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Hannah and Her Sisters (1986)


Average Rating: 8.5/10
Reviews Counted: 54
Fresh: 50
Rotten: 4

Critics Consensus: Smart, tender, and funny in equal measure, Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen's finest films.

Average Rating: 8.8/10
Reviews Counted: 12
Fresh: 12
Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: Smart, tender, and funny in equal measure, Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen's finest films.


Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 30,129



Movie Info

A Woody Allen Manhattan mosaic, Hannah and Her Sisters concerns the lives, loves, and infidelities among a tightly-knit artistic clan. Hannah (Mia Farrow) regularly meets with her sisters Holly (Dianne Wiest) and Lee (Barbara Hershey) to discuss the week's events. It's what they don't always tell each other that forms the film's various subplots. Hannah is married to accountant and financial planner Elliot (Michael Caine), who carries a torch for Lee, who in turn lives with pompous Soho artist … More

PG-13 (adult situations/language)
Drama , Romance , Comedy
Directed By:
Written By:
Woody Allen
In Theaters:
Nov 6, 2001
Orion Pictures


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Critic Reviews for Hannah and Her Sisters

All Critics (54) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (4) | DVD (10)

The marvel of Hannah and Her Sisters is just how many fully realized characters and relationships Allen is able to weave into the fabric of this extraordinarily well-written film. This script is one to be studied by aspiring filmmakers.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Perfection is boring, but boring is the very last word to describe Hannah and Her Sisters, which just may be a perfect movie.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Hannah and Her Sisters is structured ingeniously so that seemingly separate stories eventually merge in satisfying ways.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

Hannah and Her Sisters is also filmmaking of consummate skill and emotional range. It encompasses brilliant comedy and almost unbearable poignance -- often in the same scene.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Allen weaves together the complex narrative strands with ease, punctuating the many variations on betrayal and love with three festive Thanksgiving dinners.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
New Yorker
Top Critic

Its plot has the elegant geometry of a Philip Barry play.

Full Review… | November 21, 2008
TIME Magazine
Top Critic

This gifted ensemble works hard to make Hannah and Her Sisters the best movie of the year so far, perhaps the best that Allen has ever made.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Philadelphia Daily News

Allen`s ear for the strained marital conversation, the fury of a breakup and the tentativeness of starting a romance is impeccable.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The film weaves a rich Chekhovian mix, full of wry insights into the fragility of human emotions.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Total Film

The usual fever of adjectives -- terrific, titanic, transcendent -- sounds puny.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
People Magazine

[A] warm, multi-stranded, near-nepotistic family saga that contains the usual awkward dates, clandestine meetings and failed marriages.

Full Review… | February 10, 2014
Radio Times

...makes me wish Allen would get men out of the picture more often.

Full Review… | July 30, 2013

at the very least a conversation starter

Full Review… | June 9, 2013
7M Pictures

Caine's performance, so fervent, so agonisingly dedicated, actually gains in force and touching sincerity with the years.

Full Review… | December 22, 2011

The tangled web of relationships is very effectively done, but just as affecting is Allen's portrayal of the city he loves.

Full Review… | October 14, 2009
Film and Felt

The comedy-drama succeeds as a sharply pointed portrait of sibling rivalry.

Full Review… | September 14, 2008
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Sharply written and extremely well-acted, Allen's serio-comic ensemble-driven saga about one large neurotic family, a huge artistic and commercial hit at the time, is arguably his last great picture.

Full Review… | February 28, 2008

One of Woody's best ever; a highly intelligent and witty comedy with a magical script and perfect portrayls of well rounded characters.

Full Review… | October 10, 2007
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Hannah and Her Sisters


The pastiche structure of this film is complex though sometimes unsatisfyingly slow. This dysfunctional literati family struggles with passive-aggressive sororal jealousy and spousal musical chairs. The titular character is the least developed. Hannah's acting talent and togetherness is only talked about through pervasive monologues; her strengths and demons are never really shown.

Nice uncredited cameo from caterpillar-browed Sam Waterston from "The Newsroom"!

Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

It's no Bananas, but really, what is?

Julie B

Super Reviewer

Woody Allen skillfully blends comedy and drama in this wonderfully observed portrait of the lives, loves, and issues of a close knit family and their significant others over the course of a couple of years.

Hannah (Mia Farrow) is the oldest child of artistic parents. She's a successful, kind, and thoughtful actress, wife, and mother. She's basically the backbone of the family, who both hate and need her. Her two sisters, Holly (Dianne Wiest) and Lee (Barabra Hershey) are more aimless and resent her because of her stable and successful life, yet the rely on her for support so much that they couldn't possibly truly hate her. However, Hannah begins to realize that she's just as lost as the rest of the world when her life starts to unravel due to sibling rivalry and betrayal.

This movie has some really serious dramatic moments, but they are nicely balanced out by some terrifically funny stuff involving Woody's character- a hypochondriac in the TV industry who goes through existential and spiritual crises, There's humor with some of the other characters, but the bulk comes from Woody's Mickey. This film has it all: comedy, tragedy, pain, relief, laughs, and tears. It all works wonderfully and reeks of realism and experience. Simply put, this is some truly great writing.

The performances are also just terrific. The three ladies playing sisters have a great rapport together, Woody is great as usual doing his trademark shtick, Michael Caine (who, along with Wiest snagged an Oscar for his work here) is quite good as the husband to won sister who has an affair with one of the other two. Showing up in some nice supporting roles are Carrie Fisher and Max von Sydow, both of whom, despite being supporters, do a good job. I also enjoyed seeing Daniel Stern make a brief appearance, as well as Julie Kavner, who I think pretty much stole the few scenes she was in.

All in all, this is just an excellent study of human relations, and ranks pretty high as some of Allen's best work. In a way, this almost felt like light opera or super high art, only not as pretentious and more accessible. Even then this won't be for everyone, but if you give it a chance, there's bound to be something here for you to enjoy. Definitely give this one a go.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer


It was Dianne Wiest and Michael Caine that won Academy Awards for their great performances here. Though it may not be the only example, it‚(TM)s the best proof that the Academy does not particularly appreciate roles that are purely humor. Allen was absolutely hysterical in this film, and his performance was stellar, albeit entirely comical. Anyone who has seen at least three of his onscreen appearances is used to his portrayals of prejudiced Jewish men who blatantly discuss Catholicism and its many flaws. I was laughing like never before during scenes in which his character rambled on about how the world was a godless place, and when he tried hopelessly to understand reincarnation (‚So does that mean my soul is transferred to a moose or an aardvark after I die?‚?) in a conversation with an advertising Hindu. The fact that his role is of a depressed hypochondriac who can‚(TM)t seem to tale himself seriously makes way for even more humor.

I thoroughly enjoyed HANNAH AND HER SISTERS, as did many who consider it the downright classic it is. The film is so entertaining, biting, amusing, and forgiving‚"all at the same time!‚"that it seems it‚(TM)s only flawed in a respect of it seeming more than a tad bit dated. The cinematography often makes it seem like a cheesy television sitcom of the late ‚(TM)80s or early ‚(TM)90s. I wouldn‚(TM)t say this is Woody Allen‚(TM)s best work. My personal favorite work of his is 1979‚≤s MANHATTAN, followed closely by his overlooked sci-fi satire SLEEPER. To say that this is not up there as one of his best works would be a gross understatement.

Alexander Diminiano

Super Reviewer

Hannah and Her Sisters Quotes

Mickey's Father:
You're gonna believe in Jesus Christ now?
I know. It sounds funny. But I'm gonna try.
– Submitted by Peter P (11 months ago)
The heart is a very, very resilient little muscle.
– Submitted by Enrique G (3 years ago)
If Jesus came back and saw what's going on in his name, he'd never stop throwing up.
– Submitted by Chad E (3 years ago)
What did you do? Swallow a drugstore?
– Submitted by Chad E (3 years ago)

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