desmond, brilliant and enjoyable!
June 14, 2016
Is this a horror movie? Is this a dark comedy? Is this melodrama? What's happening here?!
June 10, 2016
Haunting, biting, brilliant. Unforgettable performance by Gloria Swanson.
June 4, 2016
The acting is great. The cinematography, writing, directing, scoring and editing all come together to make a near perfect piece. I cannot say that the movie is the best ever made, but I can say it comes pretty darn close.
June 4, 2016
I'm ready for my close-up!
May 8, 2016
A self-deprecating reflection of the detriment of fame, this carries us through great elements of noir and romance, though it is predictable and a little cheesy when it's not.
May 4, 2016
Great movie -- the way it is told, Swanson, Holden and von Stroheim together and a great supporting cast. Definite must see of what happens in Hollywood when you are not at the top of the bill board any longer.
April 28, 2016
"Sunset Boulevard" is undoubtedly melodramatic, but, if you can suspend your disbelief, you'll come to understand why this self-aware film is considered one of the best pictures about Hollywood and of Hollywood.
April 24, 2016
A piercing script, deft direction from Billy Wilder and a spellbinding tour de force performance from Gloria Swanson combine to deliver a riveting masterpiece about opulence and decay.
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