Critics Consensus

No consensus yet.



Reviews Counted: 33

liked it

Audience Score

User Ratings: 37,590


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.1/5

You may have noticed some of the recent changes we have made. To read more about what we’ve been working on behind the scenes, please check out our new RT Product Blog here.

Want to See

Add Rating
My Rating    

Nell Photos

Movie Info

The dilemmas involved in socializing a socially isolated individual are explored in this moving drama set in the Smokey mountains. Nell is not a "feral" child. She lived an isolated life in a remote mountain cabin beside a quiet lake with her mother, a hermit who suffered a series of strokes. She is discovered by Jerome Lovell, a doctor, who begins to observe her in secret. He is intrigued by her strange language which was influenced by her mother's aphasia. He is also intrigued by her hostile behavior when she is faced with strangers. His observations are interrupted by the intrusion of psychologist Paula Olsen. Together they work towards socializing Nell with the sad realization that their actions will steal Nell's innocence.

Watch it now


News & Interviews for Nell

Critic Reviews for Nell

All Critics (33) | Top Critics (4)

All of this proves somewhat uplifting and, in the end, fairly moving. Under Apted's caring direction, Foster gives a fearless, appealing, utterly uninhibited performance throughout.

May 22, 2018 | Full Review…

Stunningly awful on almost every level.

Jan 20, 2007 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…

Somber, ponderous, and pretentious, this is a clinical study of a wild woman (Jodie Foster) raised in the backwoods, far from the interference and contamination (according to the film) of Civilization. It's better to see Truffaut's Wild Child.

Jul 13, 2006 | Rating: C+ | Full Review…

Decent triumph over adversity movie. Nell has a unique disability.

Jul 14, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Jodie Foster is totally immersing

Apr 27, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

I know I'm in a minority, but I sort of had fun with this movie.

Apr 14, 2003 | Rating: 3/5

Audience Reviews for Nell


How in the hell did Jodie Foster seriously get an Oscar nomination for this, possibly the weirdest film to ever be taken seriously on the public stage? I mean, I get the message of the film overall: the fact that those who are alternative don't stand a chance in a society that prides itself on revealing the hidden truths everywhere they may be hiding. Still, does anyone really want to stand up and say that Foster's performance as the nearly mute, and very animalistic Nell, is great, or even remotely realistic? She looks so hair brained, that a parody performance would be unrecognizable compared to this film. I mean seriously, in what universe is this okay? Liam Neeson and Natasha Richardson make an interesting duo as the scientists who evaluate Nell, but besides that there is no sense, honesty, or truth in any of these performances. It's bland, while also being hyper animated with the feral yowls of its lead, and the strange fight for privacy that stirs the story. Seriously, it's not even good for a bad movie; it's just pure gross cheesiness.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


Jodie Foster is a great actor. Watch this movie just to see her performance.

Red Lats
Red Lats

Super Reviewer

Not a great movie.

Tim Salmons
Tim Salmons

Super Reviewer

i liked this film i thought it was inspirational and heart warming and probably jodie fosters best acting ever she did a performance of a lifetime and a really good film and really worth a watch

Film Crazy
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

Nell Quotes

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

News & Features