The Magic of Belle Isle Reviews
Overall, there's a great warmth to the characters and their interaction, especially with Monte and Finn. Pretty standard fair that you've got the curmudgeonly old guy and honest, straight-from-the-hip 10-yr-old striking a fondness for each other that runs deep. And yes, the wise literary author is even going to learn from his young mentor. Who's teaching who here? Ah yes, cliche but still an enjoyable film. Me and my 10-yr-old liked it, and that's all that matters. Critics be damned.
One criticism: The sort-of romantic angle between Monte Wildhorn and Charlotte O'Neil (Virginia Madsen) seemed forced, not plausible or realistic to me. Madsen was quoted as saying that her on-screen relationship with Freeman (albeit brief) was the first on-screen romance in his long, storied career. Kudos to Reiner, then for thinking outside the box.