A personal look at the French military leader’s origins and swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of Napoleon’s addictive, volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.

  • Released:
  • Runtime: 158 minutes
  • Genre: Drama, History, War
  • Stars: Tahar Rahim, Thom Ashley, David Verrey, Joaquin Phoenix, Erin Ainsworth, Jean-Pascal Heynemand, Clyde Vassallo, Vanessa Kirby, Gavin Spokes, Paul Riddell, John Hollingworth, Cesare Taurasi, Paul O'Kelly, Ludivine Sagnier, Arthur McBain, Ed Eales White, Davide Tucci, Phil Cornwell, Edouard Philipponnat, Hannah Flynn
  • Director: Ridley Scott
  • old_school_boston - 8 June 2024
    Very disheartening telling of one of history's most interesting character. The movie is visually brilliant and the actors well enough. That's as far as I can go with the pros. The movie is very sporadic while not diving into any of the things that made this person interesting. Too much Josephine and failures and not enough of everything else. How little Scott spends on every deed this person did that made him who he was. A couple minutes on the Battle of Austerlitz is beyond ridiculous. This movie explains nothing. If you only had this movie to go on you would really wonder why they made a movie about Napoleon. And we won't go into all of the inaccuracies. The biggest disappointment is how silly they made the 100 days to be when he meets the French royal army. They just had to write this scene exactly how it is in the history books, but somehow they completely flubbed it. Such a bummer.
  • vcxmhcnqd - 17 May 2024
    Not the best but certainly not the worst
    "Napoleon," directed by Ridley Scott, is an ambitious historical drama that chronicles the life and legacy of one of history's most enigmatic and controversial figures, Napoleon Bonaparte. The film stars Joaquin Phoenix in a compelling portrayal of the legendary French military leader, with Vanessa Kirby delivering a powerful performance as his passionate and influential wife, Josephine.

    From the outset, "Napoleon" immerses viewers in the tumultuous era of the French Revolution and the subsequent rise of the Napoleonic Empire. Scott's direction is characteristically grand, bringing the sweeping battles and intricate political machinations to life with stunning visual detail. The film's battle scenes are particularly noteworthy, blending brutal realism with strategic finesse, showcasing Napoleon's military genius and the devastating human cost of his campaigns.

    Joaquin Phoenix excels in the titular role, capturing Napoleon's complex personality-his brilliance, ambition, and ruthlessness-while also revealing the vulnerabilities and insecurities that drove him. Phoenix's performance is both intense and nuanced, providing a deeply human portrayal of a man often seen as larger than life. Vanessa Kirby as Josephine is equally compelling, bringing warmth, strength, and a touch of melancholy to her role. The chemistry between Phoenix and Kirby is palpable, adding depth to their tumultuous relationship and underscoring the personal stakes behind Napoleon's public persona.

    The supporting cast, including Tahar Rahim as the loyal but conflicted Marshal Ney and Ben Miles as the pragmatic diplomat Talleyrand, further enrich the narrative, offering different perspectives on Napoleon's reign and its impact on France and the world.

    The film's production values are exceptional, with meticulously designed costumes and sets that recreate the opulence and turmoil of the period. The cinematography by Dariusz Wolski captures both the grandeur of Napoleon's ambitions and the intimate moments of his personal life, while the score by Hans Zimmer adds a powerful emotional layer to the storytelling.

    However, "Napoleon" is not without its flaws. The film occasionally struggles with pacing, particularly in its attempt to cover the vast expanse of Napoleon's life and career. Some viewers might find the rapid transitions between major events jarring, and the film's focus on certain aspects of Napoleon's life may leave others underexplored.

    Despite these minor shortcomings, "Napoleon" stands out as a captivating and thought-provoking historical drama. It succeeds in humanizing a figure often mythologized, presenting a balanced view of his genius and his flaws. Scott's direction, combined with Phoenix's tour-de-force performance, makes "Napoleon" a memorable cinematic experience that offers both spectacle and insight.

    In conclusion, "Napoleon" is a compelling exploration of power, ambition, and the personal costs of greatness. It is a must-see for history enthusiasts and fans of epic biographical dramas.

    **Rating: 7/10**

  • fredtee - 4 May 2024
    Napoleon: No Vive La France
    Highly entertaining, regardless of historical inaccuracies and the absence of historical detail, (except for the XXX-rated sex scenes between Napoleon and Josephine).

    Napoleon's military and political genius is lost here, notably when he curtly dismisses a general who advises his army spending the winter in Poland before resuming the war in Russia with a "Get Out!"

    No wonder, the French don't like this movie. No "Vive La France" when Napoleon is defeated in Russia and later by an alliance led by Great Britain rescued by Prussians.

    Having been financed by Apple, can we look forward to a multiyear episodic series? Possibly cast Donald Trump as Robespiere and Joe Biden as a drowning soldier?