The Secret Garden


The Secret Garden

Critics Consensus

The Secret Garden honors its classic source material with a well-acted, beautifully filmed adaptation that doesn't shy from its story's darker themes.



Total Count: 42


Audience Score

User Ratings: 195,078
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Movie Info

The 1993 remake of The Secret Garden is a rendition of the classic Frances Hodgon Burnett novel about a young girl (Kate Maberly) who discovers an abandoned garden on her uncle's large Victorian country estate, as well as an invalid cousin she didn't realize she had. With the help of a local boy, the girl sets out to restore the garden and, once it is blooming again, she discovers it has magical powers.


Kate Maberly
as Mary Lennox
Maggie Smith
as Mrs. Medlock
Heydon Prowse
as Colin Craven
Walter Sparrow
as Ben Weatherstaff
Irène Jacob
as Mary's Mother
Frank Baker
as Government Official
Colin Bruce
as Major Lennox
David Stoll
as Grandfather at Dock
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News & Interviews for The Secret Garden

Critic Reviews for The Secret Garden

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (17) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (5)

  • The result is an instant classic -- rich, dense, resonant, powerful.

    Aug 1, 2013

    Jay Carr

    Boston Globe
    Top Critic
  • While drawing superb performances from her young leads, Holland has masterfully contrasted the garden -- a place where melodic robins seem almost conversant -- with the dread of Misselthwaite.

    Aug 1, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • The movie's dark themes, unhurried pace and talkiness make it something of a gamble for many children. But older children -- especially those who have been asking specific questions about death -- may find some nourishment in this garden.

    Aug 1, 2013 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • This enchanted tale vividly shows how love heals and nurtures barren souls, makes them flourish like abundant Edens.

    Aug 1, 2013 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Rather than a fresh breeze, it's the stale air of gilded calculation, the uncomfortable feeling that things are excessively "just so," that overhangs much that is genuinely appealing about this film.

    Aug 1, 2013 | Full Review…
  • It's as if the moviemakers were trying to cook up a New Age Yorkshire pudding, without meat drippings -- what's missing is Burnett's robust optimism and animistic energy.

    Aug 1, 2013

Audience Reviews for The Secret Garden

  • Feb 15, 2015
    Maggie Smith is in this! It's a charming period piece and is gorgeous to look at. The soundtrack is a bit OTT but it doesn't detract from this powerful adaptation. Still fresh!
    Juli R Super Reviewer
  • Sep 25, 2012
    Production values are pretty good. In terms of the overall storyline, I'm afraid that I have lost some of the magic of youth that allows this to be appreciated.
    John B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 15, 2012
    Sweet and enchanting tale inside and outside its deeper theme. The Secret Garden brings you to a magical world of secrets and an adventure towards revival of one's soul.
    August S Super Reviewer
  • Nov 04, 2011
    Caught this on television late in the morning, saw Deakins's name, and decided to go back to childhood with a viewing. I cannot think of another kids movie that looks like a Bergman/Nykvist collaboration and that's a good thing for Mr. Deakins who lets the kids fable unfold amidst a Victorian, rich, and moody backdrop. The acting from all the youngsters is commendable. The story doesn't get laborious like other movies of its ilk and most importantly 'The Secret Garden' exists somewhere else, outside from what Hollywood wants families to see, outside from the mainstream of the movies starring twelve-year-olds who are already actors/musicians/models/products and only bring an expectance of witless dialogue and a total destruction of the phrase 'family fun' to the movies they star in. What I'm getting at is this movie wouldn't get a green light in todays movie climate and that's a shame.
    Jonny B Super Reviewer

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