Metropolis 1927

Critics score:
99 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: None of the film's many imitators has achieved something this immediately magnificent. Read more

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: The restoration eliminates nearly all the distracting cracks and splices and stabilizes images that were previously jittery, allowing us to admire them in all their complex glory. Read more

Marta Barber, Miami Herald: The stunning cinematography, made crisper by present-day technology, and the film's overall visual concept continue to make your jaw drop with admiration. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Trashy and glorious, the restored Metropolis is a pop epic for the ages. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: The eye-popping design and sense of scale remains as fresh and vital as it was in 1927. Read more

Michael Phillips, At the Movies: This movie is certifiably nuts and naive in many ways, but it is so exciting. Read more

Mark Rahner, Seattle Times: See it on the big screen while you can, or risk the wrath of Moloch. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Catch it wherever and whenever it plays. It incarnates the idea of the Big City as a manifestation of modernism. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: The film looks fabulous, and Gottfried Huppertz's original score is another worthy addition. Read more

Don Druker, Chicago Reader: The great Fritz Lang created this chilling 1926 evocation of a mechanized utopia run by underground slave labor. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Here's a coincidence: The first must-see movie of 2010 is also the must-see movie of 1927. The difference is that you can actually see it now. Or most of it. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: There's no denying either the influence of Lang's vision -- so much of what he did in this film lives on that we take it as cultural assumption -- or the still valid energy of his storytelling. Read more

Gary Dowell, Dallas Morning News: After 75 years, Fritz Lang's Metropolis still stands as an icon of the silent era. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: To see the film as the director intended, on the big screen with an original score recorded by a 60-piece orchestra, greatly enhances the reputation of a film already considered one of the icons of the silent era. Read more

Pauline Kael, New Yorker: One of the last examples of the imaginative -- but often monstrous -- grandeur of the Golden Period of the German film, Metropolis is a spectacular example of Expressionist design. Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: You've seen the rest; now see the best. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: Each frame of this classic is drop-dead stunning. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: The extended version -- the additional footage is easy to spot because it's rather worn and a slightly different size -- provides more of the extraordinary performance by the teenage Helm. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Far from a historical curio, Metropolis arrives, three-quarters of a century late, like an artifact from the future. Read more

Mordaunt Hall, New York Times: Occasionally it strikes one that [Lang] wanted to include too much and then that all one anticipates does not appear. But at the same time the various ideas have been spliced together quite adroitly. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: Few films have ever been more visually exhilarating. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: A masterpiece of art direction, the movie has influenced our vision of the future ever since. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: A great artist contains multitudes, and Lang packed a host of contradictory longings into a single allegory. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: A fully realized work of art whose influence on science fiction, set design and symbolism can scarcely be put into words. Read more

Ben Walters, Time Out: Building on earlier science fiction and endlessly influential on later works, Lang's film is a mammoth marvel, fusing modernism and expressionism, art deco and Biblical spectacle, Wagnerian bombast, sentimental Marxism and religiose millenarianism. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: I have just had a sensational night at the movies, and the picture was only 83 years old. Read more

Variety Staff, Variety: Too bad that so much really artistic work was wasted on this manufactured story. Read more

Ed Halter, Village Voice: Lang's impossibly vast skyscraper-ziggurats (inspired, it's said, by his first view of the Manhattan skyline) are the blueprint for nearly every science-fiction movie city of the past 30 years. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: A movie whose graphic intelligence is exceeded only by its conceptual audacity. Read more

Stephen Hunter, Washington Post: The great thing is that despite the over-the-top acting, the makeup that doesn't know when to stop, the preciousness of so many of the compositions (Lang was nothing if not inventive), this is a great old movie-movie. Read more