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Based on 18 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 75
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    Duncan zips through five decades and dozens of characters without reducing the participants to cliches or slogans. A remarkable cast helps him to keep focused on the core of the piece. show more

  • 75
    Ruthe Stein San Francisco Chronicle

    That Duncan can't come up with a satisfying ending and lets the story drift into a confusing polemic is hardly surprising. He's guilty of overreaching -- interrupting his very sly satire with quasi-serious thoughts on the end of Soviet communism. show more

  • 63
    Mike Clark USA Today

    Uneven but also unflaggingly lively, the movie presents F. Murray Abraham as a corseted and bewigged Stalin in expository bits whose broadness recalls the Billy Wilder-scripted Soviet satires ("Ninotchka" and "One, Two, Three") without being as funny. [16 May 1997, Pg.02.D] show more

  • 100
    Barbara Shulgasser San Francisco Examiner

    The scenes with Stalin and his frightened underlings, his giddy yes-men tip-toeing around him, are written and directed by Duncan with a grace, agility and comic deftness one rarely is treated to at the movies these days. show more

  • 75
    TV Guide

    Though writer-director Peter Duncan can hardly help but touch on volatile political issues, he seems oddly without a political point of view. show more

  • 75
    James Berardinelli ReelViews

    Not only is it based on a fairly original premise, but the humor exhibits a distinct edge. show more

  • 50
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    It is enormously ambitious -- maybe too much so, since it ranges so widely between styles and strategies that it distracts from its own flow. show more

  • 67
    Marc Savlov Austin Chronicle

    This debut feature from Australian director Duncan is still a wonderful sociopolitical experiment, dripping with sarcasm and bizarre, oddball humor, which make it all the more potent. show more

  • 100
    David Sterritt Christian Science Monitor

    Writer/director Peter Duncan's first film is darkly humorous, with dashes of slapstick, brilliant, and original material. show more

  • 83
    Lisa Schwarzbaum Entertainment Weekly

    Children bumps into a few dead spots along its irreverent way... But casual sophistication and wiggy Australian self-awareness give this product of unreconstructed bourgeois decadence its idiosyncratic charm. show more

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