• Network: HBO
  • Series Premiere Date: Oct 18, 2012
  • Season #: 1
Metascore
68

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 9 out of 12
  2. Negative: 1 out of 12
  1. Reviewed by: Ellen Gray
    Oct 18, 2012
    70
    Though Ethel can't possibly be construed as a tell-all, much less the work of an impartial observer, it's great that someone finally got her to talk at all.
  2. Reviewed by: Cynthia Fuchs
    Oct 18, 2012
    70
    Again and again, Ethel insists she doesn't like to "talk about" her self, doesn't like to be introspective. And so the film offers images for the rest of us to parse, public performances that may or may not reveal what we want to see.
  3. Reviewed by: David Hinckley
    Oct 18, 2012
    40
    Ethel comes off as a lovely family heirloom, something future generations of Kennedys can cherish. For the rest of us, it's a little less compelling.
  4. Reviewed by: Mark A. Perigard
    Oct 18, 2012
    75
    While often touching, it's a lightweight addition to HBO's schedule.
  5. Reviewed by: Mark Feeney
    Oct 18, 2012
    50
    As it is, Kennedy buffs will enjoy Ethel enormously. Others likely will think it's about half an hour too long.
  6. Reviewed by: Ed Bark
    Oct 17, 2012
    75
    Even with its air-brushing and reticent title subject, Ethel is a watchable, oft-affecting film.
  7. Reviewed by: Alessandra Stanley
    Oct 17, 2012
    30
    Ethel is tone-deaf and maddeningly incomplete.
  8. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    Oct 16, 2012
    80
    Ethel is a moving, highly enjoyable, thoroughly absorbing portrait.
  9. Reviewed by: Verne Gay
    Oct 16, 2012
    83
    A loving portrait of a lady--but who probably would be just as happy not to have this or any portrait at all.
  10. Reviewed by: Hank Stuever
    Oct 15, 2012
    80
    People who think the Kennedy cake has been overfrosted surely won't fall for it, even though the film is undeniably moving. No one in the film tells all, certainly not Ethel.
  11. Reviewed by: David Wiegand
    Oct 15, 2012
    75
    You will come away from the film understanding a great deal about an extraordinary woman who played much more than just a supporting role in a significant period in our history. Perhaps more important, you will get a better sense of that historic period as well.
  12. Reviewed by: Tara Fowler
    Oct 15, 2012
    83
    This intimate biopic of a Kennedy matriarch is quite charming.

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