Hilary Swank is physically perfect for the part of Amelia Earhart: Lean, lanky and suitably androgynous, she wears the aviation legend's trademark leather jacket and boyish haircut well. But if critics are to be believed, 'Amelia', directed by Mira Nair, suffers from a too-reverential approach and a boringly old-fashioned by-the-numbers biopic format that never conveys the thrill of flight or what exactly drove Earhart to push herself to such limits. That said, the general consensus is that the film is lovely to look at and covers all the right historical bases; it simply lacks the passion and excitement audiences expect from the story of a such a trailblazing American pioneer. See what reviewers are saying after the jump. Hilary Swank is physically perfect for the part of Amelia Earhart: Lean, lanky and suitably androgynous, she wears the aviation legend's trademark leather jacket and boyish haircut well. But if critics are to be believed, 'Amelia', directed by Mira Nair, suffers from a too-reverential approach and a boringly old-fashioned by-the-numbers biopic format that never conveys the thrill of flight or what exactly drove Earhart to push herself to such limits. That said, the general consensus is that the film is lovely to look at and covers all the right historical bases; it simply lacks the passion and excitement audiences expect from the story of a such a trailblazing American pioneer. See what reviewers are saying below.

The New York Post: "A lazy coffee-table book of a movie, 'Amelia' is dressed to the nines with nowhere to go, its hackneyed script and Mira Nair's unfocused direction never allowing Hilary Swank's performance as legendary aviatrix Amelia Earhart to soar."

Roger Ebert: "Hilary Swank uncannily embodies my ideas about Earhart in Mira Nair's 'Amelia.' ... Swank is an actress who doesn't fit in many roles, but when she's right, she's right... 'Amelia' tells this story with sound performances and impeccable period detail. [But] that's the trouble with Amelia Earhart's life, seen strictly as movie material. What we already know is what we get. 'Amelia' is a perfectly sound biopic, well directed and acted, about an admirable woman."

The L.A. Times: "A disappointing rendering of the remarkable life of Amelia Earhart. Mira Nair [is] so tentative with her legend that all the reverence and tiptoeing around grounds a film that should have soared. Like her subject, the filmmaker gets lost in the clouds"


Hilary Swank interview for 'Amelia'
Watch a clip from 'Amelia'
'Amelia' showtimes & tickets


Time: "[A] pretty but disappointing biopic ... The movie dutifully covers the high points and a few details you didn't learn in grade school ... but it leaves the odd impression of being merely a very long trailer for a film you'd actually love to see."

Entertainment Weekly: "A frustratingly old-school, Hollywood-style, inspirational biopic about Amelia Earhart that doesn't trust a viewer's independent assessment of the famous woman pictured on the screen. ... How could so tradition-busting a role model have resulted in so square, stiff, and earthbound a movie?"

USA Today: "Amelia goes airborne but never fully soars. It's hampered by a too-reverential portrait of the record-breaking aviator. ... Though it is fun watching Swank relish her highflying adventure, it's too bad that a film about a daring and audacious woman taking on staggering challenges plays it so safe."

Variety: "To say that 'Amelia' never gets off the ground would be an understatement; it barely makes it out of the hangar. Handsomely mounted yet dismayingly superficial, Mira Nair's film offers snazzy aerial photography and inspirational platitudes in lieu of insight."

The New York Times: "With her rangy figure, Ms. Swank fills Earhart's coveralls and leather jackets nicely. But there's little to the performance other than the actress's natural earnestness and smiles so enormous, persistent and consuming that the rest of Earhart soon fades, much like the Cheshire Cat."
CATEGORIES Reviews, Fall Movies