A mish-mash of accents (buffoonish Depardieu's French, somber Irons' British, and DiCaprio and Malkovich carrying the same voices they use for every project) are vaguely unsettling, and there seems to be too little swashbuckling for characters who are synonymous with the term.
An unusually sober and serious-minded telling of Alexandre Dumas' classic tale, this handsome costumer is routinely made and comes up rather short in boisterous excitement.
Owen GleibermanEntertainment Weekly
Wallace, unfortunately, writes lazy, anachronistic dialogue, and the picture is abysmally shot (by Peter Suschitzky), with a prosaic, low-budget look that never allows you to experience the enraptured majesty of a fairy-tale historical setting.
Thoroughly second-rate -- which is to say that it waddles when it ought to whiz, clanks when it strives for cornball poetry, and transforms its august stars into something akin to a manic dinner-theater troupe.
Jonathan RosenbaumChicago Reader
The only other adaptations I've seen of the Alexandre Dumas novel (which I haven't read) are the Classics Illustrated comic book and the 1939 James Whale potboiler, both of which I prefer to this vulgar and overwrought 1998 free-for-all, which makes you wait interminably for the story's central narrative premise.
Ella TaylorL.A. Weekly
Going down with the Titanic was a picnic compared to what Leonardo DiCaprio has to weather (an Alice in Wonderland hairdo, for starters) as Louis XIV in this unwittingly nutso adaptation of Alexandre Dumas' 1850 novel.
Desson ThomsonWashington Post
There is nothing worth getting steamed over or particularly excited about.
Maitland McDonaghTV Guide Magazine
This dopey swashbuckler offers little action but lashings of DiCaprio's soft, hairless flesh.