Driving Miss Daisy

Critics Consensus

Warm and smartly paced, and boasting impeccable performances from Morgan Freeman and Jessica Tandy.



Total Count: 61


Audience Score

User Ratings: 53,640
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Movie Info

Based on the Pulitzer Prize-winning play by Alfred Uhry, Driving Miss Daisy affectionately covers the 25-year relationship between a wealthy, strong-willed Southern matron (Jessica Tandy) and her equally indomitable Black chauffeur, Hoke (Morgan Freeman). Both employer and employee are outsiders, Hoke because of the color of his skin, Miss Daisy because she is Jewish in a WASP-dominated society. At the same time, Hoke cannot fathom Miss Daisy's cloistered inability to grasp the social changes that are sweeping the South in the 1960s. Nor can Miss Daisy understand why Hoke's "people" are so indignant. It is only when Hoke is retired and Miss Daisy is confined to a home for the elderly that the two fully realize that they've been friends and kindred spirits all along. The supporting cast includes Esther Rolle as Miss Daisy's housekeeper and Dan Aykroyd as Miss Daisy's son, Boolie (reportedly, playwright Uhry based the character upon himself). Driving Miss Daisy won Academy Awards for Best Picture, Best Actress (Jessica Tandy), Best Screenplay (Uhry), and Best Makeup (Manlio Rochetti). ~ Hal Erickson, Rovi

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Jessica Tandy
as Daisy Werthan
Morgan Freeman
as Hoke Colburn
Dan Aykroyd
as Boolie Werthan
Patti LuPone
as Florine Werthan
Joann Havrilla
as Miss McClatchey
Carolyn Gold
as Neighbor Lady
Crystal Fox
as Katie Bell
Bob Hannah
as Red Mitchell
Fred Faser
as Insurance Agent
Ray McKinnon
as Trooper #1
Ashley Josey
as Trooper #2
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Critic Reviews for Driving Miss Daisy

All Critics (61) | Top Critics (18) | Fresh (50) | Rotten (11)

  • Freeman is note-perfect with Hoke's dignified warmth, and Tandy, whose every moment on screen is an acting lesson, turns in what by far is the most hauntingly elegant performance of the year.

    Apr 26, 2018 | Full Review…

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • Every one of these dramatic maelstroms manages to appear fresh because Freeman and Tandy somehow manage to come up with new approaches, meting out complementary aspects of their characters.

    Dec 13, 2017 | Full Review…
  • The movie never resorts to sentimentality. It has a dry wit as well as genuine warmth. Best of all it is the perfect showcase for two deserving actors -- Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman.

    Feb 23, 2015 | Full Review…
  • One of the year's best films, a rarity in that a play has been successfully transferred to film without having the dialogue seem "written."

    Jan 26, 2015 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Driving Miss Daisy spans a quarter-century in the intricate relationship of a Southern dowager and her chauffeur, and it is a movie that invites you to appreciate the passage of time in more than one way.

    Jan 6, 2014 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Jessica Tandy and Morgan Freeman give exceptional performances

    Jan 6, 2014 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Driving Miss Daisy

  • Dec 11, 2017
    A showcase of the undeniable talents of Freeman and Tandy - the latter of which became the oldest actress to receive an Academy Award for best actress. Driving Miss Daisy cleverly and briefly touches on themes of prejudice, alienation and segregation and whilst these themes are only touched on briefly, this seems to almost normalise them and therefore makes the film's time and location seem ever more present. The absence of focus on the time the film is set allows the audience to focus on the warmth and familiarity that slowly grows between Daisy and her chauffeur Hoke. The ending of the film seems rushed and I'm unsure why they didn't include a bit more in the film to highlight the ageing of the two and the mental decline of the titular character, as such sudden jumps are made to years later and then suddenly the film's credits are rolling, it seems strange. At just under 99 minutes, the film could've done with being a bit longer perhaps.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Apr 12, 2015
    Why this movie won so many Oscars is something that escapes me, given its annoying and poorly-paced narrative that forces us to endure an unbearable old lady and feels tremendously episodic trying to span 25 years with skips in time that are never fluid.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 19, 2014
    Driving Miss Daisy, I thought was a pretty good film, but was nowhere near the grand scale it has been described as. I'm not saying that it's a bad affair, but I feel it's a bit overrated as well. Morgan Freeman has made far better films than this, but here he delivers a very good performance, but compared to other pictures he's done, this one just doesn't stand out. The film is good for what it is, but I don't feel that it's a classic either. The story is good, charming and fun, and it boasts some engaging performances, but at times you feel that the film could have been much more as well. The film feels like it tries too hard at grabbing your attention and it should be effortless in doing so. Miss Daisy is good, but I simply didn't see how great it is. I personally feel there are far better films out there. Luckily the film is entertaining for what it is, but I would call this film a film that only warrants one viewing because I feel that it's necessarily a film that doesn't need to be seen time and time again. Driving Miss Daisy is entertaining and good for what it is, but it doesn't stand out as powerful picture and a film classic by any means. The cast do a fine job in their roles, but I felt that the story could have been polished a bit, and it should have had the potential of being a truly great film. The film is unfortunately a prime example of typical Oscar bate, only designed to appeal to the Academy, but when you actually watch it, you wonder why this film is so good. I mean this picture is entertaining, well acted and good, but it's nowhere near as good as everyone has claimed it to be.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 06, 2013
    Good but Daisy is ultimately far too sentimental to be a memorable film. Another example of a movie adored by the Academy that could easily feature as an ABC film of the week (with a larger budget).
    John B Super Reviewer

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