Iris - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Iris Reviews

Top Critic
Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
February 28, 2002
[The] performances, if nothing else, embody a standard of excellence that Iris Murdoch herself would surely have cheered.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
February 26, 2002
The impoverished story keeps Iris from achieving greatness, but no qualifiers are needed for the acting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
February 23, 2002
For a movie whose subject is the decline and fall of a towering intellect, there's precious little to think about here.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
February 15, 2002
There are not two, but four sterling performances here.
| Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 15, 2002
Not just a fitting document of a life brilliantly lived but a vibrant, almost palpitating piece of cinema.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
February 15, 2002
...intrigues and devastates.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Edward Guthmann
San Francisco Chronicle
February 15, 2002
The performances are the raison d'etre...
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 15, 2002
Because the performances are so powerful, one nearly forgets that in its vaulting between the '50s and '90s, Iris is a story with a beginning and end but without a middle.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
February 15, 2002
A magnificent story about the enduring bond between two eccentric, astounding souls who somehow managed to find each other and hold on for dear life.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
February 15, 2002
Those who have had a loved one fall prey to the mental ravages of Alzheimer's will see in Iris a depiction that is so lucid and accurate that it may be painful to observe.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
February 15, 2002
As the story of heroic response to tragic illness, Iris is the kind of film often cynically pegged a 'disease of the week' movie. But unlike such formulaic TV productions, Iris' heroine is denied the capacity to be inspiring.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Susan Stark
Detroit News
February 15, 2002
Tune out the hype for countless other movies. This is the one to see.
| Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Steven Rosen
Denver Post
February 15, 2002
The performances in Iris -- by Judi Dench as the older Murdoch and Jim Broadbent as her husband, John Bayley, and by Kate Winslet as the younger Murdoch -- are so good that the film is completely compelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
February 15, 2002
...the results are tender, unflinching, raw and wonderful.
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
February 15, 2002
Because the film is well-acted and written with intelligence, it might be worth seeing, despite my objections.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Jay Carr
Boston Globe
February 15, 2002
Iris glows with rightness and convinces us we're sharing its characters' understanding that when the books and the memory go, love can remain.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
February 14, 2002
Iris sounds as if it would be painful to watch, and in scenes like the one described above, it can be. Yet watching love realistically depicted onscreen remains the greatest joy of film, and its most important gift to the world.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
February 14, 2002
A must-see canticle to married love.
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
February 14, 2002
Demonstrates the catastrophe of disintegration by putting us first in the full thrall of the character's intellect.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
February 14, 2002
It's good, but not great -- despite the heights to which Dench and Broadbent drive it. But those heights are lofty, the pain still stings.
| Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
February 14, 2002
It's an exemplary lesson in Acting 101, taught by Judi Dench (Iris) and Jim Broadbent (John Bayley, her loyal husband of 40 years).
| Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Stanley Kauffmann
The New Republic
February 6, 2002
To judge by the result, which is gripping, the film-makers foresaw all the difficulties.
Top Critic
Joy Press
Village Voice
February 5, 2002
It leaves out huge gaps of Murdoch's life -- the whole center of it really, when she published all of her important books.
Top Critic
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 3, 2002
Kate Winslet as the younger Iris Murdoch and Judi Dench as the older version manage to bring the literary lioness to vibrant life.
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 19, 2001
Intimate, frank and shattering without being maudlin or sudsy.
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 18, 2001
Dench and Winslet are a riveting matchup.
| Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
December 18, 2001
I think this movie does a wonderful job of going back and forth. We see Kate Winslet, who does a terrific job. Judi Dench is excellent.
Top Critic
Charles Taylor
Salon.com
December 15, 2001
Dench and Broadbent in their scenes together are a painful and loving duet, creating as moving a portrait of marriage as anything the movies have afforded in recent memory.
Top Critic
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
December 15, 2001
Murdoch and Bayley had to have been one of the oddest couples in the world -- and one of the most enchanting.
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 14, 2001
Despite the sad denouement, it's still the love story of the year.
Top Critic
John Anderson
Newsday
December 14, 2001
Judi Dench and Kate Winslet ... [give] terrific performances as Murdoch's older and younger selves, albeit in severely undernourished parts.
Top Critic
Elvis Mitchell
New York Times
December 14, 2001
Rarely does a movie feel as leaden-footed as Iris, especially when it tries to bounce back and forth.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 14, 2001
Dench once again confirms her gifts as one of the world's great actresses, but Broadbent ... is in some ways more impressive as Bayley.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
December 14, 2001
It's not only that Murdoch and Bayley had just that kind of kinship over the span of a 40-plus year marriage, it's that the actors manage an identically close and intimate relationship both to each other and to the characters they play.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
December 7, 2001
All the players (including Hugh Bonneville as the student Bayley) are ardent, all the camera work thoughtful.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
December 6, 2001
A fine cast and production.