Metascore
37

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 23 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 23
  2. Negative: 9 out of 23
  1. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Aug 31, 2011
    83
    In addition to being one of the finest golf movies ever, this film raises the bar on faith-based cinema.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Aug 29, 2011
    70
    Duvall can play an avuncular cowboy sage in his sleep, but there's truly no one on Earth you'd rather see dishing out homespun aphorisms, so it's pointless to resist the pleasure of watching him do what he can do better than anyone else. Baker and Melissa Leo, as the waitress' mom, are not asked to exhibit a fraction of their talent, but they further class the joint up.
  3. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Sep 2, 2011
    67
    It's a lot more cornball – i.e., enjoyable – than "The Tree of Life," which tried for some of the same things. Utopia, with its big blue skies and peachy-keen people, may not rank right up there with Shangri-La, but it's close enough.
  4. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Sep 1, 2011
    60
    Though the drama has its heartfelt moments, it unrolls as flat as the Texas terrain, cast in an idyllic summer glow.
  5. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Aug 30, 2011
    60
    Provides little more than a pleasantly passable Christian sports parable delivered as a sort of Texan golfer's version of "The Karate Kid."
  6. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Sep 2, 2011
    50
    Seven Days in Utopia obviously isn't targeted at us cynical New Yorkers. But it goes down more smoothly than you'd imagine thanks to Duvall and an excellent supporting cast.
  7. Reviewed by: Sean OConnell
    Sep 1, 2011
    50
    With all due respect to Cook's novel, another book - the Bible - teaches us that on the seventh day, God gave it a rest. Seven Days in Utopia should have followed His lead.
  8. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Sep 1, 2011
    50
    Until Seven Days in Utopia sucker punches you with a surfeit of faith-based platitudes, its upbeat brand of golf mysticism isn't altogether unappealing.
  9. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Sep 1, 2011
    50
    Told in such predictable and bland fashion it dulls the effect. And this in a movie with Robert Duvall, Lucas Black and Melissa Leo.
  10. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Aug 31, 2011
    50
    Lacks surprises.
  11. Reviewed by: Eric Hynes
    Aug 30, 2011
    50
    For a time, the film shoulders its hokum rather well, with Black strutting convincingly and Duvall's mouthy mugging mostly in check. But all those shots of heavenly shafts of light eventually climax in unabashed Christian conversion.
  12. Reviewed by: Gary M. Kramer
    Sep 2, 2011
    40
    Seven Days in Utopia is flawed in so many ways -- the editing, writing, acting and Matthew Dean Russell's direction are uniformly weak -- that this well-intentioned film does its positive messages a disservice.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Sep 2, 2011
    40
    There's a climactic putt, of course, but by then you wish Duvall would get one more "Tender Mercies" under his belt so you can forget about this tin cup of a family flick.
  14. Reviewed by: Ben Sachs
    Sep 1, 2011
    40
    If the combination of Christian bromides and golf tips strikes you as a recipe for boredom, stay away.
  15. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Aug 31, 2011
    38
    God bless Robert Duvall. An American cinematic institution, our greatest living actor makes the fortune-cookie bromides of Matthew Dean Russell's Seven Days in Utopia sound like Yates.
  16. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Sep 1, 2011
    30
    A stultifying hybrid of athletic instruction film and Christian sermon.
  17. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Sep 1, 2011
    30
    For one thing, Seven Days in Utopia feels an awful lot like Victor Salva's 2006 New Age uplifter "Peaceful Warrior." That film at least had the appeal of watching Nick Nolte play Yoda, whereas here Duvall simply seems to be playing Duvall.
  18. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Aug 30, 2011
    30
    A squishy Hallmark Channel-level melodrama that rarely bothers to mask its propagandistic intentions.
  19. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Sep 1, 2011
    25
    Until its final seconds, Seven Days in Utopia is just a piece of gee-whiz, G-rated, nicely shot evangelism outfitted as a golf movie. Then it cuts away at the pivotal moment that's normally the life's blood of inspirational sports dramas - and becomes something vastly more obnoxious.
  20. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Aug 31, 2011
    25
    Not a second of it is convincing - or compelling - but then the film is about "utopia," a blandly idealized place unblemished by hardship, malice, sin, or errant golf strokes.
  21. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Aug 31, 2011
    25
    I would rather eat a golf ball than see this movie again.
  22. Reviewed by: Andrew Schenker
    Aug 30, 2011
    20
    Director Matt Russell shamelessly pitches woo to the already converted with an unholy barrage of heavy-handed flashbacks and phony Christian uplift. If any film ever needed a mulligan….
  23. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Sep 1, 2011
    12
    The movie is terrible partly because it's badly written, directed, and conceived and partly because it lacks the necessarily thematic coherence to accomplish proselytism of any kind.
User Score
5.8

Mixed or average reviews- based on 12 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 10
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 10
  3. Negative: 4 out of 10
  1. Sep 13, 2011
    3
    Boring Christian propaganda flick--reality as they would like it to be rather than what it is. Christian fantasy. This is the kind of world imagined by people wanting to avoid dealing with the world and all it complications. When I was ten I would have enjoyed it. Full Review »
  2. Sep 2, 2011
    7
    A movie with a message,,,what a concept! It is so refreshing to be moved by a movie and feel that it was truly a great investment of time and money. Kudos to Robert Duval! Full Review »
  3. Oct 19, 2012
    2
    I think we've found the nominee for time waster of the decade. My main problem with this film was how it only gradually started with Christian values in its first three quarters, and then started streamlining them and shoveling them down your throat in the last minutes. It turns into a complete nonredeemable mess. Full Review »