Box art for Network



Faye Dunaway and Peter Finch both won Oscars(R) for their remarkable roles in this penetrating expose of the nature of power and electronic journalism.

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

common sense

PAUSE for kids age 15
1 out of 5
Drinking, drugs, & smoking
3 out of 5
5 out of 5
Positive messages
0 out of 5
Positive role models
0 out of 5
3 out of 5
3 out of 5

Biting '76 satire with a media literacy lesson.

what parents need to know

Parents need to know that this film, made in 1976, is for adults and mature teens only. There is considerable profanity throughout: "f--k," "s--t," the "N" word," "whore," "goddamn," "piss," "dykes," and more. Characters discuss and engage in adultery. Actual sexual activity includes kissing and one scene in which characters undress (a brief flash of female breasts is included) and have sexual intercourse while the woman talks non-stop. Alcohol is consumed on numerous social occasions and two men get very drunk in the film's opening scene. Some smoking.

what families can talk about

  • Families can talk about the many disturbing propositions the movie puts forth: that greedy corporations control everything (broadcast news is only a part of it); that TV is a horrible, destructive force; and that the generation of viewers who grew up with TV are somehow damaged. Which of the film's predictions have come true?
  • Does this movie stand the test of time or does it seem old-fashioned?

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 16
    see all Network reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: This is a bawdy, stops-out, no-holds-barred story of a TV network that will, quite literally, do anything to get an audience.

- A.D. Murphy, Variety, Tuesday, February 13, 2001

Fresh: The film's never been more timely.

- Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly, Thursday, February 17, 2011

Fresh: The greatest screenplay ever to remain undestroyed by Hollywood.

- Cintra Wilson,, Saturday, January 1, 2000

Audience Reviews

5 stars

Review coming soon.

- spielberg00, Sunday, November 11, 2012

5 stars

Once-respected news anchor Howard Beale loses his mind and starts ranting during a live broadcast; since the UBS network is in last place the executives make the controversial decision to keep him on the air, and ratings soar as the news becomes a circus with Beale presiding as the "mad prophet of the airwaves." NETWORK is what all movie satires should aspire to be; the humor is cutting, passionate, purposeful and unforgiving. Paddy Chayefsky's dialogue is grandiose and unashamedly overwritten but brilliant---the film is packed with unforgettable monologues including William Holden dumping Faye Dunaway, Ned Beatty explaining that there are no nations anymore, and Peter Finch's iconic "I'm mad as hell and I'm not going to take it anymore!" rant.

- 366weirdmovies, Wednesday, May 9, 2012

3 stars

Network is a hilarious yet sad hate letter, a precscient black 'satire' about the evil world of television from 1976. Satire is in parentheses because every last one of its apparently outlandish over the top predictions about the bleak and soul destroying aspects of TV though ratings grabbing corporate capitalism have come to pass - in spades - 'reality TV' before the term had been coined. I know this because I work in the world of 'reality TV', but all you need to do prove this is turn on your TV set. The star of the film, and creator of a bitter, beautifully structured and frequently poetic script is that screenwriting colussus Paddy Chayefsky. Second most valuable players are the deeply talented and spectacular cast, academy award winners Peter Finch, Faye Dunaway, Beatrice Straight, but upon a recent viewing, William Holden, who is the heart and soul of this film. One of the best ever leading men in Hollywood history for manliness, looks and acting chops, Holden gives an indelible, sad eyed, heartfelt and intelligent performance that haunts you long after screening. He was cheated of an oscar for this one. Thirdly, the wonderful Sidney Lumet (arguably the highest quality and longest spanning list of Hollywood critical classics - over four decades -of any director) directs up to his usual high standards, but this is Chayefsky's film. Yes, Chaefysky's script is preachy and declamitory throughout with very long and discursive speeches spewing his venom about the current (30 years ago) state of TV and corporate American that has only become more dire in subsequent decades. However, these wonderful actors pull off each word with such panache and briliance that you almost don't notice the clunky aspects of the storytelling. I do wonder if a young person (under 25) would even perceive Network as a satire at all, except for a network decision to assassinate its anchorman for ratings. To them, this would just seem like a drama about the way things are, and a realistic one at that. Hmmm. I take that back, even that assination plot doesn't seem that outrageous today. (Osama navy seals takedown, anyone? A ratings hit if there ever was one.)

- fb1038944442, Wednesday, January 11, 2012