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Winter's Tale Review

Movies.com Critics

1.5

Dave White Profile

Romancing the Slush Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 2.0
    31

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Generally unfavorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Richard Roeper

    Winter’s Tale is a good old-fashioned train wreck of a film. This is one of those deals where all the ingredients are Grade A, but the final product is a dud.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    Variety Justin Chang

    The best miracles are those that creep up on you unexpectedly rather than endlessly announcing themselves, and the ones in Winter’s Tale are fatally obvious and self-congratulatory.

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  • 30

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Mr. Goldsman, a first-time director though a veteran screenwriter, has been done in by the source material. Either he climbed aboard a horse that was too much for him, or the universe gave him a bum steer.

    Read Full Review

  • 30

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    Aspiring transcendent love stories don't come much more claptrappy and unconvincing than Winter's Tale.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Chris Nashawaty

    It's no coincidence that Winter's Tale is being released on Valentine's Day, when our resistance to schmaltz is at its weakest. But do that special someone in your life a favor and splurge on some flowers and a nice heart-shaped Russell Stover box instead.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Lurching back and forth through time, Winter's Tale tries to blend the supernatural and the sentimental, with a synchronous nod to elements of New York history. But this would-be magical romance flounders, hitting only dissonant chords.

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  • 50

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Despite the actors, who at least get some swell clothes to wear, Winter's Tale is a bit of a soul-crusher itself.

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  • 60

    out of 100

    Village Voice Stephanie Zacharek

    Winter's Tale, however imperfect, is that rare beast on the movie landscape: an unapologetic romance (for the first two-thirds, anyway), with attractive stars and special effects designed to give audiences something other than the experience of watching worlds get blown up.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Winter's Tale reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Disappointing book-based fantasy-drama has heavy themes.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Winter's Tale, based on Mark Helprin's 1983 novel of the same name, deals with heavy themes of love and death, and good vs. evil, and so is best for teens and older who can handle these issues. Expect a few scenes of brutal violence (stabbings and up-close shootings) and some heavy kissing and implied nudity (a woman's naked back and silhouette is seen from afar). Swearing ("goddamn" and "s--t") is used sparingly.

  • Families can talk about the message of the movie. Is it a message from a specific time period, or does it transcend generations?
  • Peter is a thief, but is he a good man? How does the film answer this question?
  • What feels realistic in this movie and what feels more romanticized and melodramatic?
  • For those who have read the book upon which the movie is based, how does it compare?

The good stuff
  • message true1

    Messages: Good triumphs over evil, especially when you have love on your side.

  • rolemodels true1

    Role models: Though she may be frail, Beverly Penn is courageous and emotionally generous and does not dwell on her illness. Peter Lake may be rough around the edges, but he too lives with the best intentions.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: Brutal, bloody, one-on-one brawls, where men use fists, draw knives, and shoot at each other with guns. A man stabs another for not having the right answer, using his blood to draw a picture on the table. Two men are shot point blank.

  • sex false2

    Sex: A couple is shown kissing and rolling around in bed, their naked backs visible. A man looks longingly at a naked woman from afar. We see her silhouette.

  • language false2

    Language: Some swearing, including "Goddamn," "son-of-a-bitch," and "s--t."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Signage for Dunkin' Donuts is visible.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Characters drink at a saloon. A man offers his guest a glass of claret.

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