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Generally favorable reviews - based on 47 Critics What's this?

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7.6

Generally favorable reviews- based on 295 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: Once a healthy, active young man, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now hasOnce a healthy, active young man, Stephen Hawking (Eddie Redmayne) received an earth-shattering diagnosis at 21 years of age. With his wife Jane (Felicity Jones) fighting tirelessly by his side, Stephen embarks on his most ambitious scientific work, studying the very thing he now has precious little of - time. Together, they defy impossible odds, breaking new ground in medicine and science, and achieving more than they could ever have dreamed. Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 36 out of 47
  2. Negative: 0 out of 47
  1. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Nov 13, 2014
    100
    Just in physical terms, Eddie Redmayne transformation’s into Stephen Hawking is something remarkable.
  2. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Nov 20, 2014
    88
    A brainy bio that exerts a gravitational pull on the heartstrings.
  3. Reviewed by: Kevin Harley
    Jan 9, 2015
    80
    A lovingly balanced biopic that fends off award-gobbling clichés. Smarts + heart = a winner: it’s a simple equation, but Marsh makes it add up.
  4. Reviewed by: Nikola Grozdanovic
    Sep 15, 2014
    75
    The film is a boilerplate biopic, but with stunning cinematography and a couple of fierce performances, The Theory of Everything is nothing if not an accomplished and emotional work of cinema.
  5. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Nov 13, 2014
    75
    The movie's pretty light on matters of science. It works best as a study of human vulnerability and love's way with us all, and as such, a handsomely mounted, slightly hollow picture by the end becomes a very affecting one.
  6. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Sep 15, 2014
    67
    No matter how much The Theory of Everything showcases the incredible process through which Hawking maintains a connection to the rest of the world, it falls short of burrowing inside his head.
  7. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 27, 2014
    40
    And let's be honest: Hawking and Wilde's romance is lovely in its own way. But his scientific work? That's important. That's staggering. That's life-changing, not just for him, but for all of us. And The Theory of Everything? Despite that title, and despite those performances, it just doesn't feel like any of those things.

See all 47 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 61 out of 75
  2. Negative: 7 out of 75
  1. Nov 7, 2014
    10
    Being a fan of Hawking myself, I was impressed by James Marsh's Hawking flick, with great acting and brilliant screenplay, although someBeing a fan of Hawking myself, I was impressed by James Marsh's Hawking flick, with great acting and brilliant screenplay, although some information was a little inaccurate, it is still the only Stephen Hawking film that I have ever seen, so I didn't know what to expect. Expand
  2. Feb 8, 2015
    10
    Ever since I saw the first trailer, I was wanting to see this film. I am a very big Stephen Hawking fan, & I saw this film on New Year's Eve.Ever since I saw the first trailer, I was wanting to see this film. I am a very big Stephen Hawking fan, & I saw this film on New Year's Eve. Eddie Redmayne was not in the movie. That was Stephen Hawking himself! That is how great Redmayne was. This was really interesting to watch, & the science in this film really got my brain going. This is my favorite movie of 2014 & The Theory of Everything absolutely gets 5/5 stars! If Eddie Redmayne doesn't win the Best Actor oscar, it will be a sad day for us all. Expand
  3. Feb 21, 2015
    9
    I expected this movie to be an overly romanticized sugar coated version of Jane and Stephen Hawking That's probably the reason why I didn'tI expected this movie to be an overly romanticized sugar coated version of Jane and Stephen Hawking That's probably the reason why I didn't rush to the theater to see the film. Although, it's tastefully done, the story is does not shy away from the difficulty they faced.

    The Theory of Everything seamlessly shows their life, the personal side of thing, and it's no romantic comedy. The film tells a great deal of what this brilliant man and his wife had to endure. Jane married this genius man, on borrowed time, planning to cherish the little time they had but in time found herself with a husband, whose slowly crumbling body, demands a lot of her. Stephen, this brilliant young man, who had a bright future in front of him, found himself faced with a hurdle he can't possibly overcome and only live with. Their story is beautifully told, fascinating but also cruel.

    The Theory of Everything is subtle and clever. Like I said, it's not an overly sugar-coated and romanticized story of Stephen and Jane Hawking. They are portrayed as strong and determined people but they're also flawed, which makes them human and very likable. I was touched all the way through, immersed into the story and into their lives, but I did not pity them I admired them. The immersion into the story is wonderfully accompanied by the score. It gives an extra layer to such a beautiful story.

    The cast is just superb, Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones really deserve the nominations and awards they got because they carried the movie. Redmayne was incredible and once you fathom the amount of work and details that went into this performance, you realize how impressive Eddie Redmayne's performance is. Felicity Jones, though, is the cherry on top the movie wouldn't have been as good without her in it. She's sweet and incredibly good as Jane Hawking her eyes speak for themselves in the movie. She's brilliant.

    As Biopics go, The Theory of Everything is a great one among the many we had this year with Unbroken, and The Imitation Game, or Selma. When the story's great and you have a very talented cast, the director is often overlooked James March did a stellar job.

    I now understand what all the fuss is about. The Theory of everything as a great script, talented cast, is believable and touching.

    @wornoutspines
    Expand
  4. Jan 5, 2015
    8
    If you want a film that is going to inspire you, not with fictional stories, but instead with the use of a true one grounded in reality thanIf you want a film that is going to inspire you, not with fictional stories, but instead with the use of a true one grounded in reality than “The Theory of Everything” is what you should go out and see right now. It is, simply put, a fantastic, life-affirming film that is propelled forward by its story and its leading roles. In that order. And the rest of the film is pretty good too. But “The Theory of Everything” isn’t all about Stephen Hawking (played by Eddie Redmayne) and how incredible his story is. Instead the film is “part biopic, part love story” with the latter telling us about the imperfect marriage between Stephen Hawking and Jane Wilde (played by Felicity Jones).
    Eddie Redmayne is fantastic as Stephen Hawking and what is best at how he portrays Hawking getting worse in regards to his Motor Neurone Disease (/ALS). Redmayne starts the film as a young Hawking and we can tell this guy is clever. But it is as the film goes on that Redmayne’s performance gets better. Halfway through the film we are looking at a slouched Redmayne, slurring his words and occasionally smiling and by the end of the film we are looking at Redmayne playing Hawking as he is now. In testament to this the real-life Stephen Hawking commented, on seeing the film, that he felt he was sometimes looking back in time at himself. I’m with him. His performance is again, incredible, as incredible as the story he has the privilege to tell. If I don’t see him in the running for the Best Actor Oscar come February then I will be surprised.
    Felicity Jones performance as Jane Wilde is magnificent too. Although on the surface she doesn’t seemingly require the various skills that Redmayne has to delve into, she again does the story and her real-life counterpart justice. Although she starts the film as a student, we come to see her having to raise 3 children as well as look after her husband and you feel that she really is going through all this. Again, the real-life Jane Wilde was impressed with Jones’ performance. When I think about Best Actress potential this year, she should also be in the running for the appropriate Oscar.
    Harry Lloyd is brilliant as Stephen’s university friend Brian too. Although Brian is a mere composite character, he is a brilliant one at that. His attitude is drawn from Jane’s descriptions of “Stephen’s fellow lodgers and research students” at Cambridge: “They talked to him in his own intellectual terms, sometimes caustically sarcastic, sometimes crushingly critical, always humorous. In personal terms, however, they treated him with a gentle consideration which was almost loving.” He could also be in for an Oscar nomination for Best Supporting Actor.
    But it is the story that really propels “The Theory of Everything” forward and it provides for half the reason as to why the films leads are fantastic. The film itself is based on Jane Wilde’s 2008 autobiography “Travelling to Infinity: My Life with Stephen”, a flattering account of their initial marriage and a significantly different, revised edition of the 1999 autobiography “Music to Move the Stars: My Life with Stephen”, a less flattering account of their marriage, sparked when Hawking left Wilde for his nurse Elaine Mason in 1990. (It’s worth noting they quietly divorced in 2006 following a 5 year period of rumours over whether Mason abused Hawking, apparently hitting him, throwing him around and even leaving him in the sun to burn for several hours.) The revised edition was sparked by her and Hawking managing to develop a good working relationship with Wilde.
    The story of “The Theory of Everything”, as I said earlier, is “part biopic, part love story”. We learn in the film of how clever Hawking was and how he refused to let his disability stop him from being great, initially managing to overcome the 2 years he was given to live and ultimately managing to become a household name. But this isn’t what “The Theory of Everything” is really about. Although the film does give Hawking his due, it’s not as if Eddie Redmayne has a bigger role than Felicity Jones. Their roles are coequal and the film thus focuses on Stephen and Jane’s relationship, in particular how Wilde had to cope with raising 3 children whilst looking after her husband.
    “The Theory of Everything” is a fantastic film with a fantastic story and two fantastic leads. The only problem I had with the film, and it’s always there for me when I watch this kind of film, is although it is never boring, you do find yourself occasionally wondering how long is left. But this is not the final thought I want to leave you with. Instead, let me remind you that “The Theory of Everything” is again, a fantastic film and worth seeing if you get the chance. It tells you something that apparently a nurse wiped a tear from Hawking’s eye when he first saw the film.
    Expand
  5. Mar 14, 2015
    7
    What "The Theory of Everything" lacks in substance it makes up for in the transformative and tremendously expressive performance by EddieWhat "The Theory of Everything" lacks in substance it makes up for in the transformative and tremendously expressive performance by Eddie Redmayne. He elevates what is otherwise quite a conventional and glossy entry to the biopic genre that is handsomely made, affecting and entertaining in its own right, but not nearly as thought-provoking as it ought to be. Expand
  6. Dec 15, 2014
    7
    The movie itself is OK, the acting is what prompts a higher rating. The film did seem a bit top heavy (first half was moreThe movie itself is OK, the acting is what prompts a higher rating. The film did seem a bit top heavy (first half was more intriguing/character development focused) while the second half (although well acted) definitely dragged on. Expand
  7. Feb 24, 2015
    0
    Another mediocre film with okay performances. Redmaynes performance is ok but not amazing . However felicity jones is way too weak and hard toAnother mediocre film with okay performances. Redmaynes performance is ok but not amazing . However felicity jones is way too weak and hard to understand the hype.i hated the films tone , that Disneyish tone was awful and a serious biopic should be told like that Expand

See all 75 User Reviews

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