Metascore
55

Mixed or average reviews - based on 45 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 45
  2. Negative: 3 out of 45
  1. 88
    It’s a terrific adaptation that succeeds not only as a work of cinema but also, wonderfully, as proof of the novel’s greatness. In short, the picture rebukes the revisionists even while entertaining them.
  2. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    May 8, 2013
    88
    Amidst all the fireworks and the cascading champagne and the insanely over-the-top parties, we’re reminded again and again that The Great Gatsby is about a man who spends half a decade constructing an elaborate monument to the woman of his dreams.
  3. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    May 7, 2013
    88
    Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is the first must-see film of Hollywood’s summer season, if for no other reason than its jaw-dropping evocation of Roaring ’20s New York — in 3-D, no less.
  4. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    May 9, 2013
    83
    Now comes director Baz Luhrmann, who’s incapable of taking anything literally, and what do we get? The “Gatsby” that, of three I’ve seen and two I’ve read about, seems most faithful to the spirit of Fitzgerald’s superbly sad book. His audacity pays off in a way that may not exactly reproduce the novel but continually illuminates it.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    May 9, 2013
    83
    When the camera glides down a pier to settle for the first time on Gatsby's face, it's a movie-star moment of the sort we don't often get anymore, and there aren't many actors who could pull off Gatsby's mixture of confident charisma and pathetic vulnerability.
  6. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    May 8, 2013
    83
    As a purely sensory experience at the movies you're hard-pressed to find anything more dazzling than the first 90 minutes of The Great Gatsby, when Luhrmann's riotous amusements make anything possible.
  7. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    May 9, 2013
    75
    The Great Gatsby is both swooningly romantic and giddily energetic.
  8. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    May 9, 2013
    75
    The good news about Baz Luhrmann's adaptation of the Fitzgerald masterpiece is that he doesn't use the novel as a mere pretext for his own visual invention, but genuinely tries to capture the Fitzgeraldian spirit, and for the most part, despite some vulgar lapses, he succeeds.
  9. 75
    This movie hangs utterly on performance, and DiCaprio’s Gatsby is mesmerizing.
  10. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    May 9, 2013
    70
    It is, as I suspected, a gargantuan hunk of over-art-directed kitsch, but it makes for a grandiose, colorful, pleasure-drenched night at the movies.
  11. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    May 9, 2013
    70
    The actors emote up a summer storm. Maguire’s otherworldly coolness suits the observer drawn into a story he might prefer only to watch. DiCaprio is persuasive as the little boy lost impersonating a tough guy, and Mulligan finds ways to express Daisy’s magnetism and weakness.
  12. 70
    You can find fault with virtually every scene in Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby — and yet in spite of all the wrong notes, Fitzgerald (and the excess he was writing about and living) comes through. The Deco extravagance of the big party scenes is enthralling. Luhrmann throws money at the screen in a way that is positively Gatsby-like, walloping you intentionally and un- with the theme of prodigal waste.
  13. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    May 9, 2013
    70
    Less a conventional movie adaptation than a splashy, trashy opera, a wayward, lavishly theatrical celebration of the emotional and material extravagance that Fitzgerald surveyed with fascinated ambivalence.
  14. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    May 7, 2013
    70
    It's an expressionist work, a story reinvented to the point of total self-invention, polished to a handsome sheen and possessing no class or taste beyond the kind you can buy. And those are the reasons to love it.
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    May 6, 2013
    70
    No matter how frenzied and elaborate and sometimes distracting his technique may be, Luhrmann's personal connection and commitment to the material remains palpable, which makes for a film that, most of the time, feels vibrantly alive while remaining quite faithful to the spirit, if not the letter or the tone, of its source.
  16. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    May 8, 2013
    67
    It's a dazzling time capsule of a shimmering era and a devastating look into the dark side of the American dream. Too bad Luhrmann, the caffeinated conductor, doesn't trust that story enough. He'd rather blast your retinas into sugar-shock submission. Uncle, old sport! Uncle!
  17. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 11, 2013
    63
    Even when the movie's not working, its style fascinates. That "not working" part is a deal breaker, though — and it has little to do with Luhrmann's stylistic gambits, and everything to do with his inability to reconcile them with an urge to play things straight.
  18. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    May 9, 2013
    63
    It has in Leonardo DiCaprio — magnificent is the only word to describe this performance — the best movie Gatsby by far, superhuman in his charm and connections, the host of revels beyond imagining, and at his heart an insecure fraud whose hopes are pinned to a woman.
  19. Reviewed by: Richard Larson
    May 8, 2013
    63
    This is a film which takes classic source material and imbues it on screen with a sense of wonder commensurate to its prior form, perhaps offering an even more visceral impression of the possibilities inherent to this beautiful, tragic world.
  20. Reviewed by: Dave Calhoun
    May 27, 2013
    60
    What Luhrmann makes intoxicating is a sense of place – the houses, the rooms, the city, the roads – and the sense that all this is unfolding in a bubble like some mad fable. Where he falters is in persuading us that these are real, breathing folk whose experiences and destinies can move us.
  21. Reviewed by: Jane Crowther
    May 20, 2013
    60
    Gatsby fans will be unoffended yet untransported, but soundtracks will sell, DiCaprio will be on bedroom walls again and new readers may discover the book - which is no bad thing.
  22. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    May 8, 2013
    60
    The acting is really good, particularly Leonardo DiCaprio as Gatsby. But boy, with a running time of nearly 21/2 hours and a near-constant bombardment of visual overstimulation, it’s exhausting.
  23. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    May 6, 2013
    60
    More often, Gatsby feels like a well-rehearsed classic in which the actors say their lines ably, but with no discernible feeling behind them.
  24. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    May 8, 2013
    58
    Like Romeo + Juliet (1996), Luhrmann’s version of The Great Gatsby emerges as a half-reverent, half-travestying adaptation that’s campy but not a betrayal, offering a lively take on a familiar work while sacrificing such niceties as structure, character, and nuance.
  25. Reviewed by: William Goss
    May 8, 2013
    58
    In the end, his (Luhrmann) Gatsby takes the fitting form of a cocktail glass, at once undeniably polished and unfailingly empty.
  26. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    May 6, 2013
    58
    With the sound off, Baz Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby surely looks as radiant and extraordinary as some of the most dazzling movies ever committed to celluloid, but with the sound up and the experience on full volume, the movie is mostly a cacophony of style, excess and noise that makes you want to turn it all down a notch...or three...
  27. Reviewed by: Keith Phipps
    May 9, 2013
    50
    When Luhrmann finally reveals the title character, he does so as assorted partygoers work themselves into a frenzy, Rhapsody in Blue pounds on the soundtrack and fireworks explode in the sky...Unfortunately, the film is never again as successful; from here on, it has to dig into the bothersome business of telling Fitzgerald's story.
  28. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    May 9, 2013
    50
    There are so many things wrong with Luhrmann's Great Gatsby - the filmmaker's attention-deficit-disorder approach, the anachronistic convergence of hip-hop and swing, the choppy elision of Fitzgerald's plot, the jarring collision of Jazz Age cool and Millennial cluelessness. But at the crux of things, the problem is that it's impossible to care.
  29. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    May 9, 2013
    50
    Tobey Maguire is fine as Nick but his function is more as an observer than a participant. Carey Mulligan's Daisy is unremarkable in every way. And Joel Edgerton is just a mustache twirl away from doing a Snidely Whiplash impersonation.
  30. Reviewed by: Connie Ogle
    May 9, 2013
    50
    Luhrmann’s The Great Gatsby is a failure that should have at least been a magnificent mistake, a risky endeavor that showed a daring intent even if its brash vision didn’t quite succeed. Instead, the movie leaves you cold and weary and vaguely disgusted.
  31. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    May 9, 2013
    50
    Childlike, fetishistic and painfully literal, Luhrmann’s experiment proves once again that it’s Fitzgerald’s writing — not his plot, his characters or his grasp of material detail — that has always made “Gatsby” great.
  32. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    May 9, 2013
    50
    Despite a few good ideas and the uniformly splendid production and costume designs by Luhrmann's mate and partner, Catherine Martin, this frenzied adaptation of The Great Gatsby is all look and no feel.
  33. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    May 9, 2013
    50
    So much effort seems to have gone into the eye-popping production design, swooping camera work and anachronistic musical score that the result is hyper-active cacophony rather than enthralling entertainment.
  34. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    May 9, 2013
    42
    The Great Gatsby isn’t simply a classic American text: In Luhrmann’s hands, it’s also the greatest self-help manual ever written.
  35. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    May 6, 2013
    42
    Luhrmann's The Great Gatsby has the hallmarks of a contemporary Hollywood spectacle. It's missing the explosions, but make no mistake: Gatsby is one glitzy misfire.
  36. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    May 19, 2013
    40
    Despite DiCaprio’s prize performance, purists will fume, but even as lit-crashing razzle-dazzle entertainment Luhrmann’s adaptation is a candelabrum too far.
  37. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    May 9, 2013
    40
    Luhrmann piles on one shiny distraction after another. But amid all the seductively gaudy excess, DiCaprio finds both the heart and hurt buried within one of literature’s everlasting enigmas.
  38. 40
    The director has steadfastly proclaimed his passion for the novel, but the film he's made of it too often plays as no more than an excuse to display his frantic, frenetic personal style.
  39. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    May 8, 2013
    40
    Luhrmann has always had a knack with the fever of passion, but here he only catches high fever’s empty gibberish.
  40. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    May 8, 2013
    40
    Whether or not Luhrmann’s “Gatsby” will go down in history as a legendary flop is not for me to judge (though all signs currently point toward yes), but it surely belongs to the category of baroque, overblown, megalomaniacal spectacles dubbed “film follies” by longtime Nation film critic Stuart Klawans.
  41. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    May 7, 2013
    40
    Shorn of its quintessentially American roots, a biting tale of adult extravagance becomes insubstantially tween-aged.
  42. Reviewed by: David Denby
    May 6, 2013
    40
    Luhrmann's vulgarity is designed to win over the young audience, and it suggests that he's less a filmmaker than a music-video director with endless resources and a stunning absence of taste. [13 May 2013, p.78]
  43. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    May 9, 2013
    30
    What's intractably wrong with the film is that there's no reality to heighten; it's a spectacle in search of a soul.
  44. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    May 9, 2013
    25
    There may be worse movies this summer than The Great Gatsby, but there won't be a more crushing disappointment.
  45. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    May 7, 2013
    25
    I love the publicity quotes by Baz Luhrmann stating that his intention was to make an epic romantic vision that is enormous. Also: overwrought, asinine, exaggerated and boring. But in the end, about as romantic as a pet rock.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 631 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 22 out of 177
  1. May 10, 2013
    10
    Saw this when it opened. Had low expectations because of movie critics who obviously grew up in the wrong era. The quality of the book is revived perfectly; It's a period peace, but transcends period with its subtle hints of modern music and style. Every actor was perfectly cast. It's heavy use of Art Deco (my favorite architectural style) fills the screen with beauty that reaches for the heavens, however unattainable they were and still are.
    Gatsby looks to the past not with nostalgia, but with regret of what was and what will never be.

    p.s. I am usually very anti-3d but this movies 3d really pulls you into the grandness of it all.
    Full Review »
  2. May 10, 2013
    8
    As a huge fan of DiCaprio, Mulligan, Fitzgerald and Lurhmann, I went in with pretty high expectations. Sure enough, the acting, direction and script are top-notch, if a little too faithful to the source material in letter, while being wildly all over the place in tone, leading to a bloated, overlong production.

    That said, I'd rather take something ambitious over the safe treatment any day: within these 2 1/2 hours, there are moments of incredible power, and the excesses of the time period are well demonstrated through the wicked party scenes. 

    Gatsby's parties are the highlight recalling modern mega-raves or top-notch Vegas clubs with the energy amped to 11, their bombast and spectacle threaten to overwhelm the rest of the film. If only Luhrmann could find a way to ensure that his film's visual dynamism didn't go head-to-head with anything that might be considered subtle... the director's over-abundant style robs the film of is realism: it takes place in a world that's decorated, lit, and shot as if it were an ethereal realm somehow divorced from the everyday, and like its titular character, the film does go above and beyond what's needed to impress. 

    Therein lies the film's biggest problem: the weight of Gatsby's ambitions and the non-stop eye-popping visuals coupled with lightning fast editing takes a toll on the flow of the story. For most of the film, Luhrmann doesn't let his scenes attain an organic flow of their own. His camera swivels through the air as if more interested in the set decoration than his own stars, and the edits rarely slow down even during the most intimate sequences.

    Still, the performances are great all across the board. DiCaprio is far and away the standout, Maguire's Carroway is thankfully subtle (although his voice overs get to be a bit much), Carey Mulligan (my waifu) brings a real heart and soul to an underwritten and unlikeable Daisy (an unfortunate result of the film following its source material too slavishly), and Joel Edgerton makes a great Tom Buchanan. Perhaps it's telling of the strength of the source material and cast that the human element shines through despite Luhrmann's excesses.
    Full Review »
  3. May 11, 2013
    10
    Baz Luhrmann really has outdone himself in this film. The cast is beautiful as is the script. The scenes are a visual feast. It is as if Luhrmann reached into Fitzgerald's vision of the 20's, pulled out the heart of it and merged it with what society is today, over nine decades later. Alongside personal strife, we see social inequality, abuse of drugs and alcohol, political and moral corruption, and the failure of financial institutions and their responsibility to people. This film will make you feel that these issues will always be relevant, and that not much changes from generation to generation.

    The achingly romantic and hopeful Gatsby is played impeccably by DiCaprio. He has aged into a beautiful man while still possessing those boyish good looks. The beginning of the film has the viewer itching to see Gatsby and hear him speak, and when he finally appears he holds on and captivates throughout the film. The film may awaken something in you, a memory of when you were crazy in love with a person or in love with an idea for what your life should be. DiCaprio embodies a dream and makes you root for him, even though he is shown to be a liar and a man who is desperately trying to steal another's wife- all that does not matter because we see the gentle child-like frailty in him and identify with it. DiCaprio is an excellent actor and was perfect for the role.

    I must say that I didn't think that Mulligan can pull the role of Daisy, who in my mind was supposed to be a flawless beauty. However, she didn't disappoint. It made Gatsby's love and desire for her even more fascinating- she was beautiful to him and that's all that mattered. Mulligan was able to play the spoiled and dazed rich girl well, while adding an emotional dimension to the character. Tobey Mcguire definitely held his own, and his story line had an interesting deviation from the novel which was enjoyable. All in all I think it is a must see this year for movie buffs.
    Full Review »