Napoleon lands fresh Rotten Tomatoes score as reviews hail “epic” movie

Jasmine Valentine
Joaquin Phoenix in NapoleonColumbia Pictures

Ridley Scott makes his return to screens with the historically dynamic Napoleon, having already received an enviable score on Rotten Tomatoes.

As the title suggests, the movie is set to follow the leader of the French Republic, with the official synopsis reading: “A look at the military commander’s origins and his swift, ruthless climb to emperor, viewed through the prism of his addictive and often volatile relationship with his wife and one true love, Josephine.”

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Director Ridley Scott has already come under fire for the movie not being historically accurate and embellishing myths – though it seems as though Scott couldn’t care less.

Despite this criticism, Napoleon remains one of the most anticipated movies left to come from 2023, with early reviews citing the film as “epic.”

“Epic” Napoleon lands fresh Rotten Tomatoes score

As of writing, Ridley Scott’s Napoleon has a 79% score on Rotten Tomatoes, with 28 critic reviews already in.

Kevin Maher from The Times wrote: “The captivating power of Phoenix’s performance, delivered in his American vernacular, is that it hovers in a twitchy, shifty, grey zone between imperious outbursts, wounded vulnerability and puckish charm.”

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Liam Crowley from ComicBook.com agreed, stating: “While it is far from a perfect picture, Napoleon is an epic worthy of the big screen experience. The valleys stretch far and wide, but the peaks are enough to negate enough of the pacing. Vanessa Kirby’s performance alone makes Napoleon priority viewing.”

Meghan O’Keefe from Decider commented: “A portrait of ambition that makes greatness feel like the worst thing a person to aspire to. While it’s not on the same level as some of Scott’s other all-time greats, Napoleon is nonetheless an intriguing experiment in storytelling.”

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However, not all of the Napoleon Rotten Tomatoes reviews have been so positive.

Peter Debruge from Variety said, “Napoleon ultimately suffers from the same problem as its subject: The film’s ambitions are greater than the people demand, as Scott bites off more than he can manage.”

David Rooney from The Hollywood Reporter agreed, writing: “For all its brawn and atmosphere and robustly choreographed combat, this is a distended historical tapestry too sprawling to remain compelling, particularly when its focus veers away from the central couple.”

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Napoleon releases in theaters on November 22. Check out our other TV & Movies hubs below:

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About The Author

Jasmine Valentine is a TV and Movies Writer at Dexerto. She's written for the likes of Total Film, The Daily Beast, and Radio Times. Jasmine loves anime, dystopian thrillers, and anything starring Tilda Swinton. You can email her here: jasmine.waters@dexerto.com.