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Generally favorable reviews - based on 46 Critics What's this?

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7.7

Generally favorable reviews- based on 242 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: When Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who hasWhen Walt Disney’s daughters begged him to make a movie of their favorite book, P.L. Travers’ Mary Poppins, he made them a promise—one that he didn’t realize would take 20 years to keep. In his quest to obtain the rights, Walt comes up against a curmudgeonly, uncompromising writer who has absolutely no intention of letting her beloved magical nanny get mauled by the Hollywood machine. But, as the books stop selling and money grows short, Travers reluctantly agrees to go to Los Angeles to hear Disney's plans for the adaptation. For those two short weeks in 1961, Walt Disney pulls out all the stops. Armed with imaginative storyboards and chirpy songs from the talented Sherman brothers, Walt launches an all-out onslaught on P.L. Travers, but the prickly author doesn't budge. He soon begins to watch helplessly as Travers becomes increasingly immovable and the rights begin to move further away from his grasp. It is only when he reaches into his own childhood that Walt discovers the truth about the ghosts that haunt her, and together they set Mary Poppins free to ultimately make one of the most endearing films in cinematic history. [Walt Disney Pictures] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 19, 2013
    88
    Taken on its own, Saving Mr. Banks is a pleasant, crowd-pleasing endeavor. For those with a soft spot for Mary Poppins, however, it's a treasure.
  2. Reviewed by: David Gritten
    Oct 20, 2013
    80
    It’s Thompson as the heroically unbiddable Travers who makes the most of it; her bravura performance effectively dominates the film.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Dec 12, 2013
    80
    The slick but moving Saving Mr. Banks transcends its corporate pedigree to become a great Disney movie about making a Disney movie.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Dec 12, 2013
    75
    This is a lovingly rendered, sweet film.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 12, 2013
    70
    Edges have been softened, harshness has been transformed into happiness sprinkled with eccentricity. And the paradox, of course, is that we're glad to be seduced. As Disney films go, this is a good one.
  6. Reviewed by: Genevieve Koski
    Dec 10, 2013
    60
    Those willing or prone to buy into the idea of “Disney Magic” are likely to choke up at least once or twice over the course of Saving Mr. Banks, while those who resist it—the Traverses of the world—will choke on the heaping spoonfuls of sugar the film ladles onto its story.
  7. 30
    A fair number of people have responded with tears and laughs to Saving Mr. Banks, but I found it interminable.

See all 46 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 51 out of 61
  2. Negative: 1 out of 61
  1. Dec 25, 2013
    10
    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 classicI 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" Expand
  2. Mar 21, 2014
    9
    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 andSaving 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.
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  3. Dec 13, 2013
    9
    In the end, Saving Mr. Banks does what few historical pieces are able to: it both informs and transforms our impression of something weIn 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
  4. Dec 26, 2013
    8
    The movie is delightful, pleasant, and heartwarming. It doesn't try to sell itself more than what it is and makes you appreciate Mary PoppinsThe movie is delightful, pleasant, and heartwarming. It doesn't try to sell itself more than what it is and makes you appreciate Mary Poppins just a little bit more. Emma Thompson puts on a wonderful performance. Expand
  5. Mar 29, 2014
    8
    Saving Mr. Banks is an excellent film. It contains a lot of heart and soul and I really liked it. I liked the acting and locations in thisSaving Mr. Banks is an excellent film. It contains a lot of heart and soul and I really liked it. I liked the acting and locations in this film; Tom Hanks did a great job playing Walt Disney and Emma Thompson did a great job playing P.L. Travers. The only problem I have in this movie were some of the errors in this film like there are a few things you'll see in this movie that may have been after it's time like in the Disneyland scenes, I may have seen an attraction or two that may have not been open yet. But if you ignore those errors, you will find Saving Mr. Banks to be a very good movie that tells the story of the making of Mary Poppins. Expand
  6. Apr 13, 2014
    7
    Going in, I was expecting something completely different from what the movie was. And what it was, was entertaining with some real depth andGoing in, I was expecting something completely different from what the movie was. And what it was, was entertaining with some real depth and stellar performances.

    Mrs, Travers' character for the movie was perhaps written a bit too much like a lonely old shrew. It made it very hard to sympathize with her and her motives. But Emma Thomson played her well and did manage to convey the story's intent. Hanks does a decent job playing Disney, but I feel he is perhaps a bit too high profile and it was a little hard not seeing him as Tom Hanks. Still, I think he did fantastic job and delivered a memorable performance.

    In many ways I felt this movie indirectly villainized Mrs. Travers's character and portrayed her far too harshly. Granted the back story does clarify this, but by the time the reveal it, it was hard to be understanding. Disney, on the other hand, seems to be glorified and portrayed in the most flattering way possible.

    Overall:
    As a whole, the movie tells a deep and moving story of how Disney's Mary Poppins came to be, and I'll be honest, I actually cried a little at one point.

    But, the whole time through, this movie felt like one big tribute to Walt Disney and the vilifying of P.T. Travers at the same time. Granted it is done very subtly and with utmost care not to cross any lines, it still comes across as a publicity stunt. Might as well of renamed the movie: Walt Disney's adventures with the wicked author down under.
    Expand
  7. Jan 13, 2014
    1
    This was the most boring movie I've seen in years. I. Never thought I'd be like my father and fall asleep in movie theaters. But in this caseThis was the most boring movie I've seen in years. I. Never thought I'd be like my father and fall asleep in movie theaters. But in this case yes I was literally falling asleep. The woman character was so irritating you find yourself wondering why Walt Disney didn't just kick her out of his office the first day, instead of tolerating her incessant whining for weeks. I recommend not seeing it and don't even bother renting it later. Expand

See all 61 User Reviews

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