Contains infrequent strong language and moderate sex references.

About this Film

Based on an incredible true story, heartwarming comedy-drama 'Philomena' is a compelling tale of human love, loss and life, documenting one woman's quest to track down her long-lost son.

Starring Dame Judi Dench and Steve Coogan, 'Philomena' chronicles the life of an Irish mother who spent decades painstakingly searching for the son she gave birth to as a teenager, after Roman Catholic nuns brokered an adoption against her will.

Based on the book by BBC journalist Martin Sixsmith, 'Philomena' is directed by Stephen Frears (High Fidelity, The Queen).

  • Released on
  • Genre
  • Cast members
    Judi Dench, Steve Coogan, Neve Gachev
  • Running time
    98 minutes
  • Directed by
    Stephen Frears
  • Language


Reviews & Ratings

Reviews in the press

Total Film - 4/5 Stars

Dench and Coogan strike a chord

An elderly Irishwoman searches for the son who was stolen from her by nuns 50 years ago. Sounds like a real weepie, right? That it’s nothing of the kind is thanks to Stephen Frears’ understated direction, the skilful script from Steve Coogan and Jeff Pope and, most of all, the consistently diverting interplay between Coogan and Judi Dench.

To read the full Total Film review select this link (opens in a new window).

Summary of customer ratings

(UK & Ireland)

Rate it yourself


Reviewer: pmhDate: 2014-02-11

Excellent story line and the fact it was true too meant a lot to me. It was played very well by the actors and I'm so glad it was on the senior scree today as I had originally missed it due to being on holiday when released at first.


Reviewer: PanspeopleDate: 2013-11-27

This film was very well acted and I was surprised about Coogan too. I saw this film in remembrance of my late Mum as she died a year ago, she would have loved this film and laughed a lot.


Reviewer: kitty 23Date: 2013-11-20

Once again Judy Dench takes a great part and I never thought Steve Coogan could act but I was very pleasantly surprised thank god religion doesn't rule lives like it did then a really moving story that happened to many a poor girl in the past


Reviewer: SandraMDate: 2013-11-16

A really lovely film - enjoyed it immensely. One tiny comment: Philomena gave birth in her mid-teens and her child was 50 when she started the quest. That'd make her mid-60s. Isn't Judi Dench rather older than that? (Didn't spoil the film though).

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