Metascore
52

Mixed or average reviews - based on 25 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 25
  2. Negative: 4 out of 25
  1. 80
    The animals are impossibly adorable, but never threaten to upset the film's delicate balance between magic and a more sobering reality. It's a fairy tale in the best tradition.
  2. Thompson's imagination-she's also the screenwriter-knows no bounds, and she does a brilliant job of connecting the fantastical elements to the sobering realities of life during wartime.
  3. Reviewed by: Charles Williams
    75
    Weighty issues such as war and divorce are mentioned, but the serious themes pass quickly. The lighthearted story always takes precedent over the special effects, but a scene involving swimming piglets will have kids flashing a sea of smiles.
  4. At its best, Nanny McPhee Returns has the playful surrealism of "Babe," if "Babe" had been directed by Terry Gilliam.
  5. Has a lighter spirit than its predecessor, but it arrives at the same warm and touching place.
  6. Ultimately, the performances carry the film.
  7. 75
    Sweet, sentimental, silly and star-studded, Nanny McPhee Returns is one of the best children's movies of the year.
  8. The results of her work are predictable yet pleasantly played out.
  9. 70
    This comic fantasy will delight kids and parents alike.
  10. James Newton Howard's music picks up its comic cues perhaps a bit too swiftly and loudly, but little of this detracts from the movie's many pleasures.
  11. Thompson, who also wrote the script, has skittery, baffling fun enjoining her plummy guest actors (including Ralph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, and Maggie Smith) to play broad Brit types.
  12. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    63
    It can take a miracle to create a movie that's fun for kids and their parents. Luckily, Nanny McPhee has a little magic up her sleeve.
  13. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    The end result, while entertaining, is the kind of unruly mess you can't imagine the indomitable Nanny McPhee tolerating.
  14. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    60
    With flying pigs and magical nannying, this will charm children - but it could have been a little more charming for adults.
  15. Reviewed by: Mark Jenkins
    50
    Nanny McPhee, the homely yet exemplary governess, is back. Why? Hard to say, but one thing is certain: Writer-star Emma Thompson didn't do it for the kids.
  16. She could stand to learn a lesson herself, from another magical governess -- you know, the one about the spoon full of sugar.
  17. 50
    Pigs fly and perform a Busby Berkeley-style water ballet. Maggie Gyllenhaal sports a posh British accent. Everybody steps in dung repeatedly. These are the high points of Nanny McPhee Returns.
  18. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    50
    The initial close-up of Thompson - all sourly snaggletoothed and begoggled - is as funny as anything in the original. And just that one quick glimpse would have been perfect.
  19. 50
    Neither the dangers of the plot - a dissolute uncle who wants to sell the farm, a father missing in action - nor the forbidding Nanny McPhee herself are as fearsome as they were the first time around.
  20. Too much of the contrasting comedy in Nanny McPhee Returns is shrill, laden with routine computer-generated effects and pounded into dust by James Newton Howard's shut-up-already musical score.
  21. For American children, Nanny McPhee Returns may seem something like a foreign film, but the movie has enough spoonfuls of sugar to make the Britishisms go down.
  22. 33
    On balance, more dignity is lost than gained.
  23. 30
    McPhee's latest saga neither conjures the humanistic heart of "Babe" nor addresses father-son separation issues with the sobriety of "The Water Horse." Instead, it's merely a compendium of photocopied elements, cartoonish special effects, and easy-bake happily-ever-afters.
  24. This children's entertainment-grownups beware!-is preoccupied by squishy stuff that includes mud and poop, as well as by syrup that oozes from cabinet drawers.
  25. This dour, hyperactive family film is joyless, overly busy and starchy.
User Score
5.1

Mixed or average reviews- based on 33 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 8
  2. Negative: 1 out of 8
  1. Dec 17, 2011
    9
    Funny, charming, visually well done, and well performed from Emma Thompson. This is a definite improvement on the original because it isFunny, charming, visually well done, and well performed from Emma Thompson. This is a definite improvement on the original because it is entertaining. I five this film a 93% of a good movie. Full Review »
  2. Aug 1, 2013
    0
    This movie is just another terrible movie filled with stupid misbehaved British kids. This one is just as bad as the first. Nannys suck. NeverThis movie is just another terrible movie filled with stupid misbehaved British kids. This one is just as bad as the first. Nannys suck. Never see this movie ever. Full Review »
  3. Feb 26, 2011
    5
    It's entertaining enough. That's pretty much all I have to say about this movie.