Mona Lisa Smile Reviews

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Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 23, 2003
Women of the Fifties, rise up in protest.
| Original Score: 1/4
Sharon Allen Burke
Premiere Magazine
December 23, 2003
The universally terrific performances by the cast make it a pleasure to watch.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kevin Carr
Film Threat
December 23, 2003
Paint by numbers with an overrated cast, tired storylines and archaic messages.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Ken Hanke
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
December 23, 2003
OK star vehicle, but nothing more than a switcheroo version of Dead Poets' Society -- right down to a lump-in-the-throat, tear-in-the-eye, faint-wave-of-nausea ending
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Jim Lane
Sacramento News & Review
December 22, 2003
What saves the film from its own condescension is director Mike Newell's deft touch and the fine performances of the students -- Julia Stiles, Kirsten Dunst, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Ginnifer Goodwin -- all of whom easily act rings around Roberts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
December 22, 2003
["Mona Lisa Smile"] is a well-made, feminist-anchored, politically correct liberal film that teaches some good, modern day lessons to its femme audience.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
John Beifuss
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
December 22, 2003
...fights battles that were won decades ago... but avoids pat resolutions...
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
December 22, 2003
Mona Lisa Smile is more of a Guernica grin-a broadly drawn, fractured, too-modern take on 1950s repression.
John Venable
Supercala.com
December 21, 2003
The flaw of this film is that Julia Roberts doesn't look like she's from the 1950s. Other than that, it'll be a decent rental. Marcia Gay Harden & Maggie Gyllenhaal are great!
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Tony Toscano
Talking Pictures (U.S.)
December 21, 2003
... I found the film for the most part, a good date film - just don't date anyone who is a film critic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Linda Cook
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
December 21, 2003
I liked it better with Robin Williams.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
December 21, 2003
Challenge your assumptions and check this movie out...thought it would be fluffy and forgettable, but extremely rewarding.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Victoria Alexander
FilmsInReview.com
December 20, 2003
Fluff.
Top Critic
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
December 20, 2003
In terms of the gap between the movie it's trying to be and the movie it actually is, Mona Lisa Smile is in many ways indefensible. Yet for all its problems, it's satisfyingly movielike.
Dustin Putman
TheFilmFile.com
December 19, 2003
Turns its every character into a cliche and its every plot development into an easy preconception.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nell Minow
Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
December 19, 2003
The movie has a paint-by-numbers script and little more to offer than pretty images. The result is glossy entertainment value but a long way from art.
| Original Score: B-
James Verniere
Boston Herald
December 19, 2003
A film that forgoes a point of view in favor of a marketing campaign.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Robert Wilonsky
Dallas Observer
December 19, 2003
You will leave Mona Lisa Smile with only the slightest hint of the grin every slick studio movie gives you--the grin of reassurance and superiority. But you will not be changed, only out about eight bucks.
Top Critic
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
December 19, 2003
Anyone who's ever been moved by a teacher to dream a slightly bigger dream than his parents thought he or she was capable of achieving ought to love the film, for it gets at a truer model of teacher's inspiration.
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
December 19, 2003
Like the turtleneck cashmere sweaters and girdles that tie down these promising women, the movie is trite and trussed.
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