Saving Mr. Banks - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Saving Mr. Banks Reviews

Top Critic
Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
January 11, 2014
Forget super. This bighearted and intelligent drama is supercalifragili. . . .you get the idea
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Grantland
January 3, 2014
The whole thing leaves you with an appalling chill. It feels like a warning from Hollywood to the ambivalent creators of anything: Take the spoonful of sugar or we'll force-feed it to you.
Top Critic
Gail Pennington
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 20, 2013
Pencil Thompson in now for an Oscar nomination, and maybe a win, and prepare to leave the theater humming the iconic songs.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
December 20, 2013
The sap doesn't run too thick, although it does run, and the movie certainly has a patented Disney upbeat feel much of the time. It's more a spoonful of sugar than medicine for aging baby boomer's souls.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 20, 2013
Smart, delightful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
David Thomson
The New Republic
December 19, 2013
Saving Mr Banks is a merciless film. It hits you with every sentimental low blow it can think of. Then it pounds you again. And when you're down, it jumps on you.
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 19, 2013
"Saving Mr. Banks" is a shameless wad of corporate PR, a feel-good, self-serving Disney film about the making of a Disney film.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 19, 2013
The movie avoids commonplace traps; it never becomes maudlin and it doesn't transform Travers into a likeable elderly lady whose heart of gold is camouflaged by crotchetiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
December 19, 2013
Beneath Banks' crass self-aggrandizement lies a pretty charming portrait of two overly proud people butting creative heads. Yes, charming. That's what Disney does, and it does it well enough to turn even this condescending pap into something palatable.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
December 19, 2013
Most people will come away from Saving Mr. Banks feeling like they just sat through a feature-length ad for the magic of Walt Disney, with P.L. Travers' life tacked on as an afterthought.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 18, 2013
A good movie, buoyed by good performances from Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and, almost as an afterthought, an especially affecting Colin Farrell.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 18, 2013
The screenplay, by Kelly Marcel and Sue Smith, seamlessly captures two different eras with overlapping story lines that never intrude or confuse.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 17, 2013
This film works as its own lovingly rendered story.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Anthony Lane
New Yorker
December 16, 2013
Just as Mary rescued the wilting Banks family, so Thompson saves the film. A spoonful of her medicine makes the sugar go down.
Top Critic
Dana Stevens
Slate
December 13, 2013
For a movie that's all about what a swell idea it was to adapt Mary Poppins for the screen, Saving Mr. Banks seems remarkably uninterested in what made the movie special.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 13, 2013
Thompson is very good at playing imperious, and she even manages an unexpected trace of flirtiness in a few offhanded moments with Hanks.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 13, 2013
I found it interminable.
Top Critic
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
December 13, 2013
The picture finally succeeds as the kind of fantasy that its two main characters consorted in, individually and, on one project, together.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 13, 2013
A desperately Oscar-hungry contrivance whose only hope lies with the terrific Thompson.
Read More | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Susan Wloszczyna
RogerEbert.com
December 13, 2013
An intoxicating kiddie cocktail for young-at-heart adults ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 12, 2013
"Saving Mr. Banks" wraps a seduction inside a seduction with enjoyable results. It's a Disney film in every sense of the term.
Top Critic
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 12, 2013
Nobody plays huffy like Thompson, who seems to sniff with her entire body; she's wonderfully funny against Hanks' effusive Disney.
Read More | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 12, 2013
Travers would have despised it. For the rest of us it's an entertaining, affecting, deftly acted saga, interspersed with illustrative flashbacks from Travers' childhood.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
December 12, 2013
Like the Mary Poppins film Disney would eventually serve up, Saving Mr. Banks is an affable, enjoyable spoonful of sugar that sweetens into palatability the sinus-clearing bite of the books - and the implacable iron lady who wrote them.
Top Critic
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
December 12, 2013
Saving Mr. Banks is hard to beat as holiday entertainment. Endure the dull melodrama, and give thanks that the sugar in the rest of the film is doled out by the spoonful, not the shovelful.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 12, 2013
Thanks to Thompson and Hanks, this movie about the making of a movie hits the sweet spot. There's magic in it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
December 12, 2013
Even with Thompson's delectably dyspeptic portrayal of Travers, she'd be a difficult protagonist to root for, were it not for the back story of "Mary Poppins" that "Saving Mr. Banks" is really about.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 12, 2013
"Saving Mr. Banks" is extremely canny and often great fun, primarily in the scenes in which Travers locks horns with the Disney-ites.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
December 12, 2013
There's something a little incestuous about a studio making a movie about one of its greatest box office triumphs. But Disney's backstage drama about how its whimsical 1964 kids' classic Mary Poppins came to be is a delight.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 12, 2013
What makes "Saving Mr. Banks" work is Thompson in a wonderful, nuanced performance that walks a fine line between villain and heroine.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
December 12, 2013
It's enthralling fun to watch Walt Disney (Tom Hanks) focus his charm and instinct on flinty British novelist P.L. Travers (Emma Thompson) as he campaigns to film her Mary Poppins.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
December 12, 2013
Rest assured that, by the end, a little pixie dust will solve everything.
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 12, 2013
If "Saving Mr. Banks" were 100 percent false and yet felt true, that would be fine. But this has the self-conscious whiff, if not of mendacity, then of public relations.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
December 12, 2013
The slick but moving "Saving Mr. Banks" transcends its corporate pedigree to become a great Disney movie about making a Disney movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 12, 2013
The sharper edges of the Disney/Travers relationship, well-documented by various sources, have been rounded off, but the actors suggest what they can, where they can.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
A.O. Scott
New York Times
December 12, 2013
The best parts of "Saving Mr. Banks" offer an embellished, tidied-up but nonetheless reasonably authentic glimpse of the Disney entertainment machine at work.
Top Critic
A.A. Dowd
AV Club
December 12, 2013
The irony of Saving Mr. Banks is that it takes this true story of Hollywood conflict, of artistic integrity pitted against studio moxie, and gives it the same warm-and-fuzzy treatment the company gave Poppins.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Top Critic
Andrew O'Hehir
Salon.com
December 11, 2013
A sneakily effective work of manipulation that should charm family audiences through the holiday season and beyond.
Top Critic
Amy Nicholson
L.A. Weekly
December 11, 2013
In a Hollywood where men still pen 85% of all films, there's something sour in a movie that roots against a woman who asserted her artistic control by asking to be a co-screenwriter.
Full Review | Original Score: C-
Top Critic
Tony Hicks
San Jose Mercury News
December 11, 2013
Even if this comes off like an ad for Disney, it's convincing and contains some of Disney's patented magic -- especially with a predictable, yet effective, emotional ending.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joshua Rothkopf
Time Out
December 11, 2013
Saving Mr. Banks turns Travers's tense collaboration with Walt and his team of Imagineers into -- naturally -- a schmaltzy journey of closure, climaxing in a teary screening of the finished musical.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
December 11, 2013
Just as Travers is eventually won over by her Hollywood adversaries, the strong sentimental pull of ''Saving Mr. Banks'' overwhelms, too.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 10, 2013
"Saving Mr. Banks'' is ultimately much less about magic than making the sale, in more ways than one.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Top Critic
Leslie Felperin
Hollywood Reporter
December 9, 2013
An affecting if somewhat soft-soaped comedy drama, elevated by excellent performances.
Top Critic
Cath Clarke
Time Out
November 26, 2013
The whole thing goes down with a few bucketloads of sugar. What keeps it from becoming sticky schmaltz is Emma Thompson, who plays Travers with wit and warmth.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kate Erbland
Film.com
November 14, 2013
Earmarked as a masterpiece, but it doesn't fully deliver on its promise.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.9/10
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
November 6, 2013
What could have merely been a studio's love letter to itself winds up being a meditation on the power that art has for artists as a way to exorcise the past.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
October 21, 2013
Somewhere, Uncle Walt is smiling.