User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 29 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 29
  2. Negative: 6 out of 29

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  1. Aug 23, 2012
    a very peculiar film in that, at a certain point, you don't know who is good and who is bad guy. Tony Curtis is brilliant in one of the most important roles of his career. Moreover, the story isn't captivating and superficially depicts a far darker reality than mere exchange of favors and young guitarists. A good theme barely tapped.
  2. Mar 12, 2012
    Initially a slow and awkwardly developed plot, but after 25 minutes or so (around the time of Lancaster's introduction) the tightly written and bold intentions of the movie begin to shine through. With killer performances by the whole cast, and a strong premise for such an early film, the pacing quickens, and the atmosphere builds.
  3. Feb 17, 2012
    This movie left me speechless. Far ahead of its time, even today. There is no flaw, no pathetic moment, no screwed dialogue. It is perfect in a Kubrickian way but still is very different.
  4. Mar 7, 2011
    one of the greatest films ever made,in my opinion.Everything about it is great,the jazzy score by Elmer Bernstein,cinematogrophy by James Wong Howe,the terrific performances,and the unbelivable screenplay which has some of the best dialogue ever written.A must-see.
  5. Aug 27, 2010
    This biting tale of power and corruption plays out as smoothly as its tantalizing Jazz soundtrack. Burt Lancaster is impressively evil as the newspaper columnist trying to keep a hold on his sister's life.

Universal acclaim - based on 5 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 0 out of 5
  1. 100
    Can a film so expertly capture the odious and bitter that it becomes deliciously, disgustingly beautiful? Yes, if that film is 1957's Sweet Smell of Success.
  2. 100
    Its pleasures are almost obscenely abundant.
  3. Everyone raves about this 1957 film -- and everyone's right.