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Generally favorable reviews- based on 68 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 55 out of 68
  2. Negative: 5 out of 68

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  1. Mar 18, 2011
    From the introductory sequences of director Cary Fukunga's Jane Eyre, it is obvious that the adaptation would lead towards emphasizing the Gothic elements of Charlotte Brontes original novel. The film opens, the audience sees 18-year old Jane Eyre running into the country in a directionless path. While context is absent within the opening segment, this so-far meaningless fragment of the film is devastating. The striking cinematographic images and the poignant score within this scene quintessentially evokes a modest subtlety of sorrow. With this subtlety the director forms an expansion of this subtlety throughout the film, creating an adaptation that is undoubtedly haunting and a true representation of Brontes original vision. This film based on the novel of the same name is a coming-of-age story of orphan Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska). The film first tells its story by alternating between memories of the protagonists dreadful experiences at her charter school, and her present-day growth into an independent and expressive woman. After the background of the character is established, the film primarily focuses on Jane Eyre, and her romantic relationship with her employer, the Byronic character of Edward Rochester (Michael Fassbender). Much of the novelâ Expand
  2. Sep 5, 2011
    People in love smile. They smile a lot. It's an expression that signals our interest in someone who delights our heart, a gesture as irrepressible as the wind through the Dales. Mia Wasikowska however never much alters her expression of dour gloom in this remake of 'Jane Eyre', a movie with no warmth, no chemistry, and certainly no passion. She is the ice queen of the frozen moors, and it comes as a surprise that Rochester could possibly have fallen in love with her, an even bigger surprise that she has any feelings for him. If you want to view a visually beautiful film, I can recommend this movie. If you want a tale of intelligent wit, fine dialog, and heartfelt passion, you'll need to read the book. Collapse
  3. May 1, 2011
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. Speaking at length for a good duration in the farmer's native French, it's not for nothing that Hans Landa(Christoph Waltz) suddenly asks Perrier if they could conduct the rest of their conversation in English. The opening scene in Quentin Tarantino's "Inglourious Basterds" is bilingual because the Nazi knows about the Jewish family hiding beneath the cottage floorboards, therefore he wishes to keep the interrogation of the resistance fighter under wraps from their monolingual ears in order to give them false hope for survival, just before he motions toward the Dreyfuss family's hiding place to an awaiting battalion of Nazi troops standing outside the Frenchman's house. It's a creative choice, this switch in languages, and not an artistic compromise like in Franco Zeffirelli's 1996 adaptation of "Jane Eyre", when the governess(Charlotte Gainsbourg) suggests to her charge Adele that they only speak English in Mrs. Fairfax's company. But even amongst themselves, the film shuns the little girl's native language, probably out of consideration for its English-speaking audience, who are largely resistant to subtitles. According to her guardian Mr. Rochester(William Hurt), the "jeune fille" is not particularly bright, a remedial child without talent, and yet she speaks fluent English. In light of Adele being able to master a foreign tongue, it seems incongruous that she can't perform the simplest arithmetic problems. In the new "Jane Eyre", Rochester's assessment about his adopted daughter's inferior intellect makes more sense, since this film has Adele speaking only a little English. The film doesn't dumb down. Jane(Mia Wasikowska) is given the artistic license to converse with her pupil in French. Getting this small detail right is just one of the film's many pleasures. Better than any of the Victorian literature classic's twenty-seven(television and film) adaptations, this "Jane Eyre" seems to know its creator best. Charlotte Bronte, who at the age of twenty-nine, published this roman a clef in 1847, had a pornographic mind, writing to a friend: "If you knew my thoughts; the dreams that absorb me; and the fiery imagination that at times eats me would pity and I daresay despise me." It's commonly believed among scholars that Rochester's passionate love for his paid servant performed the function of wish fulfillment for the young aspiring writer whose literature master didn't love her back. Bronte may very well have recognized herself in the twenty-one-year-old actress, whose crying can only be the result of a combustible mix of plaintive love and sexual longing. Recalling Stanley Kubrick's "Barry Lyndon", Thornfield Manor is lit solely by candlelight, creating an intimacy full of erotic possibilities that would be lost had there been a secondary light source. The candle, in the context of its time and place, is more of a utilitarian object than a romantic one, but nevertheless, it sets the mood. Rochester leads the inexperienced girl into temptation through barely polite talk about "fresh pleasures", thereby flustering Jane with the word "fresh", an allusion to her virginity, which leaves the governess prone to suggestibility with his coded overtures for sex. She ineffectually deflects his forwardness by feigning ignorance about the subject, claiming how their "conversation is out of my depth," and wishes "not to speak nonsense." Jane, as interpreted by Wasikowska, doesn't have "the air of a little nun,"(Gainsbourg's Jane); this Jane doesn't have Miss Temple(Amanda Root from the 1996 film), a teacher at the Lowood Insititute, to encourage in her a deep conviction of sin and repentance toward God. She's the same Jane, who as a child, tells Mr. Brockhurst: "I must keep in good health, and not die," when asked by the despotic schoolmaster about how one goes about avoiding hell. She goes uncorrected. Ms. Eyre is, unequivocally, curious about sex, exemplified by the scene where she steals a look at a nude painting during her clandestine patrol in the dark hallway as if the work of art was mere pornography. Holding the taper to the canvas, the glow from the candlelight illuminates the full breasts and exposed crotch of a satiated Pre-Raphaelite woman, whose lover might have stepped out of the boudoir after some vigorous lovemaking. Jane knows that her own genitalia replicates this experienced lady's exposed anatomy, so she looks for clues as to what one does with such womanly gifts which give "fresh pleasures" to herself, and, she hopes, to Rochester. The subsequent fire that nearly engulfs the master, albeit a tangible action on Bertha's part, may very well be a metaphor come to life; a wet dream consequently made corporeally wet by Jane's dousing of water to arouse Rochester from his slumber. In the NBC sitcom "Cheers", Sam Malone asks Diane Chambers, "Are you turned on as I am?" "More," replies the barmaid. Jane knows the feeling well. Expand
  4. Mar 27, 2011
    Well done! I watch a lot of period pieces, and everything about this movies 'fits', including its casting, acting, and cinematography. Mia provides a strong axis around which this complex tale spins. We are
    left still amazed at the depth and complexity of her character.
  5. Nov 6, 2011
    Boring, boring, boring, too much sense as false and the dialogue, and I hate the dialogue in verse form. and redeemable only good thing was the performance of Madame Judi Dench and Mia Wasikowska
  6. Apr 2, 2011
    'Errbody put yo' hands in the ayer for Jane Ayer! A true party film packed with action and assault, with nary a pause for you to catch your breath. 8/10
  7. Aug 12, 2011
    A truly exquisite cast, all giving pitch perfect delightful performances in this classic Emily Bronte novel. Most noteworthy the performance of Mia Wasikowska who is bringing splendid performances time after time. However the director left much undeveloped, from Jane's ghostly anxieties to Rochester's evolving complexity.
  8. Apr 6, 2011
    Well done but really boring. That's all I can say. These English period pieces send me to the bath room and the concessin stand to escape. I knew what I was getting long before I arrived.
  9. Apr 9, 2011
    This new version of the Bronte classic isn't wildly revisionist, just quietly compelling. It follows the young woman from her early days to her more familiar position as governess for brooding Mr. Rochester. What's different about this version is the dark, somber approach. None of that flighty Masterpiece Theatre style here. Almost everyone is pained and tortured. There's an overcast of melancholyâ Expand
  10. Apr 7, 2011
    It was well acted and had beautiful cinematography. But I saw no reason why the story had to be told out of sequence. If I weren't already familiar with the story, I'd have had a lot of difficulty following it. Even then, I sometimes had trouble telling when in the story a scene occurred.
  11. Dec 22, 2011
    This new adaptation of Charlotte Bronte's classic has its magnitude from the present work to the coeval public which has no access to literature or to the elder version.

    As expected, the film has a commanding art direction by Will Hughes- Jones, which is quite lower in scale to other classics of the time, but is of equal quality in the costume, and in the choice of locations in the
    rejuvenation of the period in which women were simply props from their husbands, unable to participate in decisions and cursed to see the horizon of its narrow windows.

    There are not many mysteries: Jane Eyre (Mia Wasikowska) is a young woman who, humiliated by her aunt and sent to a strict school, became the governess of the of Mr. Rochester's daughter (Michael Fassbender). Eventually the tormented boy is enchanted with the conviction of the girl and her presence as well as direct and clever in the way that she answers him.

    So, Mia Wasikowska, who is an actress I do like, considering a little flat and not charismatic, precisely just because she can revive the coldness and austerity of a woman who hopes to achieve big dreams in life. Michael Fassbender, confirming the upward curve in his career, has an extraordinary performance as the tormented Rochester, stuck with a secret past that does not allow love.

    Plus the steady direction which Cary Fukunaga mixes the superstitions of the time and turns the large estate of Rochester in a place almost in awe. What never ceases to be.

    In short: it's a renowned literature told with the degree of wealth enough to be absorbed by the public, but no big mystery or innovations.
  12. May 2, 2011
    I will never mix up a Bronte sister story with a Jane Austen. They contain similar settings and story arcs; however, the Brontes have an element of darkness and an extra dose of reality which Austen omits from her happy ending fiction. The new Jane Eyre is a version which does not gloss over the troubles of Janeâ
  13. POV
    Apr 12, 2011
    I think Fukunaga really managed to make a visceral film on a tandem far different from Welles' dark, b&w thrilleresque interpretation of the tragic and the romance. I loved the pastel dominance of the cinematography. If I have to pick let-downs, one is that it does not show extreme depth of character in anyone other than Jane ( We wanna see more of Mr. Rochester's complexity!). Otherwise, it is the perfectly slow-paced movie to watch for a shiver, just enough Hollywood cheesiness and just as much as I can handle. A film for the time you want to be a hopeless romantic, if only for 120 minutes. Expand
  14. Sep 23, 2011
    I've never been a fan of Jane Eyre the book or the Joan Fontaine film version. But I was interested in seeing this because of Michael Fassbender. It's not bad but it's not great and it's not great simply because there just isn't a lot to work with. Both Fassbender and Wasikowska are pleasant enough to watch but there wasn't enough depth to either of them as there was in say Sense and Sensibiltiy or Pride and Prejudice. The cinematography is first rate and the score is pleasant enough. Judi Dench is a standout in a rather thankless role. The direction seemed stifled and stilted. If there supposed to be sexual tension between Rochester and Eyre this film certainly didn't find it. Expand
  15. Apr 27, 2011
    Slow as molasses and about as much "fun" as paying taxes. I get that this story is a "timeless classic" and that this new film adaptation is likely tremendously faithful to the original source material, but the unimaginative direction just made this a painfully dry and (yes, I'll say it) boring film-going experience. The acting is good from the (un)romantic leads, but Dame Judi Dench is totally wasted in a small, throw away role of the housekeeper that could have been a potentially interesting debut for an unknown actress. However with Dench in the part , I kept expecting her to have a an emotionally cathartic scene at some point in this very long film. But alas,...nah. I WILL give kudos to whoever created the TRAILER for the film, which IS outstanding, and managed to sucker my wife and I away from $22 to see it in the theater. Trust me,..if you MUST see this,...wait for it to be at your local Redbox for a buck, and have a pot of strong coffee brewed to help you through the snail-paced experience. Expand
  16. j30
    Sep 19, 2011
    Not really my kind of movie. I usually doze off and fall asleep during period pieces like this, but this one kept my attention. The performances where great. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are dynamite as the two leads.
  17. Jul 18, 2012
    I wasn't particularly sure if I reviewed this film right, because I don't think I found it more entertaining than other films I've seen. I think my decision was based on the fact that it was adapted from a book, so my assumption was that if it's adapted from a famous piece of literature, it had to be good. Silly me. I was kind of coaxed into it by my family and English teachers, so my heart really wasn't in it. To be honest, I found it kind of boring, but they tried their best. But of course, in the film world, that doesn't excuse you from depressing acting, even Judi Dench looked a bit sour. And why, oh why, did it have to stick so firmly to the book? I hope the purists are happy. Expand
  18. Nov 27, 2011
    No, I didn't like this movie. But here are the good bits: Dame Judi Dench, Mia Wasikowska, Jamie Bell. Great costume and set design. And ... er, well, not that much more. The film is boring beyond belief, curiously leaving out some interesting turns included in the book and even the book's slightly upbeat ending, instead leaving the viewer in a rather dismal mood.
    And you know what? All
    that color desaturation in post is getting sooo old. The whole movie is held in a dreary grey-green color pallette, and even when a sunny summer's day is depicted, one isn't allowed to actually enjoy some nice blue sky or really green grass, so at that point it just looks fake. Color manipulation in post is all well and good, but only as long as you don't notice it and subconsciously accept it. Not the case here. Pity, the story has so much potential, but sadly in this case apparently looks were more important. Expand
  19. Jun 24, 2012
    Forget all of the negativity and criticism of this film and get your copy now! This passionate and beautiful telling of the Brontee novel is the absolute BEST adaption you will ever see by far. The believabilty of each and every character provides the audience with a connection and investment with everyone and everything in the story. The visual beauty is one of the most effective aspects of this film. Never does it become stale or boring. One feels almost apart of everything that is occurring. This is also achieved by the rich cinematography done in this film. Choosing to not display the film from Jane's eyes or her 1st person perspective, allow the audience to take the journey WITH Jane Eyre and not AS her, which highly more effective. Expand
  20. Oct 23, 2013
    Catches the book's essence flawlessly. The mood it evokes is one of gloom, human plight and a longing for love. Both the lead actors capture the significant traits of their characters with precision. Stays true to the source material and does it justice. If the other classics are adapted in this manner, I don't see why readers should have a problem with their beloved books adapted for the big screen. Expand
  21. Jul 5, 2013
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I've seen many film and TV adaptions of the book, but this has got to be one of the worst. It's clinical no emotion whatsoever, especially from Mia Wasikowska. Her portrayal of Jane Eyre is that of a woman who, traumatised by her past experiences, can only go through the motions of everyday life expressionless and do what is told of her. It makes it all the more unbelievable that Rochester (Michael Fassbender) would say he has fallen in love with her because she is "fresh" (young, yes, but stale as 3 week old bread), and able to "regenerate" him (what on earth did he base this assumption on? The fact that he had not seen her smile once?). More scenes seemed equally ridiculous because of this, such as the fact that St John Rivers (Jamie Bell) would call her ambitious (again, what did he base this assumption on? Her lively conversations about her big dreams?). Because it is filmed out of sequence, with a series of flashbacks (whose bright idea was this?) for someone who has no prior knowledge of the book it would seem she acts exactly the same around these two main male characters in her life, again making it hard to guess not why, but actually when did she fall for one and not the other!
    As for the rest of the cast, I cannot say they did much better -with the exception of Judi Dench as Mrs. Fairfax leading me to believe this sterile atmosphere was intentional. Even Fassy seemed to be struggling with his portrayal of Mr. Rocherster, which came across as cranky, and not in that there-must-be-something-else kinda way. Overall, a disappointment.
  22. Aug 17, 2014
    Clean and bleak but beautiful visuals along with strong emotional centre make "Jane Eyre" a good movie to watch. Mia Wasikowska and Michael Fassbender are able to bring sophisticated and believable feelings into the relationship they are portraying and that is something rare for a film about 19th-century-feminism-romance-drama.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 35
  2. Negative: 0 out of 35
  1. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Sep 5, 2011
    There's no question it's stunningly mounted, and Wasikowska makes a much stronger Jane than Alice, but the romance is overripe and the climax underdone.
  2. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Apr 1, 2011
    Complemented by striking, well-conceived visuals, in Fukunaga's hands Bronte's tale of love and woe becomes one well worth repeating.
  3. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Mar 24, 2011
    Is it dreary, stingy and strained? Well, yes: it's Jane Eyre, after all. But it's also robust and full-blooded and forceful: it's Jane Eyre, after all.