Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22
  1. The film's authority rests first and finally on the two actors in the leading roles. They are utterly reassuring. [4 August 1997, p. 26]
  2. 88
    A love story about two strong-willed people who find exhilaration in testing each other. It is not about sexual love, or even romantic love, really, but about that kind of love based on challenge and fascination.
  3. 88
    Mrs. Brown will delight and touch any viewer who seeks it out.
  4. Reviewed by: Darren Bignell
    80
    Before you know it, you're caught up in a difficult but touching friendship, and enjoying a history lesson more than you ever thought possible.
  5. Their personality types match up splendidly with the characters they play as well as each other, and Mrs. Brown's greatest pleasure is seeing and hearing them spar. Even with the gloves on, this is a battle well worth observing.
  6. Queen Victoria is played with splendid regal grace by Judi Dench.
  7. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    80
    This true story, deftly embellished by writer Jeremy Brock and directed at a bracing English trot by John Madden, is a splendid showcase for its three superb leads. [28 July, 1997, p. 69]
  8. Reviewed by: Emanuel Levy
    80
    Though there are a number of outdoor scenes and production values are handsome, ultimately it's the narrow focus and chamber nature of the material that lends the movie its resonance and emotional power.
  9. 80
    Classy fare, with posh settings, gorgeous scenery and lots and lots of polishing from director John Madden ("Ethan Frome") and writer Jeremy Brock.
  10. 80
    Director John Madden calmly dissects the emotions of a woman whose personal life is effectively nonexistent.
  11. Poignant, witty, historically illuminating.
  12. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    75
    Beguiling Victoriana. [18 July 1997, p.4D]
  13. Mrs. Brown will not overturn Queen Victoria's prim reputation, but it reminds us that there was more to the woman than that famous plump cameo that has become the symbol of a more modest era.
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    This British film has the regal, clubby aura of Masterpiece Theatre. [21 July 1997, p. 70]
  15. Assuming that rich human insight, great production values, and topnotch acting still count for something, Mrs. Brown should have no trouble finding an appreciative audience.
  16. If the movie crumbles under its own stiffness at times, at least it has the two old pros' good performances to cheer us along the way.
  17. Reviewed by: Laura Miller
    60
    Scottish comedian Billy Connolly shows ample ability in the role, but he can't locate much charm in the character.
  18. Elegant yet surprisingly remote royal-court drama.
  19. Reviewed by: Sandra Contreras
    50
    An intelligent story for the kilts-and-corsets crowd.
  20. 50
    Despite its Scottish scenery and period frocks, Madden's film proves a pallid creature indeed compared to the hanky-panky leaking out of Buckingham Palace of late.
  21. Reviewed by: John Gustafson
    50
    There's really no bad performance by the great English actress Judi Dench, but this romanticized Victorian historical drama treads close.
User Score
7.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 8 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 2
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 2
  3. Negative: 0 out of 2
  1. Feb 2, 2012
    6
    I don't want to be slanted towards any film labelled awards-crowned, which would be a surefire guarantee that it is better than average, even though it stars one of my all-time favorite actresses Dame Judi Dench and it is one of her premier glare. HMMB is a British period film from John Madden (whose SHAKESPEARE IN LOVE 1998 would upset the Oscar ceremony in 1999 and honor Ms. Denchâ Full Review »