The Theory of Everything 2014

Critics score:
80 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Jocelyn Noveck, Associated Press: What shines through loud and clear, though, is the humanity in Hawking's incredible story. Read more

Wesley Morris, Grantland: "There should be no boundary to the human endeavor," we're told at some point in The Theory of Everything. But how would this movie know? There are enough boundaries in it to induce claustrophobia. Read more

Lou Lumenick, New York Post: Eddie Redmayne knocks it straight out of the universe Read more

Rex Reed, New York Observer: As the mathematical wunderkind who advanced a scientific theory beyond anyone's imagination, the great young actor Eddie Redmayne (My Week With Marilyn, Les Miserables), gives the most electrifying performance of the year. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: On one side is Mr. Redmayne's remarkable presence. On the other is Ms. Jones, whose lovely freshness and calm intelligence complement everything her co-star does. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: "The Theory of Everything" is mostly a conventional biopic about two very unconventional people, and it rests comfortably in the hands of the two actors playing Stephen and Jane. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: The film both adheres to and gently upends the conventions of the Great Man genre. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: A stirring and bittersweet love story, inflected with tasteful good humor ... Read more

Ignatiy Vishnevetsky, AV Club: If nothing else, The Theory Of Everything is an encyclopedia of lame shortcuts, from its grainy faux home-movie wedding sequence to its tendency to fade out the dialogue in order to underline-and inadvertently undercut-a traumatic moment. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: "The Theory of Everything" breaks down simply, perhaps too much so: a great performance in a good movie. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: Hawking himself has seen this film and pronounced it "broadly true," and that diplomatic generalization touches on what's right about it and what's wrong. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: For all the scientific rhetoric about the nature of time, what matters most here is how it forges, and then tests, the bond between two people. Read more

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: It works best as a study of human vulnerability and love's way with us all, and as such, a handsomely mounted, slightly hollow picture by the end becomes a very affecting one. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: The triumph of Redmayne's performance is that Stephen, after he becomes incapacitated, is the same eccentric, quizzical quester that he was when he was sprinting across the Cambridge campus. Read more

Chris Vognar, Dallas Morning News: It nestles into your consciousness with soft lighting and inspiration. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: It also stands as a tear-courting visualization of Hawking's and our precious quandary: time. Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: "The Theory of Everything" offers intimate scenes from a very specific and challenging marriage, warts, black holes and all. Read more

Preston Jones, Fort Worth Star-Telegram/ Anchored by a pair of mesmerizing performances from Eddie Redmayne and Felicity Jones, the film almost functions as a more thoughtful companion piece to the blockbuster Interstellar, which also concerns itself with matters of the heart amid the cosmos. Read more

Chris Nashawaty, Entertainment Weekly: What Redmayne does is breathtaking-and it never feels like a performance. In a much less showy role, Jones does her own heartbreaking work as the woman who dedicated her life to loving and caring for Hawking. Read more

Leslie Felperin, Hollywood Reporter: A solid, duly moving account of their complicated relationship, spanning roughly 25 years, and made with impeccable professional polish. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Redmayne and Jones are beautifully compatible as Hawking and his then-wife Jane as they navigate the ebb and flow of 25 years of their relationship. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: "The Theory of Everything" is not afraid to reveal honest, intimate and emotionally painful moments in this couple's relationship. We witness two characters who are heroic but human as they struggle to get to heart in the center of their own universes. Read more

Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald: Redmayne makes you forget you're watching an actor put himself through punishing contortions. He keeps you focused on the soul of a man trapped inside a malfunctioning body. Read more

Elaine Teng, The New Republic: Pleasing to watch... but [leaves] little lasting impression. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: This is rich material for the film's lead actors, and both are superb. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: Redmayne uses his eyebrows, his mouth, a few facial muscles, and the fingers of one hand to suggest not only Hawking's intellect and his humor but also the calculating vanity of a great man entirely conscious of his effect on the world. Read more

Stephen Whitty, Newark Star-Ledger: It is beautifully shot, well acted and - in the end - tearfully inspiring. Read more

Mark Jenkins, NPR: There's little acrimony in The Theory of Everything, which may reflect Hawking's actual outlook or just the movie's puppyish desire to please. Read more

Joe Neumaier, New York Daily News: The beautiful Jones seems limited in how deep she can burrow into Jane's frustration and sorrow. But then, anyone would be lost in Redmayne's wake. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Like so many cinematic lives of the famous, it loses track of the source of its subject's fame. Read more

Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer: Redmayne should be getting a lot of notice for his performance; it's palpable, it's poignant. Jones, too, is terrific. Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: An unremarkable bio-pic about a remarkable man. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard A well-made, well-acted but unexceptional film about one of the most exceptional figures of the last half-century. Read more

Christy Lemire, A strongly acted, handsomely crafted film that nonetheless feels bland and unsatisfying. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: Stephen Hawking, a genius challenged by a progressive neurological disease, is a role that demands miracles of an actor. And Eddie Redmayne, in a landmark performance, delivers them. Read more

Andrew O'Hehir, Any film made about two living people, with their cooperation, is necessarily going to be limited by considerations of tact and taste, and that goes double or triple in this case. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: As though it were the easiest thing in the world, "The Theory of Everything" juggles and elaborates on the three main areas of Hawking's life - his work, his illness and his marriage. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: What is the idea of romantic companionate marriage, in all its crackpot "till death us do part" absolutism, if not a theory of everything? Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: Redmayne plays the role so vividly that the film's shortcomings stop mattering. His turn is amusingly playful and emotionally touching. To call it excellent is an understatement. Read more

Joe Williams, St. Louis Post-Dispatch: "The Theory of Everything" is a brainy bio that exerts a gravitational pull on the heartstrings. Read more

Katie Kilkenny, The Atlantic: If the film unfolds like a fairytale, at least it's a fairytale that doesn't often get told. Read more

Simon Houpt, Globe and Mail: Time is at the heart of Hawking's work, and it animates The Theory of Everything, too. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: This is sheer poppycock, of course, but it makes for fine drama, and that's all Cupid and Oscar care about. Read more

Alonso Duralde, TheWrap: Hawking's innovations and refusal to subscribe to outdated modes of thinking merely underscore the utter conventionality of his film biography. Read more

Joshua Rothkopf, Time Out: At its best (which is often), director James Marsh's affecting biopic of the cosmos-rattling astrophysicist Stephen Hawking plays deftly against schmaltz. Read more

Jim Slotek, Toronto Sun: There's a mischievous quality to Redmayne that seems a good match with the wit Hawking has always managed to convey with a raised eyebrow and a mechanically-voiced quip. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Marsh takes a complicated persona and reveals a range of dimensions. The result is an engaging biopic that is often quite moving. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Village Voice: Neatly constructed, heartfelt triumph-over-adversity pictures have their place. This one is particularly sly in the way it folds complex and sometimes painful ideas about love and commitment into a somewhat glossy package. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: Director Marsh is a gifted documentarian, but at this point, his dramatic technique is too shallow to get inside his characters' heads. Read more

Ann Hornaday, Washington Post: It's an exceptional film, not because of its protagonists' impressive triumphs, but because it honors their struggle. Read more