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It's a Wonderful Life Reviews

Page 1 of 4
Manny Farber
The New Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Capra is an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director. But all of his details give the impression of contrived effect.

Full Review Source: The New Republic

August 31, 2012
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

It isn't a terrible film by any means, and it's easy to see why people revere it.

Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher | Original Score: 6/10

January 1, 2000
Jurgen Fauth
About.com

| Original Score: 2/5

December 26, 2004
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

It suits a lot of people, but I find it hypocritical and false.

| Original Score: 2/5

May 12, 2003
Rich Cohen
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's a Wonderful Life is about hunger. It's about greed. It's about the many ways a good man is stymied. Finally, it's about George Bailey, whose decency prevents him even from killing himself.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

December 4, 2012
James Agee
The Nation

I wasn't able to get reasonably straight about it for quite a while. I still think it has a good deal of charm and quality, enough natural talent involved in it to make ten pictures ten times as good, and terrific vitality or, rather, vigor.

Full Review Source: The Nation

August 31, 2012
Randy White
Common Sense Media

This classic delivers warmth all year long.

Full Review Source: Common Sense Media | Original Score: 5/5

January 2, 2011
Marc Lee
Daily Telegraph

The inspirational, thoroughly festive ending is guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes.

Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph

December 24, 2013
Will Harris
Bullz-Eye.com

It ain't just hype; it really is a true holiday classic.

Full Review Source: Bullz-Eye.com | Original Score: 4.5/5

November 17, 2007
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

If you can separate - or rescue - It's a Wonderful Life from its niche as a Christmas classic, you might discover a film that swings wildly from noirlike starkness to saccharine bathos.

Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Original Score: 87/100

December 12, 2008
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What is remarkable about It's a Wonderful Life is how well it holds up over the years; it's one of those ageless movies, like Casablanca or The Third Man, that improves with age.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Combine the characters, the story, the message, and the acting, and it's easy to see why It's a Wonderful Life isn't just a holiday favorite, but a great movie by almost any standards.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 4/4

January 1, 2000
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies

Resistance is futile.

| Original Score: 5/5

August 20, 2003
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs

As God as my witness, I get teary eyed every time Harry Bailey offers that toast to his "big brother, George. The richest man in town."

Full Review Source: Three Movie Buffs | Original Score: 4/4

September 30, 2005
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star

Not only as one of the best Christmas movies, but THE Christmas movie.

Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star | Original Score: 4/4

December 23, 2005
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine

Without overlooking its lapses into populist bathos, it's necessary to rescue It's a Wonderful Life from its spot at the centerpiece of untouchable American "classics."

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 3/4

November 16, 2007
David Stratton
At the Movies (Australia)

I love it, corny as it may be, because it reminds every one of us that we all make contributions to the people around us, contributions we ourselves don't even realise.

Full Review Source: At the Movies (Australia)

December 3, 2013
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid

By now everyone knows Frank Capra's holiday classic and the tears it so effortlessly conjures up year after year -- but it's easy to forget how truly vicious the film is, and how brilliantly James Stewart rises to the challenge.

Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid | Original Score: 4/4

December 17, 2005
Bert Briller
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The April-air wholesomeness and humanism of this natural bring back vividly the reminder that, essentially, the screen best offers unselfconscious, forthright entertainment.

Full Review Source: Variety

June 26, 2007
Fran Hortop
Film4

You'd have to possess a very hard heart not to find something to love in this story.

Full Review Source: Film4 | Original Score: 5/5

November 27, 2007
Ray Pride
Newcity
January 1, 2000
Page 1 of 4
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