Even though it’s something of a slick mess, Madonna’s W.E. is just the kind of movie you’d expect from an artist who once, with a delightful lack of irony, declared herself a material girl. A weirdly sympathetic portrait of Wallis Simpson, the woman for whom a king gave up his throne, W.E. is the story of a life told through stuff: Evening gloves, cocktail shakers, baubles from Cartier, little hats trimmed with netting. It’s as if Madonna went back in time and forgot to talk to actual people, to find out how they lived and what they thought — but she sure did a lot of shopping. Movieline 5.5/10

The director’s debut effort, the 2008 Filth and Wisdom, was at least recognizably Madonna in its tale of a pole dancer and a man in dominatrix drag. W.E. is a failure of less significance: a botched episode of Masterpiece Theater crossed with a lethargic indie angst-othon. Time

“W.E.,” Madonna’s second go at directing a feature film, leaves one wishing she’d find other creative outlets for those times when she’s bored with the pop-star life. A new fashion line? Another documentary disassembling her latest truths and dares? Los Angeles Times

No matter her audacity, the Material Girl is only as good as her material, and Madonna has only half a movie here. Reuters