Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
  1. An absorbing, exciting costume drama that works as a historical romance, a family tragedy and a showcase for its young stars.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 61 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. Jan 12, 2012
    The Other Boleyn girl is a real mixed bag of a film when looking at just about every facet of its creation. It's got loads of talent behind it - director Justin Chadwick has experience with period dramas from working on Bleak House, Peter Morgan has written some great screenplays in the past for The Queen, Frost/Nixon and The Damned United, and Sandy Powell has proven her talent as a costume designer for Shakespeare in Love and Gangs of New York. The three leads Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson and Eric Bana certainly look and sound the part as Anne and Mary Boleyn and Henry VIII respectively (and it's nice to see Portman maintaining her accent throughout the film, as she was unable to do in V for Vendetta). The real star of the show (as she should be, being the beating heart of the story) is Scarlett Johansson, who imbues Mary with genuine emotion, and understandable motivations - she just wants to be left alone to a lead a quiet life, and you really feel for her as she is used and abused by the king, court and her own family. Eric Bana's take on a young, virile Henry VIII is entertaining, as is Kristin Scott Thomas who plays Ma Boleyn as a bodice-burning feminist. Disappointingly, the main weak link in the cast is Natalie Portman. Her performance isn't bad as such, but as a character, Anne remains as an enigma for the whole film - we never understand her, or why she does what she does, and consequently she just comes across like an evil step-sister. The film has some good dramatic moments, and the authentic-looking costumes and locations are shot beautifully. That said, the majority of the film feels a little disconnected - some scenes don't appear to lead on from the previous ones, and huge amounts of time pass by in the blink of an eye for little or no explanation. One moment Anne has been banished to the French court, and the next scene she's back, and her character hasn't developed in any noticeable way. It has glimmers of brilliance, but The Other Boleyn girl just isn't consistent enough to be a noteworthy piece of film entertainment. It was a stroke of genius to cast two of the most beautiful and charismatic actresses in the world as one of the most infamous and powerful pairs of sisters in English history, and Scarlett Johansson gives a great performance, but Natalie Portman disappoints, and the film as a whole doesn't quite deliver as a historical drama, or even as a semi-historical romp. It's just a bit dull at times, and I think I'd take Showtime's high-camp series The Tudors over The Other Boleyn Girl any day, simply because it's a lot more fun. Full Review »
  2. Nov 9, 2011
    Je veux bien comprendre que pour la plupart, ce film ne sera qu'un long et pénible mélodramatique historique à suivre avec ennui. Pour les autres, Deux Soeurs pour un Roi est ce qu'il est, c'est-à-dire un film historique de très grande envergure, très loin du spectaculaire hollywoodien, qui nous sert une très bonne brochette de comédiens (Natalie Portman, Scarlett Johansson, Eric Bana), de décors et de costumes, en plus d'une musique envoûtante qui donne tout son charme à l'ambiance du film. Certes long, scénario classique et mis en scène sans originalité, Deux Soeurs pour un Roi n'en reste pas moins une somptueuse fresque historique! Full Review »
  3. Jun 13, 2011
    The simple fact of the matter is you can not take a 350 page book and make it into a 1 and a half hour movie without it feeling rushed. This movie falls victim to this very thing. The first half of the movie tries to cover way to much ground in to little time. The other problem is this story is very sex laced. But in an effort to be open to a wider audience they made this movie a PG13 when it should have been R. Over all not a horrible movie, the acting was good and the settings were great but they jumped over important parts and the continuity was confusing and rushed. It's sad that such a good book fell short on the big screen. Full Review »