Critic Reviews



Based on 24 critic reviews provided by
Handsome, well-acted, well-written and beautifully directed movie.
Chicago Sun-Times
Begins as a great movie (I was spellbound by the first 30 minutes) but ends as only a good one, and I think that's because the screenplay, by Mitch Glazer, too closely follows the romantic line.
May not be an absolute triumph, but it's significantly better than just a good effort.
The Globe and Mail (Toronto)
You may well watch this film and not buy into a single frame. Me, I couldn't help myself.
No doubt about it: Unlike David Lean's much-loved classic, Cuaron's film is loosely based on Dickens. And that's just fine.
USA Today
Transforms Charles Dickens into a Chuck. Ground Chuck, unfortunately. [30 January 1998, p. 7D]
New York Daily News
Lean's wonderful 1946 movie are taken down a peg with a tawdry update of Great Expectations set in modern-day Florida and New York. [30 January 1998, p. 44]
Christian Science Monitor
The stars are appealing and the filmmaking is imaginative at times, but the picture never builds much dramatic momentum.
This plays like a collection of translated, stylised scenes rather than a seamless narrative that arouses one's sympathy with Finn or forbearance for Estella. File under well-meaning failures.
Entertainment Weekly
The film is proof that if you repackage the classics (in this case, Dickens) for the youth market in an era of MTV dislocation, what you get, in essence, is postmodern Cliffs Notes with an alt-rock soundtrack.
From watching this meandering, stilted movie, anyone unfamiliar with Charles Dickens' novel would be not only disinclined to pick it up but also clueless as to why it's considered great.

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