‘Babylon’ Review: Margot Robbie’s Performance Isn’t Enough To Save Middling Film

Damien Chazelle’s Babylon debuted in the US on December 23 2022. While early reviews of the movie were somewhat mixed, the latest reviews, which can also found on Twitter, appear to have given an overall thumbs-down to Babylon.

The film was one of the most anticipated movies of 2022, especially since it is a film by Chazelle, an Academy Award winner, and has some of the biggest Hollywood names among the star cast.

Babylon: Plot, cast and run-time

Babylon movie
Image: Courtesy of Scott Garfield/Scott Garfield – © 2022 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED./IMDb

The film has Margot Robbie playing the lead role next to Diego Calva and Brad Pitt. It is set in 1920s Hollywood when the industry was transitioning from silent films to talkies.

The film also includes prominent stars such as Jean Smart, Samara Weaving, Katherine Waterston, Li Jun Li,  Jovan Adepo and Tobey Maguire.

It largely shows the unbridled decadence prevalent in the then industry, underlined by wild parties involving drugs and the rich driving their speedy vintage cars down the streets.

In other words, hedonism pumped by the era’s popular jazz music is on full display in Babylon. The film is fairly long, with a run-time of 3 hours and 9 minutes.


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Babylon gets negative overall critics’ consensus

Diego Calva
Image credit: Scott Garfield/Scott Garfield – © 2022 PARAMOUNT PICTURES. ALL RIGHTS RESERVED./IMDb

Babylon’s first trailer, which was released on 13 December, was widely appreciated by viewers. Much of the praise was directed at Robbie.

Some prominent critics got to see the film in special screenings in the US in mid-November. While some of them praised the visuals in the earliest verdicts, others found the storytelling unimpressive.

As more critics delivered their verdict on the movie, the overall score of Babylon on Rotten Tomatoes fell from around 90 percent to just 59 percent based on 155 reviews (as of 23 December). Audiences, too, have apparently not liked the film. Based on 50 verified ratings, the audience verdict on Rotten Tomatoes gives the film an overall score of just 53 percent.

While nearly all criticism is focused on the execution of the movie, unanimous praise has been showered on Robbie and other stars for their respective performances in Babylon.

Of the five nominations the film has received at the 2023 Golden Globe Awards, Robbie got a nod for Best Performance in a Motion Picture – Musical or Comedy. She has also received a nomination for Best Actress at the 28th Critics’ Choice Awards.

This is why the Australian star is a strong contender for her third career Academy Award nomination in 2023.


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Twitter reviews for Babylon

Babylon releases in Malaysia on February 2 2023

(Main and Featured images: Scott Garfield/Scott Garfield – © 2022 Paramount Pictures. All Rights Reserved./IMDb)