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Dear John Review Critics


Dave White Profile

The Notebook. With stamps. Read full review


Jen Yamato Profile

Nicholas Sparks demands your tears. 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.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    What happens when a genuinely dear John gets a Dear John? For the answer, just meander--no need for running or walking--to your local multiplex. That's where Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, will be meandering on its downward path from sweetly tender to terminally turgid.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    You're more likely to roll your eyes than swoon over this slow-moving and far-fetched love story.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    The film, while heartfelt and directed by multiple-Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom, is dramatically stillborn.

    Read Full Review

  • 58

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Ironically, they make the bond between John and Savannah look so natural that the ''dear John'' turn in their relationship makes even less sense than it does in the book.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Dear John reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 13+

Teens will swoon for far-fetched, syrupy romance.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this Channing Tatum/Amanda Seyfried romantic drama based on Nicholas Sparks' best-selling novel includes some non-graphic sexuality and wartime violence (including one scene in which two soldiers are shot) but is otherwise a pretty tame romance that's age appropriate for teens. The lead couple (who are college-age when they meet) share many intense kisses and spend one night together, but there's no nudity. Language includes a few uses of "s--t" and some exclamations like "oh my God." Two supporting characters -- one young and one adult -- are autistic, and their conditions are discussed several times. Positive messages include the importance of service and the many ways that people can help others in need.

  • Families can talk about Savannah and John's romance. Does it seem believable? How does it compare to real-life teen relationships?
  • Do Savannah's choices resonate with you? What do you think about her decision to put her love for John second to her sense of obligation to others?

The good stuff
  • message true2

    Messages: The movie has several positive messages. Savannah doesn't judge John for being less wealthy or having a spotty past. John selflessly volunteers to re-enlist in the Army despite the fact it will keep him and Savannah away from each other. Savannah makes an enormous sacrifice to help others in need.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Savannah and John are both admirable characters. Savannah spends the bulk of her spring break doing charitable work. She also graciously spends time with her neighbor's autistic son and John's autistic father. John is brave and loyal and takes his duty to his country seriously, extending his enlistment even though he could have been spending time with Savannah instead.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: John is shot while deployed in the Middle East; another soldier is killed. There are a few war scenes, but nothing is too graphic or bloody. John angrily punches a couple of men, giving one a black eye.

  • sex false2

    Sex: Flirting turns to passionate kissing and one non-graphic love scene (only bare shoulders and backs are shown).

  • language false3

    Language: A few uses of "s--t," plus exclamations such as "hell," "ass," "son of a bitch," "goddamn," "Jesus," and "oh my God."

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: Chevrolet and Volkswagen, but otherwise no overt product placement.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Adults drink beer at a beach party and wine at dinner.