User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 252 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 252

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  1. Jul 23, 2012
    The 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. Expand
  2. Jul 16, 2012
    I wanted to like this movie. The reviews I read were glowing: a reaffirmation of the Black family. A tale of wonder. A feisty "dandelion haired" 6 year old Black girl struggling against the destructive power of a consumer power oriented real world. A tale of an unconventional father's love. The story of a "true loving community". What I saw was an attempt to portray abject and total squalor as heroic. A community of total drunks and mental misfits holding out against what?... adequate food, a dry roof, and medical care? The line between real and fantasy is blurred in this movie, but it appears to show the girl and her child friends, eating shrimp and crabs thrown onto the floor as they grovel in the spent shellfish shells. I wanted to cheer for her anti-establishment living arrangment, but opted instead to call DFACS. There are a few poetic scenes- the girl romping through the meadow, the girl holding up to her ear living things to apparently hear what they are saying... I have always been a died in the wool anti-establishment type, and I appreciate the idea of alternative communities...but these people lived like pigs. There is nothing heroic, nor worth protecting about their lifestyle. If you relish the idea of a drunk, mental father, dying of some un-named disease, mentoring his 6 year old daughter to survive alone after his passing, by instilling in her the idea that she is strong and fearless, while living in a tideland, in a hovel made out of scraps of sheet metal, then you will love this movie. Otherwise, you will ask the ticket taker for the telephone number for the nearest child protection agency. Collapse
  3. Mar 8, 2013
    While there are a few great performances in this movie, I can't help but think of this as a poorly-framed message movie (Poor people have pride! "Normal" people are evil and don't understand!) that threw in "magic" in an effort to express wonder. The story effectively goes nowhere, yet allows those who want to sound erudite to expound greatly on the imagery and triumph of spirit contained within.
  4. Jul 30, 2012
    What is it about me that makes it impossible for me to walk out on a movie that is boring me to tears? Why is it that I am unable to fall asleep in a movie that makes me nod off for a second? And, why oh why, do I get suckered into seeing movies 3 or 4 times a years that has
  5. Jul 30, 2012
    It's uncomfortable to watch for two reasons.

    1. It's uncomfortable to watch black people acting out a white person's ideas. 2. This movie was one big fruit of a loom commercial.

    3. Today it's quite easy to go and pick out some authenticity out of the sale rack at urban outfitters and maybe even american apparel if you're lucky. So try being a cowboy or a race car driver or make a
    movie about some village in west africa and how they love candy canes or deep in the south, in new orleans where black people are like mythical dolls, white people love playing with mythical dolls. Expand
  6. Dec 14, 2012
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. The film transports you to a strange world plagued by some very serious problems: extreme poverty, alcoholism, lack of health care, child abuse... and then seemingly tries to convince you that all of that is ok, because it's HOME, you know? I fully expected that Hushpuppy, that poor, naive little girl, will gradually learn that all the adults around her are irresponsible idiots, but nope - they're the wise ones. This is essentially an escape fantasy for unhappy city-dwellers who dream of a simpler, fuller, more "real" life in some magic land where you can be one with nature and realize that every animal has a heartbeat and everything in the universe is connected. The last shot of a tribe of noble savages triumphantly returning to their swamp after escaping the evil clutches of civilization, with its unnatural hygiene and health care, is probably the worst thing I've seen in a film this year. Expand
  7. Apr 17, 2013
    It was absolutely the biggest disappointment I have ever experienced when I saw all of the rave reviews made by the critics and when I go to see it, it SUCKS. I couldn't even finish it. It was one of those movies where it tried to be so deep that it wasn't deep at all!!! I hated this movie with a burning passion. It was a movie about stupid people. That's it.
  8. Jan 16, 2013
    The lead actress is talented, but not nearly as gifted in her performance as say, Kiki in, akilah and the bee. That whole hand held camera effect detracts substantially from what meager enjoyment there is to be had from this film. There is scant explanation as to why any group of people would remain doggedly committed to a life devoid of virtually anything resembling normalicy or a modicum of material pleasure, particularly when it exposes them to catastrophic weather in a predictable manner, repeatedly. Overall, though a noble attempt, it fails because of the gaps, disjointedness, and absurdities that abound. I could detect no overriding theme that conveyed anything of substance in this film. Expand
  9. Jan 11, 2013
    Beasts of the Southern Wild has some atrocious dialogue and seem to be slightly better when nobody spoke. Its is a film that doesn't let the powerful moments sink in and make any impact. The one thing it does have going for it is its powerful and excellent music.
  10. Nov 23, 2013
    Probably the most boring 93 minutes of my life, not even great acting by Wallis can save this movie from disaster. It doesn't live up to the hype it got from the Academy Awards.
  11. Mar 10, 2013
    This is yet again another art house film that thrives on being completely unique and distinctive from other movies, but lacks any gratifying elements that mainstream movies "sometimes" possess. It was boring and the storyline is unsettling.
  12. Aug 4, 2012
    The reviewers who characterized this movie as glorifying dunks, squalor, and the like is correct. It's quite depressing with a minimal story line. The acting is minimal as well. You;ll find yourself squirming in your seat as I did. I forced myself to stay for 90 min, then walked out. totally unsatisfied with the intelligence of this movie.
  13. Feb 16, 2013
    A terrible movie so boring and out of plot.Also clumsy at very best.This movie insulting the black people by indicating them as scavengers. People voted this move above 7 are depressed and sworn lossers.
  14. Dec 9, 2012
    An underlying unpleasentness pervades this overrated indie film. The praised grimy photography and central performances are also recipients of much praise which eludes me. I hated it!!
  15. Dec 31, 2012
    what a disappointment. i totally agree w/all the low scored user reviews, esp w/the user who said this was a film where black people acted out a white person's ideas. extremely annoying: the intrusive music. i gave up about 45 min into it. once again suckered by ecstatic reviewers.
  16. Jan 18, 2013
    Another well made movie directed at critics that ends up being boring as hell. 2.5 hrs of showing how people that enjoy squalor exist in squalor. Want that time back.
  17. Jan 25, 2014
    I actually tried so hard to like this movie, but i couldn't.
    i mean i don't get it, the whole nature thing and how people are proud by living these types of unhealthy dirty lives, the movie isn't good looking at it best, i mean i've seen movies about wild and nature and i actually liked it like "into the wild" but this one failed to deliver anything important, i didn't like the narrating,
    the story (if there was any) and i didn't like the view of the movie, it just didn't work at all for me and you might like it, but i didn't. Expand
  18. Jun 23, 2013
    This film was a waste of time. Why did it get good reviews? It was boring and there is no point watching that film. There is not purpose. The little girl impressed but the whole film was dull an unintresting The meaning was totally bad and the imaginary world messed me up. Not for Oscar this film of course. Don't watch it please

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Oct 19, 2012
    Beasts of the Southern Wild is a vividly poetic and maybe even therapeutic response to one of the most painful and mortifying episodes in modern American history, second only to 9/11.
  2. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    Oct 3, 2012
    Beautiful, funny, timely and tender, this is the American arthouse movie of the year.
  3. Reviewed by: Kate Stables
    Oct 1, 2012
    Despite its hard-scrabble setting, eco-gloominess and dystopian story, this dark fairytale is engagingly vivid and life-affirming. An ambitious love letter to a Louisiana way of life that's being literally washed away.