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The Bridges of Madison County (1995)

tomatometer

89

Average Rating: 7.4/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 51 | Rotten: 6

Sentimental, slow, schmaltzy, and very satisfying, The Bridges of Madison County finds Clint Eastwood adapting a bestseller with heft, wit, and grace.

95

Average Rating: 8.2/10
Critic Reviews: 19
Fresh: 18 | Rotten: 1

Sentimental, slow, schmaltzy, and very satisfying, The Bridges of Madison County finds Clint Eastwood adapting a bestseller with heft, wit, and grace.

audience

87

liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 47,234

My Rating

Movie Info

The brief, illicit love affair between an Iowa housewife and a post-middle-age free-lance photographer is chronicled in this powerful romance based on the best-selling novella by Robert James Waller. The story begins as globetrotting National Geographic photographer Robert Kincaid journeys to Madison County in 1965 to film its lovely covered bridges. Upon his arrival, he stops by an old farmhouse to ask directions. There he encounters housewife, Francesca Johnson, whose spouse and two children

PG-13,

Drama, Romance

Richard La Gravenese

Sep 25, 1997

Warner Bros.

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All Critics (57) | Top Critics (19) | Fresh (51) | Rotten (6) | DVD (6)

With Eastwood as Kincaid and Meryl Streep as Francesca, this carefully observant love story turns Waller's pop-lit passion into screen art.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Bridges is an admirable achievement, one that probably does more to reposition its maker as someone who can carry a movie without carrying a gun than as the director/star of a Love Story for the Loving Care set.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The result, if rather thin and certainly far from a masterpiece, is nevertheless quite lovely. This affecting little film is easily one of Eastwood's best efforts as a director.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The two leads' sly comic rhythm is miles removed from the book's failing solemnity.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: New Yorker
New Yorker
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Eastwood's Bridges has the energy and spontaneity of a picture that was shot quickly. And that serves the material well, because it removes the solemnity that could stiffle a modern classic.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Despite all his craft and sincerity, [Eastwood] and screenwriter Richard LaGravenese can't quite turn Robert James Waller's cardboard best-seller into flesh and bone.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The strength of Eastwood's Bridges is in its patience, and how it lets the love story develop from start to finish, even though the audience knows from the beginning the broad strokes of what's going to happen.

May 5, 2014 Full Review Source: The Dissolve
The Dissolve

Those who found Waller's book an outrageously bad read may be gratefully surprised to find less mush in the movie.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Beautifully photographed and directed with an intimate maturity, the film reveals its characters in an unhurried way, thus making the audience accomplices in the unfolding liaison.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

The movie, thank goodness, is better than the book. What's more surprising is that The Bridges of Madison County is an accomplished piece of moviemaking.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

The emotions evoked by this Bridges are in a minor key compared to the book, but they are honestly earned.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The Bridges of Madison County is as good as it is because of its performances. It's as bad as it is because of its source.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Still one of Hollywood's most assured directors, Clint Eastwood transcends the story's cliches with a classically restrained yet steadily imaginative filmmaking style.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Streep and Eastwood's chemistry makes the film.

July 31, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

The film is good enough; Streep is the X-factor that makes it excellent.

August 16, 2011 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Audience Reviews for The Bridges of Madison County

A perfectly executed film.
November 11, 2013
Graham Jones

Super Reviewer

I was reluctant to take a chance on this one because of the pretense, but the story and Miss Streep drew me in. Now that I've seen it - no regrets.
March 28, 2010
flixsterman
Randy Tippy

Super Reviewer

Not the quickest moving movie, but worth watching if you can perserve with it. Very sad and has something to say about living the life that makes you happy, and not to please everyone else. The main character does not manage to do this and you see the impact not only on her own life, but on that of her daughter who has been raised to see life in the same way and now also finds herself less than happy in a bad relationship. Sympathy is also there for the husband as it was not his fault he was not the right person for his wife. Nice acting and not a feel good movie, but a good one for anyone who likes to think.
August 17, 2009
romy861

Super Reviewer

    1. Robert Kincaid: I don't want to need you.
    2. Francesca Johnson: Why?
    3. Francesca Johnson: 'Cause I can't have you!
    – Submitted by Hong Anh N (16 months ago)
    1. Francesca Johnson: I was wrong, Robert. I was wrong, but I can't go. Let me tell you again why I can't go. Tell me again why I should go.
    – Submitted by Hong Anh N (16 months ago)
    1. Robert Kincaid: Hey Francesca! You're anything but simple.
    – Submitted by Patricia G (2 years ago)
    1. Francesca Johnson: We are the choices that we have made, Robert.
    – Submitted by Karina V (2 years ago)
    1. Robert Kincaid: This kind of certainty comes but once in a lifetime.
    – Submitted by Mauricio R (3 years ago)
View all quotes (5)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Brücken am Fluß (DE)
  • Sur la route de Madison (FR)
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