The Player


Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20

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Critic Reviews

  1. This is the master at the top of his form, his erratic genius harnessed and everything clicking, everything flowing, a fresh creation from a mature artist.
  2. A hilarious and deftly convincing satire.
  3. 89
    From its brilliant and sublime opening sequence to its self-reflexive ending, The Player distills everything that's wrong with the American film industry with the precision of someone who's been there.
  4. The film is sublime entertainment, at once ticklish and suspenseful, cynical and sincere. By its very existence, Altman's comedy about the death of Hollywood lets you know that movies are still alive and kicking.
  5. What makes The Player the best and boldest American comedy in years is Altman's wizardry at leavening anger with cathartic wit. He sticks it to every target, himself and us included, with a wicked zest that hurts only when you laugh -- and The Player keeps you laughing constantly.
  6. 100
    A rare commodity. It's brilliant and a guilty pleasure. A subtle damning of things Hollywood, Robert Altman's seriocomedy slices its target with a thousand, imperceptible razor cuts.
  7. 100
    The film, which begins with a single, gorgeously sustained eight-minute camera move, is blissfully out of touch with contemporary trends in moviemaking...surprising, both in style and narrative.
  8. So entertaining, so flip and so genially irreverent that it seems to announce the return of the great gregarious film maker whose "Nashville" remains one of the classics of the 1970's.
  9. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Gene Siskel
    What "M.A.S.H." did to service comedies, what "McCabe and Mrs. Miller" did to westerns, what "The Long Goodbye" did to detective pictures, The Player does the to Hollywood success story. [24 April 1992]
  10. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Edward Guthmann
    Remarkable also for the uniform excellence of its cast, and for the pleasure [Altman's] actors take in the wide berth he allows them. [24 Apr 1992]
  11. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Joins company with "Sullivan's Travels" and "Sunset Boulevard" as the quintessential Hollywood peek-a-boos...[and] Tim Robbins' modulated performance rates rhapsodic praise. [10 Apr 1992]
  12. Christian Science Monitor
    Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    The film should captivate anyone with a taste for bold cinematics, unpredictable storytelling, and pitch-black humor aimed at the worthiest of targets: a self-involved and self-congratulatory, industry that often gives lip service to art while worshipping the bottom line. [10 Apr 1992]
  13. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Michael Tolkin's script abounds in such cynical wisdom, but it never loses an appreciation for the grace with which these snakes consume their victims. [13 April 1992]
  14. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    This brilliant satire, styled as a murder mystery, is the best insider's view of Hollywood since "Sunset Boulevard." [15 Dec 1992, p.A16(E)]
  15. The New Yorker
    Reviewed by: Terrence Rafferty
    With breathtaking assurance, the movie veers from psychological-thriller suspense to goofball comedy to icy satire: it's Patricia Highsmith meets Monty Python meets Nathaniel West. [20 Apr 1992, p.81]
  16. Variety
    Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Mercilessly satiric yet good-natured, this enormously entertaining slam dunk quite possibly is the most resonant Hollywood saga since the days of "Sunset Blvd." and "The Bad and the Beautiful."
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 34 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Dec 22, 2011
    This film is one of the best satires on Hollywood ever made. Only Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard beats it.
    Tim Robbin's is a movie executive
    This film is one of the best satires on Hollywood ever made. Only Billy Wilder's Sunset Boulevard beats it.
    Tim Robbin's is a movie executive who screenwriters come to get there scripts made into films. When he starts receiving death threats from a screenwriter he turned down in the past his life takes a dramatic turn for the worst.
    The thriller plot is great but conversations about films overheard in the background of the movie are partly what make this a very interesting film to watch again and again. The main character murders someone in cold blood. Only a truly great filmmaker could make us care for him and take his side throughout. This film is a marvellously devilish satire.
    Full Review »
  2. Feb 27, 2015
    Directed by the legendary Robert Altman, The Player is a riveting tale of murder, suspense, and Hollywood, featuring stellar acting from aDirected by the legendary Robert Altman, The Player is a riveting tale of murder, suspense, and Hollywood, featuring stellar acting from a largely low-key cast (other than Tim Robbins, who isn't huge and wasn't at the time for sure). Great direction and acting bolster this one greatly, but really, it is the fantastic writing that wraps it all up with a bow, as this one is the complete package. I find Hollywood and the behind the scenes stuff endlessly interesting, so this one is of course going to be in the wheelhouse, but I enjoyed the satirical tone of the film and how it blended with the serious elements of murder. The imagery and symbolism is also very cool here and worthy of mention, as it is those small elements that really make this one a cool watch. Very intriguing, slightly funny, and brilliantly put together, The Player is a winner. Full Review »