Alfred Hitchcock, one of cinema's greatest icons, has an enormous portfolio of incredible hits. He can claim North by Northwest, Hitchcock's Half Hour (which became something of an institution), The 39 Steps, The Man Who Knew Too Much, To Catch a Thief and, of course, Psycho. Every single one of them a cinematic powerhouse. However, the Gervasi Sachi biopic aptly titled Hitchcock about Hitchcock's life and work while making Psycho, is leaning dangerously close to 'miss'.
The New York Times review is truly scalding of the movie. "Hitchcock... is rather like Norman Bates, that nervous pretty boy with mommy issues and a bobbing Adam's apple, in that it too takes extravagant liberties with the dead." And adding, with a scathing flourish, "It's fluff. But while its dim fantasies about Hitchcock and the association of genius with psychosis can be written off as silly, they also smack of spiteful jealousy."
Likewise, the LA Times was not impressed. Their biggest problem with the movie is that "Its protagonists turn out to be not especially interesting and the audience is not presented any convincing reason to care about what happens in their lives." Adding, "Alfred Hitchcock would definitely not approve."
However, there are definitely some lights at the end of the tunnel and Fox News absolutely adored the performances of Helen Mirren as Alma, Hitchcock's Wife, and Antony Hopkins as the man himself. The review describes their performances as 'commanding', and apparently "Watching Hopkins and Mirren transform into these characters is a must-see. While the movie is far from perfect, these two actors are perfect."
It's easy to give reviews that are polemic, either gushing with love or seething with hate, and in many ways that seems to be the reaction that Hitchcock is getting from its critics. But we suspect that it's probably worth the watch. Comparing a Hitchcock biopic to Hitchcock himself and its always going to come out looking terrible. Take it for what it is and enjoy.