Generally favorable reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 25
  2. Negative: 1 out of 25
  1. This terrific movie manages to invest kitchen-sink realism with the soul of a fairy tale.
  2. 90
    Little Voice is that rarity, a filmed adaptation of a stage play that actually works.
  3. The trick of this movie is that it's so changeable: You think you've got it nailed and it slithers away to become some other new, fabulous thing.
  4. 88
    By offering opportunities to laugh, cry, and cheer, Little Voice satisfies in a big way.
  5. 80
    Many of the elements in this story about a woman who's nearly eclipsed by her overbearing mother are all too familiar, yet the combination is utterly charming.
  6. 80
    The show that Horrocks puts on when she finally takes to the stage is more than worth the wait.
  7. Horrocks's phenomenal mimicry of musical grande dames...makes a splendid centerpiece for the otherwise more ordinary film built around it.
  8. British actress Jane Horrocks plays Little Voice, and it is a transfixing, tour de force performance.
  9. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    A small picture with a big heart.
  10. Little Voice may be more of a confection than a square meal, but it's proof of how good a dish can be when the ingredients are of the highest order.
  11. Reviewed by: Arthur Borman
    Taking it's framework from classic fairly-tale characters like Cinderella, the British story of Little Voice is one of compassion, humor and music.
  12. The movie is often as raucous and seedy as its less-attractive characters, but it gains power from inventive acting and poignant touches.
  13. 75
    Engagingly offbeat. [4 December 1998, Life, p.13E]
  14. 75
    A slightly more light-hearted version of the "Shine" story. [4 December 1998, Friday, p.A]
  15. The drawbacks to Little Voice might sink a lesser movie, but not this one.
  16. 75
    Little Voice is unthinkable without the special and unexpected talent of its star.
  17. They're great, every one of them, but the real joy of Little Voice is Horrocks: her impeccable evocation of a timid soul and that eerie voice that sounds so surprising coming out of her.
  18. 70
    Jane Horrocks saves the annoyingly noisy Little Voice.
  19. Ultimately, Little Voice comes to us from an indeterminate place that is no longer the theatre but not quite the movies. Let's call it music videoland -- best just to sit back and enjoy golden-oldie tunes belted out by a quicksilver mimic.
  20. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    Actress Jane Horrocks is so good in this drama that you'll hardly notice -- or care -- that the rest of the film isn't quite up to snuff.
  21. Reviewed by: Ilana Lindsey
    The screenplay has a strong sense of fun but after establishing its concept and characters it doesn't know where to take them.
  22. Reviewed by: Staff(not credited)
    The movie adaptation suffers the symptoms of so many stage-to-screen transplants: What seemed thrillingly big and bold in live performance comes across shrunken and hemmed in when "opened up" to fill a feature film.
  23. Reviewed by: Joshua Klein
    Though it's got some funny one-liners, sight gags, and Blethyn's over-the-top histrionics, Little Voice is often painfully dramatic, right down to its final mother-daughter confrontation.
  24. 40
    The decibel level in Little Voice ranges from a delicate whisper to seismic bellowing; aurally speaking, it traverses the spectrum of human sounds.
  25. 20
    As mean-spirited toward its working-class characters, especially its women, as it is profoundly unfunny.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 9 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. Aug 30, 2010
    Michael Caine in a comedic role is irresistible (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Jane Horrocks I knew only as Bubble from Absolutely FabulousMichael Caine in a comedic role is irresistible (Dirty Rotten Scoundrels) and Jane Horrocks I knew only as Bubble from Absolutely Fabulous (not my favorite character from that Series but definitely a stand out show). I had no expectations for this film but ended up enjoying it immensely. If nothing else it was a nice reprieve from all the standard American fare that year. Full Review »