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Julia Roberts, Kirsten Dunst, Julia Stiles, Maggie Gyllenhaal, Juliet Stevenson ... see more see more... , Dominic West , Ginnifer Goodwin , Topher Grace , John Slattery , Marcia Gay Harden , Jordan Bridges , Marian Seldes , Donna Mitchell , Terence Rigby , Laura Allen , Tori Amos , Paul Vincent Black , James Callahan , Ebon Moss-Bachrach , Taylor Roberts , John Scurti , Jennie Eisenhower , Leslie Lyles , Lily Lodge , Christopher Braden Jones , Chuck Montgomery , Ed Peed , Rony Clanton , Becky Veduccio , Lisa Roberts Gillan , June Miller , Aleksa Palladino , Charles Techman , Lauren Adler , Daisy Baldwin , Janine Barris , Emily Bauer , Kirstie Bingham , Jennifer Bowen , Claire Angelique , Nikki Coble , Kristen Connolly , Kristyn Coppola , Kimberly Ehly , Megan Marie Ford , Lauren Fruchter , Kate Glass , Amanda Gruss , Stella Hao , Walker Hays , Michele Hillen , Annika Marks , Amy Montminy , Lily Rabe , Katherine Reilly , Krysten Ritter , Brandy Tipton , Trisha Trokan , Megan Tropea , Maja Walpvszyl , Mary S. Pascoe , Elise Passamani , Laura M. Flahive , Devon Jencks , Erin E. Richardson , Emily R. See , Rob Buntzen , Richard O'Rourke , Christopher Bonomo , Katherine Argo , Shelby Bond , Lou Brock , Michael Choi , Melissa Deles , John D. Fowler , Nicole Frydman , Noelle Gibson , Maria Vicens Girau , Natalie Gomez , Sid Grant , Madeleine Hackney , Betina Hershey , Yuval Hod , Richard Jones , Jerry Jordan , Nickolay Khazanov , Nadia Kravets , Maria Levinstein , Kellydawn Malloy , Annette Nicole , Lance Olds , Joel Palmer , Christian Perry , Daniel Ponickly , Tony Scheppler , Solomon Singer , Gabriel Vaughan , Kim Villanueva , Dan Weltner , Larry Grenadier , Julie Wagner , Kevin Osborne , Liliane Thomas , Sarah Billings Wheeler , Denise Zadroga , Peter J. Rowan , Brad Mehldau , Jennifer H. Anderson , Lindsey White , Chris Burke , Dorothy Dwyer , Melanie Angelique Moyer , Canedy Knowles , Kristen Marie Holly , Carrie Ann Kaye , Jackie Sanders

In 1953, a time when women's roles were rigidly defined, free-spirited, novice art history professor Katherine Watson begins teaching at the prestigious all-female Wellesley College--which despite its... read more read more... academic reputation, is an environment where success is measured by 'how well' the students marry. Encouraging these women to strive for a more enlightened future, Watson challenges the administration and inspires her students to look beyond the image of what is, and consider the possibilities of what could be--contrary to popular belief.

Flixster Users

60% liked it

207,461 ratings


35% liked it

149 critics

DVD Release Date: March 9, 2004

Stats: 5,815 reviews

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Flixster Reviews (5,815)

  • June 23, 2011
    A nice film that Julia Roberts played outstandingly.
  • October 31, 2010
    Mona Lisa Smile,which is set in 1953/54, tells the story of Katherine Ann Watson (played by Julia Roberts), a teacher who studied at UCLA graduate school who leaves her boyfriend behind in Los Angeles to teach at Wellesley College, a conservative women's private liberal arts coll... read moreege in Massachusetts........
    she encourages her students to study to become career professionals,she wants her students to lead the world and not just to live as the wife of somebody. She uses modern art to suggest that they need not conform to female stereotype.
  • July 11, 2010
    Julia Roberts plays a teacher in the mid-1950's when colleges like Wellesley seem to exist just to prepare young women to be housewives, not independent people. Similar to 'To Sir with Love', the teacher has to not only teach, but inspire her students to strive to do the best th... read moreey can.
  • March 12, 2010
    Mona Lisa Smile tries to be something unique and relies on it's all-star female audience far too much. Although I did enjoy it, there seems to be no real qualities to the plot. The cast really keeps your interest in this film and the social context, in which it's set, leaves you ... read morewith some interesting questions.

    *Worth a try*
  • December 19, 2009
    In a world that told them how to live, she taught them how to think.
  • July 12, 2009
    Really good movie.
  • August 16, 2008
    Funny and sweet. One of the reasons I like this "inspirational teacher" story is that Katherine gets called out on her own liberal prejudices towards the institution of home, and realizes one's own choices take precedence over pseudo-subversive chic.
  • July 4, 2008
    i really enjoyed it really gd
  • October 13, 2007
    Better than I would have thought. I guess that's what wives are good for.
  • August 18, 2007
    Julia is a art history teacher who tries to inspire her students.

Critic Reviews

Elizabeth M. Tamny
January 10, 2004
Elizabeth M. Tamny, Chicago Reader

Roberts asks her students rhetorical questions: What makes art good or bad? Who decides? But the movie answers them as canonically as the syllabus Roberts abandons. Full Review

Peter Travers
December 23, 2003
Peter Travers, Rolling Stone

Women of the Fifties, rise up in protest.

Stephanie Zacharek
December 20, 2003
Stephanie Zacharek,

In terms of the gap between the movie it's trying to be and the movie it actually is, Mona Lisa Smile is in many ways indefensible. Yet for all its problems, it's satisfyingly movielike. Full Review

Stephen Hunter
December 19, 2003
Stephen Hunter, Washington Post

Anyone who's ever been moved by a teacher to dream a slightly bigger dream than his parents thought he or she was capable of achieving ought to love the film, for it gets at a truer model of teacher's...

Desson Thomson
December 19, 2003
Desson Thomson, Washington Post

Like the turtleneck cashmere sweaters and girdles that tie down these promising women, the movie is trite and trussed.

Claudia Puig
December 19, 2003
Claudia Puig, USA Today

Rather than being a fascinating exploration of a much more constrained time in our social history, the film simply feels anachronistic. Full Review

Geoff Pevere
December 19, 2003
Geoff Pevere, Toronto Star

[Roberts] is an anachronistic pop-feminist on a mission. Full Review

Moira MacDonald
December 19, 2003
Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times

There seems to be an odd idealization, or trivialization, of the characters that makes the movie ultimately unsatisfying. Full Review

Mick LaSalle
December 19, 2003
Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle

It's hard to believe Katherine could become a beloved teacher or inspire her students, and in the case of Mona Lisa Smile that's the same as saying it's hard to believe the movie. Full Review

Jay Boyar
December 19, 2003
Jay Boyar, Orlando Sentinel

When was the last time you saw a mainstream movie with big, flashy stars that featured a fairly sophisticated discussion of the nature of art? Full Review

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    • Katherine Watson: I don't even want you to like it. What I want you to do is consider it.
    • Joan Brandwyn: Do you think I'll wake up one morning and regret not being a lawyer?
    • Katherine Watson: Yes, I'm afraid that you will.
    • Joan Brandwyn: Not as much as I'd regret not having a family, not being there to raise them. I know exactly what I'm doing and it doesn't make me any less smart. This must seem terrible to you.
    • Katherine Watson: I didn't say that.
    • Joan Brandwyn: Sure you did. You always do. You stand in class and tell us to look beyond the image, but you don't. To you a housewife is someone who sold her soul for a center hall colonial. She has no depth, no intellect, no interests. You're the one who said I could do anything I wanted. This is what I want.
    • Betty Warren: Not all who wander are aimless. Especially not those who seek truth beyond tradition, beyond definition, beyond the image.
    • Betty Warren: Look at this, mother. She's smiling. Is she happy?
    • Mrs. Warren: The important thing is not to tell anyone.
    • Betty Warren: She looks happy, so what does it matter?
    • Katherine Watson: It says here you're pre-law. What law school do you want to go to?
    • Joan Brandwyn: I hadn't really thought about it. I always thought that after graduation I'd get married.
    • Katherine Watson: And then?
    • Joan Brandwyn: And then... I'd be married.
    • Katherine Watson: You can do both.
    • Joan Brandwyn: She is too old for him.
    • Giselle Levy: No, she is too smart for him.

Mona Lisa Smile : Watch Free on TV

Mona Lisa Smile Trivia

  • In what movie did Julia Roberts portrait a teacher trying to make a difference in the life of her students and her own.  Answer »
  • Which young actress was not featured in "Mona Lisa Smile"?  Answer »
  • Who did NOT star in "Mona Lisa Smile"?  Answer »
  • which actor was the teacher in the Mona Lisa Smile?  Answer »

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