Philomena (2013)



Critic Consensus: Based on a powerful true story and led by note-perfect performances from Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, Philomena offers a profoundly affecting drama for adult filmgoers of all ages.

Movie Info

Based on the 2009 investigative book by BBC correspondent Martin Sixsmith, The Lost Child of Philomena Lee, PHILOMENA focuses on the efforts of Philomena Lee (Dench), mother to a boy conceived out of wedlock - something her Irish-Catholic community didn't have the highest opinion of - and given away for adoption in the United States. In following church doctrine, she was forced to sign a contract that wouldn't allow for any sort of inquiry into the son's whereabouts. After starting a family … More

Rating: PG-13 (for some strong language, thematic elements and sexual reference)
Genre: Drama
Directed By:
Written By: Jeff Pope, Steve Coogan
In Theaters:
On DVD: Apr 15, 2014
The Weinstein Company - Official Site


as Philomena Lee

as Martin Sixsmith

as Young Philomena

as Mother Barbara

as Sister Hildegarde

as Sally Mitchell

as Pete Olsson

as Young Sister Hildega...

as Michael

as Young Nun

as Sister Anunciata

as Kathleen

as Nursery Nun

as Young Anthony

as Young Mary

as Anthony (8-10 Years)

as Kate Sixsmith

as Marcia Weller

as Dr. Robert

as Barman's Mum

as Receptionist Hotel

as Omelette Chef

as Check In Operator

as Priest In Church

as Omelette Chef
Show More Cast

Related News & Features

2014 GLAAD Media Awards Winners
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Critic Reviews for Philomena

All Critics (172) | Top Critics (43)

Dench gives a superb performance as a simple, trusting woman of faith.

Full Review… | March 26, 2015
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Dench and Cooper could do this stuff in their sleep and keep us entertained, which they do, but it's the nuanced twists and turns in both the characters and the story that elevate the picture beyond the familiar.

Full Review… | June 28, 2014
Windy City Times

I'd be a grouch to call the two leads anything but delightful, and they both stretch in directions you mightn't expect.

Full Review… | April 23, 2014
Columbus Alive

Director Frears handles the story with enough dramatic weight and light comic fare to make "Philomena" a sweet and very compelling human tale...

Full Review… | March 1, 2014
Cinema Crazed

Be not fooled by the marketing materials, which make the film look like an aged-up version of The Trip with Judi Dench in place of Rob Brydon. Philomena is a terrifically made, entertaining work.

Full Review… | February 28, 2014
Concrete Playground

Dench is brilliant as the adult Philomena. In spite of her generally outgoing appearance there is a sadness behind her eyes born of five decades of heartbreak.

Full Review… | February 9, 2014

Audience Reviews for Philomena

A remarkable film in every way. The acting was excellent -- a lifetime of pain and regret can been seen in Dench's eyes at certain times. The script was wonderful -- credibly showing different (but equally valid) reactions to unspeakable injustice by two people of different ages, faith experiences, genders, and educational backgrounds. This is one of my favorite films of 2013.

Christian C

Super Reviewer


These two unlikely companions are on a journey to find her long lost son.

Very Good FIim! Sometimes I get the feeling filmmakers have lost their way. Formulas work and make the basics irrelevant so we get carbon copy blockbusters appealing to the masses clearly showing a reckless disregard for what filmmaking is all about: visually telling a story. And then a film like Philomena comes along and reminds us of the magic that can happen when a true craftsman and artist skillfully blends the basic ingredients of story, character, camera, and music into an exhilarating and powerful work of art. This film is satisfying at every level and gives me hope that some people still know what they are doing when they take the money and do their job effectively. The folks on this one should be extremely proud of their efforts.

When former journalist Martin Sixsmith is dismissed from the Labour Party in disgrace, he is at a loss as to what do. That changes when a young Irish woman approaches him about a story of her mother, Philomena, who had her son taken away when she was a teenage inmate of a Catholic convent. Martin arranges a magazine assignment about her search for him that eventually leads to America. Along the way, Martin and Philomena discover as much about each other as about her son's fate. Furthermore, both find their basic beliefs challenged.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


Phenomenal. Par excellence.

familiar stranger

Super Reviewer

Philomena Quotes

– Submitted by Ken C (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Ken C (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Ken C (16 months ago)
– Submitted by Teri S (16 months ago)

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