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Dorian Gray

6.21 h 52 min2010X-Ray18+
Young Dorian Gray arrives fresh on the London social scene and is taken under the wing of corrupt, devilish Lord Henry Wotton who introduces him to the seedy pleasures of London life. Desperate to protect the youth and beauty captured in his portrait, Dorian swears he would give anything to stay as he is... slipping deeper and deeper into a world of sin, sex and celebrity.
Oliver Parker
Ben BarnesColin FirthRebecca Hall
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Supporting actors
Fiona Shaw
Entertianment One
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Prime Video (streaming online video)
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4.2 out of 5 stars

571 global ratings

  1. 63% of reviews have 5 stars
  2. 12% of reviews have 4 stars
  3. 12% of reviews have 3 stars
  4. 5% of reviews have 2 stars
  5. 8% of reviews have 1 stars
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Top reviews from the United Kingdom

Trevor WillsmerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 20 January 2015
2.0 out of 5 stars
A poor likeness
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The resurrected Ealing Studios' 2009 version of Dorian Gray feels very much a case of one step forward, two steps back. Unlike the classic 1945 version of Oscar Wilde's most famous work laxer censorship means we can actually see some (but not enough to harm the TV sales) of the sin and depravity that corrupts its ever youthful antihero's soul and leaves the map of his misdeeds on his portrait instead of his own face. Unfortunately director Oliver Parker, while not as misguided here as in his modern day comedies, is so fanatically devoted to keeping the story moving above all other considerations that apart from the odd party scene he never really summons up much of a decadent atmosphere, leaving that sort of thing to the production design department.

On the plus side it has Colin Firth on good form as Lord Henry Wotton, Dorian's guide in his descent into immorality with a bitter witticism to justify every degeneracy, and there's a good if a tad uninspired supporting cast. Unfortunately they have to work overtime to compensate for void at the film's centre courtesy of a very awkward Ben Barnes, who plays the pre-deal with the Devil Dorian like a newborn simpleton and only marginally improves once he embraces the pleasures of the flesh (he's at his best in the later scenes after Dorian realises that pleasure and happiness are very different). It doesn't help that his first shot in the film has such a bizarrely waxy appearance that he looks like an Auton, one of the killer shop tailor dummies from Doctor Who, an impression only enhanced by his unnatural movement.

Sadly Rachel Hurd-Wood, so good as Wendy in the 2003 Peter Pan, is even worse as Sibyl Vane, now an actress playing Hamlet's Ophelia rather than Juliet (so no prizes for guessing how she'll end up in this version). Giving a quite awful turn that's phenomenally stilted and mechanical, their scenes together provide the dispiriting sight of two weak performers dragging each other down rather than raising their game and feel more like something out of a bad school play than a life-consuming passion. But then even the usually reliable Rebecca Hall gives a horribly misjudged performance that's far too 21st Century to convince, leaving you with the impression that Parker is just leaving his cast to their own devices.

Then there are the inevitable changes, some to give characters more of an arc - where Wilde's Lord Henry remains resolutely irredeemable to the end, the film's version is vicariously living and destroying himself through Dorian only to be gradually appalled by what he has wrought, leading to a misjudged finale - others more for shock effect - where the 1945 version opted for bursts of Technicolor for the grotesque portrait, this version opts for CGi, live maggots and agonised rasps. There's more explicit violence, but with screenwriter Toby Findlay seeing it as a 19th Century American Psycho and Parker not doing subtext there's none of the philosophy or underlying class struggle of the novel, its homosexual undertones made clumsily overt in case we miss them (in Wilde's uncensored version it is suggested the painter's obsession with the one beautiful thing in his life gives the painting its power, something the film ignores in favour of having the two have offscreen `thank you' sex). There's no sense of Dorian enjoying the terrible pleasure of his double life either nor of his embodiment of a hypocritical society that tries to hide its own sins in the attic behind a pleasing and innocent countenance.

But overall the film's problem isn't that it's bad - it has enough strong points to hold the interest, the corrupted and syphilitic portrait when inanimate is strikingly naturalistic and it's much better at the passage of time than previous versions even if the old age makeup on the supporting characters is pretty poor. It's that it's so mediocre, so unadventurous and so lacking in screen poetry to match Wilde's words while failing to replace them with anything half as compelling or shocking.

The UK Blu-ray release offers an acceptable transfer (the film doesn't have a particularly strong visual look so doesn't really benefit much from high definition) and plentiful but uninspiring extras - audio commentary by Oliver Parker and Toby Finlay, 5 deleted scenes, various featurettes, bloopers, costume gallery, and trailer
15 people found this helpful
Ann BarkerReviewed in the United Kingdom on 10 January 2020
4.0 out of 5 stars
Well worth wstching
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Yes I enjoyed the movie....but want to watch it again, now I have the full gist of the story.....a bit of everything really. Spooky, sexual, sad thrilling but worth watching .....and again
2 people found this helpful
KathyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 02 August 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
The best version of Dorian Gray
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Dorian Gray is one of my favourite Oscar Wilde's book. The movie is also very good. Brilliant play by Colin Firth as Lord Wotton and ben Barnes as Dorian, who resembles Oscar Wilde himself. I missed the movie at cinemas and I watched the dvd with great pleasure.
4 people found this helpful
Ian DenneheyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 28 March 2016
5.0 out of 5 stars
Beauty and the beast in one
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Ben Barnes excells as the beautifully corrupt Dorian and Colin Firth is magnificent as the man who unleashes Dorian's carnal appetites but ultimately suffers as his own daughter becomes involved.
One person found this helpful
RickG73Reviewed in the United Kingdom on 09 May 2018
5.0 out of 5 stars
Great film
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Just love this film
One person found this helpful
MonkeyReviewed in the United Kingdom on 21 August 2015
4.0 out of 5 stars
A good film
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A good film, i like the story and so did my ex girlfriend who decided she would keep my copy, the filmed worked so i was happy.
PamReviewed in the United Kingdom on 22 February 2018
1.0 out of 5 stars
One Star
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thought it was rubbish
One person found this helpful
Jon BarryReviewed in the United Kingdom on 05 July 2016
4.0 out of 5 stars
Four Stars
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Reasonable movie....
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