Mixed or average reviews - based on 15 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 15
  2. Negative: 0 out of 15
  1. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    The film's sweetness derives primarily from the relationship between Ashmol and his unusual sister, and draws much of its richness from the unfamiliar and fascinating world of opal prospecting.
  2. 75
    A heartwarming family fable that parents and kids can enjoy.
  3. It's tear-jerker material but ends up being quite touching, and it's a good choice for family viewing.
  4. Reviewed by: Manny Lewis
    And despite Kellyanne, at times, coming off as more annoying than sympathetic, the film succeeds because of the great lengths to which Ashmol goes to bring her peace of mind.
  5. An exceptional family film, arriving just in time for the Thanksgiving holiday. Directed with sensitivity by "The Full Monty's" Peter Cattaneo, it is the antithesis of the standard synthetic Hollywood family movie, which is all too often weighed down by ludicrously exaggerated special effects and stunts and glazed over by gross humor.
  6. Reviewed by: Sid Smith
    Sophisticated cinephiles aren't likely to go ga-ga over this one, but Opal Dream is a worthwhile family film, graced with an ambivalent, bittersweet ending and just the right touch of cinematic poetry turning on the gemstone in its title.
  7. Though there are no Montys, full or otherwise, the finale will lift you up.
  8. Reviewed by: Megan Lehmann
    A fanciful wisp of a film that feels slight at times. It's based on the slender novella "Pobby and Dingan," by Ben Rice, who also co-wrote the screenplay. Yet it winds up making some keen observations on the power of imagination.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The film squeezes out its feel-good messages like toothpaste from a tube.
  10. Reviewed by: Jay Weissberg
    From the first frames, when lollypops are offered to the camera, there's no escaping the saccharine miasma of whimsy enveloping Peter Cattaneo's Opal Dream.
  11. The film clearly means to celebrate the power of imagination, but while younger kids may find it charming, some parents may begin to wonder if the girl's obsessive fantasies don't warrant a trip to the local shrink.
  12. 50
    The filmmaking here is flat, straight, and thoroughly lacking in poetry, and the script--co-written by Cattaneo, Rice, and Phil Traill--tells instead of showing.
  13. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Rush screaming from anything that announces itself as "a movie for children and grown-ups of all ages." Slight and shamelessly saccharine, Opal Dream is devoted to the proposition that it takes an Australian-outback village to validate the imaginary friends of a blond child who is too sensitive for this world but not, alas, for this sappy movie.
  14. A warning to parents everywhere about the dangers of indulging irrational behavior, Opal Dream is a sickly sweet tale of deep dysfunction masquerading as family solidarity.

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