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Generally favorable reviews- based on 215 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 8 out of 215

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  1. Dec 13, 2013
    In the end, Saving Mr. Banks does what few historical pieces are able to: it both informs and transforms our impression of something we thought we knew, while simultaneously reinforcing what we’ve always loved about it or better yet, it provides new intrigue to those who may not have loved it in the first (I speak personally, in this case). As far as holiday season movies go, this is a solid bet for that feel-good family film, despite the fact that it contains some heavier (but worthwhile) dramatic elements. Another winner for Hanks in 2013. Expand
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    This is a fabulous charming Disney film that does Mary Poppins justice. Tom Hanks and Emma Thompson give top notch performances and the supporting cast are pitch perfect as well.
  3. Dec 25, 2013
    I think "Saving Mr. Banks" is a best movie that is based on the actual real life events that took place in the making of the 1964 classic "Mary Poppins"
  4. Jan 1, 2014
    Emma Thompson steals the show as she is absolutely brilliant. I would be shocked if she is not nominated for BEST ACTRESS come OSCAR time. Tom Hanks is fantastic as Walt Disney but even he knows he is playing a supporting role to Ms. Thompson. If you like movies with excellent dialogue in which you care about the characters then don't miss Saving Mr. Banks.
  5. Dec 21, 2013
    Something about this movie just really stuck out. Not only does it have its cute and good feel, but it also tugs very strongly on the emotion relationship between the author P.L Travers and her Mary Poppins story. And while Tom Hanks is magnificent as the legendary Walt Disney, it's Emma Thompson's role as P.L. Travers that not only sticks out, but hits us home right in our hearts. Overall, what a wonderful tale of one of the greatest movies of all time! I give it an A-! Expand
  6. May 2, 2014
    A real treat for anyone who has love for the Mary Poppins movie. It tells the story of how the making of the movie took place, as well as the backstory behind the original Mary Poppins book. With a healthy mix of humor and emotion throughout, it manages to be a consistently enjoyable experience. It's also exceptionally well-cast. Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks, and the rest of the cast give fantastic performances.

    Just like the best Disney films, Mary Poppins included, this is a movie that has the potential to touch your heart. I know it did mine. Even if you do not have any sort of particular love for the Mary Poppins film this is still worth a watch. It's truly exceptional. I give it a near-perfect score of 9.9/10.
  7. Dec 21, 2013
    I can't believe no one is talking about Colin Farrell's performance. It's by far the best. Thompson's Travers first got on my nerves because of her incessant nagging, but I really really enjoyed the film--from the subtle themes interwoven from "Mary Poppins" to the amazing, poignant backstory, to the rewarding references of the iconic film, this movie really pays off to those who have cherished the story. Highly recommend it. Don't take your kids, though. This isn't for them--it's for the adults. Expand
  8. Jan 25, 2014
    A pleasant surprise in the magic Christmas movie of season, and having to celebrate it's history is pure beauty. Everyone no matter the age can reflect to their childhood and emote a connection here. Saving Mr Banks hits you with it's subject matter lead by the spirited performance from Collin Farrell who is good in everything he is in.
  9. Dec 25, 2013
    "Saving Mr. Banks" is easily one of the best movies to come out this year. It tells the tale behind the making of Disney’s beloved classic "Mary Poppins," but it is so much more than just a typical ‘making of a movie’ movie. While many of these types of films aren’t as good as the movie they are about, this one is different. It feels like a companion piece to the beloved classic. It allows us to appreciate the trials and tribulations Disney had to go through to make his magnum opus. However, it is also more about P.L. Traverse and why she loves her character so much and why Mary Poppins holds such a special place in her heart.

    Director John Lee does a great job of making this film something truly special. He balances witty humor with emotional depth, but does so without being too sappy or melodramatic. The film is also well written by being more personal than just being a movie about making a movie. The themes of letting and moving on are handled well and really becomes relatable to anyone watching.

    The performances are top-notch. Tom Hanks makes a pretty good Disney and he isn’t sugar coated either. The real standouts are Emma Thompson and Colin Farrell. They give strong dimensional performances that makes us truly care and sympathies with the characters.

    Overall “Saving Mr. Banks” is a truly great and beautifully told film. Its individual parts may not be the years best, but as a complete film it is the whole package. It’s a movie that exemplifies why we go to the movies and what Disney stands for as an entertainment corporation. It is a movie that is equal parts heartfelt, witty, charming, entertaining, and emotionally satisfying. I give it 5/5
  10. Jan 8, 2014
    This is an exceptional film--amusing and finally moving. It is about the author of Mary Poppins resistance to having her book disneyfied and indeed her desire to keep people at arm's length. Hence, the film is very different from the Disney movie. It is superbly done as it tells two stories--why MP was created and why she wants to retain its integrity now. The actors are superb, the direction sure, the look of it beautiful. Expand
  11. Dec 22, 2013
    Very enjoyable and entertaining film. Yes, it keeps jumping from Traver's real life childhood in Australia with her alcoholic father and pitiful mother to her dealings with Walt Disney who was superbly played by Tom Hanks. Yet, there's a real charming, satisfying and touching quality to the overall production. Ms. Thompson was excellent.
  12. Jan 25, 2014
    The film tells the story of P.L Travers. We follow two narratives_ one of which is a fictionalized account of the writer's childhood in Australia, the other one is about Walt Disney's attempt to have the writer approve of his adaptation of her book and thus sign away her rights.

    Emma Thompson plays Travers with a dry British humour. She is sarcastic and cynical, retorting with witty
    remarks at every opportunity. Everyone else goes along with it because they need what is hers. She is less than enthusiastic about having her book adapted and has her doubts about the intentions of Disney's company to stay true to the source material.

    Tom Hanks plays Walt Disney, a magnate with a view to life only a fourteen year old could have in real life. He is never serious until he is. Wanting to adapt the book he had promised his daughters years ago he would, he relentlessly pursues Travers to sign the document.

    Annie Rose Buckley plays Helen, a young girl who sees her father, Goff (Colin Farrell) as a hero, although it is apparent from the start that he isn't. But he is a brilliant father and despite his many failures at life this fact makes the young Helen forever hold her father in the highest regard, to the extent that her whole life is affected by it. The young actress showed great promise and I'm already rooting for her career.

    The supporting cast did a satisfactory job. Paul Giamatti plays a limousine driver, Ralph, who takes Travers to different places. From the Sherman Brothers to Dolly to Don DaGradi, the humour was always there, often in the form of all of them attempting to make her approve of the different aspects of the film they have come up with.

    Though it started at a light note, it becomes increasingly serious as the woes of life catch up with the characters. But even in the midst of all the drama, a touch of humour here and there helped lighten the mood.

    The film followed one story in 1901 and the other in the 1960s. Both of these times were captured brilliantly with set design and costume. Add to that the great job done with the acting and writing, I give the film a score of 9.
  13. Mar 4, 2014
    This is not the first time I saw a movie about the behind the making of a masterpiece works. Recent 'Hitchcock' described 'the man of mystery', Alfred Hitchcock's career best movie 'Psycho'. Johnny Depp's 'Finding Neverland' tells about behind the creation of a magical land and Peter Pan. So there are many other movies about theme like this. This movie is as well based on such kinda story which unleashes creation of the
    most celebrated musical-children movie 'Mary Poppins' from its book.

    Characters like the author of 'Mary Poppins' book, Travers played by
    Emma Thompson and Walt Disney played by Tom Hanks filled the screen
    with interesting moments of history. Especially the cultural
    differences between two countries, England and United States brought
    lots of humorous scenes to us. The story telling splits into two where
    one briefs the author's real life incident when she was a child lived
    in Australia. And another one was about Walt Disney's struggle by the
    threats from Travers, while being adapted the book into a movie.

    Both the characters, Travers and Disney had an uncompromising
    relationship in the story. Where Travers was fighting not to go wrong
    in the movie adaptation because the characters from her book means a
    lot to her. On the other hand, Disney's fight to keep what he promised
    to his children to make a movie from their favourite book.

    One of the best movie of the year. Tom Hanks was okay in a role of
    'father of animation'. But I was impressed with the Emma Thompson and
    also the Collin Ferrell. Paul Giamatti's role was small but wonderfully
    portrayed. No wonder why this movie got nominated for 2014 Oscar in the
    music section. Was expecting it to win but failed to do, so sad.
  14. Jan 6, 2014
    This was film storytelling at its best. Hanks was spot-on and made Walt Disney live again. This film was emotional, heartwarming and captivating. Emma Thompson will be Oscar nominated w/o a doubt. A must see!
  15. Jan 23, 2014
    This movie really stunned me, I expected it to be no more than a movie about the production of Mary Poppins with a comedic twist, the story was enjoyable as was the acting. The side story of Travers childhood really touched me as well, it was a great mix with great actors.
  16. Jan 2, 2014
    An astonishing emotional rollercoaster. Both funny and amazingly touching. In the showing I attended their were people singing with the songs and then crying as the movie reached a deeply cathartic ending. This movie will leave anyone who has parents, in particular a father, in tears, not necessarily of sadness, but of remeberance. All in all one of the finest, and most emotionally satisfiying motion pictures I've ever seen. Take a handkerchief, you're going to need it. Expand
  17. Feb 6, 2014
    Best movie ever!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! Aweeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeesomeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeee!!!
  18. Mar 21, 2014
    Saving Mr Banks is one of the better movies that have come to theaters. It was nice to see a brilliant tale which is spiced with humor and emotional moments and topped of with brilliant acting. The film starts of a little slowly and is hard to follow for someone who hasn't seen Mary Poppins but it picks up pace as the movie goes along. There is flashback of the authors life and how it influenced her books and how it affects her outlook. The acting was brilliant as expected from Emma Thompson, Tom Hanks and Collin Farrell but the little kid who plays Ginty was also phenomenal in the movie.
    So all in all Saving Mr Banks is a very nice movie for critics and commoners equally.
  19. Mar 31, 2014
    A great movie you gonna love it and if you love mary popins you gonna love this movie.
    I am sad that Emma Thompson she's no nominated from the oscars, and tom hanks they have to nominate in the oscars this movie is greatful.

Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. 30
    A fair number of people have responded with tears and laughs to Saving Mr. Banks, but I found it interminable.
  2. Reviewed by: Jeff Baker
    Dec 20, 2013
    A fascinating blend of brand extension and corporate history.
  3. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Dec 20, 2013
    Saving Mr. Banks, set in 1961, is smart, delightful.