The Great Gatsby 2013

Critics score:
48 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: Maguire's otherworldly coolness suits the observer drawn into a story he might prefer only to watch. DiCaprio is persuasive as the little boy lost impersonating a tough guy, and Mulligan finds ways to express Daisy's magnetism and weakness. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: It is, as I suspected, a gargantuan hunk of over-art-directed kitsch, but it makes for a grandiose, colorful, pleasure-drenched night at the movies. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: The result is less a conventional movie adaptation than a splashy, trashy opera, a wayward, lavishly theatrical celebration of the emotional and material extravagance that Fitzgerald surveyed with fascinated ambivalence. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: I love the publicity quotes by Baz Luhrmann stating that his intention was to make an epic romantic vision that is enormous. Also: overwrought, asinine, exaggerated and boring. But in the end, about as romantic as a pet rock. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: This dreadful film even derogates the artistry of Fitzgerald, who wrote "The Great Gatsby" while living on Long Island and in Europe. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Where this "Gatsby" fails, it at least does so with imaginative and verve; where it succeeds, it finds poetry. Read more

Scott Foundas, Variety: What Luhrmann grasps even less than previous adapters of the tale is that Fitzgerald was, via his surrogate Carraway, offering an eyewitness account of the decline of the American empire, not an invitation to the ball. Read more

Ben Kenigsberg, AV Club: A half-reverent, half-travestying adaptation that's campy but not a betrayal, offering a lively take on a familiar work while sacrificing such niceties as structure, character, and nuance. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: DiCaprio has aged into roles like this with a certain grace. He carries himself with the self-confidence Gatsby would, but also manages the shade of doubt, that it's all false bravado. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Leonardo DiCaprio gives us the full Gatsby, assured yet insecure, and he's magnificent, but the movie ends up romanticizing what Fitzgerald spent the book de-romanticizing. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: Baz Luhrmann is exactly the wrong person to adapt such a delicately rendered story, and his 3D feature plays like a ghastly Roaring 20s blowout at a sorority house. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: There's always something to watch. But the actors' efforts to get something going the old-fashioned way - by interacting with each other, in the service of the characters - get shoved to the sidelines, in favor of one more blast of glitter. Read more

Tom Charity, There are no two ways about it: The Great Gatsby is misconceived and misjudged, a crude burlesque on what's probably American literature's most precious jewel. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Fitzgerald's sensibility is delicately nuanced, but there's steel in his melancholy. With Luhrmann, everything, not just the parties but the intimate scenes, turns into Mardi Gras. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: Luhrmann hasn't unlocked the secrets of a story that remains all but unfilmable, but his Gatsby is far more than a collection of superficial splashes and tics. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: Even while being admirably faithful to so much of the novel's language, Luhrmann and Pearce still can't quite maneuver Carraway's more cautionary contours about America. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: "The Great Gatsby" is a cool movie, in both the positive and negative sense. You may certainly be impressed, but you may not be moved. Read more

Cary Darling, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ The perfectionist Luhrmann ... captures the exterior excesses of Gatsby's life but overlooks the interior torment that fuels them. Without the latter, Gatsby is less a film and more of a salute to production design. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: For the most part, the actors never sync up with Luhrmann's jitterbug rhythm. Read more

William Goss, And so we wait, wait for the parties to end, wait for sparks to fly, for tragedy to strike, for repercussions to ensue, for our persistently passive protagonist to simply shut up already. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: For all the antic, manic itchiness of his Gatsby, for all the jazz hands, the movie doesn't reach out and grab you. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Hollywood Reporter: The cast is first-rate, the ambiance and story provide a measure of intoxication and, most importantly, the core thematic concerns pertaining to the American dream, self-reinvention and love lost, regained and lost again are tenaciously addressed. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: On paper "Gatsby" sounds like quite the film. On screen, though, things start to fall apart. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: It is DiCaprio who really burrows into the soul and the marrow of a classic. Luhrmann just grazes it. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: A failure that should have at least been a magnificent mistake. Read more

David Thomson, The New Republic: It's stupefying, it's vulgar, it's demeaning-it's dull and there's nothing like the dullness that is trying to be a sensation. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: The fourth adaptation of the Fitzgerald novel scores some hits and wild misses, but DiCaprio nails the bull's-eye. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Fitzgerald's illusions were not very different from Gatsby's, but his illusionless book resists destruction even from the most aggressive and powerful despoilers. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: The real star of any Baz Luhrmann film must be Baz Luhrmann. And he wears out his welcome very early. Read more

Keith Phipps, NPR: Luhrmann takes great care with the rhythms of individual scenes, yet the film as a whole plays like a long trudge through a familiar story. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: The themes are spelled out with all the refinement of Cliffs Notes. The CGI gimmicks add nothing relevant (skip the 3-D ticket). And few of the actors seem at all comfortable amid the decadence. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: A movie that may not be truly great but certainly stands out like a beacon in a sea of silly blockbusters. Read more

Michael Sragow, Orange County Register: Baz Luhrmann's razzmatazz and bombast -- in 3D! -- overwhelm the subtle poetry of F. Scott Fitzgerald's novel. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: There have been other stabs at Fitzgerald's book ... But none can be deemed as audaciously miscalculated as this. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: As unlikely as it might seem, high-energy director Baz Luhrmann has in fact crafted a somnambulant motion picture. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard The best attempt yet to capture the essence of the novel. Read more

Matt Zoller Seitz, Chicago Sun-Times: Even when the movie's not working, its style fascinates. That "not working" part is a deal breaker, though ... Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: There may be worse movies this summer than The Great Gatsby, but there won't be a more crushing disappointment. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, It surely belongs to the category of baroque, overblown, megalomaniacal spectacles dubbed "film follies" by longtime Nation film critic Stuart Klawans. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Although the incurably exuberant Baz Luhrmann had the glitter factories and sequin mines working overtime, his glitzed-up "Gatsby" is dishwater dull. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: Old dogs who don't believe in new tricks can howl about sacrilege, but for those attuned to the movie, "The Great Gatsby" is the cat's meow. Read more

Christopher Orr, The Atlantic: The central problem with Luhrmann's film is that when it's entertaining it's not Gatsby, and when it's Gatsby it's not entertaining. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: It's a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel's greatness. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: We're ... reminded of what this movie could have been, had not Luhrmann hit the autopilot switch and allowed Fitzgerald to do all the dramatic thinking for him. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: This film marks the official moment in which Baz Luhrmann's signature style has become self-parody. So we beat on, boats against the current, jumping the shark. Read more

Keith Uhlich, Time Out: The anachronistic pop-music cues, digitally augmented tracking shots and disco-globe-glittery production design don't re-create the headiness of early-20th-century New York so much as invent a billowy fantasy otherworld in the gauzy vein of Twilight. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Frenzied and overwrought, Baz Luhrmann'sThe Great Gatsby is a glitz-filled folly. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: [Luhrmann's] "Great Gatsby" is all about the glitter but it has no soul - and the fact that he's directed it in 3-D only magnifies the feeling of artificiality. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: It seldom, if ever, captures that fierce delicacy of feeling Fitzgerald packed into every sentence. And it's not an actors' movie. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: The best thing about Baz Luhrmann's much-anticipated/much-dreaded The Great Gatsby is that, for all its computer-generated whoosh and overbroad acting, it is unmistakably F. Scott Fitzgerald's The Great Gatsby. That is no small deal. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Despite timely relevance, enduring truths and Luhrmann's earnest efforts to make The Great Gatsby jump off the screen, he -- and we -- finally can't help but fail to grasp it. Read more