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The Queen of Versailles Review

  • Release Date: Jul 20, 2012
  • Rated: Language and Thematic Elements
  • Runtime: 1 hr. 40 min.
  • Genres: Documentary
  • Director:Lauren Greenfield

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    A succulently entertaining movie that invites you to splash around in the dreams and follies of folks so rich they're the 1 percent of the 1 percent. It's like a champagne bath laced with arsenic.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    An indelible portrait of an American family at its most blithely macabre.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter John DeFore

    The Queen of Versailles will prompt loathing not only among the so-called 99 Percent, but among those in the top 1 percent who would like someone more sane to represent them on camera.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The point of the film is not to scorn or mock the Siegels, despite their excesses. They embody the quintessentially American urge to live beyond one's means. Their saga is simply the story of a nation's materialism writ large.

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  • See all The Queen of Versailles reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Rich family faces financial crisis in teen-friendly docu.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that The Queen of Versailles is a thoroughly riveting but also disturbing documentary about a very wealthy family, the Siegels, and how they swing from one extreme (seemingly endless riches) to another (the national economic crisis threatens to bring their business to its knees). There are plenty of lessons for tweens and teens about the perils of overspending, why it's important to have realistic values regarding money, and how riches can't shield you from the harsh realities of life and business. Expect some mild swearing ("damn" and "ass"), and many displays of excess. The movie becomes deeply personal in the second half, so younger viewers may feel uncomfortable watching how a family relates to each other in times of crisis, but there's a lot to learn here.

  • Families can talk about money. What do the Siegels' habits and experiences teach us about fiscal responsibility? Parents, talk to your kids about your own values regarding spending, saving, and other financial issues.
  • Do you find it easy to empathize with Jackie as her economic situation changes? Can you relate to her plight, despite her wealth and her lack of awareness? How does the movie make her a sympathetic character?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie offers sobering lessons about the dangers of overspending, as well as the idea that money doesn't make you happy (though it can help you live comfortably). The need to value things besides material goods and wealth is clear.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: While there's much about the Siegels that's grating -- including their obliviousness to true suffering -- Jackie in particular doesn't put on airs. She remains in touch with old friends and looks just as comfortable in a 20-room mansion as she is in a tiny one-bedroom house.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence: Some bickering.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A married couple kisses. A married man flirts openly with younger women. Some sexual innuendoes.

  • language false2

    Language: Language includes "ass" and "damn."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: The theme of excess runs through the entire film, and many labels are named-dropped and/or seen: Ferrero Rocher, iPhone, Risk, Yahtzee, Monopoly, Fox TV, McDonald's, Walmart, etc.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some social drinking by adults.