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The Artist Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

A valentine for Valentino. Read full review

3.0

Grae Drake Profile

You'll roar for these '20s. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0
    89

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Drama, comedy, action and romance are intertwined in this gorgeously photographed and brilliantly directed film. Lead performances are thoroughly engaging despite - or perhaps because of - being wordless.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Silence makes the film interesting by enticing us to concentrate in ways we're not used to, while artistry carries the day. The Artist may have started as a daring stunt, but it elevates itself to an endearing - and probably enduring - delight.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Artist evinces unlimited love for the look and ethos of the 1920s as well for the style of the movies. The filmmakers clearly did their homework and took great pleasure in doing so, an enjoyment that is passed along in ample doses to any viewer game for their nifty little conceit.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Days after I saw The Artist, I was still thinking (and grinning) about it, because the movie's real romance is the one between us, the jaded 21st-century audience, and the mechanical innocence of old movies, which here becomes new again.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Artist reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Loving tribute to silent films has a few tense moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Artist -- a black-and-white homage to Hollywood's silent movies of the 1920s -- is nearly silent itself, relying on characters' gestures and expressions, the musical score, and occasional title cards to tell its story of fame, fortune, and friendship. As such, it might not appeal to many kids, but those who really love movies may be drawn in by its references, setting, and old-fashioned celebration of cinema. There are a few tense/violent scenes, including one in which a distraught character puts a gun in his own mouth and another in which a fire gets out of control. You can also expect lots of era-accurate smoking and a fair bit of drinking, including some overindulgence. But there's virtually no language or sexual content, and in the end characters learn important lessons about the value of friendship and humility.

  • Families can talk about why the filmmakers would want to make a silent movie today, when technology is so different. What's the appeal? Would the movie have been as effective if it was about silent movies but not silent itself?
  • Who do you think The Artist is intended to appeal to? How can you tell?
  • How does the fact that the movie is silent impact the way the actors behave on screen? What do you think would have been different if the movie had more dialogue?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie celebrates friendship/loyalty, old Hollywood, and the magic of the movies, though it also suggests that "progress" is inevitable -- and that some people, especially those who are no longer young or fresh, may be cast aside in the process. Characters eventually learn difficult lessons about being overly proud and turning away help and affection when they're offered.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: George starts out full of confidence and cheer (albeit with a tendency to hog the limelight); as his fortunes change, so does his outlook. Frustration and self-pity eventually overwhelm him, but he fights his way out of their shadow and learns that it's not beneath him to accept help and friendship from others. Peppy overall lives up to her name -- she's determined and goal-oriented, but she's also cheerful, loyal, and energetic.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: In one tense/upsetting scene, it appears as though a character is going to commit suicide with a gun (he puts it into his mouth). Also, the movie opens on a mild torture scene (a character is shocked via electricity) that turns out to be part of a film within the film -- as are a few quick fight/chase scenes that follow. Another film-within-a-film sequence shows someone falling victim to quicksand. Also, a car crashes, and a reckless fire gets out of control and causes damage to property and one character.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Some flirting, longing glances, close dancing, and chaste embraces.

  • language false1

    Language: One use of "damn" (on title card); one rude gesture (a character flips someone off).

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Very frequent smoking (accurate for the era); mostly cigarettes, but also some cigars. Adult characters also drink (mostly cocktails/hard liquor), sometimes to excess; while drunk, one character has visions and makes a rash, dangerous decision.

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