Generally favorable reviews - based on 17 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 13 out of 17
  2. Negative: 0 out of 17
  1. 100
    A ravishing, romantic lark brimming over with style, intelligence and flashing wit.
  2. 100
    The summer's uncorseted, unqualified delight. [14 July 1989, Calendar, p.6-1]
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Like Harry and Sally, the movie is hardworking, spot on; it winepresses its conversation into epigrams. No surprise here.[31 July 1999, p.65]
  4. 90
    It's a movie that walks on air.
  5. 88
    Together, Crystal and Ryan really click. Even though their characters are polar opposites (or perhaps because of it), their interaction has a charm and warmth that most motion picture pairings lack.
  6. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    The joy comes not from the will-they-won't-they romance between the two leads, but from the sharply written humour from the pen of writer Nora Ephron.
  7. [Reiner] pulls everything together adroitly to make Harry Met Sally a real refreshment. It's what they call a summer picture, which means that, if it's good as this one is-it will seem summery even in winter. [21 Aug 1989, p.26]
  8. 75
    What makes it special, apart from the Ephron screenplay, is the chemistry between Crystal and Ryan.
  9. 75
    From his long experience in television, [Reiner] has learned how to create characters with just enough depth to hold together but not so much that they become too individualized, too stubbornly complex. [12 July 1989, Tempo, p.1]
  10. The kind of little film you can get cozy with, laugh at in odd places even when nobody else is laughing - and yet people will not turn around to glower at you because they understand. [12 July 1989, Daily Datebook, p.E1]
  11. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    As a successful careerist who tries purging his neuroses in a coin-operated batting cage, Crystal is funny enough to keep Ryan from all-out stealing the film. She, though, is smashing in an eye-opening performance, another tribute to Reiner's flair with actors. [12 July 1989, Life, p.1D]
  12. The comedy is warm and witty and wafer-thin, as easy on the palate as a raspberry sorbet on a summer afternoon.
  13. What he forgot to ask Woody [Allen] for was the keen insight into middle-class folkways that marks the best Allen pictures. [28 July 1989, Arts, p.10]
  14. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    The plot may seem anything but fresh (and the borrowings from Woody Allen certainly are stale), but director Rob Reiner has a killer instinct for setting up jokes and punchlines.
  15. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Rob Reiner directs with deftness and sincerity, making the material seem more engaging than it is, at least until the plot machanics begin to unwind and the film starts to seem shapeless.
  16. Very slickly and glibly put together, with a sharp eye for yuppie decor and accoutrements; even Woody's habitual, fanciful vision of an all-white New York is respected.
  17. Reviewed by: Caryn James
    Like the sitcom version of a Woody Allen film, full of amusing lines and scenes, all infused with an uncomfortable sense of deja vu.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 50 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 13
  2. Negative: 0 out of 13
  1. Aug 14, 2014
    Thanks to some blisteringly honest humor from Nora Ephron and Rob Reiner and a keen sense of warmth between Crystal and Ryan,"When Harry Met Sally" rightfully earns its spot atop the list of cinema's most iconic romantic comedies. Full Review »
  2. Oct 5, 2013
    Best Romantic Comedy I have ever seen. Director Rob Reiner has a killer instinct for setting up jokes and punchlines, and is vastly aided by the performances and chemistry of Crystal and Ryan, as well as crisp supporting work from Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby and I can seriously say that is one of the greatest films of all time. Full Review »
  3. Aug 23, 2013
    The element of surprise is the key factor that makes Harry (Billy Crystal) meeting Sally (Meg Ryan) so spot on, I for one was lead to believe that these two were going to start the film as best friends, but we see various situations where the two run into each other over the course of twelve years, they live their lives with typical progression of occupation, dating and marriage, and perhaps more so now, divorce. But yet their paths continue to cross to the point where they do indeed become each others shoulder to cry on, which by way of default stirs feelings that set the whole random occurrences into motion. Harry is a fast-talking and confident in his successful career role, while Sally also leads quite a mirrored life to Harry, yet their personalities and attitudes are entirely different.
    They begin a friendship which tests boundaries and openness from the beginning, and many of the funnier moments of the film come from the various explanations of conversations they had when they last met, but how differently the two remember them. Billy Crystal's comic timing is impeccable, he delivers his lines with ease and promise, showing his skill of handling complex dialogue but still managing to make every word count to something funny. He plays a m,an who has the answers to life and its imperfections, yet doesn't know much as well, the whole aspect of the film challenges friendship and sexual tension, while Meg Ryan plays a character who shows an exterior confidence but also has the soft centre of a human being who wants to be held and loved like anyone else. She has a strong likeable personality that works well with her good looks, easily matching the witty delivery of Crystal, with a few of her very own memorable scenes that continue to print the film into many minds.
    We have a strong supporting cast in the form of Carrie Fisher and Bruno Kirby, who play the respective friends of Harry and Sally, these two play pivotal roles in the cause and effect routine of dating and taking it to the next level, the opposite of the two lead characters situation. But like what many others have said, it can feel in many aspects like a sitcom being told in various flashbacks, it sometimes loses its cool when it skips five years ahead or so, more time could have been spent developing these characters as individual entities rather than the two of them facing similar situations.
    That aside, this is a strong and likeable romantic film that has witty characters and unorthodox moments, the leads share great chemistry and will never fail to be there for some laughs.
    Full Review »