Watch It

On DVD: Now | On Blu-ray: Now

The Notebook 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    Mercilessly plodding pacing, problematic character motivations and a fundamental lack of chemistry between the two star-crossed lovers in question don't do a lot to help its cause.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    You know what you want to see if you want to see The Notebook...You want to see girls in pretty 1940s dresses, soldiers in stirring World War II uniforms, handsome automobiles and equally handsome Southern landscapes. You want to see romance overcome adversity.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A gifted cast was bogged down by a treacly tale.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    The director is Nick Cassavetes, son of Gena Rowlands and John Cassavetes, and perhaps his instinctive feeling for his mother helped him find the way past soap opera in the direction of truth.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    A lovely surprise. Ripe with feeling and lush with physical beauty, it's a love story that swings confidently between age and youth, and, like the young Tiger Woods of old, avoids every trap along the way.

  • See all The Notebook reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

More sexy stuff than you'd expect for a syrupy romance.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this three-hanky World War II-era romance has pretty steamy sexual content for a PG-13-rated movie, including very passionate kissing and a fairly graphic lovemaking scene (though only shoulders are shown). A teenage couple agrees to have sex, but then she becomes very flustered and anxious, and an engaged girl has sex with a man who isn't her fiance. Characters drink and smoke; there's also brief battle violence and some poignant deaths. Teens will be watching with rapt attention to pick up clues about what true, passionate love looks like, but this type of sensual story may not be appropriate for the youngest teenagers.

  • Families can talk about how the movie depicts love and romance. Is this what a relationship is "supposed" to be like? Why or why not?
  • How does the movie treat sex? Parents, talk to your kids about the real-life impact and consequences of sexual activity.
  • How do we know who we are meant to be with? Who should we listen to as we think about making that choice?

The good stuff
  • message true0

    Messages: The movie's ultimate message is that true love conquers all. But there are also less-positive takeaways influenced by the time in which the movie takes place -- people of color are often portrayed as subservient, and both Ali and her mother say: "I am a stupid woman," as though repeating a truism that they have learned.

  • rolemodels true0

    Role models: Though it's romantic to watch characters fall in love so wholly and stay devoted to each other, some of the choices that the lovers make -- like cheating on a relationship and lying to family members -- don't qualify as role model behavior.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Noah and Finn are engaged in active duty during World War II. There's a bomb raid that incurs heavy losses. Ali nurses soldiers who have lost limbs. Noah and Ali fight passionately -- so much so that she hits and slaps him. Some poignant deaths.

  • sex false3

    Sex: Steamy passion between the two young lovers. Lots of making out and heavy petting, and characters undress in front of each other (only their shoulders are shown). A fairly graphic lovemaking scene (again, just shoulders visible, plus a brief glimpse of breast from the side).

  • language false2

    Language: Words/phrases used include "damn," "crap," "goddammit," "son of a bitch," and "pain in the ass."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A 17-year-old smokes a cigar. Adults drink cocktails, wine, champagne, and beer. Noah goes on a 10-day drinking binge. Characters drink in excess to ease pain or to lessen their inhibitions. Most meals are accompanied by alcohol.