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Emma (1996)


Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 48
Fresh: 40
Rotten: 8

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 14
Fresh: 13
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: No consensus yet.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 60,707



Movie Info

Based upon a Jane Austen novel, this period romantic comedy depicts the chaos unintentionally caused by young Emma's attempts to play matchmaker for her immediate circle. Unfortunately, her plan ends up causing more confusion than happiness, and Emma herself soon becomes caught in the web of romantic entanglements.

Comedy , Romance
Directed By:
Written By:
Douglas McGrath
In Theaters:
Jan 15, 2002
Miramax Films


Friend Ratings

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Critic Reviews for Emma

All Critics (48) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (8) | DVD (8)

Suddenly you remember how merciless and cutting Austen's satire can be, even in the brutal '90s.

Full Review… | August 19, 2006
Washington Post
Top Critic

When the going gets tougher the film doesn't have many answers, and the odd unsettling surge of over-emphasis betrays an eye on the American market.

Full Review… | January 26, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

Gwyneth Paltrow makes a resplendent Emma, gliding through the film with an elegance and patrician wit that bring the young Katharine Hepburn to mind.

Full Review… | May 20, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

It's not difficult to enjoy the genteel amusements Emma provides even while wishing its virtues were less wholly on the surface.

Full Review… | February 14, 2001
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Gwyneth Paltrow sparkles in the title role, as young Miss Woodhouse, who wants to play God in her own little patch of England.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Paltrow is smashing.

January 1, 2000
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Perfect for warmhearted family entertainment.

Full Review… | January 1, 2011
Common Sense Media

This Emma is light, airy and modern -- surely Austen's funniest work.

Full Review… | April 9, 2005
Reeling Reviews

While Sense and Sensibility loves subtlety, silence, and space, and Persuasion loves realism, repression, and understatement, Emma loves its star Gwyneth Paltrow ...

Full Review… | December 6, 2004
Looking Closer

McGrath pokes gentle fun at the over-refinements of privileged gentility, though not without enjoying its trappings and honoring its best aspirations.

Full Review… | May 31, 2004
Decent Films Guide

A good Jane Austen adaptation that can be watched over and over.

April 24, 2003

Fun, but pales next to the previous year's Clueless.

April 21, 2003
San Francisco Examiner

Although it is a very fine film, I found the pace a little slow in places as it wandered off the mark.

Full Review… | March 16, 2003
Laramie Movie Scope

Slightly fun, but really boring.

March 15, 2003
Juicy Cerebellum

Pure movie joy.

Full Review… | November 14, 2002
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Emma is delightful, a breezy romance comedy of complication and confusion, with Gwynneth Paltrow a winning delight as the titular Ms. Woodhouse, meddling in the romantic lives of her friends and associates.

Full Review… | November 7, 2002

Vivid cautionary tale for well-intentioned do-gooders.

Full Review… | August 28, 2002
Spirituality and Practice

It is Paltrow who brings this film to life.

Full Review… | June 5, 2002
Boxoffice Magazine

Enjoy Emma, a bit of brightness in a summer of explosions.

Full Review… | April 17, 2002
Film Scouts

It is necessary to report that Paltrow is the biggest drawback of Douglas McGrath's Jane Austen adaptation Emma.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
San Francisco Examiner

Emma has all the misplaced seriousness of a documentary on genital warts.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000

The Jane Austen Machine keeps on chugging.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Philadelphia City Paper

Audience Reviews for Emma


Very delightful.

Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

I don't know why everyone loves this movie I thought it was extremely boring.

Cassie Hill

Super Reviewer

Martin Sahlin

Super Reviewer


Fairly faithful adaptation of the Jane Austen novel. Gwyneth Paltrow is adorable and Ewan McGregor sans ridiculous hair is kind of charming, so this should all make for quite a solid movie. But despite all this I was kind of bored. The problem is that the story wasn't all that great to begin with. Sorry, Ms. Austen.

Jennifer Xu

Super Reviewer

Emma Quotes

Mr. Knightley:
Vanity working on a weak mind produces every kind of mischief.
– Submitted by Cathy D (23 months ago)
Frank Churchill:
Is your horse just washing his feet or are there darker forces at work?
Emma Woodhouse:
The latter I'm afraid. Something has happened to the wheel and I cannot move.
Frank Churchill:
Well you'll just have to live here then. Bye-bye.
– Submitted by Mary Kathryn P (2 years ago)
Mr. Knightley:
Whom you going to dance with?
Emma Woodhouse:
With you if you'll ask me. You've shown yourself to be a fine dancer despite all your protests and it shall not be improper for us to dance. After all we are not brother and sister.
Mr. Knightley:
[laughing] Brother and sister?! No, no... No indeed we are not...
– Submitted by Mary Kathryn P (2 years ago)

Discussion Forum

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