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Nanny McPhee Review Critics


Dave White Profile

… smart and funny … Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    One of those raucous, hyperactive kiddie flicks that knocks you upside the head from its opening frame.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Oversweetened or not, "Mary Poppins" remains a deservedly beloved work of art. Nanny McPhee is an overproduced industrial enterprise.

  • 60

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Ray Bennett

    Colorful, noisy and brimming with special effects, the picture may please young audiences simply looking for loud action, but its corny storyline and brittle lack of warmth may discourage both parents and children.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The film's look, fashioned by production designer Michael Howells, is noteworthy for its vibrant colors and fantastical feel.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Will kids like the movie? I suspect they will. Kids like to see other kids learning the rules even if they don't much want to learn them themselves.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    Nanny McPhee maintains a satisfying, all-ages balance between broad comedy and human warmth.

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  • See all Nanny McPhee reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Charming adaption of kids' books. Good family fun.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this movie opens on a family of seven children who take pride in harassing and scaring nannies hired by their father. The kids are abusive in Home Alone-ish ways, pulling violent and sometimes disgusting pranks on adults who are supposed to look after them. Their efforts to thwart their father's marriage to a tarty (and cleavage-revealing) widow include the use of reptiles, insects, and slimy substances. The instructive nanny looks like a traditional witch, arrives on a stormy night, and uses a magical cane. Some kids may be disturbed by the death of the children's mother (not shown). The father works in a mortuary, and we see shots of dead bodies.

  • Families can talk about the children's evolving attitude toward their father: How do they come to see themselves supporting him rather than challenging all adults all the time?
  • How does Nanny McPhee's specific sort of magic allow her subjects to figure out their own problems?
  • And how does the father's bumbling lead to the children's taking more responsibility, for each other and him?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Naughty children learn to behave, care for one another, and respect adults.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: Cartoonish splatty hijinks, kids wreak havoc in the household, adults cry out and fall down. Shots of dead bodies in a mortuary.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Mostly chaste romance develops between father and servant girl; his gaudy fiancee wears tight, bright dresses, shows cleavage, and makes mildish, crude sexual suggestions.

  • language false2

    Language: Mild and infrequent language ("Bleedin' hell!").

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable