The Hours

Critics Consensus

The movie may be a downer, but it packs an emotional wallop. Some fine acting on display here.



Total Count: 192


Audience Score

User Ratings: 85,862
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Movie Info

Spanning across various time periods in the 20th Century, a drama which revolves around three very different women: two of whom have been profoundly affected by the works of Virginia Woolf; the other woman is Woolf, herself. All three are battling with issues of freedom, responsibility and identity. As the story unfolds, they are negotiating their way through different depressive states: Virginia Woolf is struggling to write her novel "Mrs. Dalloway" in 1923, as she recovers from depression; Laura Brown is a depressed and pregnant L.A. housewife who reads Woolf's novel in 1949, as she plans her husband's birthday party; and, the exasperated Clarissa Vaughn is a book editor in modern-day New York, who is planning a farewell party for her AIDS-inflicted former lover, Richard--a famous author who had nicknamed her Mrs. Dalloway.

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Meryl Streep
as Clarissa Vaughan
Julianne Moore
as Laura Brown
Nicole Kidman
as Virginia Woolf
Lyndsay Marshal
as Lottie Hope
Stephen Dillane
as Leonard Woolf
Miranda Richardson
as Vanessa Bell
Linda Bassett
as Nelly Boxall
John C. Reilly
as Dan Brown
Ed Harris
as Richard Brown
Jeff Daniels
as Louis Waters
Claire Danes
as Julia Vaughan
Allison Janney
as Sally Lester
George Loftus
as Quentin Bell
Charley Ramm
as Julian Bell
Sophie Wyburd
as Angelica Bell
Christian Coulson
as Ralph Partridge
Jack Rovello
as Ritchie
Margo Martindale
as Mrs. Latch
Colin Stinton
as Hotel Clerk
Eileen Atkins
as Barbara in the flower shop
Carmen De Lavallade
as Clarissa's Neighbor
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Critic Reviews for The Hours

All Critics (192) | Top Critics (42)

  • David Hare's screen adaptation reduces Woolf and her art to a set of feminist stances and a few plot points, without reference to style or form.

    Feb 11, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A boldly realised, affecting work.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Derek Adams

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A puzzling and forbidding strangeness.

    Aug 7, 2004
  • An elegant movie-triptych - its constituent, handsomely mounted panels are inhabited by three earnest, meticulous performances.

    Mar 25, 2003 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Lyrical and surprisingly uplifting -- if you're willing to invest full attention.

    Jan 29, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • The film actually improves on Cunningham's novel, thanks to gorgeous cinematography, a deft script by playwright David Hare ... a mournful, melodious but never intrusive score by Philip Glass and a superb cast.

    Jan 17, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Hours

  • Oct 17, 2013
    Technically sound performances by the three leads are destroyed by a dullness to their tales. The Hours leaves you wanting to use these actresses more efficiently.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Jun 19, 2013
    Great cinematography with even greater performances all around. The Hours is solid from beginning to end with a unique premise and a topic that is rarely absorbed. I really appreciated this film.
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer
  • Jul 29, 2012
    Great actings in a sentimental, but nice picture.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 01, 2012
    Very depressing and very well crafted. The whole subject matter about this amazing film is depression. You have probably seen many films about depression but not as depressing as this one. You will not once smile or laugh at this. But not all films have to be happy. Many people think they have to be but they don't. Films are also art that sometimes have deeper meanings. The best part about this sad film has to be the acting. I was blown away at what was displayed here. When I watch a film the acting has to be good. I have noticed that the acting is what I pay most attention too. It's also the artistic aspect that I value most in a film. Why was the acting good? Well, the actresses in this film displayed real emotion and they keep me interested the whole time. Everything else was good but not perfect. The direction was good. Very good choice in camera angles. The camera was a paint brush and it painted the faces of the despondent actresses. The production was favorable. Very good choice in costume design and scenery. The writing was okay. It was artistic and smart. But the conflict was a bit week. That wasn't so much of a downer considering that the writing overall was decent. So, I would recommend this only to passionate viewers of cinema. It's not for everyone.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer

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