Great Expectations (2013)



Critic Consensus: Not the best version of the oft-filmed Dickens classic but far from the worst, Mike Newell's Great Expectations breathes just enough life into the source material to justify yet another adaptation.

Movie Info

A humble orphan suddenly becomes a gentleman with the help of an unknown benefactor.

Rating: PG-13 (for some violence including disturbing images)
Genre: Drama, Classics
Directed By:
Written By: Rowan Joffe, David Nicholls
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 15, 2014
Box Office: $0.3M
Main Street Films - Official Site


as Magwitch

as Joe Gargery

as Mr. Jaggers

as Miss Havisham

as Mrs. Joe

as Wemmick

as Herbert Pocket

as Mr. Pumblechook

as Tripe Shop Proprieto...

as Young Pip

as Young Estella

as Compeyson

as Mrs. Hubble

as Mr. Wopsle

as Mr. Hubble

as Mrs. Wopsle

as Sergeant

as Mrs. Raymond

as Young Biddy

as Sarah Pocket

as Camilla Pocket

as Young Herbert

as Arthur Havisham

as Bullfinch

as Bentley Drummle

as Bentley Drummle

as Infant Estella

as River Policeman

as Bailiff One

as Bailiff Two

as Charles Pocket

as Smithfield Butcher

as Cousin Raymond

as Wemmick
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Critic Reviews for Great Expectations

All Critics (75) | Top Critics (21)

The crucial central roles go wanting.

Full Review… | November 14, 2013
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic

It is skillfully made and adeptly performed; even so it doesn't really add anything to the canon.

Full Review… | November 10, 2013
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

This Great Expectations is an absorbing addition to the roster of Dickens films that continues our 21st-century fascination with the worlds created by a 19th-century storyteller.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Director Mike Newell approaches the sprawling bildungsroman with a stiff formalism, sacrificing all cinematic excitement for the sake of exalting great performances.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Honors the source while making some small but significant alterations.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

It's not clear what this re-do adds except another line to these actors' resumes.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Newark Star-Ledger
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Great Expectations


Not a bad version of one of my favorite stories. Helena Bonham Carter was made to play Ms. Haversham. One thing though -- I always imagined Stella to have dark hair.

Jason Robinson

Super Reviewer


This review is for the 2011 movie starring Douglas Booth as Pip, and Gillian Anderson as Miss Havisham. The listing on this site seems to have been confused with another version, due to the list of some incorrect cast members......Sooo sooo good! Masterpiece Theater at it's best. Nobody does Dickens, or anything else for that matter, like the BBC. This latest version of Great Expectations is truly great entertainment. The cinematography is fantastic. The actors top notch. A very good watch, indeed........

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Not being familiar with its source story, or the other numerous film adaptations, I went in to Great Expectations with no real notion of how the story would unfold. What I got was a period piece, to be sure, but one that was obviously based heavily on a literary source. It was a film of impressive scope and performed well, but a film that felt helplessly full, too many plot lines to follow, and too little time to adequately explore it.

The basic premise of the story finds a young orphan suddenly finding himself with a mysterious benefactor, seemingly destined to become a gentleman, for inexplicable reasons. The novel, penned by Charles Dickens and published in the 1860s, is certainly a product of its time, with its unique social criticisms and rather quaint plot devices, along with an indulgence toward melodrama. Originally published as a serial, it would seem the narrative is more fitted toward a miniseries. As a stand-alone film, it simply feels cramped. The characterizations, though well acted, never really have any lift because they are never given the time to unfold organically. The narrative developments are never enthralling, and often confusing, being more concerned with hitting on the story's major plot points rather than creating its own self-contained story. This is not to say the film is without merit, there's plenty to admire but, in the end, it never establishes itself as an appealing film in its own right.

2.5/5 Stars

Jeffrey Meyers
Jeffrey Meyers

Super Reviewer

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