The Magic of Belle Isle (2012) - Rotten Tomatoes

The Magic of Belle Isle2012

The Magic of Belle Isle (2012)



Critic Consensus: Neither Rob Reiner nor Morgan Freeman are able to conjure up their old magic in this dull trifle, with both director and star appearing content to tread through the paces of the saccharine script.

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Movie Info

Reuniting with director Rob Reiner from the hit film, The Bucket List, Freeman plays Monte Wildhorn, a famous Western novelist whose struggle with alcoholism has sapped his passion for writing. He takes a lakeside cabin for the summer in picturesque Belle Isle, and befriends the family next door-an attractive single mom (Madsen) and her young daughters-who help him find inspiration again. -- (C) Magnolia

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Morgan Freeman
as Monte Wildhorn
Virginia Madsen
as Charlotte O'Neil
Madeleine Carroll
as Willow O'Neil
Emma Fuhrmann
as Finnegan O'Neil
Fred Willard
as Al Kaiser
Nicolette Pierini
as Flora O'Neil
C.J. Wilson
as Fire Captain
Ash Christian
as Carl Loop
Jessica Hecht
as Karen Loop
Christopher McCann
as Bookstore Owner
Kevin Pollak
as Joe Viola
Boyd Holbrook
as Luke Ford
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News & Interviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

Critic Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle

All Critics (34) | Top Critics (18)

Hopeless drivel.

February 14, 2020 | Full Review…

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.

November 1, 2012 | Rating: B | Full Review…

If this were real life and not a movie, Mr. Wildhorn would be written off as a crank and ostracized within a week.

July 12, 2012 | Rating: 1/4 | Full Review…

It's earnest, predictable and disposable.

July 12, 2012 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…

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.

July 12, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
Top Critic

Shamelessly schmaltzy and predictable from first moment to last, Rob Reiner's The Magic of Belle Isle nonetheless manages to conjure a certain spell.

July 9, 2012 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for The Magic of Belle Isle


This is a hidden gem from director Rob Reiner, reconnecting him with Morgan Freeman from The Bucket List. If you enjoyed that film, you'll probably like this one as well. This concerns a journey through life's turmoil, although without the presence of Nicholson-much less acerbic. Belle Isle is a beautiful, tender story about characters you really care about. Like Bucket List, this movie is about second chances in life, making the best of what time you have left. I appreciated that it had a theme for every stage of life, although it centered on Monte Wildhorn (Freeman). The intersection of his life with the newly-divorced mother and children of varying ages next door was the perfect complement and foil for Wildhorn. The film does venture into schmaltzy, Hallmark territory, but just go with it. Allowing yourself simply to be inspired and entertained won't hurt. One criticism: The sort-of romantic angle between Monte Wildhorn and Charlotte O'Neil (Virginia Madsen) seemed forced, not plausible or realistic to me. Madsen was quoted as saying that her on-screen relationship with Freeman (albeit brief) was the first on-screen romance in his long, storied career. Kudos to Reiner, then for thinking outside the box.

Clintus Maximus
Clintus Maximus

Super Reviewer

Sweet, charming movie Rob Reiner style. Many chuckle moments that I got a kick out of, especially with the character Carl. Morgan Freeman is wonderful, as usual...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer


Comic drama that can best be described as nice, Morgan Freeman and Virginia Madsen make it seem better than it is.

jay nixon
jay nixon

Super Reviewer

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