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Though Mona Lisa Smile espouses the value of breaking barriers, the movie itself is predictable and safe. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts) is a recent UCLA graduate hired to teach art history at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College, in 1953. Determined to confront the outdated mores of society and the institution that embraces them, Katherine inspires her traditional students including Betty (Kirsten Dunst) and Joan (Julia Stiles) to challenge the lives they are expected to lead.

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Critic Reviews for Mona Lisa Smile

All Critics (152) | Top Critics (51) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (101)

Audience Reviews for Mona Lisa Smile

  • Mar 25, 2013
    Mona Lisa Smile is a smart and provocative period drama that's especially well-crafted. The story follows an art instructor who comes to the elite women's college Wellesley during the 1950s and upsets the establishment with her unconventional teaching methods. With an all-star cast that includes Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, and Maggie Gyllenhaal, the performances in the film are excellent. The writing is also quite good, particularly in how it explores the role of women in the '50s, and the expectations of upper society. Yet there are some weaknesses in the plot, and a few of the characters are underdeveloped. Compelling and inspired, Mona Lisa Smile is an impressive film.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2011
    There was significantly more important substance contained in the ads and commercials shown during the beginning of the end credits (from the social, the microeconomic and the moral contexts) than in the rest of this melodramatic, clichéd, uneventful and pathetic excuse of a movie. The subject matter is way too important even in present days and you can't waste such important messages just like that. 43/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Jun 23, 2011
    A nice film that Julia Roberts played outstandingly.
    Bethany M Super Reviewer
  • Jan 11, 2011
    Mona Lisa Smile was a fairly good film. Julia Roberts was believable in the role - and it is amusing to see how badly she fared with the critics - not based on her own performance but because she is of course a little out of vogue at the moment.
    Mouhannad S Super Reviewer

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