great gatsby review

The Great Gatsby Review: Any Substance Or All Style?

I haven’t read this book since 9th grade. Even then, my good friend, Cliff Notes, read most of it for me. It’s not a lack of respect for famous literature; let’s just say I had other things on my mind in high school. So, it was kind of cool being able to see the movie with only a few lingering memories of the source material. This allowed me to enjoy Baz Luhrmann’s ‘The Great Gatsby’ as a first time experience.


When Nick Carraway (Tobey Maguire) moves to New York to experience the height of the roaring 20s, he finds himself living next door to the extremely wealthy and extremely secretive, Jay Gatsby (Leonardo DiCaprio). Gatsby throws wildly outlandish parties every weekend, but it is not until he makes a request about Carraway’s cousin, Mrs. Daisy Buchanan (Carey Mulligan), that the secrets begin to unravel.


This trailer has been playing for what seems like years. It was originally supposed to have a Christmas 2012 release date, but was bumped back to May 2013 to hopefully make some more money. Either way, I don’t believe it will effect the money too much. When ‘Gatsby’ closes, I imagine it will make about $175 million domestically.

Just from the trailer, everyone knew this film was going to be beautiful, and it was. Everything Baz Luhrmann (Moulin Rouge!) touches is visually stunning and I honestly believe he gets a bad wrap. Say what you will about the content, but you will be hard-pressed to find anyone that makes a motion picture look better.

Now, I have been scratching my head for two days because there have been a lot of mediocre reviews of ‘The Great Gatsby’ and to be honest with you there is nothing mediocre about this movie. So, either there are a lot of haters out there or people’s expectations for this thing were way too high. The only negative thing I can say about this movie was that it was a little slow at times. Its 2 hours and 23 minutes long.

Oh, and there is one scene that drove me a little bit crazy due to very bad ADR (Automated Dialogue Replacement) dubbing. It is the scene in the yellow car when Gatsby takes Carraway out to lunch in the city. At no point during this scene does the dialogue sync with what the actor’s lips are saying. Quick cuts are used to try to disguise it as best as possible, but its still very noticeable.

Aside from those minor setbacks, I enjoyed the movie. It was as beautiful as I expected. It looked even better in 3D. The CGI and green screen matched the cinematography very well. My favorite part of the film was the music editing. The soundtrack was incredible and it added value to the movie, especially the party scenes. It contained everything from Jay-Z to Jack White.

As you would expect with the cast, there are really no weak links. Tobey Maguire reminds us why he was so relevant back in the early 2000s.


Don’t believe any of the bad reviews, but don’t believe any of the great reviews either. It isn’t the huge powerhouse of a movie that people may have been expecting, but it is a lot of fun. The Great Gatsby? No. But it’s The Pretty Good Gatsby.

Review Overview

Movie Melt Score - 6


A decent adaptation, with some cool visuals and juxtaposed hip hop music to freshen up the material. Not an incredible film by any means, but does hold some entertainment value.

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