Mostly Martha


Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. 90
    Extremely enjoyable, though a few degrees shy of perfection.
  2. This is better than good, it's wonderful: if facial expressions can be compared to colors, Gedeck works with an unusually broad palette, constantly surprising us, and she helps her costars shine.
  3. 88
    As much as any other motion picture that employs the preparation and consumption of food as a key element, Mostly Martha provides the perfect blend of cinematic nourishment and gratification.
  4. Thanks to Echer, Nettelbeck and this delicious movie, I was able to hear "Country" and the other Jarrett tunes in scene after scene - heightening moods, lyricizing action and making Hamburg seem like a wintry love song. Predictable or not, that's often as good as it gets.
  5. Add Mostly Martha to the list of great mouth-watering food flicks - "Eat Drink Man Woman," "Big Night," "Babette's Feast" -- but don't stop there. Add it to another list: movies that get at the heart of what family, and love, is all about.
  6. Portland Oregonian
    Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    A feel-good movie that doesn't think it needs to rub people's noses in the happy stuff to get its points across or eliminate all the disturbing shades to make a uniformly glowing whole.
  7. Nettelbeck has created a movie recipe that ladles great dollops of dessertlike joy and equally dark tragedy around her strong-willed heroine. It wouldn't work without actors capable of finding vulnerability, humanity and kindness in sometimes inaccessible characters.
  8. Sweet without being saccharine and funny without being forced, the closely observed romantic comedy treats the culinary arts as a metaphor for personal healing.
  9. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Nettelbeck is a sharp observer of life's surprises, and Gedeck has an appraising, intelligent beauty. Her Martha is like the film: tart on the outside, sweet on the inside, with a delectable aftertaste.
  10. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    The German reserve and Italian extroversion are in just the right balance. The movie exists on a tantalizing border -- and I don't mean Switzerland.
  11. New Times (L.A.)
    Reviewed by: Jean Oppenheimer
    Enormously appealing romantic comedy-drama.
  12. Reviewed by: Derek Elley
    A charming relationships comedy about food, gourmet cooking and emotionally chilling out. Anchored by a career-best performance from German thesp Martina Gedeck.
  13. 78
    There's more at work in this gorgeous and affecting picture than simple culinary sex appeal.
  14. It is, in short, a compendium of clichés, yet with a presentation that makes the familiar seem remarkably warm and fresh.
  15. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Chris Kaltenbach
    The heartbreak comes not from watching her fail, but from realizing how easy it would be for her to succeed. If only she knew better how to try.
  16. The course of Martha's relationships with Lina and Mario holds no surprises, but the performances of Gedeck and Castellitto, like the work of a great chef, make something special out of something very ordinary.
  17. If you liked "My Big Fat Greek Wedding," you're on safe ground here -- Next time, I'd like to see Gedeck serve up a hearty meal instead of a tasty but unfilling appetizer.
  18. Nettelbeck has a particularly lovely sense of behind-the-scenes restaurant choreography. And her warm, patient understanding of little girls' psyches guides young Maxime Foerste, as the turbulent niece, to a terrific performance.
  19. 70
    A sweet, even delectable diversion from the more explosive cinematic fare of the season.
  20. 63
    The plot is thin as consomme, and the thudding score is distracting, but the heartfelt storytelling and Michael Bertl's disarming cinematography make this a food film to savor.
  21. 63
    The film has a rather charming way of convincing you that there are times to shrug off the caviar and champagne and go for a fulfilling bowl of spaghetti.

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