The Truman Show 1998

Critics score:
94 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: It's a satire/comedy/fantasy about the future of television and the people caught in its omnipresent electronic net: a supremely intelligent jape about a man named Truman Burbank. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Adventurous, provocative, even daring. Read more

Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel: The important thing is that Carrey and the filmmakers have taken pains to give Truman that soul -- which, in itself, provides a kind of depth. In any case, it gets you to care about how it's going to end. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Most movies are lucky to have one idea rattling around inside. The unusually resonant Truman positively vibrates with themes. Read more

Tom Keogh, Seattle Times: This is a film that can stay with one for a very long time after a viewing, and even slightly change the way one looks at life and the world. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: A performance of profound charm, innocence, vulnerability and pain. Read more

Susan Stark, Detroit News: A bracingly intelligent, provocative and witty mix of entertainment values and long thoughts. Read more

Janet Maslin, New York Times: The latter part of the film, depicting Truman's rebellion and providing him with a perfect final line, is much more conventionally conceived than its splendid start. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: A good, intelligent, insightful movie... Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: Its essential strengths are more dramatic and emotional than topical or satirical. Truman is a touchingly gallant creation, the hero of someone else's existential burlesque. Read more

Keith Phipps, AV Club: Weir keeps things fairly entertaining, and is admirably not afraid to veer more toward drama than comedy, but his film, like the world it portrays, is all surface. Read more

Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader: In short, this pretends to be daring while parroting what much of the TV industry already thinks about itself and its audience. But it's still pretty much fun to watch. Read more

Paul Tatara, The Truman Show will probably be the most thought-provoking "big" movie to come out this summer, and that says a whole lot more about other movies than it does about this one. You should, however, see it for Carrey's newly unveiled charms. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Carrey turns Truman into a postmodern Capra hero. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The result is a rarity on any screen: intelligent fun. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: In the end, Weir's movie is more a capitulation than a challenge to television, and a vulgar one at that. Truman turns out to be more Burbank than he is True-man. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: Carrey is on his mettle, but you wonder why thirty years of close observation have made Truman so funny; shouldn't he be a regular guy gone mad? Read more

Peter Rainer, New York Magazine/Vulture: This is a profound movie for people who don't like to think, or perhaps for people who are in the media and of the media, and can't imagine any life outside it. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: The premise of Peter Weir's The Truman Show is both reasonable and ludicrous, its execution sublime. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: An appealing, offbeat, one-hundred minute diversion for those who really are tired of monsters tearing down buildings and action heroes saving the world. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: The underlying ideas made the movie more than just entertainment. Like Gattaca, the previous film written by Niccol, it brings into focus the new values that technology is forcing on humanity. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The Truman Show finds a near-miraculous balance of humor and feeling in the keen intelligence of the script by Andrew Niccol and the prodigal inventiveness of Dead Poets Society director Peter Weir at his very best. Read more

Charles Taylor, The conception is so audacious and inventive that the movie winds up doing something genuinely radical: it bores through the boundaries of our entire media-saturated culture. Read more

Edward Guthmann, San Francisco Chronicle: I had that rare feeling of elation - of wanting to share a wonderful discovery - that comes with seeing an original, inspired piece of work. Read more

David Edelstein, Slate: The movie might have been a soulless exercise without [Carrey]. With him, it has an authentic tremulousness, and also a dread, as if Pinocchio needed to take on Gepetto and Jiminy Crickett to become a real boy. Read more

Tom Charity, Time Out: One movie you can pronounce a modern classic with absolute confidence. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: A gemlike picture crafted with rare and immaculate precision... Read more

Rita Kempley, Washington Post: One of the smartest, most inventive movies in memory, it manages to be as endearing as it is provocative. Read more

Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post: To be sure, the movie has plenty of laughs, but like sunlight on the deceptively calm surface of the sea, its light humor dances fitfully over dark and dangerous undercurrents. Read more