100

Movie Nation

By Roger Moore
Beautifully cast, touchingly played and handsomely mounted, Belle is as close to perfect as any costumed romance has a right to be.
Full Review
83

Entertainment Weekly

By Chris Nashawaty
Like "Downton Abbey" but with corsets, culottes, and tricorn hats, Belle subtly skewers the absurd rules and hypocrisies of class. But the real takeaway is Mbatha-Raw. She makes a case for why she ought to be a star.
Full Review
80

The Wrap

By Inkoo Kang
Belle's extraordinary intelligence is most evident in its slow but satisfying disentanglement of the jumble of privileges and disadvantages that the wealthy, aristocratic, and learned — but also female, half-black, and pitifully sheltered — Dido embodies.
Full Review
80

New York Daily News

The serious tone of director Amma Asante’s film goes far in undercutting any gloss. It looks more like a murky Rembrandt than an episode of “Downton Abbey.”
Full Review
75

New York Observer

By Rex Reed
Elegant and understated, Belle is a true story about the effects of slavery on 18th-century England, told in the style of a sweeping romantic saga by Jane Austen or the Brontë sisters.
Full Review
75

USA Today

By Claudia Puig
The layered film's blend of Austen-style romance, courtroom drama and historical look at the British slave trade works surprisingly well, though there are moments — especially involving the conniving suitors — that teeter on melodrama.
Full Review
75

Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
Belle, with its country manors and its city slums, its snooty nobles and its fiery idealists, its ballroom dances and barroom conspiracies, brings these themes to a dramatic head: romance and race, privilege and justice.
Full Review
70

Variety

By Justin Chang
That the film still works as well as it does is due to not only its polished craftsmanship and disarming comedy-of-manners approach, but also its fascinating insights into the conflicted mindset of British society
Full Review
63

Chicago Sun-Times

By Bruce Ingram
When Asante finally closes with a close-up of Belle’s portrait, there’s something in her eyes and her smile that suggests so much more.
Full Review
40

Village Voice

By Stephanie Zacharek
There's a great story here, but Asante — who has made one previous feature, the 2004 drama A Way of Life — can't quite harness its power.
Full Review
64 out of 100
Generally favorable reviews
Metascore® based on all critic reviews. Scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.