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The Notebook (2004)

tomatometer

52

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 155
Fresh: 80 | Rotten: 75

It's hard not to admire its unabashed sentimentality, but The Notebook is too clumsily manipulative to rise above its melodramatic clichés.

44

Average Rating: 5.4/10
Critic Reviews: 39
Fresh: 17 | Rotten: 22

It's hard not to admire its unabashed sentimentality, but The Notebook is too clumsily manipulative to rise above its melodramatic clichés.

audience

85

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 31,642,325

My Rating

Movie Info

Directed by Nick Cassavetes, this adaptation of author Nicholas Sparks' bestselling novel revolves around Noah Calhoun's (James Garner) regular visits to a female patron (Gena Rowlands) of an area nursing home. Rather than bore her with the inanities of everyday life, Calhoun reads from an old, faded notebook containing the sweeping account of a young couple (Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams) whose love affair was tragically put to a halt after their separation in the midst of World War II. Seven

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

Jeremy Leven, Jan Sardi

Feb 8, 2005

$81.0M

New Line Cinema - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (156) | Top Critics (40) | Fresh (80) | Rotten (75) | DVD (32)

The connection between the two narratives is supposed to be a big, heartbreaking surprise, though I figured it out well in advance and spent the interim unfavorably comparing this greatest-generation hanky wringer to the British drama Iris.

October 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

How rare to see a film that says there is still a value system out there, that being thoughtful and caring is not uncool.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie not only approaches a level of shamelessness you have to see to disbelieve, it does it in a manner that's both inept and crass.

July 3, 2004 Full Review Source: Salon.com | Comment (1)
Salon.com
Top Critic IconTop Critic

May be one hundred percent sap, but its spirit is anything but cloying, thanks to persuasive performances, most notably from Rachel McAdams.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is a movie that isn't ashamed to wring each teardrop by any means necessary.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Our resistance is broken down, and the hankies are out.

June 25, 2004 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

If you ever want to see a flawless example of a movie which is redeemed from mediocrity solely through the cast, there is hardly a better one than this.

April 11, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Bland and sentimental, The Notebook is old-fashioned filmmaking aimed at an old-fashioned audience. Kleenex essential.

October 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams spark cinematically everlasting magic in a romance that's no tawdry Harlequin hay-roll. "The Notebook" excels most when contemplating love's obligations and responsibilities, that unique balance of fire and calm.

September 19, 2010 Full Review Source: Suite101.com
Suite101.com

A very engrossing and entertaining sudsy romance with top notch performances.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

for someone who loves these sorts of stories, it would be a fantastic movie

March 5, 2009 Full Review Source: 7M Pictures
7M Pictures

I prepared myself for a tearjerker; what I didn't prepare for was an outright gusher.

January 16, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

...one of contemporary cinema's most compelling and flat-out indelible love stories.

November 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Reel Film Reviews
Reel Film Reviews

A potently rich story about the power of love, The Notebook is heartbreakingly beautiful and achingly real.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Ssomehow Cassavetes pulls it off -- thanks mainly to sensitive performances and pretty Hallmark-card cinematography by Robert Fraisse.

August 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Sacramento News & Review
Sacramento News & Review

A sentimental film filled with flashbacks and clichés.

May 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

A thoughtful, emotionally rich film in which we see that great love, like deep faith, is forged on doubt, trials, and hardships. Only then does it deliver its deepest rewards.

September 27, 2006
Christianity Today

I cannot believe I'm about to recommend a movie as clogged with melodramatic treacle as Nick Cassavetes' adaptation of The Notebook.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

... one gets the sense that director Nick Cassevetes and writer Jan Sardi would spray the audience with teargas if they could.

July 25, 2005 Full Review Source: www.kcactive.com | Comments (8)

Um romance sensível e emocionante que leva o espectador a se importar com o destino de seus tocantes personagens.

March 28, 2005
Cinema em Cena

Whether someone can enjoy The Notebook or not depends much of the mood in which the viewers find themselves.

March 18, 2005 Full Review | Comment (1)

It's an interesting piece of counter programming on New Line's part, the only question is why didn't it go direct to cable?

March 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Dark Horizons
Dark Horizons

Two parts idiotic romance, one part offensive melodrama.

February 23, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com | Comment (1)
eFilmCritic.com

A fine tale that will leave romantics everywhere misty eyed.

February 18, 2005 | Comment (1)

*There's nothing about The Notebook that isn't either lazy or dismissive of its audience.

January 29, 2005 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette | Comments (2)
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Audience Reviews for The Notebook

Although this movie has accrued much acclaim by critics and fans alike since its release, it has yielded no positive impact on the world of film or society in general. It has led a generation of young women to believe that there is a Noah for all of us, and we deserve to be just as "misunderstood and rebellious" as Allie. "The Notebook", along with other popular rom-coms, has left most girls with a muddled line between fiction and reality. Though Nicholas Sparks may be talented as a fiction writer, it is only because he knows how to manipulate the female mind into an emotional puddle. Aside from the beautiful Southern setting (a Sparks trademark) and Ryan Gosling occasionally sweaty and shirtless, this movie provided not only no relatability for me, but also did not provide even a fictitious escape. 1/2 Star Updated 09-28-13
September 30, 2013
bbcfloridabound
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

I'm not one for soppy romantic movies but this one pulls at the heart strings. An older gentlemen reads a story to an elderly lady in a nursing home. The story is about two teenagers Noah and Allie who meet one summer and fall in love. Allie's parents are well to do and Noah is poor. They fell out and Allie's parents send her away to school and they don't see each other for years. Noah writes to her every day for a year but there is no response. They try to move on with their lives but something draws them back to each other and they pick up where they left off. It reminds me of 'Fried Green Tomatoes', there are good and bad things that happen but it all comes good in the end. Excellent cast and story. Ryan and Rachel make a good on screen and off screen couple. Kevin Connolly plays Fin, Noah's best buddy. James Marsden plays Allie's dashing new society beau.
September 9, 2012
thmtsang
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

The adaptation of Nicholas Sparks' novel is possibly the best interpretation of all. Gosling and McAdams really make the film better than anyone expected. The visualization from Nick Cassavetes places this film atop one of the most memorable, cult-like, romance films of all time. 4.5/5
July 27, 2012
Eugene Bernabe

Super Reviewer

I think the way you rate this movie depends on how much of a romantic you are. Unfortunately, I am a hopeless romantic, so it gets a 3 1/2 stars - even though it overplays on the viewer's emotions. I believe this was the first time I saw Rachel McAdams, and to me, she is the best cast member.
May 27, 2012
Redlats

Super Reviewer

    1. Frank Calhoun: Say, how would you like some breakfast? Would you like some breakfast?
    2. Allie Calhoun: Breakfast?
    3. Frank Calhoun: Yeah!
    4. Noah Calhoun: Dad, it's ten o'clock.
    5. Frank Calhoun: Well, what's that gotta do with it, you can have pancakes any damn time of night you want! Come on in, you want some breakfast?
    6. Allie Calhoun: Sure!
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (31 days ago)
    1. Allie Calhoun: What's goin' on?
    2. Anne Hamilton: We're goin' home.
    3. Allie Calhoun: We're leavin' now?
    4. Anne Hamilton: Mm-hmm.
    5. Allie Calhoun: We're not supposed to leavin' for another week.
    6. Anne Hamilton: Get dressed, come downstairs and have some breakfast. Willa will pack your things.
    7. Willa: Why, I'd be happy to pack your things, Miss Allie.
    8. Allie Calhoun: No, I don't want you to pack my things, don't want you to touch my stuff, I'm not goin'!
    9. Anne Hamilton: Yes, you are.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (31 days ago)
    1. Allie Calhoun: Now, say you're a bird.
    2. Noah Calhoun: If you're a bird, I'm a bird.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (31 days ago)
    1. Allie: What happens if a car comes?
    2. Noah: We die.
    – Submitted by ikera d (5 months ago)
    1. Nurse Selma: Excuse me. Come on, let's get you ready for bed.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
    1. Noah: When I see somethin' I like, I gotta... I love it.
    – Submitted by Alyssa B (7 months ago)
View all quotes (20)

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