Orion Pictures Corporation | Release Date: February 1, 1986
7.9
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Generally favorable reviews based on 57 Ratings
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49
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5
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3
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9
J-ShapAug 27, 2011
This is one of Allen's most well-rounded movies, with the same depth of his earlier pictures, melded with a more romantic picture of this phase. It's a major accomplishment, not only as one of Allen's quirkiest comedies, but finally one ofThis is one of Allen's most well-rounded movies, with the same depth of his earlier pictures, melded with a more romantic picture of this phase. It's a major accomplishment, not only as one of Allen's quirkiest comedies, but finally one of Allen's tributes where he realizes not to mimic his idol, but to take similarities and repackage them as his own. Expand
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9
beingryanjudeAug 27, 2014
Hannah and Her Sisters is one of Woody Allen's greats, that's for sure. It's old-fashioned and quirky, much like his early work. The cast brings Allen's literary genius to new heights.
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8
Trev29Sep 3, 2012
It is a funny charming movie. The highlight is Woody Allen's character who is just a complete mess, but its great. it is charming and is a nice holiday movie, even though it really has nothing to do with the holiday season.
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10
JMHMay 7, 2012
Woody Allen's magnificent Hannah and Her Sisters plays out like a novel on screen, parsed into chapters by white-on-black quotes, or snippets of dialog, that announce the beginning of each scene. The film's chapters tell intertwined storiesWoody Allen's magnificent Hannah and Her Sisters plays out like a novel on screen, parsed into chapters by white-on-black quotes, or snippets of dialog, that announce the beginning of each scene. The film's chapters tell intertwined stories of an extended family of Manhattanites, centered largely around Hannah (Mia Farrow), the oldest of three sisters, Hannah, Holly (Dianne Wiest), and Lee (Barbara Hershey). The stories link at three family Thanksgivings at Hannah's apartment, shared with her husband Elliot (Michael Caine), at the beginning, middle, and end of the film. Each story is distinguished by its own soundtrack, and sometimes by its own pace, look, and/or location. Hannah and Elliot have marriage troubles. Elliot's infatuated, and starts an affair, with Lee. Holly's aimless, trying and failing to find satisfaction, repeatedly, taking "solace" in a self-destructive drug habit. Alongside this mix is Mickey (Allen), who's learned he may have a brain tumor and finds himself on a quest to make meaning of life in the face of death. Each story provides a window into the complex decisions adults make -- whether right or wrong -- when confronted with circumstances they hardly apprehend. Allen treats right and wrong choices with the same degree of tolerance, and ultimately with a blind-but-necessary optimism -- a belief that, next time around, a person might just do better. The film's feats are numerous. Effortless mixing of drama and comedy. Thematic and personal bonds uniting seemingly disparate characters and stories. Crafty direction that juggles the pieces but fits them together. This is perhaps Allen's most richly acted film; it's certainly one of his most richly written. His assured storytelling and directing exhibit a marked maturation of his skills. Hannah and Her Sisters is a great, and now classic, film. Expand
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8
SpangleNov 20, 2016
The films of Woody Allen manage to brilliantly blend comedy and drama, while examining life and all of the mysteries it holds. Hannah and Her Sisters is one of - if not the - best examples of this in Allen's work. Focusing on a series ofThe films of Woody Allen manage to brilliantly blend comedy and drama, while examining life and all of the mysteries it holds. Hannah and Her Sisters is one of - if not the - best examples of this in Allen's work. Focusing on a series of characters undergoing crises in their lives, relationships, and careers, Hannah and Her Sisters is both funny and profound in ways that only a film by Woody Allen can aspire to be.

As always, the best part of any Woody Allen film is the writing and the characters. Hannah and Her Sisters is no exception. Witty and smart dialogue complements terrifically crafted characters. Hannah (Mia Farrow) craves affection internally, but is off-putting due to her appearance as the "best" sister and being far more complete as a person than those around her. This can cause great tension for her and both the writing and Farrow's performance capture this dichotomy terrifically. She is dependent on her husband, Elliott (Michael Caine), but has no idea how to show this devotion. Similarly, Elliott is terrifically written as a man who lusts after Hannah's sister, Lee (Barbara Hershey). As opposed to Hannah's ex-husband Mickey (Woody Allen), his internal turmoil is much more internal and subtle, yet still ever present. Unsure of who he wants to be and his own life, Elliott's struggles lead him to stray, even if - deep down - he knows it will not satisfy him. However, one of my favorite characters here is Mickey. A hypochondriac who has an actual brush with death that leaves him lost, searching for meaning in life, and exploring religion, it is through Mickey that Allen really explores the meaning of the film. Hannah and Her Sisters is ultimately a film about life and finding purpose. Mickey, at one point, suggests the only point to life is love and that certainly seems to be the case here. The characters have no other purpose and are left entirely unfulfilled until they are introduced to the one they are meant to be with, even if it does not click immediately. The only consistent thread throughout the whole film is the search for love. Every character does it and, once they find it, transform into an entirely new person.

This is really what makes the writing so strong. For a wide cast of characters, Hannah and Her Sisters slack with none of them and develops each sister, Elliott, and Mickey, with great dimension and craft that makes them wholly resemble a real human being. Each character has very human struggles and the film is unafraid to bring them to the forefront, allowing the film to be incredibly accessible and relatable to anybody searching for their purpose in life.

Hannah and Her Sisters continues to impress when considering the acting. As always, Allen's neurotic approach to his own character is charming, hilarious, and smart. He is greatly complemented here by a sturdy performance from Mia Farrow and an uncharacteristically neurotic performance from Michael Caine. Though less funny than Allen, Caine's character is certainly just as erratic and lost, yet Caine's approach is vastly different though still terrific. As Hannah's sisters, Barbara Hershey and Dianne Wiest are also terrific, as both women embark on their own personal journeys of self-discovery through the film. Lost entirely, Hershey greatly captures the way in which Lee is unsatisfied and going back to school in order to find her purpose. A typical path for many lost adults, Lee's story is certainly a highly relatable one and Hershey does a great job playing the role in a very grounded fashion. Finally, Wiest plays the recovering drug addict, acting, and now writing sister very well. By the end, she truly makes the greatest transformation from a paranoid, spastic sister to a stoic and well collected one who beams confidence, rather than insecurity.

Hannah and Her Sisters certainly lived up to the hype with terrific characters, writing, and acting. Smart, witty, and insightful, the film does a tremendous job examining midlife crises and the search for who we are and what role we are meant to play in life.
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10
talisencrwSep 19, 2014
One of his finest films and definitely sports some of Woody's most poignant writing. Its three Oscars for Sir Michael Caine, Dianne Wiest and the screenplay are well deserved.
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