At the time of its release the NYT concludes, "Although "Now, Voyager" starts out bravely, it ends exactly where it started—and after two lachrymose hours." Film Site says it's "the quintessential, soap-opera or "woman's picture" ('weepie') and one of Bette Davis' best-acted and remembered films in the 40s".
Slant Magazine opens by saying,
Now, Voyager remains a highly narcotic, swoon-inducing romance in the Bette Davis canon. It’s an unabashed soap opera about how true love gets hindered by social conventions, and manages to squeeze in a moralistic tale of female self-empowerment to boot. Toss in a third act bit of passive aggressive wish fulfillment where our high society heroine projects the love of a man she cannot have onto his unsuspecting, needy daughter, and there’s enough to make one’s head spin. But that cloudy feeling isn’t a drawback—it’s more like floating with a movie whose indulgences are reminiscent of foolishly falling in love. You ignore the flaws.Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 91%.