Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. What actors! The great Miriam Margolyes has a wonderful cameo as a scullery maid, and Colin Firth manfully endures a face full of frosting. And then there's Angela Lansbury, playing her first movie role in 20 years as the villainous Aunt Adelaide.
  2. 75
    Will kids like the movie? I suspect they will. Kids like to see other kids learning the rules even if they don't much want to learn them themselves.
  3. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nanny McPhee maintains a satisfying, all-ages balance between broad comedy and human warmth.
  4. Underlying the story is sadness, a sense of mystery and a quality of pain. Enjoy the movie for its surface pleasures, but when it's over, it's those subterranean qualities that will keep it lingering in the mind.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    This quirky, uncommonly intelligent adaptation is a strange delight.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The film's look, fashioned by production designer Michael Howells, is noteworthy for its vibrant colors and fantastical feel.
  7. 75
    Thompson adapted the screenplay from Christianna Brand's "Nurse Matilda" books, and she and director Kirk Jones balance the slapstick and levity with darker enchantments. At its most enjoyable the film feels like Roald Dahl's idea of "Mary Poppins."
  8. Reviewed by: Kate Taylor
    It's a brilliant opening, but the difficulty with the familiar plot formula wherein a special stranger wins over a difficult household is that once the spell has been cast, all the plot tension, and much of the movie magic, dissipates.
  9. The cast is almost uniformly spectacular -- particularly Angela Lansbury as a wicked aunt and Raphael Coleman as the sardonic, bespectacled child who delivers hilarious, verbose asides and somehow makes it look effortless.
  10. True, the movie tends toward the treacly at times, and the children's mischievousness seems a bit forced. But Thompson's turn as a glammed-down Mary Poppins with an even more no-nonsense attitude is hard to resist.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    Kirk Jones (Waking Ned Devine) directs with skill, Thompson's screenplay (this is a labor of love) is witty, and the classy cast includes Colin Firth (as the kids' baffled widower-father), Angela Lansbury, Imelda Staunton, and Celia Imrie. Good fun.
  12. A spicy little pastry with just the right proportions of flakiness and gooeyness.
  13. In the endearing but somewhat scatterbrained British film Nanny McPhee, Emma Thompson creates an indelible character reminiscent of Mary Poppins as conceived by the author P. L. Travers and the illustrator Mary Shepard.
  14. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    Under the surface, the movie has a streak of Roald Dahl-style darkness that dilutes the sugar.
  15. 63
    This is, after all, "Mary Poppins" turned on its head.
  16. There's magic afoot, even if the movie is more serviceable than magical.
  17. This bracing adaptation of the Nurse Matilda books by Christianna Brand is the acidic antidote to Mary Poppins sweetness.
  18. 63
    An excellent movieā€¦ if you're a seven-year old girl. That's less a negative evaluation than it is a statement of fact. This isn't a "family film;" it's a "children's film."
  19. Colorful, noisy and brimming with special effects, the picture may please young audiences simply looking for loud action, but its corny storyline and brittle lack of warmth may discourage both parents and children.
  20. Reviewed by: Jaime Mastromonica
    If you have someone under 10 to take to the movies, this one is charming and painless.
  21. I hazard the guess that quite small children--pre-science fiction, pre-heroics--will enjoy its fairy-tale quality.
  22. 60
    Highly recommended if you want to see a distinguished cast of British character actors tarted up in garish Victorian costumes and badly executing a Three Stooges-style cake fight.
  23. 58
    There are times when Nanny McPhee seems designed to drive all but the most sugar-crazed spazzes out of the theater: Colors that should never go together clash like a tempest, the camera whisks around in manic curlicues, and a musical score makes certain that nothing magical goes underemphasized.
  24. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    I enjoy a cozy homage to Dickens - it beats another ripoff of "The Matrix" - but though the movie has a gentle spirit, neither the actors, whose performances are broad caricatures, nor Thompson bring any wit to it.
  25. Parents might appreciate a lighter hand with the barnyard whimsy and food fights, but overall the movie doesn't condescend about heavy matters (grief, healing, and blended families) and is pleasantly diverting.
  26. One of those raucous, hyperactive kiddie flicks that knocks you upside the head from its opening frame.
  27. It's a colorful and exuberant but by-the-numbers and fairly charm-free concoction.
  28. Oversweetened or not, "Mary Poppins" remains a deservedly beloved work of art. Nanny McPhee is an overproduced industrial enterprise.
  29. Even Thompson, the one you look forward to watching, is disappointing.
  30. 20
    There's nothing offhand or spontaneous-feeling about Nanny McPhee; it's a highly mechanical piece of work, and its potentially delightful details are wasted.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 57 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 23
  2. Negative: 2 out of 23
  1. Jul 7, 2014
    It's a little bit over-the-top, but that's why I like "Nanny McPhee". Emma Thompson does a wonderful job with her character Nanny Mcphee, she is charming and bring us valuable lessons to life. Full Review »
  2. Mar 21, 2014
    Emma Thompson plays a dumb nanny who does gross things to children and she's a old school nanny . it fails to be myfavorite film . trust me it sucks for emma thompson . Full Review »
  3. Dec 26, 2013
    Nanny McPhee an all round family movie for the family but some floors that did not impress my Squeamish brother. Another down side to this movie is the plot is around a slightly dark thought of a man who needs to marry or no rent fair enough but this movie scores a 5.5 out of 10 for its lack of fun and differences in the movie.Still if your looking for a good family movie to watch with a bowl of popcorn GO FOR IT. Full Review »