Metascore
72

Generally favorable reviews - based on 11 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 11
  2. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Reviewed by: Adam Markovitz
    83
    The plot--based on a true story--drags, but Walters is a hoot as a prig who thinks she can stave off the swingin' '60s with a wagging finger.
  2. 80
    Brilliant acting propels this slight satire about Mary Whitehouse.
  3. A lively, thought-provoking and often humorous quasi-biopic of a real-life crusader in which there are no angels, or devils either, just a nation in the midst of change for which not everyone is prepared.
  4. The script, by Amanda Coe, has a dexterous sense of fun.
  5. Reviewed by: Brian Lowry
    80
    As played by Julie Walters, Filth is a surprisingly affectionate and sympathetic portrait of a character who easily could have been presented as a priggish scold.
  6. Screenwriter Amanda Coe is to be credited not only for developing such rich characterizations, but also for the delicacy of the show's satiric point of view.
  7. Clearly, the creators of Filth (Amanda Coe, writer, Andy De Emmony, director) had their problems settling down to a comfortable tone for this figure who was, after all, famous entirely for her career on behalf of censorship. Julie Walters, who portrays her with grand and ebullient sympathy, shows evidence of no similar problems.
  8. Yet for all the gentle ridicule heaped on Walters' character in Filth, her Mary is closer to a three-dimensional figure than Whitehouse's nemesis, BBC head Sir Hugh Greene (Hugh Bonneville).
  9. 60
    Filth too often comes off like a strained attempt at reversing the dynamic of a Marx Brothers movie, with Whitehouse the silly, charming agitator and Greene the insufferable aesthete foil with steam blowing out of his ears.
  10. 60
    Walters makes the movie seem like more than it is. She gives us a fully dimensional woman--an art teacher--who is idealistic, self-righteous, humorless, God-fearing, affectionate toward her students, driven, and not any one of those qualities to a great extreme.
  11. 50
    Rather than balance, what you get from Filth is a gratingly smug superiority that mocks both sides while failing to make any point of its own.
User Score
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No user score yet- Awaiting 2 more ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 1
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 1
  3. Negative: 0 out of 1
  1. KevinC.
    Nov 23, 2008
    9
    Great performances and a fair portrayal of the real concerns that traditionalists have in the on-going culture wars. Still a timely issue 50 years on. Full Review »