Great Expectations
Want to See
Not Interested
Rate it ½ star
Rate it 1 star
Rate it 1½ stars
Rate it 2 stars
Rate it 2½ stars
Rate it 3 stars
Rate it 3½ stars
Rate it 4 stars
Rate it 4½ stars
Rate it 5 stars
Great Expectations
Immediately grabbing the audience's attention with a heart-stopping opening scene in a dark graveyard, acclaimed British director David Lean realizes the cinematic potential of Charles Dickens' classic 1861 novel, and the result is considered by many to be one of the finest literary adaptations ever made as well as one of the greatest British films of all time. Crystallized into a tight 118-minute running time by Lean, Ronald Neame, and a corps of uncredited contributors, this is the story of young Pip, a lad of humble means whose training as a gentleman is bankrolled by a mysterious… More

Available Online

Rotten Tomatoes Score: 100%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Only rabid Dickensians will find fault with the present adaptation, and paradoxically only lovers of Dickens will derive maximum pleasure from the film."
‑ Variety Staff, Variety
"[A] glowing illumination of the warm and deliciously surprising tale."
‑ Bosley Crowther, New York Times
"Dickens' suspenseful tale a great classic for 10+."
‑ Heather Boerner, Common Sense Media
"One of Lean's gems, this superb adapation of Dickens is still the vest version (for film or TV), boasting great acting from John Mills and Alec Guinness (who were regulars in helmer's work) and accomplished production values acknowledged with Oscars."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"This is still the definitive version of Charles Dickens' amospheric and occasionally creepy classic."
‑ David Parkinson, Empire Magazine
"The graveyard scene is still a shocker, the details are still astonishingly well assembled, and the performances are wonderful."
‑ Don Druker, Chicago Reader
"[It] has been called the greatest of all the Dickens films, and [it] does what few movies based on great books can do: Creates pictures on the screen that do not clash with the images already existing in our minds."
‑ Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times
"When David Lean adapted one of the all-time great novels to the screen, he never forgot he was making a movie."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"If you want to see how Dickens anticipated the cinema, consider how little had to be done to bring the graveyard meeting between Pip and Magwitch to the screen."
‑ Philip French, Observer [UK]
"The definitive adaptation of the Charles Dickens classic is this one from David Lean."
‑ Christopher Null, Filmcritic.com
"David Lean's black-and-white masterpiece may be a whirlwind tour of Dickens' novel, but what a well-performed, economic and atmospheric tour it is."
‑ Dave Calhoun, Time Out
"With characters so vividly drawn, their ambitions and disappointments are keenly felt"
‑ Dan Jardine, Cinemania
"Lean fills Great Expectations with a wealth of visual detail and vivid characters and personalities... and he directs with a warmth and humor..."
‑ Sean Axmaker, Turner Classic Movies Online
"An unmissable rerelease."
‑ Peter Bradshaw, Guardian
"A masterful adaptation of a masterful novel."
‑ Gabe Leibowitz, eCinemaCenter.com
More reviews for Great Expectations on Rotten Tomatoes