Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: TBD

Copying Beethoven Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… still sucks. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 33

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Holland's empurpled bio-fantasy is hooey with an anachronistic feminist slant from start to finish.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    The picture never successfully comes off the written page.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This is one of those middle-of-the-road art pictures that will impress some music lovers and attract a small audience, but won't really excite anyone. Copying Beethoven does not do for its title composer what Amadeus did for Mozart, and that's a shame.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Wilmington

    Copying Beethoven, at its best, is a sort of grand cinema opera of the composer's life and music.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Copying Beethoven reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Period romance isn't original enough to score.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that most kids probably won't be interested in this period romantic drama, which deals with mature, somewhat abstract themes -- art, aging, inspiration, and originality. It focuses on a passionate, if chaste, relationship between the aging Beethoven and a young woman who works for him. The film includes some general vulgarities (references to bodily functions, filth, rats), a few occasions when Beethoven is drunk and unruly, and scenes featuring his dissolute nephew gambling and behaving badly (he grabs Anna's breasts). Characters argue loudly, and Anna cries when Beethoven berates her. Occasional mild language ("s--t" is the worst of it).

  • Families can talk about the creative process. How does the movie make the processes of composing and listening to music seem dynamic, rather than quiet, personal activities? How does it show that music is a sensual, emotional, and visceral means of communication? How does Anna provide a model of good moral behavior for her cantankerous employer? Does the movie make you any more interested in classical music?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: Beethoven's ornery, self-aggrandizing personality is tolerated by workers and relatives because he's a genius and because he supports them financially.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Some drunken antics (falling down and bellowing); Beethoven breaks a model bridge with his cane.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Verbal sexual allusions; passionate kissing between an engaged couple; Beethoven undresses in front of a female copyist and moons her; nephew touches Anna's breasts, assuming she's his uncle's prostitute; references to bodily functions (peeing).

  • language false0

    Language: Relatively mild, infrequent language ("s--t," "filthy bastard").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false3

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Drinking and rowdy drunkenness.