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      The Decline of the American Empire

      R Released Jun 19, 1986 1h 40m Comedy Drama List
      86% Tomatometer 14 Reviews 82% Audience Score 5,000+ Ratings When a Montreal professor (Rémy Girard) and his wife (Dorothée Berryman) gather together six of their erudite friends for a holiday in the country, the conversation naturally turns to sex. The men brag about their promiscuity while their female counterparts dish on their own exploits at a nearby gym. But what was a fun and titillating topic devolves into the catalyst of hurt feelings and accusations when an unexpected dinner guest (Gabriel Arcand) reveals some shocking secrets. Read More Read Less Watch on Fandango at Home Buy Now

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      Critics Reviews

      View All (14) Critics Reviews
      Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times Here is a movie where everybody talks about nothing but sex, and the real subject is wit. Rated: 3/4 Jan 1, 2000 Full Review Katherine Monk Ex-Press.com Arcand's chatty examination of a group of middle-aged intellectuals brought a hint of Woody Allen to the wilds of the Canadian film landscape, eclipsing linguistic politics with sex, and successfully reframing the next generation's existential crisis... Rated: 5/5 Nov 20, 2015 Full Review Nick Davis Nick's Flick Picks What Arcand has devised is a kind of Nia Vardalos movie in tenured-faculty clothing: Our Big Fat Bourgeois Salon ... It trades only the crudest ironies and screenwriting mechanics. Rated: C Jul 10, 2011 Full Review Robert Roten Laramie Movie Scope As a movie with a lot of clever talk about sex and love, this is pretty good. As a movie about the decline of the American empire it pales in comparison to the real thing. Rated: B Oct 30, 2008 Full Review Cole Smithey ColeSmithey.com Rated: 4/5 Oct 5, 2006 Full Review Jay Antani Cinema Writer instead of being wickedly funny, it's repellent before becoming a total snore Rated: 1/4 Aug 20, 2006 Full Review Read all reviews

      Audience Reviews

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      Dave S Granted, the comparisons between Denys Arcand's The Decline of the American Empire and The Big Chill are valid in very general terms, but the similarities end there. Whereas The Big Chill is filled with interesting characters, intriguing moral dilemmas, and a killer soundtrack, The Decline of the American Empire is filled with middle-aged intellectuals blathering on in great detail about their improbably wild sex lives…and the decline of great civilizations. It's all very well done, but it is really just a matter of time before you starting getting a bit bored by all of the gritty details…and there are a lot of gritty details. Rated 3 out of 5 stars 03/01/23 Full Review peter s A cult movie that shows how good the Canadian film industry had been for decades. The movie is one of the most extraordinary that I have ever seen, I watched it ten times at least. It's a joy to see such a group of exceptional actors who play a superbly rich script while being directed with enormous talent. It makes me think that Denys Arcand in his active years was like a Canadian Pedro Almodovar. Rated 5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review Diane B Better than The Big Chill. They all sleep around with each other so much that it makes you wonder about Quebec. But smart, funny and another time capsule from an era that's now past Rated 4 out of 5 stars 08/13/22 Full Review William L The Decline of the American Empire feels very much like a Quebec adaptation of The Big Chill - a group of close friends candidly discussing their personal lives, trading drama, quips, and clever remarks in an attempt to make the audience feel as if they are in on it all. But much like the Kasdan film, Decline simply seems to use its subject matter alone to appear novel; "here are a bunch of middle-aged well-to-do everymen/women laughing while speaking openly about sex, affairs, homosexuality, swinging, etc. How liberated and sincere!" It feels like cheap indulgence in the way that high school dramas with commentaries on sex do for teens, just for the bourgeoisie academic/film crowd instead. While there is actually something of a reckoning in Decline compared to The Big Chill, with consequences for actions taken (which is a step in the right direction), it also has this stuffy atmosphere to it that can make the film feel off-putting, ripe with pseudointellectualism and a very 'French' identity. The kind of film where you can see why it is to some people's tastes, and not others. Where some may see an insightful take on gender conflicts and sexuality in the modern day, others may see actors just gleefully talking about banging, and a director patting himself on the back for being "so authentic". (2.5/5) Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 10/25/21 Full Review david l With many fascinating, very sophisticated discussions and great character interactions, The Decline of the American Empire is a highly intelligent conversational piece which is mostly very riveting in its dialogue and which explores sex, fetishes and the hedonistic lifestyle in an admirably unbiased manner with all of its pleasures and dangers. Rated 4.5 out of 5 stars 03/31/23 Full Review S R 1001 movies to see before you die. A Canadian take on modern culture and relationships, comparing the sexes and their takes / motivations. It was on Tubi. Rated 2.5 out of 5 stars 02/18/23 Full Review Read all reviews
      The Decline of the American Empire

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      Cast & Crew

      69% 87% Jesus of Montreal 63% 60% About Last Night ... 69% 77% The Big Chill TRAILER for The Big Chill 92% 94% Stand by Me TRAILER for Stand by Me 14% 49% The Prince of Pennsylvania Discover more movies and TV shows. View More

      Movie Info

      Synopsis When a Montreal professor (Rémy Girard) and his wife (Dorothée Berryman) gather together six of their erudite friends for a holiday in the country, the conversation naturally turns to sex. The men brag about their promiscuity while their female counterparts dish on their own exploits at a nearby gym. But what was a fun and titillating topic devolves into the catalyst of hurt feelings and accusations when an unexpected dinner guest (Gabriel Arcand) reveals some shocking secrets.
      Director
      Denys Arcand
      Producer
      Roger Frappier, René Malo
      Screenwriter
      Denys Arcand
      Distributor
      Cineplex-Odeon Films
      Production Co
      Societe Radio Cinema
      Rating
      R
      Genre
      Comedy, Drama
      Original Language
      French (Canada)
      Release Date (Theaters)
      Jun 19, 1986, Wide
      Release Date (Streaming)
      Nov 21, 2017
      Box Office (Gross USA)
      $252.7K
      Runtime
      1h 40m
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