Mona Lisa Smile
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Set in 1953, Mona Lisa Smile tells the story of Katherine Watson (Julia Roberts), a new young art history professor at Wellesley College, an all-female campus with a prestigious reputation for academic excellence. Unfortunately for free-minded Berkeley grad Watson, her East Coast teaching stint comes during a less-progressive time that finds most of her students -- among them Betty Warren (Kirsten Dunst), Joan Brandwyn (Julia Stiles), and Giselle Levy (Maggie Gyllenhaal) -- more interested in nabbing a good husband than achieving scholastic and intellectual growth. Watson challenges her… More
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© Sony Pictures Releasing
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 35%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Roberts asks her students rhetorical questions: What makes art good or bad? Who decides? But the movie answers them as canonically as the syllabus Roberts abandons."
‑ Elizabeth M. Tamny, Chicago Reader
"Anyone who's ever been moved by a teacher to dream a slightly bigger dream than his parents thought he or she was capable of achieving ought to love the film, for it gets at a truer model of teacher's inspiration."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Glossy entertainment value but far from art."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"...would have been better served by characters with a little less formula than the paint-by-numbers projects so loved by these women of Wellesley College."
‑ Mark Collette, Tyler Morning Telegraph (Texas)
"Smiles turn to frowns when you sense a paint-by-numbers feminist formula taking control."
‑ Thomas Delapa, Boulder Weekly
"Women of the Fifties, rise up in protest."
‑ Peter Travers, Rolling Stone
"Like the turtleneck cashmere sweaters and girdles that tie down these promising women, the movie is trite and trussed."
‑ Desson Thomson, Washington Post
"Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles and Maggie Gyllenhaal furnish well-observed performances that frequently outshine Julia Roberts's reflex characterization in this female variant of "Dead Poets Society.""
‑ Cole Smithey, ColeSmithey.com
"Mike Newell directs a formulaic Roberts vehicle that isn't without its charm."
‑ Joe Utichi, FilmFocus
"Devoid of enjoyment, intelligence or interest."
‑ Nev Pierce, BBC
"In terms of the gap between the movie it's trying to be and the movie it actually is, Mona Lisa Smile is in many ways indefensible. Yet for all its problems, it's satisfyingly movielike."
‑ Stephanie Zacharek, Salon.com
"Rather than being a fascinating exploration of a much more constrained time in our social history, the film simply feels anachronistic."
‑ Claudia Puig, USA Today
"Period dress, set design, manners and acting are fine--as is Mike Newell's direction. If only the script was less predictable."
‑ Steve Crum, Kansas City Kansan
"Mike Newell takes the road most travelled in tackling the sexual apartheid and hysteria of the 1950s."
‑ Martin Scribbs, Low IQ Canadian
"É um pouco difícil levá-lo a sério, já que sua postura de 'filme-denúncia' soa, no mínimo, anacrônica."
‑ Pablo Villaca, Cinema em Cena
More reviews for Mona Lisa Smile on Rotten Tomatoes

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