The Cider House Rules
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The Cider House Rules
John Irving scripted this screen adaptation of his 1985 novel. Set during World War II, The Cider House Rules concerns Homer Wells (Tobey Maguire), an orphan who spent most of his childhood at the St. Cloud Orphanage in rural Maine, where he grew up under the strong but affectionate care of Dr. Wilbur Larch (Michael Caine). Larch has passed along his medical education to Homer, and the young man helps the doctor care for abandoned children and the newborn babies of unwed mothers; however, Homer refuses to assist Larch with the illegal abortions that he performs on the side; Homer has moral… More
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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 71%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"Hallstrom's film could have used more dramatic muscle but is nonetheless a touching, old-fashioned charmer that ultimately satisfies."
‑ David Rooney, Variety
"[It] is a fable that turns into a 1940s New England variation on Charles Dickens. It is also one dickens of an American movie."
‑ Bob Graham, San Francisco Chronicle
"Thought-provoking movie for teens and up."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"A softer, kinder version of John Irving's book, which was edgier and more critical, though you can't blame the filmmakers since Irving himself adapted his novel."
‑ Emanuel Levy, EmanuelLevy.Com
"Just as tepid and surface-level as Simon Birch was."
‑ Jeffrey M. Anderson, Combustible Celluloid
"Mr. Irving remains a disturbingly facile spinner of yarns in which the most sordid facts of life are glossed over into comfortably didactic homilies about the innate goodness of people. Yet, I was somehow moved..."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"It's not a story so much as a reverie about possible stories."
‑ Roger Ebert, At the Movies
"Irving's clean, economical dialogue and Hallstrom's beautifully morose direction cut the fat off of the cliches."
‑ Rob Gonsalves, eFilmCritic.com
"There's quality here and that's a real good thing."
‑ Robin Clifford, Reeling Reviews
"It blends romance with the love of children, the warmth of family with the darker side of human nature, and the all-encompassing belief that everything has a purpose."
‑ John R. McEwen, Film Quips Online
"Hallström's humanism is possibly a little low key and romantic given such tough themes as abortion and incest."
‑ , Time Out
"A deliberately old-fashioned picture that succeeds in nearly everything it tries to do."
‑ Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune
"A bouillabaisse of all the best soap opera elements - orphans, abortion, debilitating injuries and, of course, death."
‑ Joe Lozito, Big Picture Big Sound
"Not since The World According to Garp has a movie based on a John Irving novel captured the wry realism of the author's work."
‑ Judith Egerton, Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
"What the film is really about are CHOICES: the need to make them, how they affect others, and actively dealing with the repercussions of your actions."
‑ Ron Wells, Film Threat
More reviews for The Cider House Rules on Rotten Tomatoes

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