Finding Neverland 2004

Critics score:
83 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Terry Lawson, Detroit Free Press: We can always see the frightened little boy in the man, and the importance of the role that make-believe plays in a world often too eager to tell us to accept things as they are instead of urging us to remake them by dreaming of how they could be. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Watchable and passably engaging. Read more

Michael Wilmington, Chicago Tribune: Finding Neverland has a radiance that comes primarily from Depp's performance but finally suffuses the whole movie -- with its marvelous cast and lovingly created images of a British Edwardian past. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Pretty as a Victorian candy box and gentle as a sleeping child's breath, Finding Neverland is a small treasure of a film. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: The movie is one long snooze, until the finish leaves half the audience glowing and in tears. Read more

Richard Roeper, Ebert & Roeper: I like the way this film kind of mirrors Peter Pan. That we have these magical elements, little things that of course are now keystones and touch notes in the Peter Pan story we see how the idea first came to him. Read more

Eleanor Ringel Gillespie, Atlanta Journal-Constitution: The film reminds us not only of the many uses of enchantment, but of the exhilarating magic of the words, 'Let's pretend.' Read more

Bill Muller, Arizona Republic: Forster builds on each scene, and the finale ... is quite moving. Read more

Wesley Morris, Boston Globe: Good taste runs amok. The movie is careful to offend no one, which, in a more dramatically told film might not be as irritating. Read more

Carina Chocano, Los Angeles Times: Finding Neverland is gently seductive, genuinely tender and often moving without being maudlin. Read more

Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle: Some things are worth causing a lump in your throat. Finding Neverland is one of them. Read more

Paul Clinton (, I'd rank it as one of the best films of the year. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The verities are about the ways imagination is craved and curtailed by loved ones and by society. Read more

Owen Gleiberman, Entertainment Weekly: Depp, as the Scottish-born turn-of-the-century playwright J.M. Barrie, portrays a fellow who is openly gentle to the core, and the actor just about wraps the movie around his lilting delivery and quiescent gaze. Read more

Philip Wuntch, Dallas Morning News: Despite opportunities to turn soft and clammy, the film is moving but not maudlin, whimsical but not cloying. Read more

Ella Taylor, L.A. Weekly: As Peter Pan might have put it, an awfully small adventure. Read more

John Anderson, Newsday: In its understated way, it is based on a sense of what separates children from adults and how someone like Barrie might have bridged that gap. Read more

Ken Tucker, New York Magazine/Vulture: If it didn't have Johnny Depp as its star, Finding Neverland would barely pass muster as an average PBS Masterpiece Theatre entry. Read more

Jami Bernard, New York Daily News: As a study of the creative process, Finding Neverland is too literal, yet gives a healthy idea of the richness and ingenuity of Barrie's work. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: It's harmless cotton candy with pleasant turn-of-the-century decor, but I admit the Disney ambiance eventually wore me out and I spent a lot of time looking at my watch. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Marc Forster's handsome-looking film stars Johnny Depp as J. M. Barrie and Kate Winslet as the widow whose sons inspired Barrie to write Peter Pan. Read more

Andrew Sarris, New York Observer: Finding Neverland establishes its limits and then transcends them to provide a glorious entertainment for this holiday season. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: Finding Neverland is not exactly the way it happened, but this is a movie with a higher truth, one we need to believe in. And you will believe. You will. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: This is solid but unspectacular entertainment, and most who see it will leave theaters satisfied, although not overwhelmed. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: For Depp, Finding Neverland is the latest in an extraordinary series of performances. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Glorious entertainment. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Forster doesn't know how to make his story flow -- the picture moves from scene to scene with an almost painfully mechanical precision. Read more

Jeff Strickler, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Intelligent and inspiring. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: It's a mild pleasure to watch. Read more

Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star: There isn't much that's less interesting to watch Johnny Depp do than bring a quiet and steady decency to anything. Read more

Wally Hammond, Time Out: Infused by an awkward decorum; the kind that descends on a gathering dominated by an unmentioned death or transgression. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: The story is told gently and simply without excess sentimentality. It is a welcome departure from more contrived holiday fare. Read more

Todd McCarthy, Variety: Impeccably made and genuinely moving. Read more

Jessica Winter, Village Voice: Finding Neverland practices a tasteful restraint, embodied by Depp's unusually subdued performance. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: Depp is a charm. He becomes his own, subtly compelling Barrie. Read more

Teresa Wiltz, Washington Post: You're expected to weep, and perhaps you will weep. But if you do, it's not likely that you'll respect yourself in the morning. Read more