Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes
By now we almost take Firth's brilliance for granted. Almost. He's magnificent here, as are Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter.
... as a genteel middlebrow entertainment, [this] is largely very well-played indeed, and thus deserves to do well.
If you can get past the nagging sensation that what you're watching is a cynical calculation to appeal to the Academy, well, you'll be delighted, because the The King's Speech is undeniably charming.
New York Magazine/Vulture:
It's a prizewinning combination, terribly English and totally Hollywood, and Firth is, once more, uncanny: He evokes, in mid-stammer, existential dread.
"The King's Speech" is old-fashioned filmmaking at its best: a good story, elegantly told, and a joy to watch.
The King's Speech is admirably free of easy answers and simple, happy endings; it's a skewed, awards-ready version of history, but one polished to a fine, satisfying shine.
OK, sure, "The King's Speech" obviously is feel-good Oscar bait, but who cares? It's also a terrific movie with two fantastic performances at its heart.
Complacent middlebrow tosh engineered for maximum awards bling and catering to a nostalgia for the royalty we've never actually had to live with.
J. R. Jones,
No holiday season would be complete without a starchy British historical drama, and the Weinstein Company obliges us this year with this pleasant story the Duke of York, who had to overcome a serious stammer.
Although everything can go wrong with a film before it gets to the casting stage, and often does, a couple of marvelous performances can elevate solid, well-carpentered material and make it something special.
The King's Speech is a warm, wise film -- the best period movie of the year and one of the year's best movies, period.
Christian Science Monitor:
Among many other good things, The King's Speech, directed by Tom Hooper and written by David Seidler, is a meditation on a transitional time when royalty was expected to speak to the nation and not just pose commandingly before it.
Dallas Morning News:
With its rich source material shaped from real-life events, The King's Speech doesn't need to overplay its hand -- especially not with a king waiting in the hole.
It is an intelligent, winning drama fit for a king -- and the rest of us. And this year, there were far too few of those coming from Hollywood.
A riveting, intimate account at how a British king triumphed over a speech impediment with the help of an unorthodox speech coach.
Los Angeles Times:
Both actors completely inhabit their absorbing roles, relishing the opportunity their exchanges provide and adding unlooked-for layers to a complicated human relationship.
San Jose Mercury News:
Firth makes us feel his alienation, his self-loathing and his sense of privilege. He gives the film its full-bodied voice, one that's perfect in tone, perfect in pitch.
Not merely a spot-on period piece; it's also a heartfelt study in the shadings of courage, a film about duty and friendship that's often warmly funny and sometimes painful to watch.
A powerful back story does not necessarily improve a movie, but The King's Speech has a pretty irresistible one. It might even end with a dramatic night at the Oscars in February.
There is a kernel to this movie which feels harder and more stubborn than the pleasing, period fluff that enfolds it.
Director Tom Hooper...could here be said to cross up underdog-biopic expectations in what amounts to a high-toned, elegantly upholstered buddy flick.
The King's Speech has been crafted to serve as an actors' showcase first and foremost and Firth and Rush don't disappoint.
New York Daily News:
One of the many remarkable things about The King's Speech is how this subtle film's central relationship speaks to the divisions between people.
New York Post:
The King's Speech is the rare work of art that's also an immense crowdpleaser.
As the speechmaker and his speech teacher, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush elevate each other's game to the stratosphere and beyond.
A fully satisfying and uplifting period piece that achieves its dramatic potential without sacrificing historical accuracy.
If the British monarchy is good for nothing else, it's superb at producing the subjects of films.
The King's Speech -- a crowning achievement powered by a dream cast -- digs vibrant human drama out of the dry dust of history.
It's a warm, richly funny and highly enjoyable human story that takes an intriguing sideways glance at a crucial period in 20th-century history.
Minneapolis Star Tribune:
Put aside the finery, eloquent dialogue and sublime acting, and you have a marvelous odd couple farce featuring Bertie and Lionel, a timid, tongue-tied king and a casual, self-assured commoner.
St. Louis Post-Dispatch:
The King's Speech is the epitome of prestige cinema, an impeccably crafted and emotionally compelling drama that deserves the many laurels it surely will receive.
Globe and Mail:
The King's Speech is a lively burst of populist rhetoric, superbly performed and guaranteed to please even discriminating crowds.
Globe and Mail:
Colin Firth excels as England's shy, repressed, stammering monarch, George VI (aka "Bertie"), in a performance that's deftly matched, syllable for syllable, by Geoffrey Rush.
It's the odds-on favourite to win Best Picture at the next Academy Awards in February, and deservedly so.
The sense of period is strong and made especially real in scenes in which royalty find themselves incongruously in small, distinctly non-palatial homes.
Honestly, the thought of George VI flubbing his big moment pales in the larger picture. Via some closing text, we learn that he inspired the nation to strength. But politics is about more than being in fine voice.
Let's say it without equivocation: Colin Firth deserves an Oscar for his lead role in The King's Speech as the stammering King George VI.
A stirring, handsomely mounted tale of unlikely friendship starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush.
A picnic for Anglophiles, not to mention a prospective Oscar bonanza for the brothers Weinstein, The King's Speech is a well-wrought, enjoyably amusing inspirational drama that successfully humanizes, even as it pokes fun at, the House of Windsor.