It's a Wonderful Life - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

It's a Wonderful Life Reviews

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Top Critic
Kate Cameron
New York Daily News
December 19, 2016
While it isn't the best picture to come out of Hollywood this year, nor is it Capra's masterpiece, it tells a good story and its conclusion has a heart-warming effect on the audience.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Jack D. Grant
Hollywood Reporter
December 7, 2014
It's a Wonderful Life is a wonderful title for a motion picture about which practically everyone who sees it will agree that it's wonderful entertainment.
Marc Lee
Daily Telegraph (UK)
December 24, 2013
The inspirational, thoroughly festive ending is guaranteed to bring tears to the eyes.
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
December 4, 2013
The most well-loved of all Christmas movies.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4

Sky Movies
December 3, 2013
It's both a summation of Capra's own career and a peak of achievement for a gentler kind of American cinema
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
David Stratton
At the Movies (Australia)
December 3, 2013
I love it, corny as it may be, because it reminds every one of us that we all make contributions to the people around us, contributions we ourselves don't even realise.
David Parkinson
Radio Times
November 5, 2013
This masterpiece from Frank Capra still has a lot to say about community spirit and is a film with much more to it than feel-good sentimentality.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5

Total Film
December 4, 2012
This is the all-time great, curl-up-on-the-sofa-with-a-cup-of-tea movie. Not only is it beautifully photographed, but it also contains enough emotional strength to hold your attention for all of its two-hour running time.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Rich Cohen
December 4, 2012
It's a Wonderful Life is about hunger. It's about greed. It's about the many ways a good man is stymied. Finally, it's about George Bailey, whose decency prevents him even from killing himself.
James Agee
The Nation
August 31, 2012
I wasn't able to get reasonably straight about it for quite a while. I still think it has a good deal of charm and quality, enough natural talent involved in it to make ten pictures ten times as good, and terrific vitality or, rather, vigor.
Top Critic
Manny Farber
The New Republic
August 31, 2012
Capra is an old-time movie craftsman, the master of every trick in the bag, and in many ways he is more at home with the medium than any other Hollywood director. But all of his details give the impression of contrived effect.
Randy White
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011
This classic delivers warmth all year long.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Josh Larsen
November 28, 2010
Is the movie corny? Often. Is it moving in the most basic, moral way? Every year we watch it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Gabe Leibowitz
Film and Felt
March 17, 2010
One could use It's a Wonderful Life to teach their children values: compassion, selflessness, loyalty, and self-respect.
Full Review | Original Score: 93/100
John J. Puccio
Movie Metropolis
November 5, 2009
Raise your hand if you think 'It's A Wonderful Life' is mushy, sentimental, over-praised hokum. Now, go to your room. Both of you.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
December 12, 2008
If you can separate - or rescue - It's a Wonderful Life from its niche as a Christmas classic, you might discover a film that swings wildly from noirlike starkness to saccharine bathos.
Read More | Original Score: 87/100
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
December 5, 2008
It's a Wonderful Life is a pretty wonderful movie.
Peter Bradshaw
October 18, 2008
A genuine American classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Fran Hortop
November 27, 2007
You'd have to possess a very hard heart not to find something to love in this story.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Will Harris
November 17, 2007
It ain't just hype; it really is a true holiday classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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