A pastel-colored, embroidered wall-hanging of a drama directed by Rob Reiner.
Lisa Schwarzbaum - Entertainment Weekly
The magic of this new movie's title emanates from the beautiful, measured performances of its stars.
Stephen Holden - New York Times
It's predictably ironic that The Magic of Belle Isle champions the unparalleled power of imagination while displaying absolutely none of its own.
Nick Schager - Village Voice
It's earnest, predictable and disposable.
Kerry Lengel - Arizona Republic
You can quarrel with the smiley-face outcome of every ordeal, but the tenderness and optimism are so powerful and ingratiating that only a viewer with the darkest sensibility will go away untouched.
Rex Reed - New York Observer
Shaggily sentimental and a few spells short of enchantment.
John Anderson - Variety
"The Magic of Belle Isle'' smothers two of this year's best performances - by Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen - in enough family-friendly sweetness to induce diabetic shock.
Lou Lumenick - New York Post
So resolutely inoffensive that it flirts with Hallmark Hall of Fame territory.
William Goss - Film.com
There's a comforting inevitability to The Magic of Belle Isle, as an alcoholic author spends a soothing, rejuvenating summer in a sleepy lakeside village.
Serena Donadoni - indieWIRE
Shamelessly schmaltzy and predictable from first moment to last, Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle nonetheless manages to conjure a certain spell.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
It has some heartfelt performances and a nice, nondescript vibe, but it's largely unmemorable.
Mark Olsen - Los Angeles Times
All we're left with is an uneven story that could have landed on "Best of Straight-to-DVD" shelves or the $1 bin at your local Walmart for Grandma to find.
Freeman, an actor who can be fierce and disagreeable on screen and in person, is content to turn on the twinkle. Unfortunately, Reiner seems all too happy to let him.
Uninspiring sentimental inspirational pic.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
The problems with the dialog and story are overcome by the fact that this is a very nice, warm, romantic story with some magic in it.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
This is a cuddly puppy of a movie - what heart is so dark to do it violence?
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
Corny, obvious, and shallow as a puddle, it traffics in outdated stereotypes, overused cliches, and ham-handed emotions. Trust me: your 80 year-old grandmother will love this movie.
Mike McGranaghan - Aisle Seat
Probably only in theaters because ABC Family said, 'Sorry, this is a little hokey for us.'
Matt Pais - RedEye
If this were real life and not a movie, Mr. Wildhorn would be written off as a crank and ostracized within a week.
Mick LaSalle - San Francisco Chronicle
Sometimes it's difficult to remember that Reiner once directed This is Spinal Tap.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
Family drama has syrupy plot but fabulous performances.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Madsen, a strong actress who might have matched Freeman, is portrayed in varying shades of blandness. Even Freeman, good as his is, is held back here.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
As sticky-sweet and textureless as a bowl of pudding, though an amused central performance from star Morgan Freeman continually finds nuance and the unexpected where there ultimately isn't any.
Alison Willmore - Movieline
This screenplay is so poorly crafted, it trumps many of those that have eroded the Reiner legacy since '96. "Good script"? Per Inigo Montoya: "I do not think it means what you think it means."
Kimberly Gadette - Doddle
That Freeman would be willing to settle for this, perhaps, isn't that surprising; he hasn't been interesting in breaking a sweat for awhile now. But is this really the best that director Rob Reiner can manage?
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
The film lacks subtlety and never misses a chance to tug at the heartstrings, gradually drowning amid all of its melodramatic contrivances.
Todd Jorgenson - Cinemalogue.com
'The Magic of Belle Isle' may not be magical, but many Morgan Freeman fans will probably enjoy his droll, loquacious performance in this uneven offering.
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
For a movie that spends so much time extolling the virtues of the imagination to show so little of its own is more than ironic -- it's offensive.
Sam Adams - AV Club
This gooey reteaming of Rob Reiner and Morgan Freeman is crammed tight with baldly manipulative elements, its tearjerker quota busting at the seams.
R. Kurt Osenlund - Slant Magazine
One of Reiner's best.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
A spiritual film for all true believers in the power of love to transform lives.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Too schmaltzy, but so what? See it for Morgan Freeman's performance.
Harvey S. Karten - Compuserve
A solemn poetic tale, but not without moments of tenderly wrought humor resisting the consuming darkness. Owing to the film's always truthful, naked emotion, and the depth and richness of Freeman's performance and of Virginia Madsen's as well.
Prairie Miller - NewsBlaze