The King's Speech 2010

Critics score:
95 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Richard Roeper, Richard By now we almost take Firth's brilliance for granted. Almost. He's magnificent here, as are Geoffrey Rush and Helena Bonham Carter. Read more

Glenn Kenny, MSN Movies: ... as a genteel middlebrow entertainment, [this] is largely very well-played indeed, and thus deserves to do well. Read more

Manohla Dargis, New York Times: Too ingratiating to resonate deeply. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: 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. Read more

David Edelstein, 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. Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: The King's Speech has left me speechless. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: The King's Speech is one of the most pleasurable movies to come along in years. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: "The King's Speech" is old-fashioned filmmaking at its best: a good story, elegantly told, and a joy to watch. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: 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. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: 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. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Complacent middlebrow tosh engineered for maximum awards bling and catering to a nostalgia for the royalty we've never actually had to live with. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: 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. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: 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. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: 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. Read more

Peter Rainer, 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. Read more

Chris Vognar, 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. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: 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. Read more

Christopher Kelly, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ A polite, occasionally rousing, and more often than not, boring affair. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: The King's Speech is simultaneously cozy and majestic. Read more

Kirk Honeycutt, Hollywood Reporter: A riveting, intimate account at how a British king triumphed over a speech impediment with the help of an unorthodox speech coach. Read more

Kenneth Turan, 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. Read more

Randy Myers, 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. Read more

Connie Ogle, Miami Herald: 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. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: 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. Read more

Anthony Lane, New Yorker: There is a kernel to this movie which feels harder and more stubborn than the pleasing, period fluff that enfolds it. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: In The King's Speech, Colin Firth once again reminds us of what a great actor he is. Read more

Bob Mondello, NPR: Director Tom Hooper...could here be said to cross up underdog-biopic expectations in what amounts to a high-toned, elegantly upholstered buddy flick. Read more

Ethan Alter, Hollywood Reporter: The King's Speech has been crafted to serve as an actors' showcase first and foremost and Firth and Rush don't disappoint. Read more

Joe Neumaier, 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. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: The King's Speech is the rare work of art that's also an immense crowdpleaser. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: As the speechmaker and his speech teacher, Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush elevate each other's game to the stratosphere and beyond. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: A fully satisfying and uplifting period piece that achieves its dramatic potential without sacrificing historical accuracy. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: If the British monarchy is good for nothing else, it's superb at producing the subjects of films. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: The King's Speech -- a crowning achievement powered by a dream cast -- digs vibrant human drama out of the dry dust of history. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, 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. Read more

Colin Covert, 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. Read more

Joe Williams, 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. Read more

Rick Groen, Globe and Mail: The King's Speech is a lively burst of populist rhetoric, superbly performed and guaranteed to please even discriminating crowds. Read more

Liam Lacey, 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. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: It's the odds-on favourite to win Best Picture at the next Academy Awards in February, and deservedly so. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The King's Speech adheres to every rule in the Oscar playbook. Read more

Dave Calhoun, Time Out: The sense of period is strong and made especially real in scenes in which royalty find themselves incongruously in small, distinctly non-palatial homes. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: 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. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: 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. Read more

Peter Debruge, Variety: A stirring, handsomely mounted tale of unlikely friendship starring Colin Firth and Geoffrey Rush. Read more

J. Hoberman, Village Voice: 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. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: Go! Enjoy! Read more