Review: Citizen Kane (1941)

Citizen Kane is perhaps the most overshadowed piece of cinema ever. Overshadowed by its own reputation, to the point where whatever’s brilliant is referred to as the “Citizen Kane of x.” (Though this expression has been so overused that people often jokingly refer to films as the “Citizen Kane of film.”)

Does it live up to the hype? Well, yes…and no. Citizen Kane is a remarkable technical achievement, remarkable for its editing, acting, direction, and grand sets. Would I describe it as the greatest film of all time? Not really, no. I appreciate it, for certain, and I think that it’s remarkable that such a prestigious and revered film is so damned entertaining. It’s enjoyable to critics and audience members alike.

For a while, I’d been avoiding Citizen Kane, not a film of my childhood, and one I’d worried I’d have the same negative reaction I had to 2001. Probably didn’t need to worry about that, this film doesn’t have an incoherent acid trip ending.

Including a space baby. No, not a “Star-child,” if the name doesn’t appear in the movie, it doesn’t exist.

The tragedy of Charles Foster Kane (basically William Randolph Hearst) is simultaneously captivating, entertaining, and sympathetic. Orson Welles is magnificent in the role, with remarkable old age make-up, which, in my opinion, is not dated in the slightest. The supporting cast all do well with what they have, and the reporter’s investigation is a suitable framing device.

All in all, I can do little to disparage Citizen Kane. The evolution of the shots, placing Kane in larger, emptier spaces with less and less company is an appreciated touch. Citizen Kane is a knockout, landmark cinematic achievement, and I give it a standing ovation.


A solid A+ film.

a plus grade


And there we are! Don’t worry, my review of the Godfather trilogy is still coming along, I just hit a bit of a bump in the road, so I thought I’d put out a little something, since I watched it anyways.

But anyways, thanks for visiting, hope to see you back. Bye!

One Comment Add yours

  1. Yes, definitely an outstanding film with stunning & groundbreaking cinematography. Greatest of all time? Not so sure. I keep being told that it is, but every time I watch it, I wonder.

    Liked by 1 person

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