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Quick Review - Modern Times

You'll never laugh as long and as loud again as long as you live!

Modern Times is a 1936 silent slapstick comedy-drama film directed by Charlie Chaplin, written by Charlie Chaplin, and distributed by United Artists. The films stars Charlie Chaplin and Paulette Goddard. It was not nominated for any Academy Awards. In 1989, it was selected for preservation as being "historically, culturally, or aesthetically significant" by the National Film Registry.

"Buck up - never say die!" - The Tramp


During the Great Depression, the Little Tramp meets the Gamin. Together, the two of them form a loving bond as the Tramp tries to coax upper classmen and people in power into getting a job, all while having multiple hilarious run-ins with the cops.

My Favorite Thing About Modern Times

I watched Modern Times in my Film Studies class, so we did some close analysis of the film, and I think that made me appreciate it a lot more. If you understand the symbolism and meaning of this film, it's mind-blowing. Charlie Chaplin's physical comedy can actually be pretty funny at times, but where this movie really shines is its commentary on the state of film in the 30s. Chaplin loved making silent films, and this movie was made as the industry was shifting towards talkies. Hidden in the plot and visual elements of Modern Times are subtle clues towards Chaplin's commentary on talkies and silent movies. It's true genius on display. I can't really explain everything, because it won't make sense in a quick review, but it's awesome.

My Least Favorite Thing About Modern Times

Obviously, silent films aren't my thing. So, while I don't love this film, I really thought that it was well made. I did enjoy it. I think silent movies just aren't my jam, but that's really my only negative on Modern Times. The minimal dialogue there is isn't great, and the story sure has things you can pick apart and poke at, but this movie actually pretty solid.

Why Modern Times Works Overall

1930s slapstick sure is a different type of comedy, but it's actually kind of entertaining. Chaplin's physical performance is unbelievable. He's so good at all of these quick, funky motions. His facial expressions are priceless and his performance overall is just great. The movie manages to be entertaining and heartfelt, words that I never thought I'd say when watching a 1930s silent film. This is a good movie, even if you aren't a film nut like me. It might not seem like your cup of tea, but I think you should really try this movie out. Most of my viewers probably watch the MCU and other big blockbusters, so this is something different. Give it a chance.

Final Score

Modern Times was surprisingly great. It was funny and charming, and I really think you should give it a try if you are reading this review.

I will go Savory. Age range is 7+.


Sweet (Great) Savory (Good)

Sour (Bad)

Moldy (Terrible)

"Modern Times"

Fun Factor: 8/10

Acting: 9/10

Story: 7/10

Characters: 7.5/10

Quality: 8.5/10


HBO Max: Available with subscription

Apple TV+: Available for rent

Amazon Prime Video: Available for rent

Directed by Charlie Chaplin

Rated G for rude humor, drug use, minor violence, thematic elements

Released on February 5, 1936

1 hour and 27 minutes

Charlie Chaplin as Little Tramp

Paulette Goddard as Ellen Peterson / The Gamin


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