Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Aug 8, 2012
    88
    I think everything about the movie is too subtle and real to appeal to the "Batman" demographic, but for mature audiences who have forgotten how to smile, it takes up where "The Best Exotic Marigold Hotel' left off.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 8, 2012
    83
    Taylor and Frankel go too broad when they try for comic relief - and the on-the-nose soundtrack is borderline criminal - but Hope Springs handles marriage and advanced-age sexuality with a refreshing, down-to-earth candor. In today's Hollywood, that counts as radical.
  3. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Aug 1, 2012
    83
    Hope Springs dares viewers to look closely at the remarkable sight of naked adult intimacy and its discontents.
  4. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Sep 10, 2012
    80
    Very funny, it's also penetrating on the ravages of time on love and marriage and sweetly touching, but with abundantly incongruous randy content to heartily amuse.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Aug 10, 2012
    80
    Hope Springs is an oddly ambitious blend of bland humor and startling insight into the realities of married life. It's something like Ingmar Bergman's "Scenes From a Marriage," as translated into the universe of the Lifetime Network.
  6. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Aug 8, 2012
    80
    If you're not in that demographic, don't dismiss it. You'll miss out on a genuinely sweet, perfectly acted, remarkably brave little movie that should make audiences swoon for something they thought was gone - a smart dramedy for grown-ups.
  7. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Aug 7, 2012
    80
    An unusually intelligent cut at the relationship game.
  8. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Aug 6, 2012
    80
    Deftly veering from comedy to drama, director David Frankel (who also guided Streep to one of her 17 Oscar nominations in "The Devil Wears Prada") never loses sight of the humanity and universality of the situation.
  9. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Aug 1, 2012
    80
    Hope Springs is an altogether pleasant surprise: a mainstream dramedy that frankly and intelligently addresses the challenges facing a couple after 31 years of marriage.
  10. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Aug 9, 2012
    75
    Hope Springs knows happy endings are provisional. What this exuberant gift of a movie offers Kay and Arnold is a renewed appetite for life. And that never gets old.
  11. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Aug 8, 2012
    75
    Tonally, Hope Springs is closer to Alexander Payne than Meyers although Frankel does his best to keep things from turning too dark.
  12. 75
    Yes, this is the fascinating stuff, a rare (in pop culture) look at the complex nature of the love-sex equation – when it's too direct, when it's too vague, when it breaks down completely.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Aug 8, 2012
    75
    If the film doesn't really explore the pain and bitterness of this marriage, it's still leagues ahead of most such attempts.
  14. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Aug 8, 2012
    75
    Hope Springs could have been unbearably schmaltzy or crude. Instead, in the hands of these expert actors and filmmakers, it's a warm and wryly affecting mid-summer treat.
  15. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Aug 7, 2012
    75
    Hope Springs is a minor miracle of a movie. Within a Hollywood tradition accustomed to treating sex as something titillating, taboo, gauzily idealized or downright pornographic, finally someone has made a movie that treats it in the riskiest way possible: as the physical expression of intimacy between two flawed but recognizable adults.
  16. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Aug 7, 2012
    75
    It's not much of a comedy - even Steve Carell, as the therapist, plays it straight here. But it's very effective as a cautionary tale.
  17. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Aug 7, 2012
    75
    As Kay and Arnold struggle to reconnect, Hope Springs stays close to the task at hand. The characters aren't fabulously dimensional, but the actors are.
  18. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 7, 2012
    75
    The reason to see it is for Jones. This man who can stride fearlessly through roles requiring strong, determined men, this actor who can seem in complete control, finds a character here who seems unlike any other he has played and plays it bravely.
  19. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 7, 2012
    75
    As Kay and Arnold lurch toward intimacy, the roles bring out a playful side seldom seen in Streep and practically never in Jones, his signature surliness melting into disarming smiles and tenderness.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Aug 9, 2012
    70
    The movie perseveres with affecting, sometimes startling candor, and eventually delivers on its promise by confronting the dark fears and furtive hopes of a couple no longer young.
  21. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Aug 8, 2012
    70
    I don't want to scare anyone away, but Hope Springs, better than I expected, is a movie for grown ups that seems just the tiniest bit French.
  22. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Aug 7, 2012
    70
    A charming film. Not a great one, but a good one.
  23. Reviewed by: Justin Lowe
    Aug 1, 2012
    70
    More comedic drama than midlife romantic comedy, rather literally titled Hope Springs holds few surprises but delivers plenty of warmth.
  24. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 7, 2012
    67
    It takes an almost bracingly explicit attitude toward issues of sexual intimacy, to the degree that just seeing this film might count as therapy for some married couples. The PG-13 rating is justified, and should be taken literally, though I can't imagine too many parents bringing their kids to this one. Talk about an awkward car ride home. 
  25. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Aug 7, 2012
    67
    In a media landscape that only has eyes for the sex lives of nubile young things, Hope Springs' sincere, considered, and unembarrassed exploration of mature sexuality marks a welcome exception.
  26. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Aug 8, 2012
    63
    Rather than plunge into the murky marital waters of ambivalence and power struggle, the film bobs on the surface. No one would ever mistake David Frankel's dramedy of sexual healing for Ingmar Bergman's psychologically astute "Scenes From a Marriage."
  27. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Aug 6, 2012
    63
    A decidedly adult drama about love and sex, wherein the comedy is largely incidental.
  28. Reviewed by: Ellen E. Jones
    Sep 1, 2012
    60
    Fine turns from Streep and Jones bedrock this compassionate, quietly subversive drama.
  29. Reviewed by: Lorien Haynes
    Aug 8, 2012
    60
    Had the movie been made with two different lead actors, I surely believe the movie would have been unwatchable.
  30. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Aug 8, 2012
    60
    Billed as a dramatic comedy, and it lives up to that billing, even if it tends more toward chuckles than guffaws. In other words, one thing it's not is "It's Complicated," Streep's previous -- and often riotous -- relationship dramedy.
  31. 50
    Streep and Jones make themselves small: She's chirpy; he's crusty. Incessant pop standards on the soundtrack supply the emotion the director can't. All that's missing are commercials for estrogen cream and erectile-dysfunction meds.
  32. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Aug 9, 2012
    50
    The movie is oddly impersonal - you remember the concept more than the story - and feels like something that was made simply for the opportunity to pair Streep and Jones for the first time.
  33. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Aug 8, 2012
    50
    The movie is an awkward cross between a domestic comedy and a marital tragedy that's laced with laughs, soggy with tears and burdened by a booming, blunt soundtrack that amplifies every narrative beat.
  34. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Aug 7, 2012
    50
    It's about as uncomfortable as sitting through an interminable counseling session - involving two people you hardly know and don't much care about.
  35. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Aug 7, 2012
    50
    You feel embarrassed for Streep and Jones (Streep especially) because of the situations, often sexual, they're put in. They're definitely not mailing in their performances.
  36. Reviewed by: Simon Abrams
    Aug 7, 2012
    50
    Jones and Streep give likable enough performances as a humane monster and a human victim. But their characters never become more than that.
  37. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Aug 7, 2012
    50
    People over 60 are as sexual and complicated as their grandchildren, and there ought to be more movies about them, but only an audience as constipated as these characters could mistake this lukewarm stream of pablum for a hard nugget of truth.
  38. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Sep 16, 2012
    40
    As the couple try to rekindle the bedroom flame the note of cutesy comedy kicks in and the movie gets phonier and phonier.
  39. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Aug 7, 2012
    40
    When the sing-song Jones and beatifically smiling Streep are allowed to carry the dramatic weight, you can see the raw, tough-love film that Hope Springs wants to be - until Frankel starts trying to be lighthearted and cute, at which point you see the movie's real troubled marriage in full bloom.
User Score
6.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 82 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 25
  2. Negative: 6 out of 25
  1. Aug 19, 2012
    1
    This movie was horrible!!!. NOT FUNNY AT ALL!!! I am not young and I was grossed out watching Tommy Lee and Meryl Streep make out and talk about their sex life. Thank God we only payed $6 to watch this disaster of a movie. Full Review »
  2. Sep 8, 2012
    1
    The most awkward movie ever..... If you aren't at least 60 wanting a cheap alternative to couple's therapy I recommend steering clear from this one! However, the movie is great for those that wish to start a diet as one scene in particular is sure to leave you with deep mental scaring. How this movie was green-lit I'll never know! Full Review »
  3. Aug 31, 2012
    2
    Just because "Hope Springs" has well known stars with historically big box office draw does not a good movie make. Merrill Streep is OK in her part but Tommy Lee Jones is bad for this movie. Just like Clint Eastwood in "Bridges" he is totally miscast. He (and Clint) has one persona and a whipped salaryman is not it. Then the dialog- it is slow and over the top sexual, making everyone in the theater squirm and occasionally issue nervous giggles. Not recommended by me. Bridges had some redeeming qualities and I watched it several times over the years but this is "hopelessly broken springs".
    Bob
    Full Review »