Generally favorable reviews - based on 22 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 22
  2. Negative: 0 out of 22

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Critic Reviews

  1. To say that Eastwood, who directed, has done a first-rate job of adaptation fails to do him justice. What he's brought off is closer to alchemy.
  2. 88
    It is easy to analyze the mechanism, but more difficult to explain why this film is so deeply moving.
  3. 88
    A beautiful film, not only in the way it was photographed, but for the manner through which the characters are revealed to us.
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    May 19, 2014
    The strength of Eastwood’s Bridges is in its patience, and how it lets the love story develop from start to finish, even though the audience knows from the beginning the broad strokes of what’s going to happen.
  5. Limited by the vapidity of this material while he trims its excesses with the requisite machete, Mr. Eastwood locates a moving, elegiac love story at the heart of Mr. Waller's self-congratulatory overkill.
  6. Reviewed by: Angie Errigo
    Streep and Eastwood's chemistry makes the film.
  7. Bridges is another example of Eastwood's remarkable economy of style as both a director and an actor. It is neither his best work nor his worst, though it is a fascinating exploration.
  8. Clint Eastwood transcends the story's cliches with a classically restrained yet steadily imaginative filmmaking style.
  9. Robert Waller's inexplicably colossal bestseller is transferred to the screen with more art than it deserves, but neither old-fashioned Hollywood craftsmanship nor the massive star power of Eastwood and Streep can compensate for the story's intellectual slightness and emotional implausibility.
  10. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Given the intelligent restraint of the treatment, this is about as fine an adaptation of this material as one could hope for, although there is still something of a gap between the impressive skill of the filmmaking and the ultimately irredeemable aspects of the source.
  11. The reason for the film's success is simple. Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese and director Eastwood skirt most of novelist Robert James Waller's excesses.
  12. Reviewed by: Jack Kroll
    What Eastwood and Streep have done is to bring a semblance of emotional reality to the story.
  13. 70
    Screenwriter Richard LaGravenese and director Clint Eastwood have turned out something sombre and restrained -- almost, in fact, good (though it's too long).
  14. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Through the actress's effort and her director's generosity, this book about an irresistible man becomes a movie about a remarkable woman. Madison County is Eastwood's gift to women.
  15. USA Today
    Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Richard LaGravenese's flashback script craftily tones down Waller's wind, adds a germane subplot and strengthens the novella's framing device. [02 Jun 1995, p.D1]
  16. The film version, competently directed by Clint Eastwood and beautifully acted by Meryl Streep, isn't about to mess with a popular formula - this is a straight-up adaptation as faithful as a fawning spouse.
  17. 60
    While this adaptation of Waller's treacly bodice-ripper leaves out a lot of the lurid excess, it is not altogether free of pomposity.
  18. The New Republic
    Reviewed by: Stanley Kauffmann
    Eastwood, who directed the picture adequately, is inadequate in this role. He has done a lot of impressive acting in films, but none of it has been sexually romantic, and the age of 64 was not the right time to take up that line of work. [03Jul1995, Pg. 26]
  19. LaGravenese... has understood that the worst of Bridges is not in its dialogue but in the silent musings that occupy its characters' minds. By keeping those thoughts unspoken, by allowing the camera to show instead of having words tell, much has been accomplished.
  20. Even those who despised the original novel should not have trouble stomaching Bridges, while the novel's fans will find the film -- despite some additions -- generally true to what they perceive to be the book's spirit.
  21. Director Eastwood favors naturalism and sometimes the effort to reproduce what it is like to meet someone new bogs the picture down irreparably.
  22. Clint Eastwood resurrects the star system, the Hollywood love story, and middle-aged romance, but despite all his craft and sincerity, he and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese can't quite turn Robert James Waller's cardboard best-seller into flesh and bone.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 78 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 2 out of 3
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 3
  3. Negative: 1 out of 3
  1. Nov 17, 2013
    This was a horrible movie. It plods along haphazardly with very two-dimensional characters. This did not feel like a romantic movie for theThis was a horrible movie. It plods along haphazardly with very two-dimensional characters. This did not feel like a romantic movie for the ages, but a lame attempt in justifying a superman-like lover that could do no wrong. This was not believable, and the prose was laughable. Avoid this movie and watch something else. A complete waste of time. Full Review »
  2. PatrickG.
    Mar 13, 2007
    Clint Eastwood is working on full cylinders here. A very moving portrait. Close to melodrama, but never slipping into the mushy abysm of the Clint Eastwood is working on full cylinders here. A very moving portrait. Close to melodrama, but never slipping into the mushy abysm of the novel on which it's based. It deserves all the praise in the world for it's honesty, bravery, and intelligence. Full Review »
  3. JulianB
    Oct 26, 2006
    A romantic and wonderful movie