Searchlight Pictures | Release Date: December 17, 2021
7.1
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Generally favorable reviews based on 206 Ratings
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150
Mixed:
44
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7
CalvinCrackDec 22, 2021
A bleak film without much reason to come back once you’ve seen it. It’s well shot, well performed and the production design is beautiful. If you enjoy Del Toro’s other films you should see this. It’s very well made. I just didn’t enjoy theA bleak film without much reason to come back once you’ve seen it. It’s well shot, well performed and the production design is beautiful. If you enjoy Del Toro’s other films you should see this. It’s very well made. I just didn’t enjoy the story very much and found myself bored at various points. I think his films aren’t for me, because I usually end up feeling in the 7/10 range on them. As an adaptation, it may be fantastic. I haven’t read the source material, so I can’t comment. As a film judged on its own merit, it left me wanting a deeper subtext, and better payoffs for various characters. Expand
3 of 3 users found this helpful30
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8
JLuis_001Dec 17, 2021
A problem that often happens to good directors is when they reach a point where their style, despite being meticulous, starts to become more important than the narrative work.

Guillermo del Toro is a director who puts a lot of detail into
A problem that often happens to good directors is when they reach a point where their style, despite being meticulous, starts to become more important than the narrative work.

Guillermo del Toro is a director who puts a lot of detail into the production of his films. He is a director known worldwide for his visual style and excellent attention to detail.
And his stories, while not perfect, are usually quite engaging.

After winning the Oscar for best director in 2017, it goes without saying that the expectations for his next work were enormous. However, I don't think he managed to live up to these this time.

Nightmare Alley is far from a disappointment. I really believe it's a good movie, but I also personally think that Del Toro didn't know how to make the most of the noir genre in his script.

Aesthetically there is nothing to reproach, this film breathes a life of its own as far as that is concerned, but I think Del Toro couldn't give it the incisive and criminal soul that a story like this needed.

Overall it has good performances, although the real standouts are Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett.
I can't say if it surpasses the '47 film, because I haven't seen it, but even with the things I didn't like, mainly about its story, it's a movie that doesn't deserve to disappear as it surely will because of the more than stupid decision of its studio to release it at the same time as the new Spider-Man movie, but if you have the time to give it a chance, do it.
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7
HerickDienerFeb 12, 2022
"Nightmare Alley" é bem mais interessante do que um dos trailers mais confusos que eu já vi se mostrou.

Não é difícil se envolver com a história e ficar com os olhos atentos para ver até onde ela vai chegar, caminho este trilhado com a ajuda
"Nightmare Alley" é bem mais interessante do que um dos trailers mais confusos que eu já vi se mostrou.

Não é difícil se envolver com a história e ficar com os olhos atentos para ver até onde ela vai chegar, caminho este trilhado com a ajuda de um trio de incríveis atrizes: Toni Collette, Rooney Mara e Cate Blanchett.

Apesar disso, a reviravolta do arco final soou um pouco confusa e apressada, algo que não deveria acontecer em um filme que já nos manteve sentados por 2h e 20m de duração.

Bom filme, mas uma escolha um tanto duvidosa para suceder a obra prima de Del Toro, "The Shape of Water".
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8
AnIisFeb 19, 2022
very good film full of suspense, unpredictable scenario, high performance of the actors
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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4
KlebartJan 3, 2022
The aspect of a period piece loses its luster after a half hour. It's not a movie with a lot of purpose or enjoyment to it. The movie itself is full of itself to be honest. This isn't a movie anyone needs to see.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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6
BeardedYodaDec 17, 2021
Nightmare Alley is a beautiful looking, well shot, well acted, and detailed film with a lot of interesting concepts. But the plot of the film just was not up to par. Nightmare Alley's plot felt very disjointed, at times feeling like itsNightmare Alley is a beautiful looking, well shot, well acted, and detailed film with a lot of interesting concepts. But the plot of the film just was not up to par. Nightmare Alley's plot felt very disjointed, at times feeling like its overall narrative was going far to fast for its own good. I found this odd, as the movie also felt far too slow during its second half. All of this is a tad frustrating, as I do very much like del Toro's other work and can see the effort in this film. Expand
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5
MattyIce34Dec 20, 2021
As with any GDT film, it looks great, but why is this thing 2.5 hours long? It doesn't have the interesting characters or developed plot to justify it.
2 of 2 users found this helpful20
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9
CLAYTAYLOR21Dec 19, 2021
Nightmare Alley is one of the most thought provoking films I've ever seen. It grabs your attention with stunning circus visuals in the first act, and never lets up with beautiful cinematography prevalent throughout. The powerhouseNightmare Alley is one of the most thought provoking films I've ever seen. It grabs your attention with stunning circus visuals in the first act, and never lets up with beautiful cinematography prevalent throughout. The powerhouse performances of Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett keep you on your toes, even during the second act, when the plot slows down significantly. Finally, the third act is an absolute thrill ride with a clever ending that will leave you reconsidering everything you've seen. This fantastic conclusion is the icing on the cake for another terrific addition to Guillermo del Toro's body of work. Expand
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8
Sauce_bossJan 4, 2022
Just wow. Acting, directing, cinematography all are great. But I really felt invested, at times the suspense was so mild and left me aching and dreading what will come. I would say that I felt as though this wanted more, as if it could haveJust wow. Acting, directing, cinematography all are great. But I really felt invested, at times the suspense was so mild and left me aching and dreading what will come. I would say that I felt as though this wanted more, as if it could have been a mini series (or possibly I just wanted that). Overall would recommend, and see again. Expand
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9
Daffyduck1234Jan 27, 2022
To be completely honest this movie was literally breathtaking!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!
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7
TVJerryDec 21, 2021
Bradley Cooper plays a ne’er-do-well who ends up in a 30s traveling carnival. He meets a mentalist and takes the act on the road with his girlfriend (Rooney Mara). A few years later, he’s parlayed the act into a high society gimmick. In hisBradley Cooper plays a ne’er-do-well who ends up in a 30s traveling carnival. He meets a mentalist and takes the act on the road with his girlfriend (Rooney Mara). A few years later, he’s parlayed the act into a high society gimmick. In his scheme to bilk the rich, he enlists a glamorous psychiatrist (Cate Blanchett, doing a fabulous femme fatale). Director Guillermo del Toro has crafted a beautifully-shot noir with lush deco art direction. The carny sequences are fascinating, but do lag longer than needed before the story move on. Del Toro has also created an assemblage of characters who aren’t especially empathetic, which bleeds into the story. As a result, this is more appreciated for its lush cinematic style than its emotional effect. Expand
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8
bertobellamyJan 29, 2022
There are no supernatural monsters in Guillermo del Toro's 'Nightmare Alley,' but the real ones, those that live within us, are far scarier.

In this new adaption of the 1946 novel — about a carny that becomes a hustler and starts to make his
There are no supernatural monsters in Guillermo del Toro's 'Nightmare Alley,' but the real ones, those that live within us, are far scarier.

In this new adaption of the 1946 novel — about a carny that becomes a hustler and starts to make his way up with a mentalist show, and through lies and deception —, del Toro puts aside fantasy and horror to focus on a heavy drama about hope, power, and inhumanity (a theme that goes way back to his first films).

With 'The Shape of Water, the Mexican showed that he can direct actors as well, but I think this one is his graduation in that regard. Bradley Cooper, as the protagonist, and Cate Blanchett, as one of his associates, shine with a couple of performances that embody the evilness inside. Del Toro and co-screenwriter Kim Morgan take their time to build these characters, especially Cooper's, whose journey in the first part is the antithesis of the later one. Also, Dan Laustsen's photography is fundamental to support the neo-noir atmosphere that del Toro tries to build here. The use of shadows and lights is beyond amazing. The scenes in Cate Blanchet's character office exude seductiveness and mystery. Of course, the production design plays a big part. Hope those two things get Academy Award nominations pretty soon.

This is not my favorite del Toro film, but it's very satisfying to see how he plays with old Hollywood conventions to conceive a crude and very engaging tale about how corruption slowly but surely destroys a man that believes he's a god. Not in vain there are a lot of nazism references in here. Oh, and that final shot will be remembered for a long, long time. And a little more Rooney Mara couldn't have hurt.
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7
EludiumQ36Feb 9, 2022
"Nightmare Alley" ($30M take) follows a 30s-era carny conman in a murder thriller by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Shape of Water). It features Hollywood Hall of Famers but the mostly colorless '30s era setting is off-putting and"Nightmare Alley" ($30M take) follows a 30s-era carny conman in a murder thriller by Guillermo del Toro (Hellboy, Pacific Rim, Shape of Water). It features Hollywood Hall of Famers but the mostly colorless '30s era setting is off-putting and a big reason why it was a box office fail; it's tv fare, what used to be called direct-to-video, had no business in theatres. Anyway, the plot is pretty decent, who doesn't like to see conmen at work and to ultimately get their comeuppance? The movie starts off with Bradley Cooper's "Stanton" character looking so much like Indiana Jones but that image faded fast as he was more villain than hero there. Cate Blanchett's "Lilith" character shows up in the second act and she's got a delicious role she sinks her teeth into. The film features two climactic scenes though. The first one plays out his long-con but isn't up to the story standards that precede it, seems poorly constructed and doesn't pay off well. You'll end up yelling "really?!". The second one comes shortly after between him and Lilith which is better, more plausible. The denouement is pretty decent featuring a callback to act one. It's a decent enough film but its low-budget and 30s-era setting won't appeal to many. Expand
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8
Compi24Jan 4, 2022
Yet another movie of del Toro's where it feels like he was born to make it, "Nightmare Alley" takes all the familiar elements of a traditional noir and seamlessly blends them together with all the creature comforts within a typical film ofYet another movie of del Toro's where it feels like he was born to make it, "Nightmare Alley" takes all the familiar elements of a traditional noir and seamlessly blends them together with all the creature comforts within a typical film of this filmmaker's — beautifully seedy and lived-in set design (honestly, how has del Toro not made a film set in a carnival before?), intoxicating camerawork and a healthy dose of unforgettably shocking violence. I'd say that this movie requires patience on the part of the viewer, but I never really had an issue with the pacing. It's a slow burn, but there's always intrigue on display at any given point in the film and you're never left without this sense that things are building to some kind of horrific conclusion. Man, does the movie not disappoint in that regard either. I'm either at the point where I feel like del Toro's films are starting to align with my tastes more and more or my tastes are starting to align with his style of filmmaking more and more. Either way, I am not upset about this. Expand
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10
HucksterJan 26, 2022
Visually impeccable and totally delicious, maybe del Toro's most atmospheric film yet. With flawless production values, it gives a brilliant insight into the ugliness of carny life and the grifters tricks. All performances were seriouslyVisually impeccable and totally delicious, maybe del Toro's most atmospheric film yet. With flawless production values, it gives a brilliant insight into the ugliness of carny life and the grifters tricks. All performances were seriously great - Blanchett redefines 1940's noir glamour. Visceral at times, it probably could have been even more compelling at exposing the hideous underbelly of the fairground world. A fantastic third act ties it all together by bringing the protagonist full circle. A film to watch over and over to see the fine details. Expand
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7
jamessFeb 8, 2022
In its way, Nightmare Alley is like a two and a half hour episode of Tales From The Crypt. Over achieving protagonist gets ironic comeuppance. In fact, why HBO MAX or Hulu doesn't reboot the iconic HBO series is a mystery. Del Toro lovesIn its way, Nightmare Alley is like a two and a half hour episode of Tales From The Crypt. Over achieving protagonist gets ironic comeuppance. In fact, why HBO MAX or Hulu doesn't reboot the iconic HBO series is a mystery. Del Toro loves period pieces. Be they set in the past or even the future, he seems most comfortable in time frames other than the present. The set direction, costuming and most of all cinematography reflect the time perfectly. It's as though this was filmed in the '40s with today's modern technology. The detailed noir lighting effects with focused highlight and shadow are beautiful. Technicals aside, it is a essentially a rags to riches to rags story. Bradley Cooper embodies that eras leading man look, from downtrodden drifter to dapper entertainer, he is, as Toni Collette' s character says "easy on the eyes". And of course, he has secrets. And as noir characters have in the past, they think they're in charge, but are led astray by the beauty, charm and danger of a woman who's really in charge. Bradley Cooper does his finest work, which makes the final scene which is basically a close up on his face, come full circle storywise and impressive acting wise. The supporting cast is stacked, with Del Toro faves like Ron Perlman and Richard Jenkins, alongside many others (such a joy to see Mary Steenburgen in a major motion picture again). Cate Blanchett is the epitome of the Hitchcock blonde, pure icy beauty. So a beautifully designed and finely acted morality tale, which is what '40s noir thrillers were essentially. Expand
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7
moviemitch96Dec 17, 2021
The latest from fantasy director Guillermo del Toro ('Hellboy', 'Pan's Labyrinth', 'The Shape of Water'), Bradley Cooper plays a charismatic con man and drifter in the early 40s who stumbles upon a circus and acquaint himself with the manyThe latest from fantasy director Guillermo del Toro ('Hellboy', 'Pan's Labyrinth', 'The Shape of Water'), Bradley Cooper plays a charismatic con man and drifter in the early 40s who stumbles upon a circus and acquaint himself with the many freaks and geeks he encounters there in hopes of getting by. However, love, lies, dark secrets, and a haunted past threaten to undo him. This is based on the 1946 novel of the same name, and besides Cooper's charming and confident lead turn, an impressive all-star cast is assembled here, with so many great supporting players such as Cate Blanchett, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, and so many more! The visuals and production design, as well as cinematography in particular here are all stellar as well! And while I must say that storywise, it's not quite as strong as some of del Toro's past films and does feel a little drawn out and convoluted at times, the production value and overall atmosphere are undeniably infused with his dark fantastical elements that make him such a draw for so many audience members. Overall, the star-studded cast and unique and memorable production design and cinematography help keep the film afloat despite a slightly bloated and convoluted-feeling story. Expand
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4
everettJan 11, 2022
I can't understand the praise, or why this movie was made, and especially why such fine actors signed on. Their roles are caricatures, and most of them played them as such. Others have noted that it's too long; I stuck it out, but unless youI can't understand the praise, or why this movie was made, and especially why such fine actors signed on. Their roles are caricatures, and most of them played them as such. Others have noted that it's too long; I stuck it out, but unless you love this director (clearly some people see something there that I don't), do something better with two and a half hours of your life. Expand
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8
Rebecca31Feb 3, 2022
Nightmare Alley is a stylish and beautifully directed neo-noir by Guillermo del Toro. I think the bar has been set very high by del Toro now when you look at movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. So to say I had highNightmare Alley is a stylish and beautifully directed neo-noir by Guillermo del Toro. I think the bar has been set very high by del Toro now when you look at movies like Pan’s Labyrinth and The Shape of Water. So to say I had high expectations is an understatement. It may not have quite reached what I was expecting but it’s still a terrific crime/thriller.

Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) is a scammer and a hustler, when he joins a carnival to earn a bit of money he discovers the secrets behind manipulating people and the tricks of mentalism. For the first time in his life he’s finally good at something but not just good, the best. This opens doors for him that he previously never dreamt possible. His life takes a different turn when he meets Dr. Lilith Ritter (Cate Blanchett), a psychiatrist who may be even more dangerous than he is.

The set design, the cinematography, and the soundtrack all work brilliantly to immerse you in this dark thriller. I can’t get over how good Bradley Cooper is in Nightmare Alley, he seems to get better with every new movie he’s in. A brilliant performance, it’s hard to imagine anyone else take on that role. I don’t think Guillermo del Toro has ever made a misstep in choosing a cast for his movies and Nightmare Alley is no exception. My only real issue was how dragged out the story was, particularly in the first half. I feel it could have been condensed a little bit, although I may have felt this way because of the 4D experience my local cinema appeared to be offering. Whenever it snowed in Nightmare Alley I was starting to feel as cold as the characters, so perhaps that didn’t help. Aside from that, the story is what you’d expect from del Toro. Intriguing and very dark with a thrilling third act. We don’t see enough neo-noir thrillers anymore, so anyone looking for something dark and mysterious for your weekly cinema trip need look no further.

Nightmare Alley may not be quite up there with Crimson Peak, Pan’s Labyrinth or The Shape of Water but it’s a great movie and so dark in all the right places. Highly recommended for all the Guillermo del Toro fans.
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9
alejandro970Feb 3, 2022
That Guillermo del Toro's films look at first sight like a box of surprises, there is no doubt about that. The story of some carnival charlatans is wrapped in layers of mystery that keep the viewer intrigued all the time, with an unexpectedThat Guillermo del Toro's films look at first sight like a box of surprises, there is no doubt about that. The story of some carnival charlatans is wrapped in layers of mystery that keep the viewer intrigued all the time, with an unexpected final act. A must see. Expand
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7
kirkenderDec 19, 2021
Del Toro's latest is bloated, gorgeous, and ultimately pays off its setup very well. It feels like a 4-6 hour miniseries that was chopped down to a feature film, because there's so much world that it wants to explore but doesn't dare lingerDel Toro's latest is bloated, gorgeous, and ultimately pays off its setup very well. It feels like a 4-6 hour miniseries that was chopped down to a feature film, because there's so much world that it wants to explore but doesn't dare linger longer than is enough to set up the many, many plot beats. It's well acted, but the script is so focused on maintaining some kind of momentum that you don't get to enjoy any of the performances. Dafoe, Blanchett, Strathairn, and Jenkins are standouts amongst a stellar cast. In Del Toro's filmography, it's a solid entry. And it made me want to watch HBOs Carnivale again. Expand
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8
DelayedReviewsJan 30, 2022
Did not realize this was a remake of a 40s neo-noire film. Of course it is, it's so well done! The circular storytelling and the rich foreshadowing and the gruesome but satisfying practical effects are the highlights for me. Now that I thinkDid not realize this was a remake of a 40s neo-noire film. Of course it is, it's so well done! The circular storytelling and the rich foreshadowing and the gruesome but satisfying practical effects are the highlights for me. Now that I think about it, the psychiatrist lady is a bit too cold and trope-y for me to handle, but honestly, I think some movies should be resurrected faithfully like Nightmare Alley and Westside Story, like Shakespeare. Expand
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7
d0vla11Jan 26, 2022
An interesting movie with a good message behind the solid story, well-done acting and weak soundtrack that could have been presented with a shorter length.
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8
Stream2BigScreeDec 23, 2021
Step right up, Streamers! Step right up! Every carnival has a few tricks up its sleeves. A little misdirection here, a little sleight of hand there, but it's all in the name of entertainment and spectacle. Sometimes audiences liked to getStep right up, Streamers! Step right up! Every carnival has a few tricks up its sleeves. A little misdirection here, a little sleight of hand there, but it's all in the name of entertainment and spectacle. Sometimes audiences liked to get fooled. Master auteur, Guillermo del Toro is the carnival barker of Nightmare Alley. He definitely has some tricks up his sleeves. Have you seen Pan's Labyrinth, Crimson Peak or The Shape of Water?!? Well, here's what's behind Nightmare Alley's curtain. (No spoilers, of course)

Guillermo del Toro directed Nightmare Alley into a stylish noir film about a mysterious drifter, who becomes part of a carnival and learns some tricks to improve his station in life. The film is a second adaptation of a novel with the same name. Del Toro uses a 1940's aesthetic to depict the story of the ruthlessness of ambition and seediness of human nature with Stanton Carlisle (Bradley Cooper) as the main character. Carlisle leeches out what he can from the carnival circuit and makes those skills translate to a more lucrative prospect. Intriguing turns and plot machinations ensue.

Del Toro is an absolute genius in creating an atmosphere. He does wonders in creating the world of Nightmare Alley. There's the wonderful look of the film that transports the audience back to the 1940's. The carnival and all of its details are vivid and at times grotesque. As the film moves away from the carnival, things get more opulent and dazzling. It's all just eye candy from the cinematography, set design and costumes. It's a winner on that level.

While the plot takes about an hour to get going, it is not until about two-thirds into the movie that the importance of the first half becomes abundantly clear. Pay attention to that first hour. Do not sleep on what Del Toro is doing. Do not get distracted by all of the pretty things. It is deliberately paced (slow), but incredibly important to the amazing pay off of this film.

Bradley Cooper anchors Nightmare Alley with a great and uncharacteristic performance. He's both charming and smarmy. Then, Cate Blanchett comes in mid-way through. She's a delightful change of pace for the film. Her absolute scenery-chewing femme fatale plays perfectly in the noir style. And, talk about glamorous. There are some other really good small parts throughout including Richard Jenkins, Willem Dafoe and Toni Collette. It's an entertaining cast that helps to heighten the fun and creep-factor of this film.

Ultimately, Nightmare Alley sneaks up on you. This movie requires patience and your undivided attention. It is gorgeous to look at and well-structured. Even though it is slow in the beginning, the payoff is absolutely worth it. Please go see this movie and grab a big box of popcorn. Step right up to be fooled by Guillermo del Toro's stylish and intriguing, Nightmare Alley.
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10
r96skFeb 3, 2022
This is great! I loved it!

'Nightmare Alley' is a superb watch! I particularly enjoyed the beginning and end, which are truly excellent; the middle part isn't as strong, but is still top notch in its own right. I love the dark atmosphere it
This is great! I loved it!

'Nightmare Alley' is a superb watch! I particularly enjoyed the beginning and end, which are truly excellent; the middle part isn't as strong, but is still top notch in its own right. I love the dark atmosphere it sets from the get-go, the sound design is outstanding - some bits are so striking and I love it! It has a quality, engrossing story to boot.

Bradley Cooper leads the cast with quality, though he isn't even the sole standout of the film. He is joined by a whole host of terrific performers: Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Toni Collette, Willem Dafoe, Richard Jenkins, David Strathairn ... I could go on, simply phenomenal casting! I wanted more of them all, and yet felt I got the perfect amount too.

The 150 minute run time went by incredibly quickly for me; if I hadn't known it was on for that long, I would never have guessed its length to be anywhere near that. It's a slow burn, but a slow burn done tremendously. Guillermo del Toro - this is the first film of his I've seen - & Co. did a super job, I have no complaints at all. I was toying for ages between a 9 or a 10 rating, it just about creeps its way into the latter.

Just brilliant. Go watch!
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5
BigEggsKitchenDec 19, 2021
Overly long, too little payoff. Directing, costuming and acting are all top notch but it can’t save it
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7
davemelbourne58Dec 27, 2021
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Nightmare Alley looks great, and has a great cast of REAL characters...it's just hard for me to root for anybody save for Rooney Mara who tried to run away from greedy huckster played by Bradley Cooper. Cate Blanchette wrote the book on Femme Fatales, and she doesn't disappoint here. Style trumps substance, but it was much better than Guillermo's last overated pot-boler/rom-com. Expand
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9
hardkotJan 23, 2022
Brilliant thriller

I went to the cinema on this film because trailer was really intriguing and it was th best thriller I've see in cinema for the past few years. Guillermo del Toro is real magician - I can swear I feel the atmosphere of this
Brilliant thriller

I went to the cinema on this film because trailer was really intriguing and it was th best thriller I've see in cinema for the past few years. Guillermo del Toro is real magician - I can swear I feel the atmosphere of this film from dirty misterious circus till the end. Everything works for this - great music, actors, color corection and visual. Story maybe not as stunning as it can be but still good and suspense works really well like in classic Hitchcock movies.

I think this film is a must see for all thriller lovers, you will like it!
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10
BUGGADec 17, 2021
This was my most anticipated movie of the year and it did not dissappoint! In NIGHTMARE ALLEY we follow Stanton Carlisle, a con-man with a good eye for reading people, as he falls deeper and deeper into darkness. The con-man in question isThis was my most anticipated movie of the year and it did not dissappoint! In NIGHTMARE ALLEY we follow Stanton Carlisle, a con-man with a good eye for reading people, as he falls deeper and deeper into darkness. The con-man in question is played by Bradley Cooper in the performance of his career. Perfectly cunning, snobby and insecure. All the other actors also deliver great performances but their characters just weren’t deep enough for me to connect with. Although with all that said I do think that Cate Blanchett and David Strathairn deserves a special mention as they were the stand-outs from the supporting cast. Btw there is no way in hell Rooney Mara is lead in this. Litterally no argument for her being in lead. The directing by Guillermo Del Toro is outstanding as he brings his classic Del Toro touch to it and you can tell he’s having so much fun exploring this universe. Now I know a lot of people got problems with the pacing, but personally, I had no problems with it whatsoever. I was hooked from beginning to end and would’ve happily watched it for another 30 minutes. All the techs are on point, no complaints there, but the cinematography and production design are just outstanding. The way Dan Laustsen used lighting is just brilliant, and the set for the carnival in the beginning is some of the best I've seen. Expand
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5
Brent_MarchantDec 26, 2021
Though stylish to a fault, director Guillermo del Toro's cinema noir tale about a Depression Era carny worker who hones his mentalist craft on the humbug circuit and then uses it to fleece gullible, wealthy members of high society has theThough stylish to a fault, director Guillermo del Toro's cinema noir tale about a Depression Era carny worker who hones his mentalist craft on the humbug circuit and then uses it to fleece gullible, wealthy members of high society has the makings of what should be a captivating watch. Note that I said should be. Unfortunately, this vastly, vastly overlong offering waters down its suspense to the point where the end can't come fast enough. A bloated script and insufficient editing heavily weigh down this misfire, which, despite its length, ironically somehow manages to come up short in the back story department. To its credit, "Nightmare Alley" is one of the most beautiful films of 2021 with its lavish production design, gorgeous cinematography and fine technical attributes. It also features a superb ensemble, with fine performances across the board, particularly those of Cate Blanchett, Willem Dafoe , David Strathairn and Richard Jenkins. But even those considerable strengths are not enough to save this protracted snooze, one that truly would have benefitted from a thorough going-over in the script and editing areas to mercifully chop out a plethora of extraneous, irrelevant material. Indeed, putting one's audience to sleep when they should be on the edge of their seats is no way to handle a film in this genre, an approach that, sadly, is deadlier than anything happening on screen. Expand
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2
NavyBeanJan 31, 2022
So looooooong. So predictable. So nonsensical. Looks nice. I love Del Toro but there was no need for this movie to have been made.
3 of 7 users found this helpful34
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1
dunnyoneMar 14, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It's barely even a film. I'd call it a loosely strung-together collection of ideas culminating in absolutely nothing. Sure, visually it looks top-notch and the acting is fine but in terms of entertainment, you're simply better off not watching it. Nothing happens from beginning to end. Such high scores from other reviewers... but not from me. This is just an exercise in self-gratifiation by the director. Expand
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6
MetacriticOnurFeb 2, 2022
admirable
[ ad-mer-uh-buhl ]

adjective
worthy of admiration; inspiring approval, reverence, or affection.
0 of 1 users found this helpful01
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6
dharmaMar 31, 2022
I was expecting another virtuoso from Del Toro, yet came out disappointed. Nightmare Alley though is him trying to do a film noir, impeccably produced and well acted as always. But it is paced exactly like a 40s film of that era. This alongI was expecting another virtuoso from Del Toro, yet came out disappointed. Nightmare Alley though is him trying to do a film noir, impeccably produced and well acted as always. But it is paced exactly like a 40s film of that era. This along with West Side Story is the studio pandering to their greatest talents to the max. Face it, who wants to watch this film in this time and age. The end result: a flop from the usually dependable director. Expand
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5
breakfastmonkeyFeb 17, 2022
I'm writing this review with 30 min left in the movie. That's how disinterested I've become. Still... its pretty.
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3
imthenoobFeb 27, 2022
Del Toro and the cast certainly do an amazing job and I appreciate what the film is trying to go for. However, That doesn't prevent it from being an incredibly dull period piece that fails to be either engaging or captivating.
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5
saucyninja007Feb 6, 2022
Exceptional directing, acting, and production design is not enough to save "Nightmare Alley" from its massive flaws - poor pacing, shallow characterization, and a narrative that is overly episodic and predictable. Guillermo Del Toro isExceptional directing, acting, and production design is not enough to save "Nightmare Alley" from its massive flaws - poor pacing, shallow characterization, and a narrative that is overly episodic and predictable. Guillermo Del Toro is obviously a talented director who understands how to craft a cinematic experience and get believable performances out of his actors (Bradley Cooper delivers perhaps his best performance ever in "Nightmare Alley"). Del Toro also nails the atmosphere in "Alley" - the carnival scenes feel grimy and repulsive.

But that is where my praise for "Alley" ends. The film is egregiously long - it has no business being longer than 90 minutes considering its plot. Even worse, it squanders its time: 150 minutes later and the audience is left with barely any information about its characters. This leads me to the biggest problem with "Nightmare Alley": the central character is woefully underwritten and uninteresting. The audience is given no reason to care about his fate. He is supposed to be suave and charming but this intention never resonates. He has one motivation throughout the whole story and it is a superficial one at that. He has no redeeming characteristics (yes, even an antihero needs to have one of these). He does not change in any meaningful way. So when the film was finally finished slogging towards its telegraphed, unsurprising conclusion, I was left with the biggest "so what?" feeling in recent memory.
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8
Voodoo123Mar 9, 2022
+Exceptional cast delivering solid performances
+Very good cinematography
+Some wonderfully dark material -Pretty cliche plot Nightmare Alley is a pretty basic story told through an exceptionally focused artistic lens. Every moment was
+Exceptional cast delivering solid performances
+Very good cinematography
+Some wonderfully dark material
-Pretty cliche plot

Nightmare Alley is a pretty basic story told through an exceptionally focused artistic lens. Every moment was beautiful even with the oftentimes macabre story.
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4
KatalkysteFeb 3, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Is this a bad movie? -No
Is this a Bad Guillermo del Toro Movie - Absolutely YES.

Its a Thriller without any fantasy aspect or anything that made "Pans Labyrinth" or "Shape of Water" so phantastic.

Nightmare Alley is a rather dragged Movie about a Guy that goes from a noman to small actor to small con man who finally wants to go big until it all blows up in his face.. Problem is: you know this all along the way.. there is basically nothing surprising happening in this movie, everything is "announced", but the viewer has to deduct a LOT of the background, the motives and motivations, since its neither shown nor narrated. They tried to make the main protagonist shrouded in mysteri and ended up creating a rather bland plank of wood. They missed so many opportunties to play with scenery, especially in those circus settings they could have changed the color scheme from blue/red from the audience view to the over all scheme of the movie in Green/yellow.

You never find out the motivation of the main character to kill his father, nor to go to the circus, nor why he choses to do anything in the course of the movie.. all in all, nice but far from great, alot seems to be too far fetched.
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7
RalfbergsMar 28, 2022
I enjoyed it. Maybe it wasn't perfect, but it got my attention and the story was interesting for most of the movie. Ending was a bit predictable, but nonetheless entertaining. Actors are great too
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5
macro_zorkiFeb 7, 2022
Spoilerfree: the movie is quite good. In fact so good that it is unpleasant to watch at times. The main protagonist and his choices are for me painful to watch therefore. It reminds me ob "Requiem for a dream". So in general a good movie, butSpoilerfree: the movie is quite good. In fact so good that it is unpleasant to watch at times. The main protagonist and his choices are for me painful to watch therefore. It reminds me ob "Requiem for a dream". So in general a good movie, but i wouldnt watch it again, because it is painful. Expand
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10
BitashFeb 20, 2022
I have seen the original, and I LOVED the new version of this movie. Amazing visuals and shots, fantastic acting. Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchet are the major stars and just do an impeccable job in performing the role. I will highlyI have seen the original, and I LOVED the new version of this movie. Amazing visuals and shots, fantastic acting. Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchet are the major stars and just do an impeccable job in performing the role. I will highly recommend watching it. Very well made Expand
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7
SoulWarfareFeb 26, 2022
Nightmare Alley is a psychological thriller about a con man and his greed for money. I love director, Guillermo del Toro, previous films and was looking forward to this.

It's a very stylish, noir looking movie with gorgeous cinematography
Nightmare Alley is a psychological thriller about a con man and his greed for money. I love director, Guillermo del Toro, previous films and was looking forward to this.

It's a very stylish, noir looking movie with gorgeous cinematography that is visually great to look at. There is also a stellar cast who all give a phenomenal performance. Special praise to Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett whose relationship in the movie is intriguing to watch.

However, the pacing in Nightmare Alley is very slow and is also drastically long at 150 minutes. The plot is predictable and having it stretched that long sadly damages the movie a bit.
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9
SakataMar 18, 2022
A thought-provoking and pessimistic film, with competent performances by the entire cast. Unfortunately, the fanfare around this film is small on the part of the public, but in the future I believe that it will receive the status of a cult film.
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5
Mauro_LanariApr 19, 2022
(Mauro Lanari)
Referrals to the '32 Tod Browning or to Herzog's very first works are scarce. More central is the reference to the authors who have related the monstrous human condition to a spiritual condemnation: the Lynch of "The Elephant
(Mauro Lanari)
Referrals to the '32 Tod Browning or to Herzog's very first works are scarce. More central is the reference to the authors who have related the monstrous human condition to a spiritual condemnation: the Lynch of "The Elephant Man" (1980) and the Fincher of "Se7en" (1995), from the teratological aborted fetuses, here the biblical Enoch, caused by original sin, to the deadly sins depicted here between the inscriptions "House of Damnation" and "Take a look at yourself, sinner". Guillermo del Toro returns to collaborate with Ron Perlman but outside the cinecomic, the demonic in 2004's "Hellboy" (the monk Rasputin) takes off the clothes of the graphic novel and assumes those of the man-beast, the childhood traumas of "Pan's Labyrinth" (2006) are no longer fairytale or fantasy, the allusions to Francoist become blatant quotes from Hitler. The director, convinced of completing a path of maturity, in the continuation of the movie abandons his famous stylistic code and embraces realism, repudiates chorality and focuses on the nefarious prophecy of the protagonist with his hubris. Even Guillermo has surrendered to nihilism.
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4
MarinoMeleApr 7, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. 4.5/10
This movie looks GOOD and the actors are truly working some magic here, I was mesmerized by all of the ambiance here. Only a couple of hiccups pacing-wise, but that's due to how rich of events this movie is.
But I'm sorry, the ending - despite being obvious - was a steamy piece of CRAP.
Ending this mostly flat movie with some authorial autoerotism. And this is EXACTLY why people like it.
[SPOILERS AHEAD]
This protagonist - stubborn, ambitious, bright, smart, and talented... Accepts being filled with drugs so much to lose all of his humanity becoming a "beast-man". When he already saw what disgraceful end those poor men are bound to suffer?
This kind of change of heart happens solely because the script demands it. Such a change would've needed much more crafting.
As it is it's so off-character, it's just Del Toro giving himself an ego-handjob.
Character-wise, it would've made much more sense for the protagonist to just pretend on drinking the drug. Implying he's still as it was years ago, and foreshadowing he wants to use yet another circus as a career springboard.
I can see parallelism with "Les Miserables" here, but let's leave this 'class-predestination theme to the self-entitled-wisdom of nobles from the '800s.
Nowadays, we can call this narrative by name: narrative crap.
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8
BruterakeMar 20, 2022
This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. O filme do começo ao fim é lindo, você vê que o diretor sabe muito bem o que ta fazendo, até os cenários são lindos ta maluco. O problema que pra mim incomodou é como o filme é previsível quando o Duende verde falou como fabricar um selvagem eu já sabia na hora o protagonista vai acabar virando um, dito e feito. Outros momentos como o dele dando a garrafa errada e matando o cara tava muito óbvio. E claro teve o esquema meio final do death note *Spoilers* onde você escreve um personagem muito inteligente mesmo que faz a leitura das pessoas é muito esperto mas ai porque ele é do mal e forçou a barra você emburresse ele a ponto dele perder tudo no final, fica fora do personagem ele acreditar tanto em pessoas sendo que ele é um charlatão ta ligado KKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKKK Expand
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6
iCampoRamilFeb 17, 2022
Mucho mejor la primera parte que hacia al final. Actoralmente es una gozada, igual que el reparto. La historia mola, te pica la curiosidad pero se vuelve medio confusa y creo que no acaba de cuajar del todo. Técnicamente mola un montón eseMucho mejor la primera parte que hacia al final. Actoralmente es una gozada, igual que el reparto. La historia mola, te pica la curiosidad pero se vuelve medio confusa y creo que no acaba de cuajar del todo. Técnicamente mola un montón ese neo-noir que consigue Guillermo del Toro, es muy de él, tiene su esencia horripilante, pero da la sensación de que es una película menor, a pesar de ese reparto.

· Cosas buenas: el neo-noir funciona a la perfección, es la pura esencia de la película. Las actuaciones y el reparto más de lo mismo, y esa primera parte sí que llega a interesar y mantenerte en vilo.
· Cosas malas: se desequilibra mucho de cara al tercer tercio, se puede hacer algo larga porque empieza a mezclar géneros que ya no causan tanto interés como al principio.
· Conclusión: lo dicho, da la sensación que no ha acabado de cuajar, de que es una película menor de del Toro, acabas con una sensación rara de no saber si te ha gustado o no.
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8
AJ_13Feb 3, 2022
Dark, enigmatic and beautifully crafted. Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett are the acting stand-outs, accompanied by an stunning cinematography and production design. It could have been shorter and I wish the hole film was as macabre as itDark, enigmatic and beautifully crafted. Bradley Cooper and Cate Blanchett are the acting stand-outs, accompanied by an stunning cinematography and production design. It could have been shorter and I wish the hole film was as macabre as it gets in its final act. Expand
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6
syhuffFeb 27, 2022
Love the atmosphere, the art direction, the performances. I wish they focussed the script entirely on the circus, or worked harder to keep the narrative connected to the dream/nightmare quality of the circus and "mentalist" circuit. Goes onLove the atmosphere, the art direction, the performances. I wish they focussed the script entirely on the circus, or worked harder to keep the narrative connected to the dream/nightmare quality of the circus and "mentalist" circuit. Goes on too long for not enough payoff. Expand
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10
LuissDtApr 8, 2022
Nightmare Alley is an alley full of surprises due to strong performances and impeccable production design.
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5
RickDanger78Feb 13, 2022
Del Toro’s remake of this classic is a fool’s errand; how do you update a perfect masterpiece? More importantly, why? Is there a more modern or more complex idea you want to express? Are there cinematic techniques that can add depth? Sadly,Del Toro’s remake of this classic is a fool’s errand; how do you update a perfect masterpiece? More importantly, why? Is there a more modern or more complex idea you want to express? Are there cinematic techniques that can add depth? Sadly, the answer to all these questions is no; there’s no compelling reason to recreate this, and Del Toro’s attempt is rote, unconvincing, and ultimately redundant to the original. Sure, it looks great, and there are some strong performances, especially Jenkins and Blanchett, but the script is weak and wordy. The story, so convincing and passionate in its original context, is here a pantomime of a period piece. The culminating twist was a stretch even in the original, and it’s forced and ultimately silly here, despite Blanchett’s seductive best efforts. Most damaging is that Cooper just can’t carry the Tyrone Power role, unable to portray the incremental corruption of an earnest hustler into a debased monster. When Powers delivers his famous final line, it perfectly sums up everything that went before. When Cooper delivers it, it looks like an acting class exercise, and fails to deliver the devastating kick required. In the portrayal of the rise and progressive fall of a con, Powers was born for it. Cooper, not so much. Overlong and underwrought, this is a disappointing time sink with nothing new to say and no innovative way to say it. Expand
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7
HingleMcCringleFeb 3, 2022
Pretty middle of the road for a GDT movie, certainly worth a viewing but the incredible and large cast felt mostly wasted here. I only saw the first trailer a while ago and wasn't sure what to expect when I started the movie but some of hisPretty middle of the road for a GDT movie, certainly worth a viewing but the incredible and large cast felt mostly wasted here. I only saw the first trailer a while ago and wasn't sure what to expect when I started the movie but some of his usual supernatural elements would have benefited the narrative. Expand
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8
Jonathan_M_2Jan 1, 2022
A sophisticated, gorgeous and surprising drama that has strong characters and a fantastic ending.
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8
benjanzenFeb 28, 2022
Guillermo del Toro creates such an imaginative and wonderfully immersive world in this film that I really got lost in. Beautiful production design, costumes, and cinematography here that left me in awe. It is undoubtedly a bit of a slow burnGuillermo del Toro creates such an imaginative and wonderfully immersive world in this film that I really got lost in. Beautiful production design, costumes, and cinematography here that left me in awe. It is undoubtedly a bit of a slow burn but progresses and evolves in such interesting ways, climaxing in a truly bonkers and incredibly satisfying third act. So much care and intention was put into every frame of this film, and it shows. Nightmare Alley feels like an old Hollywood film in the best way possible, and I loved every second of it. Expand
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9
ChanekeCholoMar 7, 2022
El Callejón de las Almas Perdidas es la película mas fluida y mayor producida de la filmografía de Guillermo Del Toro, sin embargo, si queda por debajo de algunas de sus anteriores obras como lo es la ganadora del premio de la Academia aEl Callejón de las Almas Perdidas es la película mas fluida y mayor producida de la filmografía de Guillermo Del Toro, sin embargo, si queda por debajo de algunas de sus anteriores obras como lo es la ganadora del premio de la Academia a Mejor Película “La Forma del Agua” y su trabajo más suntuoso “El Laberinto del Fauno”, pero hablaremos de estas películas en otra ocasión.
Guillermo Del Toro juega de una manera magnifica con muchos elementos del cine negro para generar una atmosfera inmersiva la cual retrata de manera muy interesante la frase “Jugar con Fuego”, al mismo tiempo que toma temas bastante profundos acerca del inminente destino y del hecho que algunas personas, a pesar de usar engaños y máscaras, por dentro son considerados abominaciones que ineludiblemente saldrán a la luz algún día.
Las actuaciones son, en parte un poco contenidas, pero muy bien ejecutadas, logras encariñarte con cada uno de los personajes, sin mencionar que todo el reparto es de primer nivel. La dirección de Guillermo Del Toro como siempre magnifica y a la altura de sus anteriores trabajos galardonados. No obstante, el protagonista mas importante en esta película esta dividido en tres, la cinematografía, el vestuario y el diseño de producción, siendo estos unos de los mas destacados de los últimos años en sus distintas categorías, pero dando énfasis principal a la increíble fotografía de la película, sin duda alguna, la mejor del año.
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6
DeviltherobotDec 29, 2021
The trailer is very well done, which is why I feel bamboozled by this movie. There are pacing issues and it doesn't get good until have way through. I think this is a 5.5/10, but since this is a cool concept (yea it is a remake, but of aThe trailer is very well done, which is why I feel bamboozled by this movie. There are pacing issues and it doesn't get good until have way through. I think this is a 5.5/10, but since this is a cool concept (yea it is a remake, but of a 1940s film, not the same as current soul less films) I will give it a 6/10. Expand
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3
JairanpoFeb 6, 2022
I've always felt that Del Toro dialogs suffer from trying way too hard to show a high degree of sophistication to the point of feeling fake, synthetic and sometimes the character's communication feels almost cartoonish. In other movies,I've always felt that Del Toro dialogs suffer from trying way too hard to show a high degree of sophistication to the point of feeling fake, synthetic and sometimes the character's communication feels almost cartoonish. In other movies, monsters have found a way to balance this problem and make it forgivable, but this movie enhances this issue in the writing. I think this is a largely overrated movie and not worth waiting for more than two boring hours until something interesting happens. Expand
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9
Fuad_RMNMMar 10, 2022
One of the best movies for 2021.

This movie quality is unexpected and splendidly satisfying. I’ve didn’t expect anything from this movie which back then I really didn’t know if this movie was a remake from Nightmare Alley (1947). The main
One of the best movies for 2021.

This movie quality is unexpected and splendidly satisfying. I’ve didn’t expect anything from this movie which back then I really didn’t know if this movie was a remake from Nightmare Alley (1947). The main reason I’m going to this movie in a cinema is caused of the big name of the cast members and director. Nightmare Alley (2021) is directed by Guillermo Del Toro through 2 hr 30 min with the big name of the cast’s which Bradley Cooper, Cate Blanchett, Rooney Mara, Willem Dafoe, Toni Collete, Richard Jenkins, Ron Perlman, Mary Steenburgen, David Strathairn, Holt McCallany, Paul Anderson, and the others.

In my POV, this movie is the best movie I've ever seen in the past few months. From every aspect, this movie is really amazing through well-narrated, cinematography, perfect vintage ambiance tone, mesmerizing vintage property and costumes, and nevertheless the acting. Besides that, this movie is really insightful for explaining a glimpse of post-World War II; social gap, psychological scam, mentalism, and carnival industries in back old days. We can also learn moral values and some technical about vintage cinematography and movie directing. The only cons for this movie are the long duration, rushed ending, and felt like a forced romance story. The romance didn't well explain and convincing enough which is just typical of classical movies - the man met the girl and both of them fall in love. Overall, it's still one of the best movies I've ever seen which have proven through four nominations on the 94th Academy Award. Sadly, this movie flops at the Box Office which lower income than the production budget may be caused by the Covid-19 pandemic.
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