Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics What's this?

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Generally favorable reviews- based on 58 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Based on the best-selling novel by Philippa Gregory, The Other Boleyn Girl is an engrossing and sensual tale of intrigue, romance, and betrayal set against the backdrop of a defining moment in history. Two sisters, Anne and Mary Boleyn, are driven by their ambitious father and uncle to advance the family's power and status by courting the affections of the King of England. Leaving behind the simplicity of country life, the girls are thrust into the dangerous and thrilling world of court life. What began as a bid to help their family develops into a ruthless rivalry between Anne and Mary for the love of the king. Initially, Mary wins King Henry's favor and becomes his mistress, bearing him an illegitimate child. But Anne--clever, conniving, and fearless--edges aside both her sister and Henry's wife, Queen Catherine of Aragon, in her relentless pursuit of the king. Despite Mary's genuine feelings for Henry, her sister Anne has her sights set on the ultimate prize: Anne will not stop until she is Queen of England. As the Boleyn girls battle for the love of a king--one driven by ambition, the other by true affection--England is torn apart. Despite the dramatic consequences, the Boleyn girls ultimately find strength and loyalty in each other, remaining forever connected by their bond as sisters. (Columbia) Expand
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.
  2. A richly appointed period piece, it features kingly tantrums, mistresses, bodices, roaring fireplaces, incest, and mutton. It also features sharply enunciated, period-perfect dialogue in which nary a contraction can be heard.
  3. 67
    The film looks terrific, all Vermeer-style light/dark interplay and sleek design. And Portman is fantastic as the tempestuous Anne.
  4. If you're indifferent to silly revisions of history and bad acting, you may enjoy The Other Boleyn Girl. I'm not, and I didn't.
  5. 50
    Think "Cruel Intentions" in period costume, or better yet, Sofia Coppola's "Marie Antoinette," which managed to take its subject matter lightly and seriously at the same time.
  6. 42
    This rendering of the turbulent second marriage of England's King Henry VIII proves too heavy-footed for the old movie two-step of setting up a morality tale, then exploiting it for heat and titillation.
  7. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    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.

See all 34 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 21
  2. Negative: 4 out of 21
  1. Oct 11, 2010
    Sorry, mechanical translation.

    The beauty of this film, supported by a cast worthy of the name, and a director (Justin Chadwick) that I
    brought to mind the tricks that Ignatius gives the devil when it engages nell'assalto the fortress of the soul cast , dismissed, on the one hand, struggles, and work on brains, just to penetrate another. I said, this movie gives you the opportunity to practice and entering, within the limits of its ability, in a more or less systemic analysis of the characters involved.

    This analysis, however, does not want to be in vain, to set goals, first of all to improve, not to fall into the same mistakes of our predecessors. Critical reflection on what we see, hear, read, and then that leads us to action, must be constant. The importance of this exercise improves the degree of civilization of our planet, which currently consider to be, in my personal scale of values that I call "State Collapse Terrestrial Civil - Civil Earthly State of Collapse", amounting to 40 100.
    That of Henry VIII (Eric Bana) has been a troubled life, chaotic, hectic, clerical man (Pope Leo X gave him the title of defender of the faith) because of its opposition to the theories of Luther. And anticlerical, when the passion to take over (the founder of the Anglican Church) which was established for political, religious, and especially as I said personally. Anne Boleyn (Natalie Portman) could not be his wife. Married to Catherine of Aragon, Mary was born and no male heir. And 'the political necessity of a male heir that triggers uproar in which to attend? No. The King, "He wants to have" Anna Bolena. At all costs. Failing to obtain the annulment of Rome (Pope Clement VII, fearing political repercussions by Charles V of Spain. Catherine of Aragon, wife of Henry VIII belongs to his family) strives at home. E 'parliament that relies on his desires. It 'the same Parliament to approve a series of laws that allowed the Archbishop of Canterbury to gain control of the Church of England. Since the archbishop himself is under the authority of the King, it becomes the highest authority. The games are made, marries Anne Boleyn. But this marriage will cost much blood, how many unjust decisions, foolish, will be taken. Among them, the death sentence imposed on Thomas, an opponent of the reform and coiner of the term UTOPIA. At London's King, anything is possible. The ad personam "laws have always existed.

    A criticism on himself, he probably would have done well to Henry VIII, that is, stopping a moment to analyze what has been done. The damage would have been less sure. There are many other things to say, but the beauty of cinema is just that, allows you to search, investigate, go further.
    For example:
  2. EkaterinafromRussia
    Mar 22, 2008
    I really liked the's unforgettable and it makes you think - so many time has passed, but actually not so many habits changed.
  3. MaL
    Nov 23, 2008
    I really enjoyed this fresh take on the Henry VIII story--instead of another retelling of the entire historical event,which already has been done so many times, this zooms in and focuses on some of the lesser known individuals. It shows the price of greed and ambition so great that all else, family loyalty, love, marriage vows, even faith, can be easily changed or traded. It was daring in that it used some controversial theories (like the book's author, apparently) by historians, and not just the textbook version in grade schools; it is actually not all just artistic license, although there is some of that as in most films based on factual events. Glad to see something original and not just another stodgy re-telling of the same old story, without covering new ground! Collapse
  4. JayH
    Jun 5, 2008
    Too much melodrama and not enough on the interesting aspects of the characters. It sure is pretty with great sets and costumes, but it bored me. Natalie Portman is always worth watching and the production is magnificent. Expand
  5. 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. Expand
  6. BillyS.
    Mar 17, 2008
    As The Monarchy Turns, The Days Of Our Royal Lives, The Young and The Priveledged... ...ya see where i'm going here?
  7. Fantasy
    Mar 1, 2008
    Off with its head! Avoid.

See all 21 User Reviews