Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 114 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: Director Robert Altman and writer Garrison Keillor join forces with an all-star cast to create a comic backstage fable, A Prairie Home Companion, about a fictitious radio variety show that has managed to survive in the age of television. (Picturehouse)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 1 out of 38
  1. 100
    What a lovely film this is, so gentle and whimsical, so simple and profound.
  2. Both magical and consistently joyous. The director, Robert Altman, and the writer, Garrison Keillor, have, against all odds, transmuted the fatigued public radio institution into a lovely fable about mortality, fleeting fame, fondness for the past and the ineffable beauty of life in the present.
  3. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Sometimes you forget how great an actor is, then he or she is reborn in an Altman movie.
  4. 75
    It's a breezy, homespun, relaxing thing...watching this laid-back picture feels, oddly enough, like a vacation from movies.
  5. 70
    It's by no means the greatest Altman, and not even a great Altman. And yet, even though it was written and conceived by Garrison Keillor -- as a fanciful fiction that draws on elements of his popular radio show -- it is somehow pure Altman.
  6. 63
    Overall, the film falls into some comforting cocoon midway between affectionate spoof and adoring homage, much like Keillor's warmly nostalgic show.
  7. This is not one of the good Altmans. This isn't even one of the mediocre Altmans.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 55
  2. Negative: 20 out of 55
  1. JonJ.
    Sep 19, 2007
    Just what you would expect from a Keillor-Altman collaboration. Given the distinctiveness of their respective styles, you'd expect wide ranging reviews. If you like both, you'll like the movie. If you don't like one or the other, the movie may very well drive you crazy. Expand
  2. KaseyS.
    Aug 3, 2006
    Aside from United 93, the best movie I've seen so far this year. The movie is both hysterical and extremely poignant. Casting was excellent. Acting was superb. I'm normally very anti-supernatural elements in movies, but in this movie, it makes sense and was a brilliant way to tie in the theme. I can't wait for this to come out on DVD. Expand
  3. MichaelL.
    Jun 25, 2006
    An absolute joy. Filled with perfect performances and wonderfully nuanced moments. I feel genuinely sad for people who can't relax and enjoy this film; it's sweet, and strangely life-affirming considering it's basically a meditation on death. Streep and Tomlin are amazing (Oscar nods to both, I say), as are Reilly and Harrelson. Only Kevin Kline annoys, which is why I give PHC a 9 rather than a 10. Ignore the nay-sayers and escape from the madness of life in 2006--see this film. Expand
  4. TRacyR.
    Jul 7, 2006
    Well ... it's a mood piece and it is sucessful at maintaining a complicated mixture of wry and cornpone longger then you'd think one could get away with it, but that's about it. Nothing else going on except as a reviewer put it "Hollywood Karaoke". Keillor is a writer and he gets in some delightful plays on language and the stars use their considerable charm to engaging effect. But the point of the radio show is not celebrity-gazing and the camera's relentless focus on Streep (who is fine and this isn't her fault) is almost distracting. I also sincerely resented the cutaway from the Jerilyn Steel song. Why do I have to watch every quivering moment of Linday Lohan, but can't listen or watch one lousy song from the best singer in the move? Because she isn't a name? Shame on Altman for that. Altogether - not an insignificant accomplishment, but a little diisappointing and should have been better. Expand
  5. OliverC.
    Jul 20, 2006
    You'd think with an all star cast the movie would be something. This movie is neither bad nor good. It isn't exciting or boring. Its neutral, like watching mediocre television it puts you in a trance and once it's over nothings changed. Yes the people are moving and talking and things are happening but somehow there is no depth whatsoever. This movie could use a little something i like to call a plot, better music (its sort of like a mighty wind, but everything sounds formulaic) as so much of it was musical, character development perhaps? better writing perhaps? Every joke is played out a bit too long and becomes unfunny. The movie is one song, then one joke, then another song, for two hours, and besides scene with an angel and the penguins and the "bad joke" scene its almost void of thought. A movie for the critics. Let them bathe in this accomplishment of mediocrity! Expand
  6. RobertW.
    Jun 12, 2006
    You'd better love PHC before you see this movie. I liked the music, the acting was passable, but it would have been just as good on the radio. Definitely a critics movie or a PHC fan. Not much there for the rest of us. Expand
  7. JoeK.
    Jun 9, 2006
    I can't believe this got a rating in the 70s! This is the worst movie I've ever seen. It's like they thought, let's make a movie with absolutely no plot, too many characters, and make it 2 hours long! The radio show is much better than the movie. Don't waste your time! Expand

See all 55 User Reviews