Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

Saving Mr. Banks Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Go fly a kite, facts! Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 70

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Edges have been softened, harshness has been transformed into happiness sprinkled with eccentricity. And the paradox, of course, is that we're glad to be seduced. As Disney films go, this is a good one.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Sentiment is at its heart. The legions who grew up on Disney's Mary Poppins will find it delightfully satisfying to hear snippets of its enormously catchy songs and watch its captivating creative journey.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    This is a lovingly rendered, sweet film.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Director Hancock knows a few things about directing crowd-pleasing heartwarmers, having made "The Blind Side." This one wouldn't work without Thompson.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Variety Scott Foundas

    It’s a bit square, never particularly surprising, yet very rich in its sense of creative people and their spirit of self-reinvention.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Leslie Felperin

    Taken strictly on its own terms, Saving Mr. Banks works exceedingly well as mainstream entertainment.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Taken on its own, Saving Mr. Banks is a pleasant, crowd-pleasing endeavor. For those with a soft spot for Mary Poppins, however, it's a treasure.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Saving Mr. Banks reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 12 & under

Sweet peek behind Poppins story, with very dark moments.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that while Saving Mr. Banks is about the making of a classic family movie, some of the topics -- alcoholism, suicide, and a difficult childhood -- might be tough for younger kids to handle. While there are plenty of lighthearted moments to entertain tween and teen viewers, the surprisingly sad moments can be a bit jarring -- including a very sick man on his deathbed and a woman attempting suicide in front of her daughter. Parents should consider whether kids are ready for these subjects -- or if they'd even enjoy a movie that bounces back and forth between silly and serious.

  • Families can talk about Travers' character. Why is Travers so protective of Mary Poppins? How much of the story seems to be based on her own life? What do you think she learns from the process?
  • Do you think the movie is entirely factual? How can you find out what the truth is? Is there always one real truth or does it depend on perspective or opinion?
  • If you wrote a story that was going to be turned into a movie, what aspects would you be willing to change -- or not change?
  • Is this a movie for kids? Is there anything that kids can learn from this movie? Does anything touch on issues that kids aren't ready to handle?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: To some degree, the idea that sticking to one's principles is more important than money or fame is part of the story. Also, that it's important to find a way to heal from past emotional wounds.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: P.L. Travers is incredibly devoted to her fictional creation, Mary Poppins, and won't permit Walt Disney to make a movie about the famed magical nanny unless it meets her exacting specifications. Despite Disney's incredible charm, Travers refused to budge, not until she's assured he won't tinker too much with the character.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A woman almost commits suicide by walking into a river in front of her daughter. A man argues loudly with his co-worker within earshot of his child. A sick man is shown in bed, hacking up blood.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not applicable

  • language false2

    Language: "Damn" and "hell" are as rough as it gets here.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: The entire film promotes the classic Disney movie Mary Poppins, as well as the commercial aspects of the Disney empire, though it's all in a historical context.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A father can't control his cravings for alcohol and literally drinks himself to death, leaving his family in despair. Walt Disney is a secret cigarette smoker.