Belle (2014)

BELLE is inspired by the true story of Dido Elizabeth Belle (Gugu Mbatha-Raw), the illegitimate mixed race daughter of Admiral Sir John Lindsay (Matthew Goode). Raised by her aristocratic great-uncle Lord Mansfield (Tom Wilkinson) and his… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: May 2, 2014
DVD Release Date: August 26, 2014
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Critic Score: 84% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: It boasts all the surface beauty that fans of period pictures have come to expect, but Belle also benefits from its stirring performances and subtle social consciousness.

Alexandra MacAaron
Women's Voices for Change

If Spielberg had commissioned Jane Austen to write the screenplay for Amistad, Belle is pretty much what we would have gotten. It's a sumptuous period piece reflecting on 18th-century social mores: rank, revenue, and-in this case-race.

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David Denby
New Yorker

Charming and stirring.

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Lynden Barber

Though the story is set up elegantly, by the halfway point it's obvious where it's headed and it ploddingly sets about going there.

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Dave Calhoun
Time Out

A good-looking and exceedingly polite film where perhaps a more complex one with less good manners would have been better.

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Lisa Kennedy
Denver Post

Luminous British actress Gugu Mbatha-Raw brings a hope and intelligent hunger to Dido. She's loved by her family enough to have a sense of belonging but hemmed in by broader cultural realities to experience moments of unease.

Josh Terry
Deseret News (Salt Lake City)

With its unique perspective and director Amma Asante's choice to avoid heavy-handedness, Belle is an effective vehicle for its message.

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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times

It's an old-fashioned movie with a very modern streak, centered by a vibrant star turn by Mbatha-Raw, whose watchful, wise Dido makes an enchanting heroine.

Tom Long
Detroit News

The film simply looks lovely, never moreso than when Mbatha-Raw is on screen.

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Neely Swanson
Easy Reader (California)

Still, as an evening's entertainment and florid romance, "Belle" is enjoyable as a period piece of romantic fiction and a case of "what if." Gugu Mbatha-Raw carries the film nicely and Miranda Richardson makes this melodrama fun just with an eye-roll.

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More reviews for Belle

Flixster Audience Score: 82% Flixster User Reviews
Julie B
Solid performances of a pretty remarkable story.
Mark Hobin
Where Belle really gets interesting is when it delves into the history of the era. The details of the Zong slave-ship massacre becomes a landmark case in the… More
Carlos Magalhães
A handsome period drama about an admirable young woman who manages to maintain her dignity in a society ruled by certain laws that, as one character puts it,… More
Byron Brubaker
Have you heard about the writing controversy surrounding this film? Director Amma Asante and some of the cast say that the shooting script used while filming… More
Christian C
An very good historical film tackling slavery, race and the class system in Enlightenment Era Britain. Excellent costumes and locations with a typically… More
Cameron Johnson
"Belle... the Lord and I have been friends for a mighty long time." You're chillin' out to some Al Green on CJEZ-Listening, because in a… More