• PG-13, 1 hr. 49 min.
  • Drama
  • Directed By:
    Peter Kosminsky
    In Theaters:
    Oct 11, 2002 Wide
    On DVD:
    Mar 11, 2003
  • Warner Bros. Pictures

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White Oleander Reviews

Page 1 of 8
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The film takes the materials of human tragedy and dresses them in lovely costumes, Southern California locations and star power.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 11, 2002
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press

Most of the darker parts of the book have been brightened up, making the movie feel shallow.

Full Review Source: St. Paul Pioneer Press | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 11, 2002
Nick Schager
Matinee Magazine

Full Review Source: Matinee Magazine | Original Score: C+

November 10, 2002
Eric D. Snider

Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com | Original Score: C

October 12, 2002
Kit Bowen

Full Review Source: Hollywood.com | Original Score: 1.5/4

October 11, 2002
Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

The daughter's story is often haunting, but Peter Kosminsky's film . . . comes unglued because the mother is the stock psychotic villainess of countless Hollywood films.

December 1, 2003
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee

'Synthetic' is the best description of this well-meaning, beautifully produced film that sacrifices its promise for a high-powered star pedigree.

Full Review Source: Sacramento Bee | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 25, 2002
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)

Rather than investigate the dire life of a teenage girl whose only female role models are atrocious human beings, White Oleander dubiously follows the formula of the female weepie.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4

October 11, 2002
Jeremy Heilman

The melodramatic machinations of Peter Kosminsky's well-intentioned chick flick White Oleander don't exactly come as surprise or a disappointment, but it ultimately fails to live up to promise of its all-star cast.

Full Review Source: MovieMartyr.com | Original Score: 2.5/4

September 17, 2002
MaryAnn Johanson
Flick Filosopher

Feng-shuied into fabricated exactness at the expense of an organic authenticity.

Full Review Source: Flick Filosopher

October 22, 2002
Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It plays like a synopsis, jumping from scene to scene, grief to grief, and it doesn't let us relax into the various worlds it's creating.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 10, 2002
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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The estrogen overload damn near did me in.

| Original Score: 2/4

October 10, 2002
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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In the end, White Oleander isn't an adaptation of a novel. It's a flashy, star-splashed reduction.

October 10, 2002
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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This is a third-person story now, told by Hollywood, and much more ordinary for it.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

October 11, 2002
Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
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A movie that wafts in and out of clarity like a wavering transmission.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 2/5

October 11, 2002
Susan Tavernetti
Palo Alto Weekly

| Original Score: 2.5/4

May 20, 2003
Ed Gonzalez
Slant Magazine

An Oprah Book of the Month gets the Lifetime Movie of the Week treatment in Peter Kosminsky's consistently hysterical White Oleander.

Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Original Score: 2/4

October 8, 2002
Michael Miller
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately sacrifices nuance to tidy epiphanies about personal growth.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 8, 2002
Mark Palermo
Coast (Halifax, Nova Scotia)

There's unfortunately too much story for too little film time.

Full Review

October 14, 2002
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)

Features another Oprah heroine...who earns nobility and respect through contrived suffering.

Full Review Source: Sun Publications (Chicago, IL) | Original Score: 2/4

October 10, 2002
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
September 20, 2003
Leonard Maltin
Leonard Maltin's Picks
December 23, 2002
Urban Cinefile Critics
Urban Cinefile
October 18, 2008
Cynthia Fuchs
Nitrate Online
October 11, 2002
Katrina Onstad
National Post
October 13, 2002

Arizona Republic
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October 11, 2002

St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic
October 11, 2002

Boston Phoenix
October 12, 2002

Orlando Weekly
October 21, 2002

Sydney Morning Herald
June 20, 2003

October 1, 2003

February 1, 2004

Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic
January 26, 2006
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