Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 38
  2. Negative: 6 out of 38

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Critic Reviews

  1. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    That's not to say Simone doesn't offer a good time. Shove aside its self-righteous agenda and it's a deft kick, a light comedy whenever it's not trying to play heavy. And it's bolstered by Al Pacino in a lively performance.
  2. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: David Denby
    I don't believe that anyone will have much trouble seeing what's wrong with the picture, but it's one of those bad movies that you remember with a smile a year later. [9 September 2002, p. 162]
  3. Writer-director Andrew Niccol throws around a lot of intriguing ideas in this film, and even though his ambitions are more expansive than his talent, he's managed to come up with something that credibly resembles the shape of things to come, Hollywood-style.
  4. The result is gorgeous, if ultimately shallow -- much like Simone herself.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Attempts to delve beneath the surface of Hollywood's rampant narcissism and fascination with technology, but ultimately feels like just one more in the long line of films this year about the business of making movies.
  6. 58
    It's a strange, uneven film, hilarious in moments and tin-eared in others, alternately subtle and hammer-handed, acid and dull, as schizophrenic as "Signs" and probably, like that film, best enjoyed in discrete chunks rather than as a whole that needs to be digested equally all at once.
  7. 50
    Writer-director Andrew Niccol -- gets this Hollywood satire off to a rousing start. But the middle flattens, despite Pacino firing on all cylinders. And the end just nose-dives into something silly and, worse, sentimental.
  8. 50
    The film never quite achieves the sharp edge satire demands, largely because director Andrew Niccol, who was so good at managing tone in "Gattaca," can't decide whether to go with nasty or hilariously farcical.
  9. Staggers between flaccid satire and what is supposed to be madcap farce.
  10. 50
    Because it's Pacino, though, Simone is never quite boring.
  11. 50
    It's not merely that these subjects have already been satirized to the point of ultimate tedium; more importantly, Simone just isn't very funny.
  12. If this is satire, it's the smug and self-congratulatory kind that lets the audience completely off the hook. Effective satire, the Swiftian brand, seduces us first and then implicates us in the seduction -- we become a target too. But this stuff never gets past the initial step -- it's toothless, as innocuous as the puffery it pretends to skewer.
  13. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Collin Levey
    But for what it is, the film supplies enough laughs to bury most nagging existential questions.
  14. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    It's also unclear just what Niccol wanted this film to be: a satire? a spoof? a black comedy? a pointed social commentary? Perhaps all of the above - way too many hats for a movie this slight to wear.
  15. A ravishing crock. Like its title character, a computer-generated movie star programmed to resemble a cross between Grace Kelly, Audrey Hepburn, Lauren Bacall and Kim Basinger, it's beautiful but empty, gorgeous but spurious.
  16. 50
    Because the material gives off such a delicious vibe, even though the movie itself feels a little old, you want to like Simone. It would be easier if it were a more forceful comedy. But Mr. Niccol's style is that of reticence -- as a director, he's a little coquettish.
  17. 50
    The film is too light and juvenile to be viewed as some sort of darkly subversive satire in which the director is laughing at those of us who take it all semi-seriously.
  18. Some movies need a suspension of disbelief. Simone requires a suspension bridge. And as fast as you try to build it, the movie keeps tearing it down.
  19. 50
    Recycles a great many motifs from "Truman" but never comes close to putting on as good a show.
  20. 50
    It's fitfully funny but never really takes off. Out of the corners of our eyes we glimpse the missed opportunities for some real satirical digging.
  21. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The premise cries out for take-no-prisoners, Terry-Southern-style sick humor; it gets instead a lot of clunky, self-congratulatory in-jokes, and Pacino is left to ham in a vacuum.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 181 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 16
  2. Negative: 5 out of 16
  1. May 3, 2016
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. Simone is a hilarious, inventive satire on the inner workings of Hollywood. Al Pacino gives one of his most refined roles as an aging director who's movies have lost their popularity.

    One day he meets a fan who is about to pass away in a week due to inoperable brain cancer. Al Pacino receives a package a week later. The package is a computer disc. The disc gives him the ability to create a

    digital actress ! Once he creates Simone which means simulation one in the movie hinting that she is imaginary not a real person, he is set. His movies regain their momentum, he reconnects with his

    daughter and wife and everything seems perfect.However when something feels too good to be true or everlasting it usually is. His creation backfires and he is almost arrested for the murder of Simone. He

    attempts to dispose of the disc by dumping a trunk into an ocean. The disc is the only evidence Simone exists and that he isn't a murderer. When the police retrieve the trunk it is empty. In the end Victor Taransky is let off

    of the charges because Victor's daughter is computer savvy. She discovers that the Simone program isn't erased on his computer and she restores the program. Then she has Simone release a public video

    statement that she is alive and that Victor is innocent. There are also a few cameos in the movie by Jay Mohr, Winona Ryder and Rebecca Stamos from X-Men (Mystique character). A very satisfying movie with a

    classic, brilliant performance from Al Pacino.
    Full Review »