Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33

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Critic Reviews

  1. The period details and performances are uniformly superb (Bob Hoskins is especially good as MGM executive Eddie Mannix), and the major characters are even more complex than those in "Chinatown."
  2. With an uncredited assist from playwright/screenwriter Howard Korder, Hollywoodland features some tart, lively banter and welcome comedic touches.
  3. The chief frustration of this otherwise well-made, well-acted, well-heeled picture -- a movie classy in its artful modesty, with every detail of plot and period furnishings lovingly conceived, every lick of jazz-influenced score true to the times -- is that it is so very self-absorbedly graceful about something so very insular and...unremarkable.
  4. It packs surprising punch as a biopic.
  5. 83
    While Coulter and company try gamely to forge two powerful stories, they manage, finally, about one-and-a-half -- which is a lot more than most films, and for which moviegoers should be grateful.
  6. 75
    Coulter is a TV veteran but a motion picture newcomer. His work here indicates he is someone to watch. The pacing is slow and deliberate, but the story never ceases to intrigue.
  7. 75
    The irony is that Affleck's battering at the hands of fame has prepped him beautifully to play Reeves.
  8. 75
    The title refers to the giant promotional sign for the Hollywoodland real-estate development that once loomed on the side of Mt. Cahuenga. Shorn of its last four letters 10 years before Reeves' death, it survives as the iconic Hollywood sign.
  9. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Hollywoodland is one of the nicest surprises of the late summer lull between blockbuster seasons, a smart period mystery--cum--character study--cum--bitter parable on the lures and liabilities of life in its titular locale.
  10. 70
    Features an excellent cast all of whom shine. Affleck as Reeves has never seemed more charming and Brody’s Louis Simo is pretty much a scumbag who still manages to gain our empathy.
  11. 70
    Props then to Affleck. Coulter contrived a neat behavioral trick by inducing his star to play a comparably big-jawed bad actor. Surrounded as he is by canny professionals--Lane, Hoskins, Smith, and Jeffrey DeMunn as an unctuous glad-handing agent--it's an unexpectedly touching performance.
  12. 70
    This film is brave enough to admit that not all failed movie careers are the result of evil corporate suits, and Affleck makes us care that this likable but weak-minded man threw away what was solid and good in his life for the chimera of fame.
  13. 67
    Like Affleck's performance, Hollywoodland has its affecting moments. But generally it feels like an HBO original movie, where respectable but uninspired execution mars a fascinating subject and great cast.
  14. Lane, perhaps the most underrated actress of those deemed employable in their 40s, wonderfully embodies the mogul's wife.
  15. A whodunit, a whydunit, and an excuse for Adrien Brody to mug it up like nobody's business.
  16. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Hollywoodland explores an intriguing bit of Hollywood history, and through the strength of its performances keeps us engaged and entertained.
  17. It's a bit of a hodgepodge - unnecessarily complicated, clumsily structured, uncertainly directed and, as a whodunit, ultimately unsatisfying.
  18. This summer has given us two Supermen to choose from in our own distemperate times: "Superman Returns" was for the starry-eyed idealists, Hollywoodland is for the bleary-eyed cynics.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 59 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 25
  2. Negative: 9 out of 25
  1. Randy
    Sep 23, 2006
    Adrien Brody was superb, and what a complex, compelling and melancholy story! Whether George Reeves committed suicide or was murdered, it Adrien Brody was superb, and what a complex, compelling and melancholy story! Whether George Reeves committed suicide or was murdered, it seems that the movie was saying that his life came to a sad end in a tawdry setting. Very thought-provoking film. Full Review »
  2. Feb 29, 2016
    Featuring fantastic acting and a captivating detective story, Hollywoodland is a well-crafted film from director Allen Coulter that suffersFeaturing fantastic acting and a captivating detective story, Hollywoodland is a well-crafted film from director Allen Coulter that suffers from script issues. Adrien Brody, Diane Lane, Ben Affleck, and Bob Hoskins, all star here and are all phenomenal in their respective roles. The talented actors really elevate this film about your typical potboiler detective murder mystery type film. Additionally, the film really sheds some interesting light on fame and the quest for it from those in Hollywood, which was compelling and quite tragic. Additionally, the film received some criticism for being too slow, but I never felt that way. It was certainly on the slower side of things, but I never found the pacing of the film to be an issue. Rather, I appreciated that it did not feel the need to rush things along. However, the script kind of falters at times, namely that the story can quite muddled and jumbled at times. Characters come into the film and only come back later with minor significance, but you miss information because you spend too much time trying to remember who they were. This is Hollywoodland's biggest sin as it can come off as though there are too many characters and too much going on at times, which really muddle things up a bit. That being said, it is still a well made film that is quite entertaining with phenomenal acting performances. Full Review »
  3. Mar 25, 2012
    Lady Macbeth famously said HELL IS MURKY â