Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 40 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 40
  2. Negative: 5 out of 40
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jul 23, 2014
    100
    A master stroke of enchantment from one of the few legitimate cinematic geniuses of the modern cinema, with a nimble and tender performance of enormous elegance and charm by Colin Firth that is heart-meltingly romantic.
  2. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jul 18, 2014
    83
    This picture isn’t as showy or obvious as one of his (many) masterpieces, but it is quite good and deserves your time and respect.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jul 24, 2014
    80
    Ms. Stone is entrancing, whether Sophie is in or out of her trance state, and so is the movie as a whole.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 18, 2014
    80
    The director’s latest—a lighthearted romance set in 1920s Germany and France—won’t do much to sway proponents or detractors from their own perspectives, though taken at face value, it’s one of Allen’s most charmingly conceived and performed efforts.
  5. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    Jul 17, 2014
    80
    Whenever Firth and Stone are onscreen together, the movie sings; the rest of the time it’s never less than a breezy divertissement.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 25, 2014
    75
    Woody Allen’s Magic in the Moonlight is a “serious” movie attempting to be lighthearted. It deals with the same issues that Allen’s idol, Ingmar Bergman, often grappled with – namely, the battle zone of reason versus mysticism – but offhandedly.
  7. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    Perhaps the movie's use of the past is more than cosmetic in this one regard: Watching Woody Allen revisit his old themes and obsessions already feels like a nostalgic experience. Actually setting the movie back in time deflects this and makes a virtue of a shortcoming.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jul 24, 2014
    75
    Melancholy and doubt may seem like gloomy qualities to blend into an amorous romp. But that shot of gravity is what makes Magic in the Moonlight memorable and distinctively Woody Allen.
  9. Reviewed by: Rodrigo Perez
    Jul 18, 2014
    75
    Magic In The Moonlight is good in many regards, and mostly enjoyable for most of its 97 minute running time. But it’s also admittedly uneven in spots, familiar and ultimately a bit slight.
  10. Reviewed by: David Denby
    Jul 24, 2014
    70
    It's an accomplished, stately movie -- unimpassioned but pleasing. [28 July 2014, p.78]
  11. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jul 24, 2014
    70
    The séances are great fun, and the cast is charmingly eclectic. But as to whether "Moonlight" is magical — it is, but ever, ever so slightly.
  12. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Jul 23, 2014
    70
    Early on, it feels like it might become one of Allen’s best. Then the narrative direction becomes clear, the possibilities narrow, and the film shuts down along with them.
  13. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 18, 2014
    67
    While it's breezy and funny and perfectly pleasant, you probably won't remember this particular gift by the time the next birthday rolls around.
  14. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jul 31, 2014
    63
    One distraction is that everything feels smothered in an extra helping of déjà vu sauce: another movie featuring a middle-aged misanthrope with a dewy younger woman; another film with stage magic as a theme.
  15. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jul 28, 2014
    63
    Allen's first mistake is turning this rivalry into a May/December romance. His second misstep is "converting" Stanley, thereby neutering the delightfully acerbic quality that characterizes his and Sophie's early interactions.
  16. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Jul 25, 2014
    63
    While Allen’s new picture, Magic In The Moonlight, isn’t even close to being a disaster (for that, see, well, "Scoop"), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to note that, in my estimation, it’s where Allen’s latest streak…well, let’s not say “ends.” Let’s be moderate and say “ebbs.”
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 24, 2014
    63
    A pleasant, but forgettable, trifle.
  18. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Jul 24, 2014
    63
    It may not be wholly original or without its flaws, but Magic in the Moonlight offers a pleasant vacation from reality, and what more could you want from a summer movie?
  19. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 24, 2014
    63
    With this script, Allen isn't working in farce mode. It's more an easygoing nod to W. Somerset Maugham or, in the plot's "Pygmalion"-like relationship between a cynical older man and his desired younger female charge, George Bernard Shaw.
  20. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Sep 15, 2014
    60
    Weightless, but not without its enchantments, this is Woody Allen coasting. But where better to coast than the loveliest coast of all?
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 24, 2014
    60
    Stone, last seen in “The Amazing Spider-Man 2,” is served best. Gliding through the film in sailor-girl outfits that evoke film stars of the 1920s, Stone’s big kewpie eyes and long-limbed gamine appeal fit in this era of silent films.
  22. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 13, 2014
    58
    It feels like a rush job, needing another draft or two for cohesion's sake, or for Allen to decide what sort of story he's telling.
  23. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Aug 7, 2014
    58
    Stage magicians often depend on sleight of hand to succeed at their art, but Woody Allen's new movie, Magic in the Moonlight, is just plain slight.
  24. Reviewed by: Ben Kenigsberg
    Jul 23, 2014
    58
    Firth and Stone are terrific, but they’re cast as screwball leads. Given only intermittent opportunities for levity, the two end up serving as mouthpieces for Allen’s dubious self-justifications.
  25. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jul 18, 2014
    58
    Magic in the Moonlight belongs to the pool of lesser Allen comedies, yet Firth and Emma Stone — as the alleged necromancer Sophie Baker, the object of Stanley's scrutiny and eventually his affections — bring all the zany energy they can muster.
  26. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Aug 1, 2014
    50
    For all its visual delights, Magic in the Moonlight, the 44th feature written and directed by the admirably industrious Woody Allen, has to be one of his bigger duds.
  27. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jul 31, 2014
    50
    Above all, it is predictable.
  28. 50
    It starts off with a flourish and winds up limp, like a rabbit pulled out of a hat that turns out to be dead.
  29. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jul 24, 2014
    50
    Firth and Stone, appealing as they are as actors, are so disconnected as potential romantic leads it sometimes appears as if they’re barely in the same scene together.
  30. Reviewed by: Drew McWeeny
    Jul 22, 2014
    50
    There's plenty of potential there for really sharp comedy, but Allen's script just lobs softballs.
  31. Reviewed by: David Lee Dallas
    Jul 21, 2014
    50
    A film of obvious characterizations and even more obvious plot machinations that render its moment-to-moment charms moot.
  32. Reviewed by: Josh Kupecki
    Aug 6, 2014
    40
    Those expecting a charming bonbon à la Midnight in Paris may wish to lower their expectations. Magic in the Moonlight’s story is exceedingly threadbare, a first draft that never got fleshed out or tightened up.
  33. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Jul 31, 2014
    40
    Representing the 78-year-old writer and director at his perfunctory worst, Magic in the Moonlight is an unfunny, unromantic comedy.
  34. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jul 24, 2014
    40
    Maybe that pictorial pleasantness will distract summer moviegoers from the fact that shot-to-shot transitions are often awkward, dialogue scenes are forced and poorly staged and that even by rom-com standards the obstacles created to keep Sophie and Stanley apart until a respectable running time has elapsed are idiotic.
  35. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jul 17, 2014
    40
    Magic in the Moonlight does have a not-disagreeable expensive-vacation vibe to it. But the one-dimensional characters are mostly ones you’d want to avoid rather than spend a holiday with.
  36. 38
    “Magic” lacks too many things to rank among Allen’s better recent films — the come-uppance and zeitgeist currency of “Blue Jasmine,” the frivolity of that don’t-think-too-much-about-this lark “Midnight in Paris.” But the biggest shortcoming is right there in the title, a tease if ever there was one.
  37. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jul 24, 2014
    30
    Magic in the Moonlight is less a movie than the dutiful recitation of themes and plot points conducted by a squad of costumed actors. The tidy narrative may advance with clockwork precision, but the clock’s most prominent feature is the snooze button.
  38. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jul 18, 2014
    30
    The story feels shapeless, un-tailored, defiantly off the rack.
  39. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jul 31, 2014
    25
    Once the premise has been established, the film goes absolutely nowhere.
  40. Reviewed by: Inkoo Kang
    Jul 18, 2014
    20
    Emma Stone couldn't be more charming, but her on-screen romance with Colin Firth couldn't be more contrived or ickiliy age-inappropriate.
User Score
6.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 70 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 31
  2. Negative: 4 out of 31
  1. Aug 19, 2014
    5
    recommend it is the look: Darius Khondji's beautiful cinematography, the lovely locations and the rich costumes. Colin Firth plays arecommend it is the look: Darius Khondji's beautiful cinematography, the lovely locations and the rich costumes. Colin Firth plays a misanthrope magician who travels to the south of France to debunk a supposed medium (Emma Stone). Firth blusters his way thru the endless arrogant rants, but the dialogue lacks any life and his changes of heart seem unmotivated and sudden. Allen moves it along with a bouncy pace, but its lack of interesting characters or snappy script make it bubbly but dull. Full Review »
  2. Jan 5, 2015
    5
    Highly watchable performances from MacCormack and Firth in a script Woody Allen probably wrote in an afternoon. Easily Allen's laziest work inHighly watchable performances from MacCormack and Firth in a script Woody Allen probably wrote in an afternoon. Easily Allen's laziest work in years, yet annoyingly still watchable. What should be perfect fodder for Allen to cast his cynical eye over, the film feels like a missed opportunity. Full Review »
  3. Aug 24, 2014
    3
    Woody Allen loves to make movies even when he has nothing to say. This film is a romantic comedy without romance or comedy. Colin Firth canWoody Allen loves to make movies even when he has nothing to say. This film is a romantic comedy without romance or comedy. Colin Firth can do no wrong as an actor, but the script keeps him from doing anything right. Emma Stone looks washed out. Eileen Atkins' crisp delivery can't quite redeem soggy lines. It is painful to see a director and actors you admire working at such a low, tired level of inspiration. Mr. Allen maybe it's time to return to Manhattan. Mr. Firth, if movie scripts are barren, do a play. Full Review »