Waitress - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Waitress Reviews

Top Critic
Shauna Lyon
New Yorker
February 10, 2014
Shelly deftly achieves a tone pitched between fantasy and reality, its levity belying an astute and humane study of an unhappy relationship steeped in inertia.
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Wally Hammond
Time Out
November 18, 2011
Funny, gentle, unpatronising, if occasionally naive and quirky.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Bob Mondello
NPR.org
October 18, 2008
The film is hardly flawless - even the pie-baking scenes sometimes seem half-baked - but it's hard not to read promise into every frame, and to wonder what Shelly might have cooked up in the future.
Top Critic
Mark Bourne
Film.com
November 28, 2007
Waitress is not a perfectly cut, factory-line Safeway-brand slice. It does, though, serve up a generous deep-dish portion, homemade and heartfelt, that leaves a sweet taste goes down.
Top Critic
David Fear
Time Out
June 23, 2007
Shelly's film (regrettably her last) may be a fine folly for foodies. But as a fable of female empowerment, it seriously lacks flavor.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/6
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Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
May 24, 2007
This bittersweet romantic farce teeters and then tips into precious, a forgivable sin once you know this sweet movie's sad history.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
May 11, 2007
While Shelly's film trades in an especially outrageous form of girl-movie self-consciousness, she's completely sincere when it comes to making her heroine the irresistible repository of our sympathies.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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John Hartl
Seattle Times
May 11, 2007
This is an ensemble piece in which everyone is allowed to shine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
May 11, 2007
Russell is the magic ingredient that holds all this together.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
May 11, 2007
Waitress deserves an essay, not just a review. There are perfect moments that stand out, and the reasons for their perfection are interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
May 11, 2007
As satisfying and tasty as the pies baked with love (and sometimes hate, anger and frustration) by Jenna, a small-town waitress stuck in an abusive marriage.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
May 11, 2007
Waitress is sweet, uneven and, ultimately, a heartbreaker.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael Booth
Denver Post
May 11, 2007
So why does it work, at least much of the time? Because of Russell, and because Shelly's uneven tone also provides hints at brilliance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
May 11, 2007
Look, Waitress is no groundbreaker, and it's not likely to change anyone's life. But it provides a showcase for Russell, who knows how to make the most of it.
| Original Score: B
Top Critic
Teresa Budasi
Chicago Sun-Times
May 11, 2007
We can only take comfort in the little slice of heaven she left behind.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
May 11, 2007
Waitress isn't a great film, but it is great, deep-dish fun, with a generosity of spirit that extends first to the sisters on the screen and in the audience, then to the rest of humanity.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Lisa Rose
Newark Star-Ledger
May 10, 2007
Heartfelt and intelligent, with a pinch of whimsy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
May 10, 2007
A blissfully daft ensemble comedy.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
May 10, 2007
Written and directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, it's a scrumptious romantic comedy, a mostly adorable movie from a witty and winning movie talent whom we lost all too soon.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
May 10, 2007
As a gently fitting requiem for an unspeakable loss, it's perfect.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
May 10, 2007
The film isn't averse to reaching for Hollywood fantasies, but there's a lot of what seems to be hard-earned wisdom here about women in bad marriages.
Top Critic
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
May 10, 2007
As sweet as the pies that serve as its central gimmick.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Paul Farhi
Washington Post
May 10, 2007
Among the joys here are the supporting players, each with well-defined stories and quirky personalities.
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Keith Phipps
AV Club
May 5, 2007
Though contrived and artificial in ways that don't always work, the film is also heartfelt and made with genuine affection for its characters, qualities in too short a supply to dismiss.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Dana Stevens
Slate
May 4, 2007
A feminist fairy tale about a woman learning to develop her creative gifts while trapped in a stifling marriage, Waitress doesn't need to be subtle or original to hit home.
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
May 4, 2007
While Shelly's stylized vision and sentimental intentions don't always gel, they do result in a warm, often charming fantasy.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
May 3, 2007
Washed in a honeyed 1950s glow, Waitress has a mildly puckish way with outlandish baked goods and pert dialogue.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
May 3, 2007
The film is laced with lovely moments, from the leads and from Shelly as a waitress friend.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
May 3, 2007
Waitress is a wee romantic charmer, a delectable Dixie screwball romp that never loses its spry sense of discovery.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
May 2, 2007
Shelly left her daughter -- and her audience -- a wonderful gift, this movie about the transforming effects of motherhood.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
May 2, 2007
Though some aspects feel like a sitcom, Waitress doesn't adhere to formula or resort to clichés. It's a rare chick flick that draws us in with its wit, warmth and quirkily appealing characters.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
May 2, 2007
Waitress would stand on its own as a remarkable achievement if you knew absolutely nothing about the woman who made it.
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
May 2, 2007
In the end, Shelly's script for Waitress has a pleasingly tart undertone that balances out what could have been an overly sugary confection. And she directs with a skill that makes me wish we could look forward to many more films from her.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
May 2, 2007
Waitress is a pleasant dramatic comedy that overcomes its tonal inconsistencies by presenting an engaging lead character with whom its virtually impossible not to empathize.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
May 2, 2007
With Waitress, Adrienne Shelly tamed and shaped realism, finding a perfect, difficult-to-achieve balance of enchantment and plausibility.
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
May 2, 2007
There are times when the spirit of a movie is enough to get you gliding over its obvious flaws. Waitress, which was directed by the late Adrienne Shelly, is one of those pictures.
Top Critic
Nathan Lee
Village Voice
May 1, 2007
Mildly quirky and zealously cute.
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Christy Lemire
Associated Press
April 30, 2007
Its heart is absolutely in the right place, and it strikes some real emotional truths. It will make you laugh, it might even make you cry, but it definitely will make you hungry.
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
April 30, 2007
A longtime indie favorite as an actress, Shelly was really growing as a filmmaker. This is a very good film with a terrific performance from Keri Russell.
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
April 30, 2007
There's something spunky about those pies and there's something spunky about Waitress in general.
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
April 30, 2007
An overstuffed, overcooked pie -- too ungainly to eat all of, too generous to pass up, too heartbreaking to contemplate for long.
Top Critic
Dennis Harvey
Variety
April 28, 2007
This tale of a pregnant small-town woman caught between a bad marriage and a risky affair is mostly as funny and charming as intended.
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
April 20, 2007
It's impossible to ignore the tragic fact that last November, at age forty, Shelly was murdered. It is some solace, though, to know that Waitress is her buoyant legacy.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
February 2, 2007
If Waitress was one of Jenna's pies, it would be a sky-high lemon meringue -- light, airy, not too sweet, with a tart, satisfying filling.