A tour de force for Swanson and one of Wilder's better efforts.
Don Druker, Chicago Reader, 2007-08-14
...They rate a nod for daring, as well as credit for an all-around filmmaking job that, disregarding the unpleasant subject matter, is a standout.
William Brogdon, Variety, 2007-06-28
One of Wilder's finest, and certainly the blackest of all Hollywood's scab-scratching accounts of itself.
Geoff Andrew, Time Out, 2006-06-24
Still the best Hollywood movie ever made about Hollywood.
Andrew Sarris, New York Observer, 2005-09-29
What's not recognized enough is the indelible, self-sickened performance of William Holden as Desmond's boy-toy/hired hack.
Michael Atkinson, Village Voice, 2003-07-29
This is the greatest film about Hollywood ever put on celluloid by Hollywood.
James Berardinelli, ReelViews, 2003-04-03
Remains the best drama ever made about the movies because it sees through the illusions, even if Norma doesn't.
Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, 2000-01-01
While all the acting is memorable, one always thinks first and mostly of Miss Swanson, of her manifestation of consuming pride, her forlorn despair and a truly magnificent impersonation of Charlie Chaplin.
Thomas M. Pryor, New York Times, 2000-01-01