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Based on 41 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 35 )
  • 88
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    It's Dench, showing how faith and hellraising can reside in the same woman, who makes Philomena moving and memorable. show more

  • 75
    Mick LaSalle San Francisco Chronicle

    Philomena is a wiser movie than it seems, with much to say about justice and forgiveness and the healing of wounds over time. Actually, it says next to nothing about any of those things, just implies its messages with a light hand. show more

  • 75
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Compelling, poignant and gently funny. show more

  • 50
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Mr. Coogan, lavishly talented as a comic, and a comic actor, is fairly monotonous in the mostly serious role he wrote for himself. That leaves Ms. Dench to carry the picture, which she does, up to a point, with her usual delicacy and grace. show more

  • 88
    Steven Rea Philadelphia Inquirer

    The Catholic Church does not come off well in Philomena, but then, what else is new? And the film isn't so much an indictment of institutional unkindness as it is a story of resilience, resolution - and human kindness. show more

  • 60
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    The movie wouldn’t stand for much of anything without such an effective team to represent the equivocating. show more

  • 90
    Deborah Young The Hollywood Reporter

    Stephen Frears is in full possession of his filmmaking talent in Philomena, one of his most pulled-together dramas in years. show more

  • 78
    William Goss

    Philomena honors its namesake by valuing potent understatement over potential hysterics. show more

  • 80
    Bob Mondello NPR

    Director Stephen Frears, working from a book by the real Martin Sixsmith, isn't about to let the Irish church off the hook for a monstrous (and well-documented) chapter in its history. In flashbacks, he pictures the young Philomena as a sort of proto-Katniss, doing battle with a tyranny of nuns. show more

  • 100
    Rex Reed New York Observer

    It’s profoundly moving and thoroughly mind provoking, but despite the poignant subject matter, I promise you will not leave Philomena depressed. I’ve seen it twice and felt exhilarated, informed, enriched, absorbed and optimistic both times. show more

  • May 02, 2014 jacquejo
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    Judi Dench is very special

  • March 08, 2014 citibigbucks
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    AS usual, short review. Great acting,great photography, but alas,the story is boring. Two stars.

  • February 25, 2014 ssass3101
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    Great Movie!

  • February 24, 2014 evon1001
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    An excellent film based on a heart-wrenching true story that is made all the more moving by Dame Judi Dench's spot-on performance. This film represents cinema ****** best.

  • February 16, 2014 Trans-Motion
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    one of the best movies ever. I we do not see this movie with and Academy Awared, I will loose faith in the process.

  • February 14, 2014 fu00000000180242
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    "Philomena" pulls at your heartstrings. Judi Dench and Steve Coogan use no gimmicks in their portrayals. Their acting is believable, touching, and amazing! This film, and these two actors, deserve an Oscar! It is an EXCELLENT, unforgettable movie!

  • February 07, 2014 tcurtissanfranca
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    I just saw this movie today all I can say is \'O MY GOD\' what a movie. This is amazing I did not what to leave at the end I was so emotional, I am a 46 year old man and I sat there and cried for the story made me think about life. A must see movie!

  • February 04, 2014 twalsh4440
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    Next to Lone Survivor Philomena Best Pic and Judy Best Actor This could have been my Mom

  • January 27, 2014 gretagip729
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    Totally enjoyed this movie. Based on a true story, it kept my attention all thru. Very touching presentation by both Dench & Coogan. 3 hrs. later, spouse&I still talking about it.

  • January 26, 2014
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    This is an intelligently written and well acted film that also has elements of humor. It wonderful to see a film that combines heart and creativity. Dench and Coogan are great!

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