Box art for Iris


drama, foreign

Here's the powerful true story based on John Bayley's novels that earned Jim Broadbent an Academy Award® for Best Supporting Actor* and Academy Award Nominations* for Best Actress Judi Dench and Best Supporting Actress Kate Winslet!

Rotten Tomatoes® scores

  • Critic Score
  • Audience Score

movie reviews from Rotten Tomatoes®

  • Tomatometer®

    reviews counted: 26
    see all Iris reviews
  • Audience


Top Critic Reviews

Fresh: Not just a fitting document of a life brilliantly lived but a vibrant, almost palpitating piece of cinema.

- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, Friday, February 15, 2002

Fresh: As the story of heroic response to tragic illness, Iris is the kind of film often cynically pegged a 'disease of the week' movie. But unlike such formulaic TV productions, Iris' heroine is denied the capacity to be inspiring.

- Bruce Westbrook, Houston Chronicle, Friday, February 15, 2002

Fresh: Because the performances are so powerful, one nearly forgets that in its vaulting between the '50s and '90s, Iris is a story with a beginning and end but without a middle.

- Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer, Friday, February 15, 2002

Audience Reviews

2 stars

While I watched this film, I enjoyed it. i enjoyed Dench's convincing portrayal of the Alzheimer's-afflicted Murdoch and Winslet as the vivacious younger Murdoch, and I was astounded by Jim Broadbent, who deserved the Oscar for Murdoch's stuttering, inferior-complex-afflicted, devoted husband. He is truly fantastic in this role. But as I thought about the film, I realized just how eminently forgettable it is. Not only is it thin on plot, the narrative structure - with multiple flashbacks and half-scenes - actually detracts from the dramatic impact of the story. Attention story-tellers of all ilks: this is how *not* to do fractured time. Just because Tarantino can make it work, doesn't mean everyone else can. Also, for a moment, the Dench/Broadbent storyline seems to echo A Beautiful Mind, and we are mercifully given a central, driving goal, but this is unfortunately abandoned, and more rousing violins play. Thank heavens for Broadbent, who almost makes it all worth it.

- hunterjt13, Wednesday, November 3, 2010

3 stars

"Her greatest talent was for life" True story of the lifelong romance between novelist Iris Murdoch and her husband John Bayley, from their student days through her battle with Alzheimer's disease. REVIEW Heartbreaking true-life account biopic about acclaimed British author Iris Murdoch who succumbed to Alzheimer's disease. Dench and Winslet play Murdoch in her latter and early days respectively as well as Broadbent and Bonneville as her beloved husband and colleague in literature John Bayley (all by the way superb and effortless in their transitions onscreen uncannily echoing each other). Based on Bayley's books about his late, great wife and the downward spiral that was cruelly ironic for such a woman of wit and talent.

- LorenzoVonMatterhorn, Wednesday, June 9, 2010

3 stars

True story about an author's fall from Alzheimer's disease. Judi Dench paints a terribly sad portrait and Jim Broadbent gives an achingly tender supporting performance.

- zeravenyoej, Wednesday, April 4, 2007