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Penelope (2006)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 127
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 60

Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.


Average Rating: 5.3/10
Critic Reviews: 31
Fresh: 16 | Rotten: 15

Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 156,085

My Rating

Movie Info

A kindly aristocrat suffering from an unsightly curse breaks free from her extravagant, prison-like estate to seek adventure and discover her true self in a romantic, modern-day fairy tale directed by Mark Palansky and starring Christina Ricci, James McAvoy, Peter Dinklage, and Reese Witherspoon. Generations ago, a witch placed a curse on the Wilhelm family that would result in the next girl being born into the clan having a porcine snout -- and now young Penelope (Ricci) has fallen victim to


Drama, Romance, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Comedy

Leslie Caveny

Jul 15, 2008


Summit Entertainment - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (130) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (60) | DVD (9)

I think it's a sweet film.

March 3, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic IconTop Critic

While uneven, this Ugly Duckling redux is hipper and funnier than a Disney movie, and the positive message to young girls can't be discounted.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: USA Today | Comment (1)
USA Today
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The semi-satirical treatment of celebrity culture, as Penelope is treated first as a tabloid sensation then a media darling, is lame and dated.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Toronto Star
Toronto Star
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Sweet as gingerbread, Penelope deserves to find an audience; those with a taste for happily-ever-afters should look for it, before it too-quickly disappears.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Director Palansky and screenwriter Leslie Caveny seem to have many of the right ingredients for creating something beguiling, but the film is, finally, surprisingly pedestrian. What a shame, with all these good performers.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The picture has a hapless, meandering quality that's tolerable at first but ultimately becomes maddening, as if it were a cartoon narrative recounted by a distracted 4-year-old.

February 29, 2008 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This quirky, snarky contemporary fairy tale could have been a family blockbuster.

August 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

Penelope suggests that peace comes through character, not cosmetic surgery. In this, it's smarter than Twilight...

May 11, 2010 Full Review Source: Looking Closer
Looking Closer

I can truthfully say that watching this abysmal fantasy-comedy is less rewarding than being slapped across the face with a large wet fish.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK] | Comments (3)
Guardian [UK]

Watchable but patchy fantasy romance that doesn't quite work, despite strong performances from Ricci and McAvoy.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

A modern-day fairytale, the film is tarted up like a hyperactive five-year-old's lurid fantasy of interior decor.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Times [UK]
Times [UK]

Visually stylish, what might have been a cute fantasy becomes tedious due to its banal script and a relentless overload of pig-jokes.

August 29, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

It's too bad that the second half turned out to be a drag, because I very much enjoyed the first half.

July 22, 2008 Full Review
Sin Magazine

A diligent ensemble can't lift the film to anything higher than a shallow fairy tale with only worthy intentions.

July 19, 2008 Full Review Source: Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

With only a DNA witch's curse pig's snout compromising Ricci's otherwise exceedingly alluring physical assets, it doesn't make a lick of sense that prospective suitors are jumping out of windows after catching a glimpse of her disfigured beak.

July 12, 2008 Full Review Source: NewsBlaze

Penelope is adorable and easy to watch thanks to the charms of its leads Ricci and McAvoy. But it's too much a mainstream Hollywood product and not enough of a spunky indie spirit to really win audiences over.

July 9, 2008 Full Review Source:

Is this meant to be dark comedy? It's hard to tell.

June 25, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Penelope is a sweet trifle, a great kid's movie, and not surprising, given its subject matter a film gay audiences will find familiar and comforting. That's because, more than anything, this is a story of acceptance of one's true self.

May 22, 2008 Full Review Source: Windy City Times
Windy City Times

It's not eccentric enough to be as otherworldly as it wants to be, but it's too self-consciously quirky to perform on its own merits.

May 1, 2008 Full Review Source: MSNBC

Maybe I've got some subconscious porcine fetish thing going (or something) but I think Christina Ricci looks kind of cute with a pig's snout where her nose should be...

April 2, 2008 Full Review Source:

A sweet but clumsy fable that's pleasing without being particularly distinguished.

March 16, 2008 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

After I saw the intriguing trailers that trailed off a couple years back, I wondered why this movie was wallowing somewhere on a shelf.I'm still not sure. Although I do know one thing: Had this been a Christmas-time release, it would have been seen by lot

March 9, 2008 Full Review
Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)

Produced according to a formula for squeezing the maximum amount of cloying charm out of the minimum investment.

March 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

It's Ricci, with her princesslike innocence and Keane-painting eyes, who provides the movie's abundant charm.

March 7, 2008
Salt Lake Tribune

Despite Christina Ricci's charming performance, Penelope is trapped in a twilight zone between fairy tales and play-it-safe romantic comedies.

March 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)

The convictions of the cast and an extremely snappy script fill in most of the gaps caused by the wobbly plotlines.

March 7, 2008 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Audience Reviews for Penelope

Set in some weird New York London land and starring an eclectic mix of Hollywood a-list and England's finest 'light' entertainers, Penelope is understandably a little lost in where it wants to be as much what it tries to achieve. There is nothing wrong with being odd, or even quirky, in fact Fairtales do much better when they are but unlike all fairytales, Penelope doesn't really have a message or should I say, it contradicts every message it tries to convey rendering it a little redundant and ultimately pointless. The odd cameo kept me amused and Christina Ricci was adorable I have to admit. I certainly didn't dislike the film, it just didn't really work. If only the script writers were drinking what the production people were having, then it might have been something very special, instead it is acceptably quirky but nothing more.
March 5, 2013

Super Reviewer

Penelope (Christina Ricci) is cursed with a pig nose so her family are in pursuit of a suitor who will break the curse. James McAvoy is great in this movie. A bit of an unusual role for Reese Witherspoon but she's great too. It is certificate U but some scenes might be a bit scarey for young kids.
January 1, 2012
T Tsang

Super Reviewer

It definitely lulled in the middle and a few other parts. But it was still a cutey. I love fairy tales and love, so this was some winners. Plus James McAvoy is crazy fucking hot. So yummy. And Catherine O'Hara is genius always and forever.
August 22, 2010
Jennifer D

Super Reviewer

    1. Penelope Wilhern: I felt the rush of a thousand heartbreaks.
    – Submitted by Angela T (22 months ago)
    1. Jessica Wilhern: No, you ran! It was you this time.
    2. Penelope Wilhern: He just stood there, staring at me. No one's ever just stood there before.
    – Submitted by Maria Y (23 months ago)
    1. Penelope Wilhern: Once the Queen is dead, the King is useless.
    2. Johnny/Max: What's that about?
    3. Penelope Wilhern: I don't know. Maybe he's too depressed to fight. He really loved her, you know.
    – Submitted by Maria Y (23 months ago)
    1. Penelope Wilhern: I like myself the way I am!
    – Submitted by Maria Y (23 months ago)
View all quotes (4)

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