Does 'Trumbo' Win Over Critics? Find Out!

Helen Mirren (L) and Bryan Cranston in "Trumbo"
Helen Mirren (L) and Bryan Cranston in “Trumbo”

There’s no doubt “Trumbo” scores in the casting department.

With an all-star lineup that includes Bryan Cranston, Helen Mirren, Elle Fanning and Diane Lane, the Jay Roach-directed biographical drama has a lot of promise – but with mixed reviews from critics.

The film, which focuses on the life of top Hollywood screenwriter Dalton Trumbo – who was blacklisted and jailed for his political beliefs – received a 78 percent rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Read on to see what the film experts are saying:

“Bryan Cranston parades through ‘Trumbo,’ a wiki-pageant of shorthand history, like he’s a costumed kid playing Actor Bryan Cranston at a Disney park. As blacklisted screenwriter Dalton Trumbo, a man given to mannered diction, Cranston layers movieland falseness over the scraped-raw heart of his ‘Breaking Bad’ triumph … The film fails as a portrait, and it’s not much better at drama. Cringe at the clumsy crosscutting between a celebratory picnic at the Trumbos’ house, where everyone for some reason summarizes the previous scene, and the approach of a black car on a sunny road, a sight that only suggests suspense because the editing insists that it should.” — Alan Scherstuhl, The Village Voice

As expected, this stellar cast is what some say make the film worth seeing, even if it isn’t necessarily the best movie overall.

“This rather hastily made period piece is boosted by a few welcome stabs at humor, most notably from sidemen Louis C.K. and John Goodman, playing two industry members who saw Trumbo through the worst years of the Red Scare. Otherwise, the film can be far from subtle at times and tends to wear its righteous politics on its sleeve, making it more of an elevated TV dramedy than a work on par with Trumbo’s best efforts …What makes the movie work are the lively performances, both from the supporting cast and from Cranston.” — Jordan Mintzer, The Hollywood Reporter

And some say that, again, while it may not be the film of the year, it at least tells a story worth seeing.

“‘Trumbo’ may be clumsy and overly simplistic at times, but it’s still an important reminder of how democracy can fail (that is, when a fervent majority turns on those with different and potentially threatening values), and the strength of character it takes to fight the system. Fortunately in Trumbo’s case, enough time has passed to give this tragedy a happy ending.” — Peter Debruge, Variety

Watch the trailer below.