White Oleander - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

White Oleander Reviews

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Time Out
January 26, 2006
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Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
October 19, 2002
A smart, compelling drama.
| Original Score: B+
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Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
October 14, 2002
The film is worth seeing for its honest heart and for the magnificent acting.
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Stephen Hunter
Washington Post
October 11, 2002
Though it flirts with bathos and pathos and the further Oprahfication of the world as we know it, it still cuts all the way down to broken bone.
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Geoff Pevere
Toronto Star
October 11, 2002
A movie that wafts in and out of clarity like a wavering transmission.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
October 11, 2002
Much of the pleasure to be had in White Oleander is in watching its female stars revel in their screen time.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
October 11, 2002
What should have been a guaranteed weepie is never truly moving.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Gene Seymour
Newsday
October 11, 2002
It's Lohman's poise in carrying this unwieldy story that impresses you the most at the movie's end.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
October 11, 2002
Call me a cynic, but there's something awfully deadly about any movie with a life-affirming message.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Susan Stark
Detroit News
October 11, 2002
The picture's pretentiousness puts a drag on its running time.
| Original Score: 1/4
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Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
October 11, 2002
Redeemed by some fine performances, most notably by Lohman.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rosen
Denver Post
October 11, 2002
Too many of [Astrid's] experiences with adults ring false.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
October 11, 2002
This is a third-person story now, told by Hollywood, and much more ordinary for it.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Bill Muller
Arizona Republic
October 11, 2002
...heaps so much misfortune on its main character that you half expect the poor girl to turn a corner and fall into an open manhole.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
October 11, 2002
Some of the year's most arresting female performances justify White Oleander.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
October 11, 2002
At its best it offers pleasures similar to those of 1940s women's melodramas.
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Arizona Republic
October 11, 2002
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St. Louis Post-Dispatch
October 11, 2002
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
October 11, 2002
The film takes the materials of human tragedy and dresses them in lovely costumes, Southern California locations and star power.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Eric Harrison
Houston Chronicle
October 10, 2002
They kept much of the plot but jettisoned the stuff that would make this a moving experience for people who haven't read the book.
| Original Score: C+
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Desson Thomson
Washington Post
October 10, 2002
In the end, White Oleander isn't an adaptation of a novel. It's a flashy, star-splashed reduction.
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
October 10, 2002
Superbly acted from top to bottom.
| Original Score: 3.5/5
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
October 10, 2002
Even though White Oleander ... is not always compelling, it's a tribute to the strength of the book's conception and the good work that's gone into it that it retains the power to haunt us.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Jane Sumner
Dallas Morning News
October 10, 2002
It's exceptionally well-cast, helmed and acted.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
October 10, 2002
What elevates White Oleander from soap opera to a small but noteworthy triumph of the human spirit is Lohman's luminous performance.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
October 10, 2002
Despite the elisions necessary to making a sprawling book a trim feature-length film, White Oleander exerts undeniable power.
| Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
October 10, 2002
The estrogen overload damn near did me in.
| Original Score: 2/4
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Jay Boyar
Orlando Sentinel
October 10, 2002
The cast is phenomenal, especially the women.
| Original Score: 4/5
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
October 10, 2002
With its open, spontaneous elasticity, White Oleander is that rare Hollywood film -- an attempt to understand, without judgment, a world on its own terms.
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
October 10, 2002
It's the performances that elevate White Oleander into something more substantial, none more so than Pfeiffer's portrayal of ferocious motherly love.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
October 10, 2002
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.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
October 10, 2002
Impressively unflappable and natural, 23-year-old Lohman ... holds the whole plot together skillfully.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Michael Miller
Village Voice
October 8, 2002
Ultimately sacrifices nuance to tidy epiphanies about personal growth.
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James Berardinelli
ReelViews
October 8, 2002
For what it is, Kosminsky's picture is polished and effective. If only the movie had taken more risks or possessed a keener edge...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
September 11, 2002
Graced by several splendid performances and clean direction by Peter Kosminsky that shrewdly chooses to ignore most melodramatic impulses.
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Robert Koehler
Variety
September 10, 2002
Never rising above routine episodic storytelling, White Oleander nonetheless retains something of its source novel's ravaged emotional surface and cool, observant manner.