‘The Wonder’ reviews round-up: ‘Remarkable’ Florence Pugh is ‘magnetic’

Florence Pugh’s new Irish period drama The Wonder is now on Netflix!

Based on the 2016 novel by Room writer Emma Donoghue, the movie is set in Ireland in 1862.

Florence Pugh (Little Women) leads the cast, alongside Tom Burke (The Musketeers), Niamh Algar (Deceit), Toby Jones (Dad’s Army), and Ciarán Hinds (The Woman in Black).

Watch the trailer:

The official synopsis reads: “13 years after the Great Famine. An English Nightingale Nurse Lib Wright (Pugh) is called to the Irish Midlands by a devout community to conduct a 15-day examination over one of their own.

“Anna O’Donnell (Kíla Lord Cassidy) is an 11-year-old girl who claims not to have eaten for four months, surviving miraculously on ‘manna from heaven.’ As Anna’s health rapidly deteriorates, Lib is determined to unearth the truth, challenging the faith of a community that would prefer to stay believing.”

The Wonder premiered on Netflix around the world on Wednesday 16th November.

We’ve rounded up a spoiler-free selection of reviews to help you decide if you’d like to watch the film:


“Florence Pugh is at home in this beguiling period drama … Past the odd – and already critically divisive – opening, this period drama is a sincere exploration of faith and truth.” ★★★★ – The Independent


“A darker turn for the sensitive Sebastián Lelio, and yet more proof that Florence Pugh is among our greatest treasures. Plenty of food for thought among the emptier moments.” ★★★ – Empire


“A haunting period drama of faith and reason … few will remain unmoved by this intriguingly adventurous and thought-provoking drama.” ★★★★ – The Guardian


“Both Pugh and Burke are magnetic, cast as beacons amid the murk of The Wonder, where nightmare secrets and dogma thrive … The Wonder is the kind of movie that flatters us for being smarter than most of its characters, if not quite as smart as the film-makers.” ★★★ – FT


“Remarkable Florence Pugh anchors atmospheric slow burn.” – Hindustan Times


“Not for the first time this year, [Pugh is] the standout in a film that, given the remarkable personnel involved, really ought to pack a greater punch.” ★★★ – The Irish Times


“Florence Pugh commands the screen in clash of science and faith … After a year of stories running rampant around Pugh’s other work, The Wonder cuts through the noise with a hushed power, presenting an intense, poignant, and deeply moving examination of faith, science, grief, and the dangers of extreme piety at a terrible cost.” – Mashable


The Wonder also had a limited release in select UK cinemas earlier this month.

Emma Donoghue’s novel The Wonder is available on Amazon.