• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Mar 24, 2013
Metascore
60

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 30
  2. Negative: 3 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Mar 21, 2013
    63
    Phil Spector is just about ideal as an HBO movie; watchable and gossip-worthy but just not that compelling.
  2. Reviewed by: Clark Collis
    Mar 15, 2013
    83
    The film costars an on-form Helen Mirren as Linda Kenney Baden, one of Spector's real-life defense attorneys.... Pacino too is excellent. [22 Mar 2013, p.58]
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Mar 22, 2013
    80
    In the end, the movie transcends the legal chess match, defining itself instead by the sheer wattage of Spector’s personality and his high-level sparring with a woman whose brains match his own, minus the madness.
  4. 70
    Pacino and Mirren’s teamwork keeps Phil Spector watchable even when it’s dousing itself in dramatic ethanol and lighting a match.
  5. Reviewed by: Linda Stasi
    Mar 20, 2013
    100
    Mirren and Pacino are fantastic, and Tambor rightfully underplays the larger-than-life Cutler, who rivals Spector himself.
  6. Reviewed by: Tom Gliatto
    Mar 22, 2013
    63
    This is essentially a dialogue between baffled attorney and baffling client, which makes for an arid 95 minutes. [1 Apr 2013]
  7. Reviewed by: Rob Owen
    Mar 22, 2013
    80
    Fans of legal dramas should be intrigued by Phil Spector, a well-paced 90-minute character-driven film.
  8. Reviewed by: Curt Wagner
    Mar 20, 2013
    88
    Mamet and his actors have created a fascinating character study that puts our notions of prejudice, celebrity, media and justice in the spotlight.
  9. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Mar 21, 2013
    100
    Mamet is very much on his game in Phil Spector, but so is every member of his cast, including Al Pacino as Spector and Helen Mirren as attorney Linda Kenny Baden: Watching these two titans of acting work is half the fun.
  10. From Spector's verbal bluster, to all the chatter about ballistics and forensics, it's a very talkie 90 minutes, occasionally punctuated by a haunting soundtrack. But the high-caliber performers, as well as Mamet's sparkling dialogue, keep things compelling.
  11. Reviewed by: Tom Long
    Mar 22, 2013
    75
    Mamet is known for tight, pointed dramas, and he holds true to his rep here, creating a mystery, procedural and character study all in one.
  12. Reviewed by: Tim Goodman
    Mar 15, 2013
    80
    Even though the movie is loaded with enough to satisfy those who believe Spector did it, as Mirren’s role is written and Pacino’s performance hints at, the film seems eager to suggest Spector was found guilty mostly of being a freak. That have-it-both-ways storytelling doesn’t make Phil Spector a great legal movie, but it allows two exceptional actors and a talented writer a chance to play with reality.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Mar 21, 2013
    90
    It is surely is Mamet’s strongest drama in ages, and a seductive, devious essay on the tortured celebrity soul.
  14. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Mar 21, 2013
    83
    In the end, Phil Spector succeeds on the strength of its two marquee thespians. Mirren is wonderful throughout, Pacino scores in double figures and they have enough scenes together to make it all well worth your while.
  15. Reviewed by: Robert Bianco
    Mar 22, 2013
    63
    If you are willing and able to take it on its own fictional terms, it does work as a well-acted legal drama, though even on that level, you're better off watching The Good Wife.
  16. Reviewed by: Dorothy Rabinowitz
    Mar 21, 2013
    90
    To watch Mr. Pacino's Spector pull himself back from the edge to shout, bitterly, that of course he knows this is only a rehearsal--he'll go on, awkwardly, to assure the shaken defense team that they've done well--is to feel the full force of the intelligence behind this drama.
User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 15 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 4
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 4
  3. Negative: 2 out of 4
  1. Sep 1, 2014
    6
    Regardless of whether it is true or not--it's held together by two strong performances and wonderful writing. Phil Spector is a bold view of aRegardless of whether it is true or not--it's held together by two strong performances and wonderful writing. Phil Spector is a bold view of a nationally recognized court case--by the end, you'll have plenty of opinions. Full Review »
  2. Mar 18, 2014
    10
    Pacino and Mirren are absolutely fantastic in this! And Mamet wonderfully captures Spector's tortured soul and Linda's determination, which isPacino and Mirren are absolutely fantastic in this! And Mamet wonderfully captures Spector's tortured soul and Linda's determination, which is just as strong as her (Mirren's) performance. Full Review »
  3. Apr 2, 2013
    3
    Nothing about this film pops out. It seems like any other HBO show. Sure it features big names but they give dull performances rarely evenNothing about this film pops out. It seems like any other HBO show. Sure it features big names but they give dull performances rarely even shaping a character. The story is plain and would have been the same difference as a documentary. Full Review »