Elvis movie reviews: Austin Butler’s ‘seductive’ King shines in ‘lavish, energised’ biopic

ELVIS: Official second trailer for Baz Luhrmann’s movie

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Almost 45 years on from The King of Rock and Roll’s death and the first-ever cinematic biopic of his life has finally arrived. Moulin Rouge director Baz Luhrmann’s Elvis Presley movie has premiered in Cannes today to high praise from the critics. Here’s what they had to say:


A fizzy, delirious, impishly energized, compulsively watchable 2-hour-and-39-minute fever dream — a spangly pinwheel of a movie that converts the Elvis saga we all carry around in our heads into a lavishly staged biopic-as-pop-opera.

Evening Standard

Luhrmann’s colourful house style can be frantic and shallow, but his desire to get our knickers in a twist, here, feels honest-to-god urgent. This is the most substantial thing he’s done since Romeo + Juliet.

The Independent

While you won’t find all that much truth in Baz Luhrmann’s cradle-to-grave dramatisation of his life, the Australian filmmaker has delivered something far more compelling: an American fairytale.

The Telegraph

It’s the most impeccably styled and blaringly gaudy thing you’ll see all year, and all the more fun for it.

The Hollywood Reporter

If the writing too seldom measures up to the astonishing visual impact, the affinity the director feels for his showman subject is both contagious and exhausting.


It finds so little reason for Presley’s life to be the stuff of a Baz Luhrmann movie that the equation ultimately inverts itself, leaving us with an Elvis Presley movie about Baz Luhrmann. They both deserve better.

Entertainment Weekly

Sometimes Elvis feels like a lost Oliver Stone film from his daring 1990s heyday: a big-canvas exploration of debauched American appetites.

More to come…

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