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The Man in the Moon (1991)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.7/10
Reviews Counted: 19
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 2

It's sentimental, and some viewers may feel manipulated by the melodramatic final act, but The Man in the Moon offers a finely drawn coming-of-age story with an excellent cast -- including Reese Witherspoon in her film debut.

80

Average Rating: 9/10
Critic Reviews: 5
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 1

It's sentimental, and some viewers may feel manipulated by the melodramatic final act, but The Man in the Moon offers a finely drawn coming-of-age story with an excellent cast -- including Reese Witherspoon in her film debut.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 33,025

My Rating

Movie Info

In its elegiac nostalgia for the days of childhood innocence, Robert Mulligan's The Man in the Moon recalls another of Mulligan's earlier films, To Kill A Mockingbird. Set in a Louisiana backwater town in the 1950s, the film chronicles the coming-of-age of a young teenage girl. Dani (Reese Witherspoon) is a fourteen-year-old girl who shares a room with her seventeen-year-old sister Maureen (Emily Warfield). During hot summer nights, they sleep on the screened-in back porch of their home, talking

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

Jan 9, 2001

MGM

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All Critics (19) | Top Critics (5) | Fresh (17) | Rotten (2) | DVD (3)

Newcomer Witherspoon manages to strike exactly the right note as the tomboy on the verge of womanhood while Waterston works on several levels at once.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The heart-warming tone steadily becomes overheated.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Gets an outstandingly natural performance out of Miss Witherspoon, who has no trouble carrying a lot of the film single-handedly. It falls to her to remind the audience that this story is at heart about a family, and she does.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Man in the Moon" is a wonderful movie, but it is more than that, it is a victory of tone and mood. It is like a poem.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

"The Man in the Moon" is an intimate, sentimental coming-of-age drama, a sweet little puppy love movie crushed by the enormity of its tragic twists.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Mulligan uses a delicate touch in revealing the confusion in growing up and the loss in discovering that the world isn't as simple or perfect as children believe it to be.

March 31, 2005 Full Review Source: TheFilmJournal.com (Ohio)
TheFilmJournal.com (Ohio)

Beautifully filmed, with Mulligan's special gifts for depicting country life and the South.

January 24, 2005 Full Review Source: Classic Film and Television
Classic Film and Television

Tender and touching film about two sisters whose close relationship is tested by the joy of love and the pain of grief.

July 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Spirituality and Practice
Spirituality and Practice

"The Man in the Moon" doesn't break anything, but it does know a thing or two about first love and friendship. A small gem.

September 10, 2002 Full Review Source: Montreal Film Journal
Montreal Film Journal

"a drama that lingers on in the memory"

July 29, 2002
Kalamazoo Gazette

Self-contained in its own simplicity

January 1, 2000 Full Review
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Robert Mulligan directs this story with all the sensitivity he can muster. And sensitivity is certainly what the plot needs, since it is perilously close to being a trashy Southern passions sort of melodrama.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

A touching, sweet-natured coming-of-age story set in a more innocent time, "The Man in the Moon" boasts sensitive direction and superb performances, even when the script occasionally falters.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

This cast is a knock-out. As the parents, veterans Sam Waterston, Tess Harper and Gail Strickland lead these novice teen actors in setting standards that these young performers will spend the rest of their careers trying to emulate.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Man in the Moon

Wonderful, heartwarming movie...
October 29, 2012
itsjustme2004

Super Reviewer

For a kid's movie, a surprisingly non-cheesy but still warming story with wonderful pastoral images. Grass and Elvis makes me melt. Reese emerged as an actress well-aware of the nuances and intonations necessary to shoot this role to the next level. It sucks that this preteen role is more edgy than any Four Christmases crap she's relegated to now. PS. I'm glad Jason London at least got to have sex before the accident.
January 17, 2009
jennifxu

Super Reviewer

shows just what a good actress reese witherspoon can be
April 4, 2007
jjnxn
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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