Philomena Synopsis
An Irish journalist helps a woman search for her son, who was taken from her and sold into adoption.
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Movie Reviews

Critic Ratings


New York Observer

By Rex Reed
It’s profoundly moving and thoroughly mind provoking, but despite the poignant subject matter, I promise you will not leave Philomena...
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By Damon Wise
A terrific, sophisticated comedy that tackles serious issues with a lightness of touch and a spirit of steel, Philomena is the British film...
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By Mary Corliss
Getting full comic effect from its class-comedy abrasions, Philomena rises to poignancy and profundity as Dench reveals her control of a...
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The Hollywood Reporter

By Deborah Young
Stephen Frears is in full possession of his filmmaking talent in Philomena, one of his most pulled-together dramas in years.
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Philadelphia Inquirer

By Steven Rea
The Catholic Church does not come off well in Philomena, but then, what else is new? And the film isn't so much an indictment of...
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By Susan Wloszczyna
Most of its pleasures come from the way it confounds expectations.
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Rolling Stone

By Peter Travers
It's Dench, showing how faith and hellraising can reside in the same woman, who makes Philomena moving and memorable.
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Chicago Sun-Times

By Bill Zwecker
Director Steven Frears deserves special mention. A lesser filmmaker could so easily have turned this project into mushy, sentimental junk....
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USA Today

By Claudia Puig
Compelling, poignant and gently funny.
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By Justin Chang
It’s an undeniable whopper of a yarn and, coming after a string of middling efforts from Frears, easily the director’s most compulsively...
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Just go while it's in the theater

By eeeb1031
Grown up movies written with intelligence, humor and depth don't come along very often. I think Judy Dench is at her best here, which is saying a lot considering her impressive career. Steve Coogan...

What you should know

By wflamenbaum
A delightfully well balanced and intriguing review of a real set of events. Balanced performances beautifully directed. At the same time both uplifting and reality-checking. Not one moment of...

Beautifully crafted

By SactoMan
My partner and I really enjoyed Philomena. We both are fans of Judy Dench, who is exquisite as Philomena. Cinematography, script, sound, music are expertly crafted. We highly recommend this movie....


By MoviesKathy
Loved the story, though sad, it was told in a way that brought humor to the forefront to break the sadness of the story. Loved the acting and actors....

not sappy- sensational.

By etwichell
Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, give terrific performances in this movie based on a true story of an elderly woman finally admitting to having given up a child for adoption 50 years before. Steve Coogan...


By Flick Fan
No doubt there are many awards on the way for Dame Judy Dench. She is compelling and this role allows a great range for the consumate film artist to show her stuff. While at the same time, she is...

Amazing Story of Love

By cnhjohnson
Philomena's name embodies the "philo" (LOVE) that lies at the root of her faith and ability to forgive, despite many reasons for bitterness and anger. I was deeply moved by the depiction of this...

An Incredible Story Well Portrayed

By lisa_maher
What a moving, outrageous tale. Judi Dench gives a magnificent, understated performance and it is a story that shows the damage that can be done by extremism. Steve Coogan gives a sensitive...

To learn what I thought, I took a page from the latest craze, I conducted a selfie interview.

By leemombear
To me as a birthmother, a social science professor, the founder of Concerned United Birthparents (CUB) and the author of the book "Stow Away", the movie "Philomena" is bittersweet. I’m a big fan of...

Good Movie. Brings attention to adoption practices.

By revans1969
My wife and I are big fans of Dame Judy Dench which is the primary reason we chose this movie. W were not disappointed. She is an extraordinary actress. It is a simple story, but one which tugs...

More Info

Rated PG-13 | For Thematic Elements, Some Strong Language and Sexual References
What Parents Need to Know
Common Sense Media says OK for kids 15+ Smart, wrenching, deeply moving drama fine for older teens.
Read the Common Sense Media Review