Universal acclaim - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 31
  2. Negative: 0 out of 31
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    One of the year's best movies and certainly its most delightful screen surprise.
  2. Topsy-Turvy reminds us that, in any age, creative expression is at once the most personal and most communal of enterprises.
  3. 100
    It is one of the year's best films.
  4. Brilliantly acted, sumptuously filmed, and overflowing with mellifluous music.
  5. A tribute to anyone who ever picked up a score, a pen, a paintbrush or a grease pencil - or a movie camera.
  6. A masterful film about the magic of performance and the foibles of the artists behind it.
  7. Some movies delight you. Some stimulate and provoke. Some enlighten and inform. And some simply hand you a rousing good time-- does all of that and more.
  8. Part of the appeal of Topsy-Turvy is its generosity about human folly and shortcomings. Its wistfulness is very touching.
  9. 91
    It's as full a movie as you can imagine -- exhausting and exhilarating and continually fascinating.
  10. Thoroughly researched, unobtrusively upholstered, this beautifully assured entertainment about Victorian England is a string of delights.
  11. 90
    We never seem to be looking at actors, but at people; never at scenes, but at life unrehearsed.
  12. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    Filled with delicious backstage drama, and superb actors reveling in the opportunity to play their 19th-century counterparts.
  13. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    Leigh and his solid cast make sure that inside jokes translate to a broad audience, and that their rendering of the back-stage drama is smart, engrossing and often very funny.
  14. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    A monument to process -- to the minutiae of making art -- Topsy-Turvy leaves you upside down and breathless.
  15. 90
    Not only Mike Leigh's strongest film since "Naked" but a true show-making epic.
  16. Reviewed by: Deborah Young
    This beautifully crafted and lively romp around the 1880s stage world should enjoy its longest life as a vid classic.
  17. 90
    The year's most beguilling and touching surprise. Bravo.
  18. Reviewed by: Janet Maslin
    One of those films that create a mix of erudition, pageantry and delectable acting opportunities, much as "Shakespeare in Love."
  19. A 160 minute work of sustained brilliance and delicacy.
  20. 89
    Wildly entertaining, "Shakespeare in Love" minus the Bard and the babe, but with substantive style to burn.
  21. A hive of broad, brilliant performances.
  22. Mike Leigh's great big, superbly performed homage to the creative process.
  23. 88
    A joyous, amazingly detailed paean to imagination and personal expression that dares -- and succeeds -- to illustrate one of the most mysterious enigmas of all: the creative process.
  24. Revels in the sensual pleasure of music while capturing brilliantly the tension that grips any theater company before the curtain goes up.
  25. At 160 minutes, it's a bit long and uneventful for anyone who is not at least a moderate fan of the musicals.
  26. 81
    Topsy-Turvy is flawless, borne along by a savagely witty screenplay that Leigh directs like the gears of a clock.
  27. A bit longer than it might be, a bit more attached to its digressions than we might wish. But the length does encourage the feeling that we've been through the whole creative process with Gilbert and Sullivan .
  28. 70
    A loving, gently funny and slightly claustrophobic tribute to theatrical life.
  29. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    In the end, it's the snatches of music, mangled as it is, and the mechanics of staging it, in the absence of Leigh's usual raw, urgent psychic collisions, that keep Topsy-Turvy from seeming merely a gorgeous wax museum.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 24 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 7
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 7
  3. Negative: 2 out of 7
  1. CherylC.
    Jan 21, 2006
    What an extraordinary evocation of an era, the theater and the creative process generally. A thoroughly enjoyable, wonderfully well done production!