Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
  1. Awash in mawkish sentimentality, Dear John still will move you deeply - if you're a 12-year-old girl.
  2. He is meant to be brooding, I think, but Tatum’s vague features read more “meathead” than anguished young lover. He has to carry the film, but he’s the least interesting thing going on here.
  3. 50
    Unfortunately for Tatum and Seyfried, Ryan Gosling and Rachel McAdams did a far more convincing version of this same basic dance in “The Notebook.’’
  4. As flat as the Carolina coastal region in which it’s set, Dear John features two gorgeous young actors playing denuded characters in search of more narrative garb.
  5. 40
    This terminally sappy romance delivers heartache, sacrifice, a make-out scene in the pouring rain, and not one but two autistic characters.
  6. 50
    Dear John exists only to coddle the sentiments of undemanding dreamers, and plunge us into a world where the only evil is the interruption of the good.
  7. I truly wish Dear John were a better, less shamelessly manipulative movie, but a couple of the actors got me through it alive. One is Amanda Seyfried.
  8. Halfway through the movie, I decided a better title for this weepie contraption would be “The Hurt Letter.”
  9. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    A touching melodrama illuminated by a solid turn from Tatum.
  10. Ironically, they make the bond between John and Savannah look so natural that the ''dear John'' turn in their relationship makes even less sense than it does in the book.
  11. There's no real depth or texture to the characters of any sort, sentimental or otherwise, and I say that as someone who can be brought to tears by a Hallmark commercial.
  12. 63
    There's an audience for old-fashioned romance, and Dear John will please most of it.
  13. The ending of Dear John feels manufactured and patently false. Seyfried tries to sell it, but you can tell that she's having a hard time believing the words coming out of her mouth.
  14. If you're just hoping for a little easy escapism, bring your tissues and leave your high standards at home.
  15. 25
    Dear John is the sort of movie that gives tearjerkers a bad name.
  16. 38
    Hallstrom and his low-heat stars can’t find the pulse of this corpse.
  17. The film has two curious subplots and supporting performances that feel tacked on rather than organically part of it.
  18. 50
    The appeal is there for those who crave formulaic romantic drama, but there's little of interest for a wider audience.
  19. 25
    As for the ladies who think any kind of chick flick is preferable to football, be careful what you wish for.
  20. 70
    I'm fully prepared to hear people write off Dear John as corny, sappy, a movie for chicks. But I'd counter that Hallström's old-fashioned idealism about art and emotion is the more important quality shining through Dear John.
  21. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    You promised only a slim plot, tidy morals and lovers with quaking loins. It was fun while it lasted.
  22. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    It's the cinematic equivalent of a plastic-covered couch under a "Bless This House" sampler. And that's not a bad thing, for audiences who have a high threshold for sentiment and a low one for dramatic conflict.
  23. Fulfills its mission, which is to be a crowd-pleasing tearjerker.
  24. 58
    Hallström's approach to the material is tasteful and restrained to a fault.
  25. The film, while heartfelt and directed by multiple-Oscar nominee Lasse Hallstrom, is dramatically stillborn.
  26. 70
    Dear John carefully distills selected elements of human experience and reduces them to a sweet and digestible syrup. It may not be strong medicine, but it delivers an effective, pleasing dose of pure sentiment and vicarious heartache.
  27. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    This isn't a love story, it's a misery story that drags on, not to a dramatic conclusion but a tepid moment.
  28. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    "Chocolat" director Lasse Hallström’s tastefully old-fashioned melodrama has exactly one objective: yanking gallons of cathartic tears out of your face by any means necessary.
  29. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    You're more likely to roll your eyes than swoon over this slow-moving and far-fetched love story.
  30. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    Ultimately, the story feels as if it's killing time before throwing the next hurdle at the couple.
  31. The biggest surprise here is Tatum, whose butch reticence has never been put to better use: His saddest farewell isn’t to his lady, but to a man even more uncommunicative than he is.
  32. What happens when a genuinely dear John gets a Dear John? For the answer, just meander--no need for running or walking--to your local multiplex. That's where Dear John, based on the Nicholas Sparks novel of the same name, will be meandering on its downward path from sweetly tender to terminally turgid.
  33. Dear Nicholas Sparks, There's no easy way to say this. But with Dear John, the latest of the five films made so far from your sentimental, best-selling novels, I think our relationship is in trouble.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 76 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 20
  2. Negative: 4 out of 20
  1. Jan 2, 2011
    There is nothing offensively bad about this, it is just dull and full of completely flat characters. Tatum unfortunately doesn't bring much to his role, and the film just meanders on until it ends in a rather anticlimactic fashion. Full Review »
  2. Nov 8, 2013
    Esta pelicula me gusto, tuvo drama y romance."Dear John" se caracteriza por ser una pelicula que tiene idas y vueltas de los personajes principales, haciendo a la pelicula un poco monotona. Full Review »
  3. Jul 9, 2012
    This movie was so sad!!! It was pretty good though, but soooo sad!! I don't know why everyone says its bad it s good, and very, very sad! It is a heart breaking story. Full Review »