Little Women

Critics Consensus

With a stellar cast and a smart, sensitive retelling of its classic source material, Greta Gerwig's Little Women proves some stories truly are timeless.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 348

92%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 15,320
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Movie Info

Writer-director Greta Gerwig (Lady Bird) has crafted a Little Women that draws on both the classic novel and the writings of Louisa May Alcott, and unfolds as the author's alter ego, Jo March, reflects back and forth on her fictional life. In Gerwig's take, the beloved story of the March sisters - four young women each determined to live life on her own terms -- is both timeless and timely. Portraying Jo, Meg, Amy, and Beth March, the film stars Saoirse Ronan, Emma Watson, Florence Pugh, Eliza Scanlen, with Timothée Chalamet as their neighbor Laurie, Laura Dern as Marmee, and Meryl Streep as Aunt March.

Cast

Saoirse Ronan
as Jo March
Emma Watson
as Meg March
Florence Pugh
as Amy March
Eliza Scanlen
as Beth March
Laura Dern
as Marmee March
Tracy Letts
as Mr. Dashwood
Bob Odenkirk
as Father March
James Norton
as John Brooke
Louis Garrel
as Friedrich Bhaer
Chris Cooper
as Mr. Laurence
Meryl Streep
as Aunt March
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Critic Reviews for Little Women

All Critics (348) | Top Critics (53) | Fresh (330) | Rotten (18)

Audience Reviews for Little Women

  • Jan 17, 2020
    Guess 2019's just the year for Florence Pugh to be in critically acclaimed and letterboxd beloved movies that I just genuinely didn't care for much.
    Gimly M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 02, 2020
    With some fine acting and beautiful cinematography this iteration of the March sisters didn't move the needle for me as much as it is advertised. The modern spin by Gerwig and the shifting chronology were distracting but despite those complaints Little Women was enjoyable. (12-31-19)
    John C Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2020
    Gerwig sees the past as beautifully alive and each characters as vibrant and complicated. Might become the gold standard for adaptations of Alcott's original novel.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • Jan 01, 2020
    By my count, this is approximately the 182nd version of Louisa May Alcott's Civil War sisterhood. There must be something universal about the trials of the March sisters and their struggles for independence, agency, love, and happy endings on their own turns. Greta Gerwig, fresh off her Oscar nominations for Lady Bird, has given Little Women a decidedly modern spin. The story flashes back and forth between past and present, sometimes in consecutive shots, and feels full of authentic youthful energy. It's also the first adaptation I've watched that has fixed the problem of Amy (Florence Pugh, affecting), widely regarded as the least liked sister. Through Gerwig's telling, she becomes a self-determined woman, just like Jo (Saoirse Ronan), who recognizes the social trappings holding her back but chooses to do her best within this unfair system rather than rage against it. It's like an empathetic reclamation for this often reviled character. The enjoyment of Little Women is how vibrant and different each of the March sisters is and how an audience can see degrees of one's self in each little woman. Jo is by all accounts our lead and her struggle to be a successful writer pushes her against conventions of the era. There is an invented and very amusing bookend where Jo bickers with a blowhard male publisher (Tracy Letts) about "women's melodrama." It's a meta commentary on Alcott's book herself, especially with the helping of marriages and happy endings by story's end. Ronan is a force of nature in the film and sweeps up everyone around her with charm. Meryl Streep is supremely amusing as an older rich aunt bemoaning the girls won't get anywhere without marrying a wealthy man. The limited options for a working-class family are given great consideration, but it's really a movie that seems to pulsate with the exciting feelings of being young, having the world stretch out before you, and chasing your dream, rain or shine. It's also gorgeously shot and feels so assured from Gerwig as a solo director. There are a few detractions for this new 2019 Little Women, the biggest being how confusing it can get with its melded chronologies. If this is your first exposure to Alcott's story, I fear you'll get lost more than a few times trying to keep everything in order. The love story with lovesick pretty boy Laurie (Timothee Chalamet) feels tacked on even though it's a feature of the novel. This newly structured, reinvigorated, charming remake of a literary classic feels definitely of the period and of today. It's the first Little Women adaptation that made me realize how timeless this story really can feel in the right hands. It may be the 182nd version but it might be the best one yet. Nate's Grade: B+
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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