Critics Consensus

Though Penelope has a charming cast and an appealing message, it ultimately suffers from faulty narrative and sloppy direction.



Total Count: 127


Audience Score

User Ratings: 157,007
User image

Watch it now

Penelope Photos

Movie Info

Penelope Wilhern, born to wealthy socialites, is afflicted by a secret family curse that can only be broken when she is loved by "one of her own kind." Hidden away in the family's majestic home, she is subjected to meeting a string of blue-bloods through her parent's futile attempt to marry her off and break the curse. Each suitor is instantly enamored with Penelope (and her sizable dowry)... until the curse is revealed. When a willing mate cannot be found, mischievous tabloid reporter Lemon hires Max to pose as a prospective suitor in hopes of snapping a photo of the mysterious Penelope. Max, who is really a down-on-his-luck gambler, finds himself drawn to Penelope and not wanting to expose or disappoint her, disappears and leaves Lemon in the lurch. Fed up by this latest betrayal and determined to live life on her own terms, Penelope breaks free from her family and goes out into the world in search of adventure--curse be damned.


Christina Ricci
as Penelope Wilhern
James McAvoy
as Max/Johnny
Richard E. Grant
as Franklin Wilhern
Catherine O'Hara
as Jesssica Wilhern
Simon Woods
as Edward Humphrey Vanderman III
Michael Feast
as Jake/Witch
Paul Herbert
as Leonard Wilhern
Jilian Henry
as Young Penelope
John Voce
as Station Cop
Andrew Bailey
as Floorman in Card Club
Eve Pearce
as Old Lady Card Player
Rob Rouse
as Mr. Mosley
Ross Boatman
as Cheery Dealer
Nigel Havers
as Mr. Vanderman
Tallulah Evans
as Little Girl at Photobooth
Richard Leaf
as Jack the Bartender
Russell Brand
as Sam the Jazz Club Owner
James Howard
as Reporter Outside Hospital 1
Shaun Parkes
as Reporter Outside Hospital 2
Scott Marshall
as Reporter in Mr. Vanderman's Office
Christina Greatrex
as Mrs. Vanderman
Cornelius Booth
as Pub Patron 1
Colin Marsh
as Pub Patron 2
Tom Barker
as Boy Pupil on Hillside
Todd Boyce
as Preacher
View All

News & Interviews for Penelope

Critic Reviews for Penelope

All Critics (127) | Top Critics (34) | Fresh (68) | Rotten (59)

Audience Reviews for Penelope

  • Dec 10, 2014
    Christina Ricci and James McAvoy starred in this modern fairy tale about Penelope who was born with the curse of a pig snout, her parents believed the only way to break the curse is for her to marry another "blue blood" After many failed attempts, a happy go lucky guy decided to sneak a photo of Penelope to pay for his gambling addiction and eventually found her inner beauty, will he be the one to save her? Penelope had an unusual cast from veteran actors, Ricci was simply adorable and McAvoy fitted his role perfectly. It was also nice to see Woods and Dinklage. But Witherspoon, why even was her in the film, her character had no point in the plot at all and only appeared for less than 10 minutes. Aside from the uneven writing, some of the gags were unfunny, the emotions just seemed way to exaggerated and I felt like Witherspoon was reading her lines. Overall Penelope offered a cute story with a good moral lesson but the script and direction were its ultimate disappointment.
    Sylvester K Super Reviewer
  • Jun 26, 2014
    It seems a bit ridiculous that a pig nose could cause people to cringe in horror and jump out of windows (especially considering the amount of ugly people in this world), but this decent little fable-like comedy has a sweet moral message and makes the best of a simple idea.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Aug 22, 2010
    It definitely lulled in the middle and a few other parts. But it was still a cutey. I love fairy tales and love, so this was some winners. Plus James McAvoy is crazy fucking hot. So yummy. And Catherine O'Hara is genius always and forever.
    Jennifer D Super Reviewer
  • Aug 15, 2010
    Burtonesque fairy tale about a girl who has a piggy nose. Very nice flick from a promising director and a perfect ending with a Sigur Ros song.
    Serdar C Super Reviewer

Penelope Quotes

News & Features