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Russell Brand
Greta Gerwig

Helen Mirren
Jennifer Garner.
Jason Winer.
Peter Baynham.
Running Time
109 minutes

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About a playboy

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Drunken billionaire playboy Arthur Bach (Brand) wants nothing more than to have fun. But his mother Vivienne (Geraldine James) would rather see him installed as a responsible, sober part of the family firm. Facing an unwanted engagement to driven socialite Susan (Garner), Arthur suddenly finds the girl of his dreams in struggling writer Naomi (Gerwig).

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When it was announced that someone was foolish enough to try to remake 1981's confirmed comedy classic Arthur, you could hear the wailing and gnashing of teeth from several continents away. And indeed, to say that the central role of a booze-guzzling playboy (one which shoved Dudley Moore's film career into the stratosphere) is a tough one to live up to is akin to saying Kilimanjaro is a bit of a trek. Add to that the film being tailored to fit Russell Brand¹s personality and popular opinion was that this was a disaster in the making.

That it doesn't completely embarrass itself is an accomplishment alone. While this new take will forever sit in the shadow of Steve Gordon's original, there are enough laughs to keep the new Arthur from being a waste of time. This being 2011, there's a heavier hand at the morality wheel, but thankfully both the laughs and the more effective emotional moments still work. Credit for that partly goes to Peter Baynham, the Borat/Bruno contributor who took on the task of finding a way to make the character work in these recession-struck times.

Brand brings his usual brash, shouty insouciance to the table, this time with a healthy dollop of sweetness. He also successfully inhabits the role, even if Moore did it better years earlier. And thankfully, he is not alone. While his chemistry with Greta Gerwig is average, it's the relationship between Arthur and aide Hobson that really delivers. There are few actors of either sex with enough gravitas to pull off the part originated by an Oscar-winning Sir John Gielgud, so thank goodness director Jason Winer went straight to the most qualified living example and, more importantly, that she said yes. Helen Mirren is predictably brilliant, stealing more than one scene out from under Brand - no easy job when the central figure is a massive attention hog - and steering the focus away in what could otherwise have been The Russell Show. And yes, it's better than Arthur 2: On The Rocks. Which, admittedly, isn¹t saying much.

Brand fan? You'll likely enjoy his antics. But Russellophobics would be better off seeking out the original.

Reviewed by James White

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Average user rating for Arthur
Empire Star Rating

Arthur: Review

Arthur is a good film. It had a good story, good cast and some funny moments. The problems with the film is alot of things aren't funny and sometimes I wonder how the family Arthur lives around...he could be so stupid. I would recommend to go see this film. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Edward9630 at 01:05, 25 September 2011 | Report This Post

Moderately amusing

If you want a serious film or anything with substance, go watch something else. If you want some cheap laughs from a film that doesnt take itself too seriously, this'll do just fine. However, how may stars you choose to award to the end result will depend almost exclusively on your ability to cope with Russell Brand being somewhat ion your face for two hours.Also, in an age of austerity, redundancies and economic depression you may wish to avoid buying snacks or drinks as the temptation to lob t... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by filmsunlimited at 12:59, 08 May 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Lovely Film, Funny And Sweet!

I actually enjoyed this & feel some of the reviews it's recieved have been blown out of all proportion & a little bit nasty . A rather fun 3/5 ... More

Posted by Wild about Wilder at 14:53, 26 April 2011 | Report This Post

Lovely Film, Funny And Sweet!

This film won't disappoint Brands fans he is brilliant in this film Helen Mirran also brilliant. I found this film to be funny lovely and sweet. I haven't seen the original properly so I don't know which is better but I think I like Russel Brand more than Dudley Moore. Nice film recommend it. Russel Brand haters are miserable gits and probably jealous that Brand has managed to get back on the horse and become very famous. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by Bighousewill at 15:41, 22 April 2011 | Report This Post

Arthur Three Star Rating by Empire and poor Rating On Rottentomatoes by Most Critics.

Now that Empire have given Arthur a three star rating I am definitely going to see this film but I was getting worried when I went on to see how Arthur was rated and found that most critics didn't like it. I hate, I can not take it seriously as those people are some of the ugliest mofo's Iv'e ever seen. ... More

Posted by Bighousewill at 14:50, 21 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: Arthur

Awful remake of a pretty crappy original. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by spamandham at 20:51, 20 April 2011 | Report This Post

RE: No No No

Whether it gets rocks tossed at me or not, I genuinely enjoyed this film throughout... almost cried at one point and chuckled a plenty... a really sweet and enjoyable film, between the two Dudley was better in the role but I prefer Greta to Liza, it's evenly matched on Mirren and Gielgud though Mirren gets more screentime, but the remake stretches out some of the plot that I felt was a bit rushed in the original, (larger running time most likely) this from having just watched the two within day... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DJ Rob C: Mark II! at 16:47, 20 April 2011 | Report This Post

No No No

OOOOH MY GOD!!!! There are some movies that should not be remade and Arthur is one of them. Especially with an obnoxious tosser like Russell Brand in it. I for one will not be going anywhere near this pile of shite!!!!!!! ... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ginge9201 at 16:33, 20 April 2011 | Report This Post

No No No

OOOOH MY GOD!!!! There are some movies that should not be remade and Arthur is one of them. Especially with an obnoxious tosser like Russell Brand in it. I for one will not be going anywhere near this pile of shite!!!!!!! ... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by ginge9201 at 16:33, 20 April 2011 | Report This Post

Not at all linked to how much coverage you've received then

Dreadful film in every way and no, I don't hate Russell Brand. It's a sad day when you realise how much you guys sell out these days. ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by chris wootton at 16:17, 20 April 2011 | Report This Post

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