The Age of Innocence


Universal acclaim - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 21
  2. Negative: 0 out of 21

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    I have seen love scenes in which naked bodies thrash in sweaty passion, but I have rarely seen them more passionate than in this movie, where everyone is wrapped in layers of Victorian repression.
  2. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Michael Wilmington
    A great, velvety, beautiful anachronism. It's a movie almost drunk on romance, literature and cinema, a splendid period picture that keeps rashly breaking rules and boundaries [17 Sept 1993, Friday, p.A]
  3. Christian Science Monitor
    Reviewed by: David Sterritt
    Thoughtful and reflective, it stands with the most exquisitely crafted films in recent memory, joining eloquently conceived images to an uncommonly literate screenplay. [17 Sept 1993, Arts, p.11]
  4. Up through its first half, The Age of Innocence is a masterfully orchestrated tale of romantic yearning.
  5. Los Angeles Times
    Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    A beautifully done adaptation of the novel, polished, elegant and completely cinematic. It is also a bit distant, a film that doesn't wear its feelings on its sleeve, but given the effects it's after, that would be counterproductive. [17 Sept 1993, Calendar, p.F-1]
  6. 100
    A sumptuous motion picture, a feast for the senses.
  7. 88
    Day-Lewis is smashing as the man caught between his emotions and the social ethic. Not since Olivier in "Wuthering Heights" has an actor matched piercing intelligence with such imposing good looks and physical grace.
  8. San Francisco Chronicle
    Reviewed by: Peter Stack
    Best “performances,'' however, are given by the movie's almost agonizingly beautiful historical settings -- luxurious households, rich architecture, furnishings, ornaments, draperies, fineries and such are often more captivating than the hushed tones of the lovers. [17 Sept 1993, Daily Notebook, p.C1]
  9. It comes eerily close to duplicating the experience of reading while, at the same time, remaining very much a motion picture. That's a rare, perhaps even unprecedented, achievement.
  10. The New York Times
    Reviewed by: Vincent Canby
    Ms. Pfeifer is lovely, the visual focal point of the film, but also much more. With her soft voice, her reserve and her quickness of mind, her Ellen has emotional weight. She's the film's heart and conscience. [17 Sept 1993, p.C1]
  11. 80
    Less fruitful is the casting of Michelle Pfeiffer as May's older cousin, the mysterious Countess Olenska, with whom Archer falls hopelessly in love. With her silly blond curls, Pfeiffer looks more plaintive than the dark exotic of Wharton's imagination.
  12. Time
    Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    A gravely beautiful fairy tale of longing and loss. [20 Sept 1993, p.82]
  13. Its loving exploration of the arcane workings of a closed society, that of wealthy, well-bred New Yorkers of the 1870s, has more in common than one might expect with Scorsese's earlier work, from "Mean Streets" through "Goodfellas."
  14. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    After watching Pfeiffer and Day-Lewis submerge molten 19th-century sparks here, it is now conceivable that Scorsese could make compelling cinema out of “Three Blind Mice.” [17 Sept 1993, Life, p.1D]
  15. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Scorsese has met most of the challenges inherent in tackling such a formidable period piece, but the material remains cloaked by the very propriety, stiff manners and emotional starchiness the picture delineates in such copious detail.
  16. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Julie Salamon
    A magnificent movie. [19 Oct 1993, p.A18(E)]
  17. 100
    Instead of "Masterpiece Theatre"-style fawning, [Scorsese] fills this movie with visual flow, masterful cinematography and assured direction. There's an alert, thinking presence behind the camera.
  18. 80
    Though lovely to behold, this film isn't meant to send you home with a song in your heart.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 42 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 5
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 5
  3. Negative: 1 out of 5
  1. JoshC.
    Nov 19, 2006
    A bore from begining to end. This is white elephant art at its worst.
  2. GiuseppeB
    Oct 10, 2006
    Michelle Pfeiffer had to win the Oscar.
  3. HTI.
    Feb 1, 2006
    This is one of the most heart-wrenching movies I have experienced.