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Reviews & Ratings for
The Phantom of the Opera More at IMDbPro »

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489 out of 648 people found the following review useful:

The Phantom has arrived.....

Author: Shaun Tossell (shaunrtt@hotmail.com) from Bristol
13 December 2004

I went to see this film with my best friend yesterday and I asked her what she thought of the film and she said "That was the worst film i've ever seen" I turned to her and saw she was blubbing her eyes out(she was being sarcastic).

This film was AMAZING!

It looked gorgeous, the singing for some reason has been slated a lot by critics but I thought the singing was wonderful and everyone should be applauded especially the two leads Emmy Rossum and Gerald Butler they were brilliant.The songs sound as good as ever, there was one thing that really ticked me off with some reviewers they have said "The song are in desperate need in updating" and all I can say to that is "Don't change perfection because its already perfect. The stand out moment for me was the beginning,when the film changed from black and white and went back in time to tell the story,it sent shivers down my spine. I have to say i've never seen the stage show but now i've watched this I don't think I need to

10/10 Go see this film!

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431 out of 568 people found the following review useful:

Absolutely fantastic!

Author: emily_glenister from Emily Glenister
14 December 2004

I dragged my long suffering boyfriend to see The Phantom of the Opera on Sunday, and was pleasantly surprised by it. Although I have never seen it on-stage, the film version - for me - was so enchanting that I now cannot wait to obtain tickets to it. The sets were absolutely beautiful. France is known for its beauty, and this adaption certainly paid homage to that. The theatre set itself was absolutely stunning; marble and velvet being the main materials within it. Emmy Rossum (Christine) was 17 when this was filmed and was absolutely outstanding. When she started to sing, my mouth literally dropped open. Minnie Driver (La Carlotta) was very funny in her Italian diva role. Her hand gestures added to the mannerisms of a typical diva. Her singing was overdone to add to the character (even though Ms. Driver did not do all the vocals herself). Patrick Wilson (Raoul), out of all of them, had the most captivating voice. Although Raoul seemed a bit wet and droopy, he was still gorgeous and made the GIRLS in the audience swoon. However, the star of the piece for me, was Gerard Butler (the Phantom). Although his vocal skills weren't entirely right for the part, he portrayed the Phantom as a lot of people see him; as a victim. I actually ended up warming to him, and when asked by my boyfriend who I would choose; Raoul or the Phantom, I said the Phantom. Something about the way Mr. Butler played him, was so sexy and he drew the WOMEN to him. Watching the Phantom and Raoul, certainly separated the boys from the men and the girls from the women. Another pleasant surprise is that Jennifer Ellison was actually rather good in her role as Meg, Christine's best friend. Miss Ellison has been trained in acting, singing and dancing and so was well equipped to the play the part, and carried it off very well. I wouldn't be surprised if more roles in Hollywood turned up for her. Overall, I rate this film a 5/5 and definitely recommend it. It sent shivers up my spine and gave me goosebumps. I urge those of you who haven't seen it, to become goosebump friendly by watching THE PHANTOM OF THE OPERA!

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401 out of 512 people found the following review useful:

Play it AGAIN!!

10/10
Author: lenoresden from United States
24 December 2004

This is what I found myself saying when the end credits started rolling. I have seen the Stage Play 12 times. I have read the Book so may times I can not count it(LEaroux AND Kay's books). I will not put spoilers in here. All I'm going to say is go INTO it with an OPEN MIND. Some of the scenes are different from the Stage play. IT IS NOT a shot by shot remake. Bring Kleenex. Your going to need them. Butler plays Phantom with so much Intensity you CAN'T help but love him. I am NOT a fan of Minnie Driver by any means, but I have to say I liked her in this movie, she was even funny in it. As for Rossum she makes a good Christine. The costumes and the scenery were Beautiful. 2 days after seeing it, and I'm STIL IN AWE.

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313 out of 427 people found the following review useful:

Excellent!

Author: Steve Gillen from Leeds, England
13 December 2004

I have had the good fortune to have seen the stage production 3 times (twice at the Alhambra in Bradford and again 2 months ago at Her majesty's theatre in London) and would rate it as the best experience I have ever had in the theatre. So along comes this movie and I was not sure what to expect, before going I said to friends that if it was half as good as the stage show then it would be marvelous, well it exceeded that - I would rate it at about 80% myself.

My wife and I saw the movie last night and were enthralled all the way through, the costumes and scenery were superb, and we both thought the performances were excellent. My only minor detraction was with Gerard Butler, I just had this gut feeling that his voice just didn't quite have the power to portray the Phantom to the full extent; but what do I know? I have no knowledge or training or background in theatre or singing, as I said it was just a feeling that I had myself.

I would recommend this movie to anyone who may enjoy musicals - if you don't, then I rather think you would hate it (but then you are unlikely to be reading this are you?)

All in all a wonderful night at the cinema, which I shall be repeating, and I will be buying the DVD when it comes out.

9/10

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253 out of 345 people found the following review useful:

Superb Film - but stage to screen comparisons inappropriate.

9/10
Author: derekdaze from Lincolnshire, UK
12 December 2004

I think some other comments here are harsh, especially towards the performance of Emmy Rossum, who I thought made the film. Her performance visually (i.e. expressions etc) is mesmerizing. I'm sure a lot of this is down to Joel Schumacher who successfully steers the film away from just putting the stage show on to film, but has actually created something powerful in its own right, so I believe comparisons of the stage show to film are unreasonable.

My only niggles are technicalities, the Phantom wears a mask which only goes just above his eyebrows in the Ball scene (and shows no deformation) and yet when the normal white mask is removed later the entire left side of his face is deformed. The lip sync hing is often poor, especially in 'Think of Me' which is disappointing, especially in the knowledge that all but Minnie Driver recorded their own singing parts anyway.

The Soundtrack has been given a spring clean and it really benefits from it, removing some of the synthesized feel of the original and giving it much more of an orchestral grandeur.

All in all, this film really took me by surprise. As I said above Stage to Screen comparisons do feel somewhat inappropriate with this film, but I was never that fussed about Phantom before or after seeing it on Broadway. I can safely say that this film has converted me.

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224 out of 294 people found the following review useful:

A Brilliant adaptation

10/10
Author: planetweirdo from Australia
9 December 2004

Well pinch me I must be dreaming, Joel Schumacher hs made a masterpiece? I am not dreaming and I can tell you it is true. This is everything a musical movie should be, fantastic songs, amazing sets and wonderful acting.

I have seen the stage show once and enjoyed it a lot, but the movie just blew me away, it was so lavish and gorgeous I was floating in mid air or at least it felt like it. Emmy Rossum steals the show as Christine the beautiful young ingenue, she has the voice of an angel and her gorgeous youthful looks and innocence make for a wonderful performance. Gerard Butler doesn't have an amazing voice, but for what he lacks in singing he makes up for in acting. The supporting cast are great too, especially Minnie Driver who is HILARIOUS as La Carlotta.

I loved this movie but there are bound to be haters who hate webber or schumacher, my advice go in with an open mind and let the images and music captivate you.

10/10

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218 out of 284 people found the following review useful:

Beautiful film

9/10
Author: lisa_nyc from New York
23 November 2004

I was able to view this at a special screening and was very impressed. It is a visually stunning movie - the costuming and sets are as extravagant and lavish as the music. Gerard Butler gives a particularly anguishing and sympathetic performance as The Phantom. Emmy Rossum is beautiful portraying Christine and her transformation from a young innocent to a woman who is aware of herself, her sexuality, and the world of love. Patrick Wilson is a particularly dashing, heroic and protective Raoul and Minnie Driver provides hilarious comic relief as Carlotta. I particularly enjoyed the film's ability to delve deeper into the lives of characters. It provided depth and context and layers to all of the characters that the stage production cannot do. The entire cast was magnificent and I will be hearing the "music of the night" in my head for the next several days. I would definitely recommend it and can't wait to see it again.

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189 out of 232 people found the following review useful:

Never loses it's beauty....

9/10
Author: triple8 from Conn
8 January 2005

I have just come from seeing phantom and was completely swept away. The stage show is my all time favorite Broadway show and I was a bit nervous as to how Phantom and the music of the night would hold up on the big screen but I needn't have worried because it was very definitely worth the price of the ticket-and then some.

The movie, for the most part, retains much of the stage show, I'd say about 85 percent true to the show, though there were slight differences. The magic present in the show live, is still, for the most part, here on film. In fact, I was wondering if I would cry during the movie and of coarse I did. Phantom of the Opera's's loveliness is still so luminous and the movie just fills your senses. I don't think there was a sound in the theater during the whole movie.

The film's look-among the most riveting I've ever seen-colorful, rich and oozing vibrancy, the look and feel are just magnificent. I sure hope this movie wins some awards for it's costumes and Cinematography. At times, there was almost a bit TO much going on which, as my friends and I discussed takes the focus away from the music a bit and maybe(though I'm torn on this) they should have toned it down just a tiny tiny bit. Still, the look was so spectacular I'm not even sure I'd definitely have done that myself. But still, 10 of 10 for atmosphere.

The casting-pretty good for the most part. I simply cannot believe Emmy Rossum is only 18 years old, she is magnificent and I am in awe of her. She was a beautiful, lovely Christine and I think we'll be seeing a lot of her in the future.

Gerard Butler has been getting some flack. I actually liked him in the role of the phantom although I began to feel more strongly about his rightness as the movie went on, not right at the beginning. That is not because he wasn't good in the role, just different then the stage version. To me, his singing got more and more soulful as the movie went on and his acting was an A plus, he wasn't just there to sing and look pretty, he acted the heck out of the role and succeeded in elevating the phantom from just a presence to a tortured individual. People have been saying he's to good looking, well that's certainly not his fault!(though they really could have gotten a more realistic looking mask for him to wear.) And besides, his looks are transcended by the end, they lose their focus until we are barely aware of them. He did a really good job. Patrick Wilson surprised me the most, I think in a way, I enjoyed his voice the most. He was simply Superb, and he too, embodied Raoul. He is a talented actor with a moving, gently powerful voice and he was great. Minnie Driver, Miranda Richarardson-all great. Good casting choices.

All in all a great night at the movies-I am giving this a 9 and I think if I had to say why it's not a perfect 10, it's just that this story was meant to, first be, a theatrical production, and as good as the movie was, and as many tears as I cried, it did not haunt me in the same way as the stage show. That does not take away from the movie's power or magnificence, I'm not even sure it could have been any better at all as a movie. It's just that seeing it live sends chills down my spine and haunts in a way that only a stage musical can do. I can actually understand how some people are not impressed by Phantom because, the bottom line is, this is as much about the music as the story and if one isn't a fan of this type of music, one probably won't simply find a lot here. But for those who have seen the beauty of Phantom on stage, they'll (probebly) love it and better yet, for those lucky enough to come into this film, and love it, WITHOUT having ever seen the play-see the play-because if you think the movie version is the stuff that magnificence is made of, think about all that live on stage right in front of you. This movie is good and I admiringly give it a 9 of 10.

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212 out of 290 people found the following review useful:

So good I've seen it twice!!

9/10
Author: freddievalentine from United Kingdom
19 December 2004

Having not seen the musical before, and only being familiar with some of the well know songs I had no preconceptions, but was eager to see the film being a lover of all things musical. From the black and white opening scene I knew it was going to be visually splendid and from the atmosphere created knew I was in for something dramatic. Then the theatre turned to colour and all was sent spinning back in time and the busy backstage frolics of the cast at the Opera House were bought to life. It was not apparent who the leading lady would be for a while until the chorus girl Christine was encouraged forward to sing replacing the Diva and was transformed from rags to a Cinderella style dress and sang with a pure beautiful voice and made me feel all magical and warm inside especially when she hit that note at the end!! Anyway the film went on and she was re united with her childhood sweetheart who was very charming and although most say wet, I think was very caring and charming (any girl wants prince charming on a white horse) despite what they say :-) There were lots of dream like scenes to follow and the film heightened emotionally all the way to the end, I've heard the song "Wishing you were somehow here again" but never knew its context, but the song and scene merged beautifully together for a very sentimental moment in the film enhanced by the angel statues covered in misty snow and a very Tim Burton moment. The phantom was a mixture of anger/sadness/genius and you could understand why Christine was very weak willed in his presence. I loved it, saw it twice bought the soundtrack and rate it 9 out of 10. Karen (Freddies girlfriend) and he liked it too!

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167 out of 210 people found the following review useful:

I Really Liked This Movie...

10/10
Author: endymion82 from San Francisco, CA
15 December 2004

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

So, I usually don't qualify my reviews, but this movie is sort of special, and the comments I've read are from all over the map so I feel I should give some idea of where I'm coming from too.

I've been an playwrite, actor, and director for years, with work of mine have been doing both domestically and internationally, and having appeared in plays both amateur and professional and every level in between, including a professional opera and many a musical: whenever I watch anything, I approach it on three levels: artist, critic and audience. Also, I grew up seeing shows on Broadway, both mega-musicals and little indy plays in the Village, and while generally speaking my tastes lean more towards "arty and indy", I do have a broader pallet and it would be more accurate to say that my real interest is piqued by anything that is genuinely good at being what it is- which is one way of describing "Phantom of the Opera." Because yes, it's not as complec and intelligent as the work of Sondheim, or Kander and Ebb, but for what it sets out to be, an enthralling and absorbing Gothic romance (a genre that is rarely done well on stage, let alone as a musical), it achieves on every level: the score (which is soaring and crashing and large, just like the emotions of the characters who sing it), the design (ornate and overwhelming and grand guigol to the hilt), the story (which is totally ridiculous on some level, but since gothicism and romance are both genres which celebrate the extremes of our minds and imaginations, this is totally appropriate). "Phantom" is a brilliant example of art where the content and the style of the rendering of that content fit each other to a tea, and while it may not be YOUR cup of tea I sort of feel that anyone who thinks it's crap has basically missed the point or is just sour grapes because the thing is so damn popular and so damn good at being what it is (and lets face it, it's hard not to resent a success sometimes). Genius is often ridiculed, especially genius of an unusual nature or in a somewhat unconventional field (and Gothic romance, be it novel, film or musical, is looked down on in general, usually for the very qualities that make it interesting) and Webber's work is genius, because "Phantom" is, for all its faults, tightly written, a brilliant balance of camp, melodrama, satire and fairy tale, and while the style of music might not work for each listener, it effectively illuminates the story and conveys what is most important about the characters: their titantic (albeit, somewhat simple-minded) emotions, desires, fears and obsessions.

*SPOILERS*

The movie, in my opinion, takes what is best about the play and does it even better. Though some of my favorite bits from the stage show (the rehearsal of Don Jaun where the piano plays itself, Raoul's part in "Wondering Child") are gone, they have been dropped in favor of brilliant improvements, namely having the chandelier crash at the conclusion of the film (it really brings the whole thing full circle), and allowing more glimpses of Paris 1917, finally explaining why it is Raoul returns, what happens to the Phantom, etc. Other good bits that we see now but never saw onstage: an affectionate moment between Meg and Madame Giry, some history of the Phantom, a deeper sense of what Meg may know or not know about the Phantom's presence, the stalking of Josephe Bouquet, the life of the underclass of the opera house, the Hall of Mirrors from the book, etc. Also, the music has been beautifully re-orchestrated, and never sounded better. I'll take orchestra over canned synths, any day, thank you.

The cinematography is beautiful and the "opera" moments are well done- complete with the cornball, almost intrusive dancing and vibrant but totally unrealistic sets and costumes that characterized "grand opera" at the time. The sense of constant claustrophobia back stage is great, and adds to that sense of what it was like to live and work in this tiny world where everyone is a performer and half your wardrobe comes from the costume department (did anyone else catch that moment where Christine takes her dress from the wardrobe?), adding to the central question at "Phantom's" core- what (who) is real, and what (who) is an illusion- and is real preferable to illusion, or vice-vera? The bleedingly bright colors and deep shadows of the movie help echo all of this- reminding us always, this story is not real, hero on white charger and all, but we don't want it to be: it's a legend, it's a fairy tale, it's a farce... it's a masquerade. It's, as the Auctioneer says, "a strange affair." "Phantom" told and acted realistically, totally wouldn't work, so don't ask it to, or judge it that way.

The best thing about this movie is the performances, and the director has done a wonderful thing by moving AWAY from Michael Crawford and Sarah Brightman, both of whom gave role defining performances, neither of which are any more "correct" than any other. The question isn't, are Butler and Rossum as good as their predecessors, but rather do their versions of the characters work, and the answer is: yes. Return to "Phantom" as a text, not as a show with a history, and you'll see that Christine is supposed to be dreamy, lost, emotionally unstable and young, just as Rossum plays and sings the role. Butler, with his harsher singing and deeper range, is much more believable as a madman who is sometimes pathetic and pitable, but still ultimately a deranged egomaniac who lives underground and makes wax statues of the woman he loves. The rest of the cast is equally good, with Minnie Driver giving a heroically hysterical performance, Jennifer Ellison combining strength and curiosity with innocence and a certain grounded quality (I've always believed the audience is ultimately supposed to identify with Meg, who is the only character who never panics and maintains a healthy sense of "reality) that contrasts nicely with Rossum's morbid dreaminess, and Patrick Wilson doing much more with Raoul than any of the actors I've seen on stage. I wish Simon Callow had had more to do, but such is life- at least he was there. Miranda Richardson continues to prove she can play anything, and conveying more with a look than most actresses can with a full script of dialogue. Her accent is totally brilliant: it sets her apart, makes her glamorous and mysterious, and at the same time, is another sly tongue in cheek reminder that what we are watching should only be believed to a point: it is, after all, just another version of beauty and the beast.

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