A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

Critics Consensus

Much like the beloved TV personality that inspired it, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood offers a powerfully affecting message about acceptance and understanding.

95%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 264

91%

Audience Score

Verified Ratings: 8,468
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Movie Info

Tom Hanks portrays Mister Rogers in A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD, a timely story of kindness triumphing over cynicism, based on the true story of a real-life friendship between Fred Rogers and journalist Tom Junod. After a jaded magazine writer (Emmy winner Matthew Rhys) is assigned a profile of Fred Rogers, he overcomes his skepticism, learning about empathy, kindness, and decency from America's most beloved neighbor.

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Critic Reviews for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

All Critics (264) | Top Critics (43) | Fresh (251) | Rotten (13)

  • With so much time devoted to Lloyd's world, A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood doesn't have room for any sort of standard arc about Fred Rogers...

    Nov 22, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • This is a movie that's both entertainment and spiritual toolkit-take from it what you need.

    Nov 22, 2019 | Full Review…
  • It's hard not to wish that the story was as consistently good as the man -- and performance -- at its center... The temptation is nevertheless simply to give in to the movie, which is perhaps as it should be.

    Nov 22, 2019 | Full Review…

    Brian Lowry

    CNN.com
    Top Critic
  • A kind of gentle and deeply affecting filmmaking that is completely original and reflective of Rogers himself.

    Nov 22, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • A celebration of Mr. Rogers and the healing capabilities of his words and doctrine, the movie may not be a splashy as many of the year-end multiplex stocking stuffers but the experience it offers tugs effectively at the heart strings.

    Nov 22, 2019 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Hanks' energy in the role wonderfully gets at what A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood wants to convey.

    Nov 22, 2019 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood

  • 2d ago
    A film about friendship and forgiveness more than a film about Mr. Rogers, it's told through the lens of a friendship with Mr. Rogers. That's really the best way you could do this type of story though I think. Tom Hanks is such a powerhouse icon himself it might be hard to see Rogers through him, but he's so damn good that pretty quickly you just fall into it. The growing friendship is genuine and intriguing as hell. Honestly the best part of the movie is scenes of these two clashing personalities just talking to each other. It's so simple, just a room and two opposing types chatting, and it's riveting as all hell. Seeing Rogers break down his barriers to the human inside is heartwarming and real. It's just a sweet movie, and a fascinating look at what this legend would have been like when the cameras weren't rolling. The answer, it turns out, is not all that different.
    Michael M Super Reviewer
  • 6d ago
    HANKS FOR THE MEMORIES - My Review of A BEAUTIFUL DAY IN THE NEIGHBORHOOD (3 1/2 Stars) Fresh off her triumph with Can You Ever Forgive Me?, Marielle Heller switches gears from the edgy nihilism of that film to one of pure optimism with A Beautiful Day In The Neighborhood. Written by Micah Fitzerman-Blue and Noah Harpster, it focuses on the very personal connection journalist Tom Junod had with Mr. Rogers while writing a profile on the beloved icon. Its success depends entirely on your ability to keep a straight face in the presence of such unbridled goodness. I'm a pessimistic Jew, so I tend to reject sentimental material as a rule, but this movie has enough weirdness and creativity to carry you through its often maudlin material. Those going in expecting a Fred Rogers biopic may feel disappointed, as Tom Hanks' portrayal takes a back seat to Matthew Rhys' Lloyd Vogel, a fictionalized version of Junod. Check out the incredible 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor? for the full Rogers treatment and your inevitable weeping. This film bookends itself as if it were a very special episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, allowing Hanks' Rogers to tell the story of an absent father and his long-suffering son. It's a fascinating way to tell Vogel's story about coping with his disinterested dad Jerry, played here with equal parts gusto and fragility by Chris Cooper. As a depressive adult who lives in New York City with his wife Andrea (Susan Kelechi Watson from This Is Us), Lloyd travels to Pittsburgh to write a story about Rogers. At first insulted by such a soft assignment, he soon finds Fred's worldview fascinating. With as much baggage as Lloyd has, he finds the softspoken, open hearted Fred to be somewhat of an aberration, but ultimately even he can't resist his charms. It's impossible not to melt when a group of young subway passengers sing Rogers' theme song back to him, or when Fred challenges Lloyd to a full minute of silence as they stare at each other in a diner. Rogers, especially through Hanks' disarming performance, truly changed the world, offering up a generosity of spirit carefully crafted to combat the evils of society. Your threshold for mush will definitely color your opinions of the film as a whole. Rhys, however, who with The Americans proved himself as a world class actor, does wonderfully subtle, unforced work here. Just the downward turn of his head during some difficult scenes speaks volumes and his rapport with Watson brings some welcome humor to the proceedings. Much of the movie, however, delves into some pretty uncomfortable moments between Lloyd and his father. Ultimately, it all felt like a very special episode of Mr. Rogers' Neighborhood, which, while clearly the mission of the film, got a little old for me. Luckily, Heller, who showed off her creative chops with the animated sequences in The Diary Of A Teenage Girl, delightfully uses miniature planes and cars to illustrate every time Lloyd travels. It all adds up to an immersive experience into the Rogers aesthetic. Mileage may vary depending on your willingness to let all that love envelop you. Regardless, we all could use a little bit of Mr. Rogers' mist in our lives, even if it sometimes feels like the glitter that falls off of a Hallmark card.
    Glenn G Super Reviewer
  • Nov 24, 2019
    As I was watching the sweetly good-natured but somewhat superficial 2018 documentary Won't You Be My Neighbor?, I was left wondering if there could be a big screen story on minister-turned-children's TV host Fred Rogers, a.k.a. "Mr. Rogers." Was there enough material to open up this kind, affirming, gentle man into a three-dimensional character worthy of a deep dive? I'm still unsure after watching A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood with Tom Hanks as Rogers. The filmmakers made the conscious decision to construct a fictional narrative of family strife between a father (Chris Cooper) and his son, Lloyd (Matthew Rhys), a magazine writer. Fred Rogers begins as an assignment for Lloyd and becomes the change agent, pushing Lloyd, in the gentlest and most empathetic manner, to reflect on his anger over his father's abandonment and to work through his feelings and potentially forgive the old man. Like the PBS star, the movie is sweet and optimistic and gentle and just a little bit boring. The film follows a pretty strict formula of catharsis, and while it works it doesn't make A Beautiful Day in the Neighborhood feel more than a TV-movie plot attached to a malnourished Fred Rogers biopic. I understand the storytelling difficulties of trying to make a soft-spoken man who isn't given to long-winded speeches a starring role, so it makes sense that his presence would be a catalyst for a family in crisis, basically serving as therapist. Hanks is fitting and affecting, and once again I feel like there are glimmers of a more complex man underneath the persona we'll never be treated to in any big screen examination, like about his struggles raising his own children, his crisis of relevancy late in life. The majority of the movie is a father/son story that is well acted and pretty much fine, and "pretty much fine" is a perfect description of the film as a whole. It's nothing you'll regret seeing and it will generally be uplifting and sincere, but it's basically a 108-minute greeting card. Nate's Grade: B
    Nate Z Super Reviewer

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