The Cider House Rules (1999)



Critic Consensus: The Cider House Rules has wonderful performances, lovely visuals, and an old-fashioned feel.

Movie Info

John Irving scripted this screen adaptation of his 1985 novel. Set during World War II, The Cider House Rules concerns Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), an orphan who spent most of his childhood at the St. Cloud Orphanage in rural Maine, where he grew up under the strong but affectionate care of Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine). Larch has passed along his medical education to Homer, and the young man helps the doctor care for abandoned children and the newborn babies of unwed mothers; however, Homer … More

Rating: PG-13 (for mature thematic elements, sexuality, nudity, substance abuse and some violence)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: John Irving
In Theaters:
On DVD: Aug 15, 2000
Miramax - Official Site


as Dr. Wilbur Larch

as Wally

as Rose Rose

as Nurse Angela

as Nurse Edna

as Peaches

as Mary Agnes

as Ray Kendall

as Copperfield

as Steerforth

as Major Winslow

as Adopting Father

as Adopting Mother

as 12-Year-Old Girl

as Big Dot

as Mrs. Goodhall

as Adopted Child
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for The Cider House Rules

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Critic Reviews for The Cider House Rules

All Critics (116) | Top Critics (27)

Hallstrom's film could have used more dramatic muscle but is nonetheless a touching, old-fashioned charmer that ultimately satisfies.

Full Review… | May 30, 2008
Top Critic

Mr. Irving remains a disturbingly facile spinner of yarns in which the most sordid facts of life are glossed over into comfortably didactic homilies about the innate goodness of people. Yet, I was somehow moved...

Full Review… | April 27, 2007
New York Observer
Top Critic

Hallström's humanism is possibly a little low key and romantic given such tough themes as abortion and incest.

Full Review… | June 24, 2006
Time Out
Top Critic

[It] is a fable that turns into a 1940s New England variation on Charles Dickens. It is also one dickens of an American movie.

Full Review… | June 18, 2002
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

Thought-provoking movie for teens and up.

Full Review… | December 28, 2010
Common Sense Media

Irving's clean, economical dialogue and Hallstrom's beautifully morose direction cut the fat off of the cliches.

Full Review… | July 30, 2007

Audience Reviews for The Cider House Rules

Beautifully done movie...

Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Cider House is worth watching more than once. About orphans, ether overdoses, first love, abortions and duty.

Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Engaging story of the complicated relationshop between a father and a son and the orphanage they run. While the very word "orphanage" conjures visions of such mawkish emotionalism that one is prepared to ignor the film outright, the screenplay (an adaptation of his novel) by Irving and a sure hand by director (Hallestrom) make this visit to Maine a very worthy expedition.

Kevin M. Williams

Super Reviewer

The Cider House Rules Quotes

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