Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: An original tale about Napoleon's last great adventure -- and the adventures of the lowly impostor who assumed his identity in a grand conspiracy to outwit the world. (Paramount Classics)
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 28
  2. Negative: 1 out of 28
  1. 88
    One of the most clever, most enjoyable historical fantasies to hit screens in a long time, The Emperor's New Clothes is a sumptuous showcase for Ian Holm, who delivers not one but two great performances.
  2. 80
    Engaging, witty and touching film, one that defies categories to become a romantic comedy, historical biopic and philosophical rumination, all in one.
  3. In a hilarious bit of actorly sleight-of-hand, Holm (who is not new to the role of Napoleon, having it played it twice before) slips effortlessly from emperor to impostor.
  4. The film's European locations, sets (in Rome's Cinecitta studios) and photography are unusually striking; Rachel Portman contributes an elegant score; and Holm (who played the emperor once before in 1981's "Time Bandits") embodies the character with an effortlessly regal charisma.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    A fun and fanciful comic adventure, based on the novel "The Death of Napoleon" by Simon Leys, that takes a great premise and runs with it.
  6. 60
    Desperately wants to be whimsical and charming. But whimsy isn't easy to carry off, and director Alan Taylor, who has directed mostly television dramas, has a heavy hand -- scenes meant to be comical are destroyed by leaden pacing and a puzzling mix of tones.
  7. The blithely dishonest script would have us believe that the real Napoleon can't prove his identity when the fake Napoleon refuses to come clean. Not only is that patent nonsense, it's cockeyed dramaturgy.

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 4
  2. Negative: 0 out of 4
  1. JD
    Oct 9, 2005

See all 4 User Reviews