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

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 181 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 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
  • Director: John Lee Hancock
  • Genre(s): Biography, Drama, History, Comedy, Music, Family
  • Rating: PG-13
  • Runtime: 125 min
  • More Details and Credits »
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 46
  2. Negative: 2 out of 46
  1. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Dec 19, 2013
    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
    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
    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
    This is a lovingly rendered, sweet film.
  5. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Dec 12, 2013
    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
    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: 49 out of 52
  2. Negative: 1 out of 52
  1. 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" Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. 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. Expand
  4. Jan 6, 2014
    Saving Mr Banks is a very well crafted feel good movie that touches the heart profoundly. Hanks and Thompson give sterling performances as Disney and PL Travers respectively. The chase of Disney for the script of Mary Poppins and Travers reluctance to sell a story that holds a deep sentiment has a lasting effect and shows what grief and heartbreak can be behind any story, especially those ones that have been transformed into a story that contains magic of the soul. Saving Mr Banks is a worthy movie to bring the world of Mary Poppins alive again. Expand
  5. Mar 21, 2014
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. I remember when I went to the cinema to watch this when it first came out; I was absolutely blown away by it, Tom Hanks pulled of an amazing performance as well as Emma Thompson. Not enough credit has been given to this film which is such a shame.

    If you are a fan of Mary Poppins, this is a must, and if your not, it's still a fascinating insight into one woman's love of her work, and how much it means to her.

    I highly recommend this.
  6. Apr 13, 2014
    Going 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.

    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.
  7. Jan 13, 2014
    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 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 52 User Reviews