Metascore
63

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 33
  2. Negative: 1 out of 33
  1. Observant and funny and thoughtful too, powered exclusively by vérité footage without a word of narration, Babies is William Blake’s Infant Joy brought to rich cinematic life.
  2. 91
    Babies will capture your eye -- and, probably, your fancy.
  3. It's a lovely bit of blood-pressure-lowering cinema that never betrays its simple conceit.
  4. A celebration of the gloriously mundane.
  5. This documentary on one of the most universal, photographed, analyzed, opined upon and slavered over human experiences manages to astound.
  6. 75
    Sweet, amusing little film.
  7. The contrast in lifestyles is striking, and I suppose one of the themes that Babies is trying to get at is that despite chasm-wide economic and societal differences, infants are really all the same.
  8. The similarity between the children is the most striking part of the movie.
  9. 75
    A mesmerizing and weirdly manipulative experience.
  10. 75
    I don’t think the movie is looking for answers; it isn’t asking any questions. But by its very nature, this is both an experiment in ontology (do babies know they’re babies?) and existentialism (are they thinking about who to be?).
  11. As the movie goes on, these fleshy little beings turn into…well, people. And that's something to see. But Babies, without falsifying its subject, could have used a more soul-stirring sense of showbiz -- that is, a riper display of infantile special effects.
  12. 75
    It's the nicest Mother's Day gift available at the movies this weekend.
  13. As a portrait of children who are wanted and loved, it's intimate and often delightful.
  14. Reviewed by: Linda Holmes
    70
    Of course, there's no need to overthink it: If you just want to watch a baby respond to the arrival of a rooster in his bed with perfect comic timing, Babies is the movie to see.
  15. The result is irresistible and possibly infectious.
  16. 70
    But Babies just might restore your faith in our perplexing, peculiar and stubbornly lovable species.
  17. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    70
    Babies is refreshing in its methods, impressive in its scope and remarkable in its immediacy. That said, it's also an occasionally frustrating documentary that deprives the viewer of the comforts of exposition and cultural context.
  18. 70
    The filmmakers register their point, but I don’t think it’s entirely parochial to note that, two decades from now, the American and Japanese children will probably have many choices open to them (including living close to the land), while the Mongolian and Namibian children are more likely to be restricted in their choices to the soil that nurtured them.
  19. 65
    The point of Babies, to the extent that it has one beyond allowing us to revel in unstoppable baby cuteness, is to underscore that infants everywhere are more similar than they are different, regardless of what country they’re born and raised in.
  20. But by not "saying" ANYTHING about the lives behind all the lovely, easygoing footage of infants making their way to their first steps and beyond, Babies feels a tad dodgy (and repetitive) by the hour mark.
  21. 63
    Director Thomas Balmes and his editors find moments of humor in “discoveries” or the unfettered urinating of a baby brought up without diapers.
  22. As a diversion, Babies is like a wind-up toy that will tickle anyone with a pulse. As a documentary, it's like a cache of home videos that will frustrate anyone with an inquiring mind.
  23. An enjoyable movie, in many ways a beautiful movie to look at. One only wishes he'd been a little more ambitious.
  24. Better approached as an “oooooh” and “awww” fest.
  25. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    60
    If you can watch all 17 seconds of the "surprised kitten" video on YouTube without even a twinge of longing to crush said kitten with love, skip Babies. If you find yourself clicking "replay" to watch the kitten again, pre-order your ticket now.
  26. So after about an hour of watching four children eat, bathe and crawl, you might start to wonder why you've paid to see somebody else's home movies.
  27. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    50
    Is Babies a good movie? Of course not. But that's missing the point--like asking if a porn video is a good movie. Babies gets the job done.
  28. As in many nature films, the ostensible subjects are less captivating than their scenic backdrops.
  29. 50
    If anything, blame the kids: They’re all adorable, roly-poly delights, but the first year of life has its natural limitations.
  30. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    40
    Babies is barely more insightful than your average Flickr photo gallery or home movie clip: it’s just infant porn for prospective parents.
  31. This documentary is as soothing and edifying as watching a video loop of the Yuletide log.
  32. 38
    Even I realize that other people's babies are boring. So is Babies.
User Score
5.6

Mixed or average reviews- based on 23 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 1 out of 4
  2. Negative: 1 out of 4
  1. May 29, 2011
    5
    This is an awesome documentary. we get to see how four babies from different parts of the world have the first experience basic emotions like surprise, happiness, frustration, rage, boredom, even bullying! And we see how they naturally go through those first stages of self-discovery, social interaction and how they learn about the world around them. There really are no words that can do it justice. Full Review »
  2. Oct 13, 2010
    6
    The concept of the film was great, the execution was incomplete. They needed to include a bigger representation of babies across the globe. The lifestyle of the babies of third world countries were truly jaw dropping, and created a hunger to see more. It felt like a glimpse rather than a complete documentary. Full Review »
  3. Oct 12, 2010
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. If you're not raising a baby or enjoying new grandchild, you might find this underwhelming. At times it catches some lovely moments, but other times I felt uncomfortable to be watching other people's intimate interactions. It happened most often with the African family because the scene stayed pretty much the same and so did the interactions. Yes, the babies all developed from sitting to crawling to walking; yes they all went from inarticulate to beginning speech. So? Maybe I wold have liked to see more detail about one or two families. I thought it ended just when it needed to. I didn't want to watch any more. Full Review »