The Player
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Robert Altman takes a scalpel to Hollywood ethics in the 1990s (or the lack thereof) in his acidic satire The Player, adapted from Michael Tolkin's novel. (Tolkin also wrote the screenplay.) The film concerns a sleek and smooth Hollywood studio executive who starts receiving death threats from a disgruntled writer because he has committed the ultimate Hollywood sin -- he promised the writer he would call him back and he never did. This is particularly ironic because the studio executive, Griffin Mill (Tim Robbins), is considered "writer-friendly," spending his days listening to… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 98%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"[It's] supposed to be scathing, but the pleasure it affords is like what you get from watching the Oscars: celebrity spotting and in-jokes."
‑ Jonathan Rosenbaum, Chicago Reader
"Mr. Altman's most subversive message here is not that it's possible to get away with murder in Hollywood, but that the most grievous sin, in Hollywood terms anyway, is to make a film that flops."
‑ Vincent Canby, New York Times
"Altman lets us vacation in Hollywood for a bit but not too long to feel smothered"
‑ Kevin Carr, 7M Pictures
"Altman performs a bit of legerdemain, poking fun at the film industry while simultaneously paying tribute to it."
‑ John J. Puccio, Movie Metropolis
"A daringly seductive satire working on its relentless terms with a fluid pace. Under seemingly improv surface, Altman has deconstructed Hollywood with cynical but not bitter eye, suggesting it's hard but not impossible for artists to work in the factory"
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"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."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"[Altman] sticks it to every target, himself and us included, with a wicked zest that hurts only when you laugh."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Amusing black comedy on Tinseltown."
‑ Dennis Schwartz, Ozus' World Movie Reviews
"Cynical, sophisticated movie-industry-murder-mystery made with great attention to detail, and still one of the best examples of Hollywood turning the camera on itself."
‑ Jon Fortgang, Film4
"As definitive a film about modern Hollywood as "Sunset Boulevard" was in its time."
‑ Rob Thomas, Capital Times (Madison, WI)
"A movie about today's Hollywood -- hilarious and heartless in about equal measure, and often at the same time."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"Altman loves practical jokes, and The Player is his craftiest prank, his jolly last laugh."
‑ Hal Hinson, Washington Post
"The Player can be admired even more now than it was at the time, because it so succinctly diagnosed the sickness that still causes Hollywood to churn out too much soulless "product.""
‑ Mike McGranaghan, Aisle Seat
"One of the greatest Hollywood-eats-itself movies."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"A hilarious and insightful look at Hollywood's shallow underbelly."
‑ Scott Weinberg,
More reviews for The Player on Rotten Tomatoes