(2002)

Critic Reviews

81

Metascore

Based on 39 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Ms. Kidman, in a performance of astounding bravery, evokes the savage inner war waged by a brilliant mind against a system of faulty wiring that transmits a searing, crazy static into her brain.
100
A splendid film. It uses all the resources of cinema -- masterful writing, superb acting, directorial intelligence, an enveloping score, top-of-the-line production design, costumes, cinematography and editing -- to make a film whose cumulative emotional power takes viewers by surprise, capturing us unawares in its ability to move us as deeply as it does.
100
The result is something rare, especially considering how fine the novel is, a film that's fuller and deeper than the book.
100
The New Yorker
The twin themes of The Hours are the variety of human bonds, especially the bond of love, and the gift that the dying make to the living. The miracle is that such sombre notions fit together as surely and lightly as the dancers in a Balanchine ballet. [23 & 30 December 2002, p. 166]
90
Village Voice
It's an astonishing Kidman who contributes the film's -- and maybe the year's -- most inspired turn.
90
Wall Street Journal
The links and resonances remain largely abstract -- to understand them isn't necessarily to be moved by them -- while the individual dramas of those three lives are often stirring, and the three starring performances are unforgettable.
90
Variety
Considerable intelligence and strategic finesse have been brought to bear on this handsomely mounted adaptation of Michael Cunningham's Pulitzer Prize-winning novel, which was hardly a natural for the bigscreen.
83
Kidman's Virginia Woolf is already controversial -- Yet there's something fierce, noble and deeply affecting in her work that mirrors Woolf's prose style, and her turbulent presence is the soul of the movie.
80
The New Republic
Cunningham's novel was helped by his prose, which curves gracefully in the historical present to unify the book in some degree. Stripped of that tegument, the film depends more blatantly on Woolf's fate to give it organism and depth.
63
Though Daldry elicits brilliant performances, particularly from Meryl Streep and Claire Danes, on balance The Hours is more pretentious than penetrating about existential despair.

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