Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jul 5, 2012
    50
    But even with the great good efforts of Wallis, the results, to some of us, betray a distrustworthy slickness reminiscent of a British Petroleum oil spill clean-up commercial.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 29, 2012
    50
    The endangered swampland dwellers are supposed to be an indigenous pastoral community threatened by eco-unfriendly oil refineries. I kept rooting for Hushpuppy and Co. to leave behind their squalor and relocate. This is not the politically correct response.
  3. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 28, 2012
    40
    Winds up feeling like a form of emotional tourism. The images recall Terrence Malick, but the film fills "atmosphere" into dry narrative holes where a story should reside.
  4. 50
    I hope I'm not raining on Beasts of the Southern Wild's deluge to say it doesn't always live up to its pretensions. There's a lot of unshaped babble and draggy landscape shots, and the music, so lovely in small doses, is numbing when it's ladled over everything.
  5. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 28, 2012
    50
    It's hard not to admire Zeitlin's ambitious vision, his do-it-yourself aesthetic, and the commitment of his cast and crew - a kind of utopian collective whose jobs often overlapped, as the local, nonprofessional actors collaborated on set-building and other technical tasks. But that doesn't mean the result of their labor is exactly what you'd call a "good movie."
  6. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 26, 2012
    60
    How can a movie so steeped in post-Katrina imagery eschew even the smallest comment about social responsibility? Maybe that was deemed too earnest, a decision that makes zero sense when a twinkling score is ladled on like instant pathos. Real people aren't beasts, nor do they require starry-eyed glorification. Bring your liberal pity.
  7. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jul 12, 2012
    50
    Maybe the best way to describe Beasts of the Southern Wild is faux-k art. Even Hushpuppy's name suggests an author more interested in the folk- and foodways of a culture-with-a-capital-C than the people who comprise it. Too often, she and her peers are presented as curios to be exhibited rather than as fully realized -- if resolutely un-mythic -- human beings.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 264 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 43 out of 77
  2. Negative: 17 out of 77
  1. Jul 23, 2012
    1
    The elements of magic realism and the realistic depiction of squalor and hardcore alcoholism don't mesh. The movie celebrates the filth andThe elements of magic realism and the realistic depiction of squalor and hardcore alcoholism don't mesh. The movie celebrates the filth and garbage in which the characters live, while siding with them them as they shun proper medical treatment and a working sanitation system. The depiction of so-called noble savages is condescending and offensive. I don't understand why this film is so loved. When I wasn't feeling disgusted, I was both bored and exasperated by what I was watching on screen. I knew I should have opted for Moonrise Kingdom. Full Review »
  2. Jun 27, 2012
    10
    All I have to say is Give That Little Girl an Oscar. Her performance alone should be the reason why people need to see this film. She has aAll I have to say is Give That Little Girl an Oscar. Her performance alone should be the reason why people need to see this film. She has a long career waiting for her. Full Review »
  3. Aug 7, 2012
    5
    I expected a great deal from this film, based on all the rave reviews, but this movie just did not "grab" me. Hush Puppy (the little girl) wasI expected a great deal from this film, based on all the rave reviews, but this movie just did not "grab" me. Hush Puppy (the little girl) was wonderful, but it was very difficult to really care about anybody else, including her father, because they mostly behaved badly, and were pretty much non-functional where their best interests were involved. The hand held camera, used throughout, really turned me off. I felt like I was in a rocking boat most of the time. If that was the director's intention, he succeeded in that regard, to the overall detriment to the film. The plot had holes in it, especially concerning the travels of the whole Bathtub group to different locations throughout the film, their methods were not satisfactorily explained, as if the director just could not be bothered. My recommendation to anyone who is interested, is to wait for the DVD. Then you can turn it off if you have the same reaction that I did. Full Review »