Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    A dear film, sentimental and fond, full of beautifully acted British resolve.
  2. 88
    Constantly battling, Hoskins and Dench have terrific chemistry together.
  3. 88
    It offers a feel-good experience, but without the heavy dose of schmaltz that often accompanies such a production.
  4. It's funny, touching and crammed to the rafters with clever dialogue, splashy production numbers and stiff-upper-lip charm.
  5. 83
    A humorous bounty of flesh and fantasy.
  6. An absolute delight from start to finish.
  7. 80
    This is a shimmery beaded curtain of a movie, a slight, charming picture that's almost all facade. But what a facade!
  8. 80
    Mrs. Henderson hits all its marks, well-worn though they be, and Dench fans will once more find themselves glorying in her reckless spirit.
  9. Just as there will always be an England, there will always be a certain kind of English film: the highly polished entertainment, well-acted, genteelly amusing and impeccably turned out. Mrs. Henderson Presents is the latest example of the trend and an especially satisfying one.
  10. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    A shameless crowd-pleaser.
  11. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    The result is an admittedly minor, but authentic, holiday treat.
  12. One of the wittiest comedies to come our way in a very long time.
  13. 75
    Mrs. Henderson Presents is not great cinema, and neither was the Windmill great theater, but they both put on a good show.
  14. 75
    Never has the sight of naked women been so innocent.
  15. Has an old-fashioned feel, as if it had been made in the period of its setting. I mean this as a compliment.
  16. 75
    Say what you will about feel-good films anchored by feisty old broads, the English have a knack with them and Stephen Frears' fact-based tale of a formidable, aristocratic widow who makes it her mission to put naked girls on the London stage is delightful.
  17. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Mrs. Henderson Presents is a very old hat, and Judi Dench wears it beautifully.
  18. Reviewed by: Ethan Alter
    It's a slight story to be sure, but the pleasures of Mrs. Henderson Presents lie less with the narrative and more with the film's tone and the dynamic duo of Dench and Hoskins.
  19. Unlike its subject, "Henderson" breaks no new ground. But like its reliable star, it's a welcome exponent of a valued tradition.
  20. 70
    In Mrs. Henderson Presents, Bob Hoskins lets it all hang out.
  21. 70
    Poking fun at uptight British civility has long been a monocle-shattering comedic staple, and Mrs. Henderson Presents gets by for a while on its genial naughtiness.
  22. Reviewed by: Jorge Morales
    This is Dame Judi's show. However extraordinary an actor she may be, she cannot conceal the obvious fact that she's having the time of her life here. Isn't that delicious?
  23. 70
    Humor and warmth abound in Mrs. Henderson Presents.
  24. Posh meets prole in this period drama elegantly directed by Stephen Frears (Dangerous Liaisons, Prick Up Your Ears).
  25. Dench deserves better, and unfortunately it will probably be a long time before she gets another starring role in a movie custom-made for an actress her age.
  26. 63
    The subplot involving a tragic romance between a soldier and one of the living statues (the lovely Kelly Reilly) is hell on the humor and on a movie that stays content to do the trite thing.
  27. This genteel confection skews toward older audiences - those who go for "Calendar Girls," "Ladies in Lavender" and "Mrs. Brown."
  28. In its juxtaposition of voluptuous nudity with the horrors of war, in its evocation of idealized beauty draped like gods and goddesses of Grecian art, the film invokes classical ideas about how the life force asserts itself most aggressively in the face of death.
  29. The picture is as tastefully pretty as its girls, and just as motionless.
  30. Watching this reasonably funny, professionally assembled calculation is a little like snuggling up in front of the television with a mug of hot cocoa and a warm blanket. Those who prefer their drinks and recreation spiked would do well to look elsewhere.
  31. Reviewed by: David Rooney
    A bigscreen feature executed with a cookie-cutter small-screen sensibility, this often charming but untextured fact-based period piece is buoyed along by the redoubtable Judi Dench.
  32. 58
    A rather schizophrenic comedy that gives respected performers Dame Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins a chance to show they don't take themselves too seriously.
  33. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    It says something that during a scene in which nude chorines are turned into a fleshy backdrop, you spend as much time looking at your watch as what's on screen.
  34. This makes for a friendly romp, and also a dull one.
  35. 50
    Stephen Frears has had more downs than ups of late, but I would never have thought the man responsible for "My Beautiful Laundrette" and "The Grifters" capable of stooping to pap as pappy as this unbearably chipper take on the real-life story of Laura Henderson.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 35 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 1 out of 21
  1. May 11, 2014
    Judi does it again but sadly the film doesn't. It may be a fun film to watch but by no means does that make it worthy of appreciation. Take out Dench and all you basically have is a sad excuse of a film. Full Review »
  2. CarolR.
    Feb 19, 2007
    A most enjoyable, easy to watch British film production ... a combination of emotions and wonderfully acted by Judi Dench, Bob Hoskins and Thelma Barlow. Full Review »
  3. LadyM.
    Feb 17, 2007
    Splendid and very classy film! Great actors and actresses like Judi Dench and Bob Hoskins, but the greatest is absolutely Mrs. Thelma Barlow. I love her accent! Full Review »