Metascore
50

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 14 out of 34
  2. Negative: 5 out of 34
Watch On
  1. 38
    It's pretty hard to make a dull movie about Henry VIII and his complicated love life, but The Other Boleyn Girl, a failed Oscar contender, manages to do just that, with yawns to spare.
  2. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    38
    Not good enough to take seriously and, sadly, not bad enough to be any fun.
  3. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    10
    The falling blade is the only element not missing the mark in this film. I wanted to call for the beheading after Act One, and spare the audience instead.
  4. The all-description storytelling leads to other problems, too, the worst being that "Boleyn" suffers from the same affliction as "The Golden Compass," where you're told about interesting stuff happening elsewhere in another movie you'd much rather be watching.
  5. 30
    The most sterile of bodice-rippers, a genteel soap opera in which the sex and intrigue are so muted, so tasteful, that they practically blow off the screen in a scattering of dust.
User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 67 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 23
  2. Negative: 4 out of 23
  1. Jan 4, 2015
    5
    the Other Boleyn Girl is a fine costume drama. The sumptuous period detailing and respectable performances are definitely pluses. Historicalthe Other Boleyn Girl is a fine costume drama. The sumptuous period detailing and respectable performances are definitely pluses. Historical inaccuracy (history buffs will know that Anne unwisely goaded the king and boasted about her infidelity in certain circles) and a general lack of depth are it's minuses. Over all The Other Boleyn Girl is an entertaining yet forgettable watch. On a minor side note, this film could be enjoyed as a direct prequel to the Elizabeth movie series, if one were so inclined. Full Review »
  2. Aug 25, 2014
    7
    I am aware that after watching The Tudors lately on TV, this movie felt a little strange; a lot of familiar names shot back and forth, and itI am aware that after watching The Tudors lately on TV, this movie felt a little strange; a lot of familiar names shot back and forth, and it was a bit harder to draw a line between the series and the movie than I would have thought.

    The plot itself felt a little rushed. That wasn't bothersome during the movie, but looking at it afterwards, they didn't focus on anything, really. Events, big and small, passed without any larger significance, and sometimes that felt wrong because some events were prepared for thorough the entire movie.

    All in all the story was satisfactory, I must say. The acting and music were good, and the world portrayed on the screen felt very real to me.

    It was clear this movie focused on the Boleyn girls, Anne and Mary, and Henry was left to the shadows. Maybe that is okay, because I don't think Eric Bana delivered Henry's part all that well. He felt so... subdued, somehow.
    Full Review »
  3. Jan 12, 2012
    5
    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 itThe 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 »