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Based on 35 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( )
  • 50
    Peter Travers Rolling Stone

    The estrogen overload damn near did me in. show more

  • 50
    San Francisco Chronicle

    Lacks emotional power. show more

  • 50
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Wilts under a weak, formulaic story. show more

  • 70
    Joe Morgenstern Wall Street Journal

    Considering the star power -- and talent -- of the cast around her, it would have been impressive if Alison Lohman had simply held her own as Astrid, the young heroine of White Oleander. Instead, she owns the movie. show more

  • 75
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    Stronger on character than on story, the film version of Janet Fitch's best-seller is shaped and propelled by the astonishing performance of Alison Lohman. show more

  • 75
    Jami Bernard New York Daily News

    What the movie cannot take from the book is its dreamily descriptive prose and interior monologue. Perhaps because of that, the movie changes the focus from Ingrid, the more fascinating creature, to Astrid, whose clay is more malleable for the big screen. show more

  • 75
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    Some of the year's most arresting female performances justify White Oleander, a highly episodic melodrama. show more

  • 75
    Michael Sragow Baltimore Sun

    Overall, you're left wondering why every big novel needs to be a movie. White Oleander would work better as a four-part miniseries -- or at least as a less conventional screenplay. show more

  • 63
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    The story is determined to be colorful and melodramatic, like a soap opera where the characters suffer in ways that look intriguing. show more

  • 63
    Michael Wilmington Chicago Tribune

    The whole film, in fact, seems too fast for its own good. 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. show more

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