Philomena (2013)

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, PHILOMENA focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock - something her Irish-Catholic… More

Directed By:
Rated: PG-13
Running Time:
Genre: Drama
Release Date: November 22, 2013
DVD Release Date: April 15, 2014
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Critic Score: 92% Rotten Tomatoes™ Critic Reviews

Consensus: Based on a powerful true story and led by note-perfect performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena offers a profoundly affecting drama for adult filmgoers of all ages.

Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail

What at first seems formulaic comedy gains a deeper resonance as we see how they represent two responses to cruelty and injustice -- first outrage, and with time, eventually, forgiveness.

Full review…
Jocelyn Noveck
Associated Press

We wouldn't care about any of this if the performances were weak. But both actors find complexity and depth.

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Alex Heeney
Seventh Row

Dench gives an unwavering performance as a woman who is a survivor, with an impressive ability to forgive even those that don't deserve it.

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Wesley Morris

It's smart and unsweetened.

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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post

At its core, this clever, wrenching, profound story underscores the tenacity of faith in the face of unfathomable cruelty.

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Joe Bendel
Epoch Times

So preoccupied with score-settling, it is frankly rather embarrassing, like that obnoxious relative at Thanksgiving dinner who insists on revisiting each and every perceived slight.

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Peter Howell
Toronto Star

Even as Philomena embraces the expected feel-good dynamics, it avoids taking the usual path and doesn't paint all of the "evil" nuns with the same brush.

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Bill Zwecker
Chicago Sun-Times

Director Steven Frears deserves special mention. A lesser filmmaker could so easily have turned this project into mushy, sentimental junk. The tear-jerking moments here are heartfelt and real. It's the kind of filmmaking we see too little of today.

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Monica Castillo
Bitch Media

The movie is a bit of a puzzle coming from atheist co-writer Steve Coogan and the script grapples with these big questions of religion, class, and justice in a way that's far beyond the typical teary human-interest story.

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More reviews for Philomena

Flixster Audience Score: 89% Flixster User Reviews
Christian C
A remarkable film in every way. The acting was excellent -- a lifetime of pain and regret can been seen in Dench's eyes at certain times. The script was… More
Lanning : )
The best of the nominated films I've seen so far. If August: Osage County had been nominated as well, it would be a tie for these two. Hats off to Dench… More
Manu Gino
These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son. Very Good FIim! Sometimes I get the feeling filmmakers have lost their way. Formulas… More
Al S
A truly powerful, memorable and deeply moving movie. A true stroy that truly hits you, it has humor and heartbreak. One of the most beautifully character driven… More
familiar stranger
Phenomenal. Par excellence.
Lucas Martins
Moving, jaw dropping and funny. Philomena brings wonderful performances by Steve Coogan and Judi Dench.