The Magic of Belle Isle (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

The Magic of Belle Isle Trailers & Photos

Movie Info

Reuniting with director Rob Reiner from the hit film, The Bucket List, Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door-an attractive single mom (Madsen) and her young daughters-who help him find inspiration again. -- (C) Magnoliamore
Rating: PG (for mild thematic elements and language including some suggestive comments)
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Directed By:
Written By: Guy Thomas, Rob Reiner
In Theaters:
On DVD: Sep 18, 2012
Magnolia Pictures - Official Site


Morgan Freeman
as Monte Wildhorn
Virginia Madsen
as Charlotte O'Neil
Madeleine Carroll
as Willow O'Neil
Emma Fuhrmann
as Finnegan O'Neil
Madeline Carroll
as Willow O'Neil
Fred Willard
as Al Kaiser
Nicolette Pierini
as Flora O'Neil
CJ Wilson
as Fire Captain
C.J. Wilson
as Fire Captain
Ash Christian
as Carl Loop
Jessica Hecht
as Karen Loop
Christopher McCann
as Bookstore Owner
Kevin Pollak
as Joe Viola
Boyd Holbrook
as Luke Ford
Kevin Pollack
as Joe Viola
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

Critic Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (14)

If this were real life and not a movie, Mr. Wildhorn would be written off as a crank and ostracized within a week.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's earnest, predictable and disposable.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

You can quarrel with the smiley-face outcome of every ordeal, but the tenderness and optimism are so powerful and ingratiating that only a viewer with the darkest sensibility will go away untouched.

Full Review… | July 12, 2012
New York Observer
Top Critic

Shamelessly schmaltzy and predictable from first moment to last, Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle nonetheless manages to conjure a certain spell.

Full Review… | July 9, 2012
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

Madsen, a strong actress who might have matched Freeman, is portrayed in varying shades of blandness. Even Freeman, good as his is, is held back here.

Full Review… | July 6, 2012
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic

So resolutely inoffensive that it flirts with Hallmark Hall of Fame territory.

Full Review… | July 6, 2012
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle


This is a hidden gem from director Rob Reiner, reconnecting him with Morgan Freeman from The Bucket List. If you enjoyed that film, you'll probably like this one as well. This concerns a journey through life's turmoil, although without the presence of Nicholson-much less acerbic. Belle Isle is a beautiful, tender story about characters you really care about. Like Bucket List, this movie is about second chances in life, making the best of what time you have left. I appreciated that it had a theme for every stage of life, although it centered on Monte Wildhorn (Freeman). The intersection of his life with the newly-divorced mother and children of varying ages next door was the perfect complement and foil for Wildhorn. The film does venture into schmaltzy, Hallmark territory, but just go with it. Allowing yourself simply to be inspired and entertained won't hurt.

One criticism: The sort-of romantic angle between Monte Wildhorn and Charlotte O'Neil (Virginia Madsen) seemed forced, not plausible or realistic to me. Madsen was quoted as saying that her on-screen relationship with Freeman (albeit brief) was the first on-screen romance in his long, storied career. Kudos to Reiner, then for thinking outside the box.

Clintus M.
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

Sweet, charming movie Rob Reiner style. Many chuckle moments that I got a kick out of, especially with the character Carl. Morgan Freeman is wonderful, as usual...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Comic drama that can best be described as nice, Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen make it seem better than it is.

jay nixon

Super Reviewer

The Magic of Belle Isle Quotes

Monte Wildhorn: Imagination--the most powerful force ever made available to mankind.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
Monte Wildhorn: Nobody cares about a writer nobody reads.
Henry: That's because you don't write.
– Submitted by Frances H (2 years ago)
Finnegan O'Neil: You tell me to see what's not there why can't you write what's not there?
– Submitted by Amy T (3 years ago)
Finnegan O'Neil: You don't have to leave this planet to tell a good story.
– Submitted by Amy T (3 years ago)

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