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The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)



Average Rating: 4.2/10
Critic Reviews: 14
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 11

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 3,566

My Rating

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) Magnolia


Drama, Comedy

Guy Thomas, Rob Reiner

Sep 18, 2012


Magnolia Pictures - Official Site External Icon

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July 5, 2012:
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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (14) | Fresh (9) | Rotten (22)

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

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Comment (1)
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It's earnest, predictable and disposable.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Arizona Republic
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Observer
New York Observer
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop 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.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Freeman, an actor who can be fierce and disagreeable on screen and in person, is content to turn on the twinkle. Unfortunately, Reiner seems all too happy to let him.

December 30, 2012 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

Uninspiring sentimental inspirational pic.

December 12, 2012 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The problems with the dialog and story are overcome by the fact that this is a very nice, warm, romantic story with some magic in it.

November 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

This is a cuddly puppy of a movie - what heart is so dark to do it violence?

September 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

Corny, obvious, and shallow as a puddle, it traffics in outdated stereotypes, overused cliches, and ham-handed emotions. Trust me: your 80 year-old grandmother will love this movie.

July 28, 2012 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

Probably only in theaters because ABC Family said, 'Sorry, this is a little hokey for us.'

July 19, 2012 Full Review Source: RedEye

Sometimes it's difficult to remember that Reiner once directed This is Spinal Tap.

July 12, 2012 Full Review Source:

The film lacks subtlety and never misses a chance to tug at the heartstrings, gradually drowning amid all of its melodramatic contrivances.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source:

Family drama has syrupy plot but fabulous performances.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

As sticky-sweet and textureless as a bowl of pudding, though an amused central performance from star Morgan Freeman continually finds nuance and the unexpected where there ultimately isn't any.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Movieline

This screenplay is so poorly crafted, it trumps many of those that have eroded the Reiner legacy since '96. "Good script"? Per Inigo Montoya: "I do not think it means what you think it means."

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Doddle

'The Magic of Belle Isle' may not be magical, but many Morgan Freeman fans will probably enjoy his droll, loquacious performance in this uneven offering.

July 5, 2012 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

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...
June 23, 2013

Super Reviewer

Comic drama that can best be described as nice, Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen make it seem better than it is.
February 8, 2013
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

Rob Reiner is a good at taking adult themes, and turning them into good family orientated films. "Stand By Me" is my favorite Reiner movie, as I grew up watching that with my mom. Here, Morgan Freeman plays Monte, a alcoholic, paralyzed writer, who has lost the will to to write. Monte movies to Belle Isle and befriends a single mom(Virginia Madsen) and her three young daughters, whom help him find his inspiration again. It's a good, sweet natured, borderline sappy PG movie. The performances are all good, especially Freeman. It's good to see him in an actual leading role again instead of a supporting player or voice over. The rest of the cast is very good, as all three daughters do a terrific job, as does the usually great Madsen. It may be too boring for kids, and honestly it does drag a little during the middle, but it's still very entertaining and a good watch. Good watch.
July 11, 2012
Everett Johnson

Super Reviewer

Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen's performances are the best reason to watch this film. They shine in the film and have a great on screen chemistry. Keenan Thompson also does a good job with his supporting role. All 3 daughters in the film are great too.

My problem with the film was the tone of the film. It felt too much like an after school TV movie than a regular theatrical release. Also the pacing was off. Some scenes are too slow.

Still, despite the flaws, I do recommend the film, especially for Freeman and Madsen's performances.
July 10, 2012
Sol C

Super Reviewer

    1. Monte Wildhorn: Imagination--the most powerful force ever made available to mankind.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. Monte Wildhorn: Nobody cares about a writer nobody reads.
    2. Henry: That's because you don't write.
    – Submitted by Frances H (14 months ago)
    1. 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 (23 months ago)
    1. Finnegan O'Neil: You don't have to leave this planet to tell a good story.
    – Submitted by Amy T (23 months ago)
    1. Charlotte O'Neil: What do you want out of life Mr. Wildhorn?
    2. Monte Wildhorn: I'd settle for more nights like this.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
    1. Monte Wildhorn: Spot, that lady has a way of making me sitting taller in the saddle.
    – Submitted by Chris P (2 years ago)
View all quotes (6)

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