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Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 30 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: After becoming the first woman to fly across the Atlantic, Amelia was thrust into a new role as America's sweetheart - the legendary "goddess of light," known for her bold, larger-than-life charisma. Yet, even with her global fame solidified, her belief in flirting with danger and standing up as her own, outspoken woman never changed. She was an inspiration to people everywhere, from First Lady Eleanor Roosevelt to the men closest to her heart: her husband, promoter and publishing magnate George P. Putnam, and her long time friend and lover, pilot Gene Vidal. In the summer of 1937, Amelia set off on her most daunting mission yet: a solo flight around the world that she and George both anxiously foresaw as destined, whatever the outcome, to become one of the most talked-about journeys in history. (Fox Searchlight) Collapse
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 34
  2. Negative: 11 out of 34
  1. Most of all, Earhart wanted to be able to fly free as a bird above the clouds, and director Nair and star Swank make her quest not only understandable but truly impressive.
  2. The actress and the aviatrix are a match made in heaven, but surrounding the soaring performance is a movie that's mostly earthbound.
  3. 63
    In an ironic twist, Mira Nair's big-hearted yet by-the-numbers biopic of Amelia Earhart never -- unlike the famous aviatrix -- takes chances.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    40
    It's enough to make you wish someone would make a movie about her.
  5. There’s nothing more boring than a life embalmed with halfhearted Hollywood bombast, which only makes the film’s fleeting pleasures stand out all the more.
  6. Reviewed by: Nick Pinkerton
    30
    Drawn from two Earhart bios, Mira Nair’s dull hagiography comes in about 111 minutes too long.
  7. Amelia Earhart is still missing.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Negative: 1 out of 7
  1. Jan 10, 2011
    10
    This movie was superb. Hillary Swank and Richard Gere are terrific. Don't miss it. You will love it; it's low key film-making at its best. Why it received such low scores is beyond me. It is a 10 in my book. Expand
  2. HankW.
    Oct 26, 2009
    10
    Hillary Swank is magnificent in anything she is in. This is a biopic and it plays like one. Not every movie has to be explosive and action packed. Some movies strive for authenticity. So, if you are a Transformers fan, this is not for you but if you like movies that are intelligent and well acted, this might be the one you have been waiting for. Expand
  3. WinstonLin
    Oct 28, 2009
    10
    Despite the reviews, Hilary Swank is STILL on my Oscar-watch.
  4. BillZ.
    Oct 25, 2009
    7
    I saw the film on its opening night and found a very small audience, mostly made up of seniors who I presume at least know the background to the story. Negative reviews have crippled the film and will likely result in its early demise at the boxoffice. Like most critical reviews of Amelia, reviewers have "dogpiled" on without a clear indication of why the film failed. Amelia is not an epic nor is it the complete failure that has been described in numerous publications. The standard format of a Hollywood biopic is what many reviewers have disdainfully denigrated. Recounting a life with factual rather than fanciful or unsubstantiated accounts, has doomed the film in many reviews. The mystique and mystery of her life is difficult to distill in a film, but judging by the historians and researchers that have chronicled the Earhart saga, Amelia provides an authentic and authoritative depiction of the last decade of her life. What was missing is the understanding by reputedly astute observers of the iconic status of a feminist, daring adventurer and one of the first of the international celebrities of Aviation's Golden Age. Amelia recreates the period faithfully and despite the slice-and-dice studio editing that left key sequences on the cutting room floor (Virginia Madsen's role as George P. Putnam's wife was entirely eliminated), provides the viewer with a glimpse into Amelia Earhart that most modern audiences would not wholly appreciate, yet would be evocative of the most famous aviatrix of all time. Expand
  5. R.L.
    Oct 25, 2009
    7
    I've seen Biopic's on allot of famous and infamous people of the 20th century, Public Enemies(John Dillinger), Aviator(Howard Hughes), Schindler's List(Oskar Schindler), Iron jawed Angel(Alice Paul). But this film, this film has to take the cake as one of the best I've seen yet. Mira Nair's "Amelia" is a breathtaking and exploitative look into the life and achievement's of one of the greatest women of the 20th century, brings full center Amelia Earhart's story form beginning to end and it shows you the women she was underneath, It's almost thought provoking how you see the sequence of event's unfold in front of you how you. How you look at things trough her eyes and see the world as she see's it. It's astounding, mesmerizing, Brilliant and seamlessly woven into one brilliant film. All in all this is one movie you don't want to miss and it is one you need to experience to believe. Hilary Swank(Who isn't Oscar worthy, but does great here.) Plays the great aviatrix herself and she does it with such grace, style and humbleness that it is fantastic to watch her on screen and to see what she'll do next to define the odds as Earhart. Richard Gere(Who is also fantastic here.) plays Earhart's husband George Putnam with such cunning and sympathy that at times you don't know what to think of him. But none the less the cats holds up very nicely in this handsomely mounted film. Amelia is not as great as Public Enemies or Aviator, but it does have a great sense of moral rights and a big heart to fill up some of the holes in the films plot. But it is a great film to watch Swank work and show how(yet again.) that Women can do just as much as men can do. It's a truly compelling and emotional film that I know if your forgiving and kind it will deliver a great movie experience. Expand
  6. WilliamW.
    Oct 24, 2009
    5
    Acting was excellent .It was uncanny how much Swank and Amelia looked alike.The musical score was haunting and beautiful.
  7. ChadS.
    Oct 28, 2009
    3
    Her plane is slow. Amelia Earhart's Lockheed L-10 Elektra doesn't zip in the sky like the crates flown by test pilots in other aviation-heavy films such as Tony Scott's "Top Gun" and Phillip Kaufman's "The Right Stuff". The plane's relative lack of speed doesn't translate well to the screen, but this non-dramatic handicap could easily have been counterbalanced through a clearly delineated rendering of how air travel was far from routine during this era, in which each flight came fraught with the possibility of a crash. To set the stage of Earhart's crowning achievement(her solo flight across the Atlantic), "Amelia" should show, not just tell, about the unsuccessful attempts made by other female aviators, which ended in death. There's not enough midair tension to help illustrate historicity's dual nature of Earhart's piloting career, which ideally would have displayed her heroism, in simultaniety with evidence that backed the claims of her piloting contemporaries who disputed her competence. Since Earhart's professional accomplishments come off as surprisingly dull, the aviatrix's personal life; her marriage to G.P. Putnam(Richard Gere) and affair with Gene Vidal(Ewan McGregor), comes dangerously close to defining her. The sweeping musical score sweeps all the daredevil spirit out of her. It's a soundtrack better suited for a swoony, romantic woman of her times, not an iconoclast with steely ambition. The music turns Amelia into something she probably never was: soft. Childless throughout her marriage to the famed book publisher, the film, perhaps invents a maternal side for the pilot, who is exceedingly nice and motherly to Gene's son. The music reduces this trailblazing woman, as if "Amelia" was about the first stewardess to fly across the Atlantic. Expand

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