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August 20, 2010 by · 1 Comment 

Many critics did not regard the terribly British Nanny McPhee as their cup of tea when it was released in 2005. They’re even less enthusiastic about Nanny McPhee Returns. The film’s star, Emma Thompson, “who made a vivid, even unsettling impression in Nanny McPhee, is relatively innocuous this time around, like a walk-on in her own film,” writes Mike Hale in the New York Times. “There’s a charming little film struggling to get out of this nearly two-hour CGI extravaganza,” writes Lou Lumenick in the New York Post, but what emerges is “an overlong and overproduced” movie, he says. Claudia Puig of USA Today is clearly of two minds about the film. On the one hand, she finds many scenes “enchantingly silly,” while other scenes pander “to a young audience, with a succession of animal poop jokes.” But several critics are willing to overlook such commercial concessions. “The original Nanny McPhee may have been a slightly better movie in most of its particulars, but the sequel can put tears in your eyes, and that’s no small thing,” writes Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle. And Carrie Rickey concludes in the Philadelphia Inquirer: “The movie warms the heart without using schmaltz to fuel its fire.”

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