Metascore
46

Mixed or average reviews - based on 14 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 3 out of 14
  2. Negative: 2 out of 14
  1. Reviewed by: Rex Reed
    Jul 11, 2012
    75
    The Magic of Belle Isle is a warm, human, feel-good experience about bringing out the best in people, one that brings out Morgan Freeman's best performance in years.
  2. Reviewed by: Stephen Holden
    Jul 5, 2012
    70
    Ms. Madsen, radiant and tousled, without a trace of narcissism, conveys maternal devotion, undaunted courage and a serene sensuality. Real, if idealized, grown-ups: We haven't seen them much in the movies lately, but here they are.
  3. Reviewed by: Pete Hammond
    Jul 2, 2012
    70
    Reiner has crafted the perfect summer film in The Magic Of Belle Isle. No, not one with a lot of noise and battles and comic book heroes, but rather a wonderfully laid back family story set around a gorgeous lake, about the everyday problems of real people from 7 to 70.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jul 3, 2012
    60
    Though the story's wrapped-with-a-bow finale is never in doubt-ol' Meathead remains a populist, pandering Hollywood man through and through-Belle Isle still manages to cast enough of an enchanting spell.
  5. Reviewed by: Alison Willmore
    Jul 7, 2012
    50
    As sticky-sweet and textureless as a bowl of pudding, though an amused central performance from star Morgan Freeman continually finds nuance and the unexpected where there ultimately isn't any.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jul 6, 2012
    50
    Almost every scene is pitched for dewy sympathy. Madsen, a strong actress who might have matched Freeman, is portrayed in varying shades of blandness. Even Freeman, good as his is, is held back here. His rock bottom isn't very rocky, and far from bottomless.
  7. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 6, 2012
    50
    Even in an underwritten role, the delightful Madsen shines in her best performance since her comeback role in "Sideways."
  8. Reviewed by: Mark Olsen
    Jul 5, 2012
    50
    It has some heartfelt performances and a nice, nondescript vibe, but it's largely unmemorable.
  9. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jul 4, 2012
    50
    A crotchety, alcoholic, wheelchair-bound coot played on cruise control by Morgan Freeman learns these recycled lessons in a pastel-colored, embroidered wall-hanging of a drama directed by Rob Reiner.
  10. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 3, 2012
    50
    With graceless melodramatist Rob Reiner at the helm, it's predictably ironic that The Magic of Belle Isle champions the unparalleled power of imagination while displaying absolutely none of its own.
  11. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Jul 2, 2012
    50
    This gooey reteaming of Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman is crammed tight with baldly manipulative elements, its tearjerker quota busting at the seams.
  12. Reviewed by: Kerry Lengel
    Jul 13, 2012
    40
    Freeman is back in Reiner's latest, The Magic of Belle Isle, which has all the pathos and saccharine of "The Bucket List" but little of the humor. It's earnest, predictable and disposable.
  13. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jul 12, 2012
    25
    For about an hour of its running time, The Magic of Belle Isle seems like a tiresome, sentimental and slow-moving story about a grumpy old man redeemed by the sweet spirit of a rural town and by the nice family that lives next door. But no, it's even worse than that.
  14. Reviewed by: Sam Adams
    Jul 4, 2012
    16
    For a movie that spends so much time extolling the virtues of the imagination to show so little of its own is more than ironic - it's offensive.

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