Mona Lisa Smile
Mona Lisa Smile (2003)

In 1953, a time when women's roles were rigidly defined, free-spirited, novice art history professor Katherine Watson begins teaching at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College--which despite its academic reputation, is an… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama, Comedy
Release Date: December 19, 2003
DVD Release Date: March 9, 2004
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Critic Score: 34% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Though Mona Lisa Smile espouses the value of breaking barriers, the movie itself is predictable and safe.

Elizabeth M. Tamny
Chicago Reader

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.

Full review…
Stephen Hunter
Washington Post

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.

Nell Minow
Common Sense Media

Glossy entertainment value but far from art.

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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone

Women of the Fifties, rise up in protest.

Desson Thomson
Washington Post

Like the turtleneck cashmere sweaters and girdles that tie down these promising women, the movie is trite and trussed.

Cole Smithey

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."

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Stephanie Zacharek

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.

Claudia Puig
USA Today

Rather than being a fascinating exploration of a much more constrained time in our social history, the film simply feels anachronistic.

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Steve Crum
Kansas City Kansan

Period dress, set design, manners and acting are fine--as is Mike Newell's direction. If only the script was less predictable.

More reviews for Mona Lisa Smile

Flixster Audience Score: 60% Flixster User Reviews
Bethany Murphy
A nice film that Julia Roberts played outstandingly.
Sarah Gaish
Mona Lisa Smile tries to be something unique and relies on it's all-star female audience far too much. Although I did enjoy it, there seems to be no real… More
♥Robyn M♥
Mona Lisa Smile,which is set in 1953/54, tells the story of Katherine Ann Watson (played by Julia Roberts), a teacher who studied at UCLA graduate school who… More
Wahida K
In a world that told them how to live, she taught them how to think.
Red Lats
Julia Roberts plays a teacher in the mid-1950's when colleges like Wellesley seem to exist just to prepare young women to be housewives, not independent… More
Cassie Hill
Really good movie.