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Little Women Review

Other Critics provided by

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    A graceful, unsentimental, well-made movie.

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  • 100

    out of 100

    USA Today Susan Wloszczyna

    Director Gillian Armstrong takes the delicate snow globe that is Little Women and gives it a bold new shake. [21 Dec 1994]

  • 100

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Armstrong and screenwriter Robin Swicord have pared the work's sentimentality and bolstered its intellectual content, [21 Dec 1994]

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal

    Ms. Armstrong's Little Women, which has enough sugar to make your teeth sing, if not your heart. [29 Dec 1994]

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    This tale of four independent sisters of differing temperaments is undeniably melodramatic, but it's very good melodrama, with an accumulation of vitality and charm that elevates the movie to an unexpectedly high level.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Director Gillian Armstrong finds the serious themes and refuses to simplify the story into a "family" formula. "

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  • See all Little Women reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 11+

Lovely Alcott adaptation tugs at the heartstrings.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that in this adaptation of the book by Louisa May Alcott, beloved sister Beth becomes dangerously ill, recovers, but eventually dies young in a very sad sequence. The youngest sister, Amy, falls through the ice while skating but is pulled to safety. Kids will learn a bit about the time period during and just after the Civil War and will get to know an amazing group of role models in the March family. They are supportive of one another and wonderful members of the community, even giving away their Christmas dinner to those less fortunate.

  • Families can talk about how the movie compares to Louisa May Alcott's novel. Which do you like better? Why?
  • When Jo says she is "hopelessly flawed" do you agree? What were the traits valued in girls back then and how have things changed?

The good stuff
  • message true5

    Messages: Great messages all around about overcoming obstacles, the importance of charity, forgiveness, writing from your heart, embracing your gifts and differences, and celebrating the family bond, especially the bond among sisters.

  • rolemodels true5

    Role models: The mother here is a rock to her daughters, accepting their differences and helping each girl become the best person they can be. She says that she "wishes she could give her girls a more just world" and pushes them to question authority when it's wrong (like when a teacher strikes Amy) or embrace their gifts (encouraging Jo to go to New York and find herself). The girls are all very kind-hearted and conscientious, giving their Christmas dinner away to those who are starving. Jo calls herself "hopelessly flawed," but her passion for writing and bringing out the inner strength in all her sisters carries the story.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Beth becomes dangerously ill with scarlet fever, recovers, but eventually dies. Amy falls through the ice while skating but is pulled to safety. Amy comes home with a welt on her hand telling her family that she was struck by her teacher. Mr. March comes home from the war injured and the family fears for his safety constantly.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A few kisses and mentions of romantic overtures.

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Some drinking at parties. Jo says she only takes alcohol medicinally. Laurie drinks from a hip flask in one scene.