Generally favorable reviews - based on 16 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 0 out of 16
  1. Mr. and Mrs. Bridge is wise and funny and just a little bit scary. Though it's an adaptation, it has the manner of a true original.
  2. This deserves to be seen and cherished for at least a couple of reasons: first for Joanne Woodward's exquisitely multilayered and nuanced performance as India Bridge, a frustrated, well-to-do WASP Kansas City housewife and mother during the 30s and 40s; and second for screenwriter Ruth Prawer Jhabvala's retention of much of the episodic, short-chapter form of the books.
  3. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    What fills the screen is not heightened melodrama, but a series of stark, sometimes painfully poignant vignettes that reflect the oppressive stasis of their lives.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    This memory piece, shy in manner but tough in spirit, has brought out the best in everyone connected with it.
  5. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Mr. & Mrs. Bridge is an affecting study of an uppercrust Midwestern family in the late 1930s.
  6. To their credit, and to the credit of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward in the title roles of Mr. and Mrs. Bridge, the movie doesn't condescend to these relics of the recent past, but treats them with poignancy and humor. [21 Nov 1990]
  7. 75
    The film is dawdling, sometimes maddeningly so, but Newman and Woodward deliver lovingly detailed and bruisingly true performances that not only command attention but richly reward it.
  8. 75
    The film is so well made and acted, because it captures its period so meticulously.
  9. It marks a new artistic peak for director James Ivory, producer Ismail Merchant, and writer Ruth Prawer Jhabvala.
  10. Its stars, Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward, are on screen virtually all of the time, and they're always worth watching. But the film puts such a premium on tastefulness that it never threatens to become exciting. [23 Nov 1990]
  11. Mr. & Mrs. Bridge is watchable but also stiff and remote.
  12. Cerebral without being dry, delicate without being dull, Mr. And Mrs. Bridge is a rarity: a drama of manners that breathes esthetic life into airless parlours, without either sentimentalizing the occupants or hyping the atmosphere. [21 Dec 1980]
  13. 60
    It's respectful but not particularly vigorous or enlightening.
  14. Reviewed by: Desson Howe
    Bridge never quite gels into anything.
  15. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    It isn't really dull (only dulled), and the leads are remarkable; one could, in fact, lavish a lot more praise if this labor of love weren't burdened by the year's dopiest movie wrap-up. [23 Nov 1990]
  16. Reviewed by: Monty Smith
    It's hard to imagine that even a documentary on the apparently harmonious marriage of Paul Newman and Joanne Woodward -a union established in 1958 and still going strong - could be duller than this stodgy addition to the Merchant-Ivory menu of good taste.

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