EntertainmentFirst reviews of the epic movie. Not everyone is thrilled

First reviews of the epic movie. Not everyone is thrilled

Joaquin Phoenix as the titular "Napoleon"
Joaquin Phoenix as the titular "Napoleon"
Images source: © Press materials
4:02 PM EST, November 15, 2023

As one of the most anticipated movies of the year, the world premiere of "Napoleon," the latest work by Ridley Scott, is set to take place on November 22, 2023. The first reviews are already online, and they might surprise fans.

Even at 85, the director continues to work diligently. His latest film, "Napoleon", anticipated as one of the most spectacular films of the year based on the scale of its trailer alone, has yet to be released. Despite this, during the Hollywood strike, the filmmaker showed no signs of stopping and was actively working on his next project, the sequel to "Gladiator". The first reviews of this historical epic about France's most revered commander have started to surface online.

"Surprisingly amusing": First reviews of "Napoleon"

The film holds an 80 percent "Freshness" rating on "Rotten Tomatoes". Although the rating is generally positive, considering the size of its promotional campaign and the expectations that came along with the film, many might have expected the score to be higher.

Liam Crowley from "Comic Book" values Vanessa Kirby's performance above all, describing the production as "an epic worth watching on the big screen". Jordan Hoffman from "The Messenger" delivers a succinct statement: "It's truly a bravura film," and Kevin Maher from the British "Times" speaks highly of "the compelling power of Phoenix's performance".

A lighthearted summary comes from Nicholas Barber of BBC.com, "It's an admirable achievement, although it may make you appreciate Scott's [the film's director] leadership skills more than Napoleon's". Alonso Duralde expresses hope for the director's forthcoming version of the film, set to be released on streaming services: "Though this extravagantly mounted production recalls an epic war epic, Ridley Scott's promised director's cut will hopefully fill in emotional and historical gaps," writes the reviewer from "The Film Verdict".

"Suffers from the same problems as its hero"

However, not all comments were positive. Peter Debruge from "Variety" offered the film a "rotten tomato" (a low rating), arguing, "Napoleon ultimately suffers from the same problem as its hero: the film's ambitions are greater than its execution. Scott bit off more than he could chew".

NAPOLEON - Official Trailer (HD)

"Matinee With Matt"'s Matthew Creith notes that though the film succeeds in portraying an undeniably important historical character in a ruthless light, "there is a lack of chemistry between the main role performers". David Rooney from "Hollywood Reporter" voices similar sentiments: "Despite all its vibrancy, atmosphere and solidly choreographed fights, it's a sprawling historical tapestry – too immense to remain riveting throughout, especially when its focus shifts away from the central pair".

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