User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 253 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 27 out of 253

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  1. Sep 4, 2014
    9
    You like it or you don't, this movie isn't for everyone. Personally I loved it and I love the "hidden" message.
    The first few minutes I wondered what the hell I was watching - it all seemed rather weird, but it got better and better. I cried like a baby when the movie ended; it was so touching and I have no idea why.
  2. Sep 1, 2014
    5
    As strange as it is, it's a spectacular tale; told by a gifted young girl, Quvenzhane Wallis. Despite the spectacle, Beasts of the Souther Wild often forgets a purpose and becoming an unnecessary waste of your time.
  3. Jan 25, 2014
    3
    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,
    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
  4. Jan 3, 2014
    8
    so much beauty in this film. quvenzhane wallis has such an amazing presence and brings so much emotion into the story. this film is saying a lot and is expertly directed.
  5. Nov 23, 2013
    2
    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.
  6. Sep 30, 2013
    6
    It may get a little bit too meta and strange for its own good, but "Beasts Of The Southern Wild" certainly doesn't care as it delivers a thoughtfully verite style overlayed upon an unconventionally winsome story and environment.
  7. Sep 15, 2013
    10
    This movie is beyond good. It has the magic the novels of García Márquez or Ben Okri have. The only thing I can add is that it's one of the best movies I've watched in my entire life.
    Enjoy it.
  8. Aug 14, 2013
    8
    For those who have written scathing, degrading, or demoralizing reviews, let me remind you that this is a film, not a testament for or against a certain lifestyle. Nor is it about poverty or being black. Like a lot of indie films, it attempts to reveal a truth, and it is the attempt that makes it noteworthy. I wouldn't say it's Oscar worthy, but it's a good Sunday afternoon by yourselfFor those who have written scathing, degrading, or demoralizing reviews, let me remind you that this is a film, not a testament for or against a certain lifestyle. Nor is it about poverty or being black. Like a lot of indie films, it attempts to reveal a truth, and it is the attempt that makes it noteworthy. I wouldn't say it's Oscar worthy, but it's a good Sunday afternoon by yourself film. The reason critics love it is because, unlike us, they know how to evaluate the definitive work. By the way, some of the negative reviews here are too defensive to be trusted. Some are like, "OMG, they are saying poverty stricken, addicted people are...human too. How dare they suggest that anything other than my white middle class/mainstream lifestyle leads to enlightenment!" Really? If you think Beasts is sending this message, you don't get it and that's okay. Everything isn't for everybody. Expand
  9. Jul 25, 2013
    7
    Although the acting in this film is superb the major downfall of this film is that it doesn't have a meaty enough plot. Although interesting and entertaining at the end of the movie you can't help but think to yourself that nothing really happened.
  10. Jul 19, 2013
    10
    A wonderful movie. The performance of the girl is wonderful from start to finish. she makes you feel in the story. for me this was coupled with Amour, the best movie of last year.
  11. Jun 29, 2013
    10
    It has been a long long time since a film made me cry and this one pulled it off despite my watching it on a screen in the back of the seat in front at 30,000 feet in the middle of the night. A moving glimpse into a world of poverty and stuggle that is (thankfully) alien to most of us.
  12. Jun 23, 2013
    2
    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
  13. Apr 17, 2013
    0
    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.
  14. Mar 10, 2013
    3
    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.
  15. Mar 8, 2013
    3
    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.
  16. Feb 23, 2013
    7
    The film is good at its point, but to be sincere by what had read other critics expected more, or maybe I am the void, not it; I have to emphasize that Wallis is a girl with a pure talent that is shown in the final scene.
  17. Feb 16, 2013
    0
    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.
  18. Feb 11, 2013
    10
    A masterpiece that came out of nowhere. Earthy, dense and fully formed mash up of New Orleans magic realism and Days of Heaven esque imagery. The film equivalent of The Band's debut "Music from the Big Pink"
    A magnificent debut.
  19. Feb 9, 2013
    6
    I was excited to see the movie, as I had heard so much about the magic of the film. I love quirky movies that attempt to tell a story via a road less traveled. I think Beasts of the Southern Wild made a brave attempt to present something fresh, and Quvenzhane Wallis as Hushpuppie is truly amazing giving a performance seldom seen at such a young age. When it came to the plot, I found itI was excited to see the movie, as I had heard so much about the magic of the film. I love quirky movies that attempt to tell a story via a road less traveled. I think Beasts of the Southern Wild made a brave attempt to present something fresh, and Quvenzhane Wallis as Hushpuppie is truly amazing giving a performance seldom seen at such a young age. When it came to the plot, I found it fell a little short, and I never fully grasped the metaphor of the beasts. I wanted to give the movie every opportunity to pull me into the story line, but I never was. I found the supporting characters less interesting than I had hoped. I felt as if I had watched a documentary on Louisiana poverty rather than the magical story promised. Still, I would rather sit through a movie that attempts to break the standards of stale cinema and have them fail, than sit through the same ol' same ol'. Expand
  20. Feb 1, 2013
    8
    Beasts of the Southern Wild is an unique movie, very different from what I have seen before. It is a very touching, heartbreaking and breathtaking film. To begin with we see that the stage is set on a poor and peasant village, where a little kid lives with her father, in the most precarious conditions. The interesting thing here is that this girl is discovering the world, learning how toBeasts of the Southern Wild is an unique movie, very different from what I have seen before. It is a very touching, heartbreaking and breathtaking film. To begin with we see that the stage is set on a poor and peasant village, where a little kid lives with her father, in the most precarious conditions. The interesting thing here is that this girl is discovering the world, learning how to survive. But she is frightened of the unknown things, which are for example living independently, detachment from the family, own survival, civilized humans, melting icecaps and storms; all these things are represented as strange and fantastic creatures that chase the protagonist. The problem is that Hushpuppy insists on trying to hold on the things she had sometime, that is why she is a mess without her father or likes to talk to a shirt pretending to be her absent mother. Another exciting topic is that the only thing that the protagonist knows for sure is that everything fits perfectly in the universe and has a natural course, so one change should lead to another. This turns out to be a very surprising movie and Quvenzhane Wallis did a dazzling performance, very uncommon for a girl of that age. Expand
  21. Feb 1, 2013
    5
    Reminded me of Léolo but not nearly as good. And unlike Léolo, I am not really sure what the point is. That being said, the actors really perform well.
  22. Jan 30, 2013
    9
    One of the best movies of the year. It is very hard to watch because of the intense storytelling in the bathtub. The acting is phenomenal and all the parts of the movie come together in an enormous fashion that will be remembered as on of the best indies ever.
  23. Jan 24, 2013
    5
    It manages to make good use of its post-Katrina locations and has a convincing performance from a child, but its defiant human spirit ethos feels twee and cartoonish, characters remain paper-thin, the narration is just a lot of homespun nonsense and many scenes feel aimless. If you are going to reformulate the experiences of survivors of Katrina into a magical realist fable you need toIt manages to make good use of its post-Katrina locations and has a convincing performance from a child, but its defiant human spirit ethos feels twee and cartoonish, characters remain paper-thin, the narration is just a lot of homespun nonsense and many scenes feel aimless. If you are going to reformulate the experiences of survivors of Katrina into a magical realist fable you need to give characters a proper voice. The strength and defiance of real people, a spirit the director evidently wishes to capture and inspire with needs to find an expression beyond the vague narration, upbeat folksy music and simple lyricism that this film features. In fact, the film's simplicity is really best suited to a young audience - judged as a kid's film, it is an impressive feat for a first time film-maker. Expand
  24. Jan 24, 2013
    9
    I experienced BotSW as incorporating several themes without pushing a "message". Like viewing a painting, you can step back and see the whole thing and not try to justify or critique each stroke. Ugliness and chaos are juxtaposed with beauty and community. There is a sense that the characters are intensely holding on to their life in the "Bathtub", and yet the Beasts of Change and DeathI experienced BotSW as incorporating several themes without pushing a "message". Like viewing a painting, you can step back and see the whole thing and not try to justify or critique each stroke. Ugliness and chaos are juxtaposed with beauty and community. There is a sense that the characters are intensely holding on to their life in the "Bathtub", and yet the Beasts of Change and Death have been awakened, and the inevitability of their arrival is undeniable. Many viewers may not get past a feeling that the child, Hushpuppy, needs her life to be upgraded, that she lives in unacceptable conditions. The film emphasizes her adaptability and capacity for learning hard and simple truths about the nature of life on earth as she is living in a setting that does not shield children in all the ways we "civilized" people have come to expect. There is harshness from her father, for example, and yet his intense love for her is also apparent along with his desire that she be strong enough to deal with the realities of their life. "Everybody loses the thing that made them. It Expand
  25. Jan 24, 2013
    10
    Beasts of Southern Wild is a beautiful and inspiring piece of filmmaking, and made me our world in a completely new image. Nowadays our lives are so simple and easy, we have television, a government, and everything we need to survive in a society. But we watch the citizens of this small island called the "Bathtub" and it
  26. Jan 18, 2013
    2
    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.
  27. Jan 18, 2013
    10
    Much like "The Impossible", "Beasts" views a natural disaster through the eyes of a small group of people. In that sense, it succeeds brilliantly - it is a film of amazing creativity and inspiration, capturing the lives of a forgotten tribe of people living on the edge of our society. Beautifully acted and expertly directed, "Beasts" is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. ToMuch like "The Impossible", "Beasts" views a natural disaster through the eyes of a small group of people. In that sense, it succeeds brilliantly - it is a film of amazing creativity and inspiration, capturing the lives of a forgotten tribe of people living on the edge of our society. Beautifully acted and expertly directed, "Beasts" is inspiring and heartbreaking at the same time. To criticize the film for its honest portrayal of a small group of people living on the fringe of society just isn't fair. Expand
  28. Jan 17, 2013
    9
    rough, ready, yet magical! the storyline is endearing and harrowing and rather original; though there are slight references to winters bone. the screenplay and dialogue is spectacular and very well thought out! loved the 'Bath-tub' island; a reflection of the uneducated environment in which 'Hushpuppy' lives. Quvenzhane Wallis is unbelievable - her performance is honest, mature andrough, ready, yet magical! the storyline is endearing and harrowing and rather original; though there are slight references to winters bone. the screenplay and dialogue is spectacular and very well thought out! loved the 'Bath-tub' island; a reflection of the uneducated environment in which 'Hushpuppy' lives. Quvenzhane Wallis is unbelievable - her performance is honest, mature and beautiful. Behn Zetlin has true talent as a director and deserves the academy recognition. If you love honest art house films, you will love this. Expand
  29. Jan 16, 2013
    4
    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 aThe 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
  30. Jan 12, 2013
    5
    Poetic. The Oscars brought me to this film; I was curious to see this film after its 4 nominations, and still am after having watched the film. There are some brilliant elements on display here; the movie delves into some deep aspects of survival, family, home, and civilization. The film also features some intriguing imagery and symbolism, but those things combined didn't come together asPoetic. The Oscars brought me to this film; I was curious to see this film after its 4 nominations, and still am after having watched the film. There are some brilliant elements on display here; the movie delves into some deep aspects of survival, family, home, and civilization. The film also features some intriguing imagery and symbolism, but those things combined didn't come together as I was led to believe. The film was not emotionally resonant at all (in my opinion). An ambitious directorial debut from Benh Zeitlin, but I do not understand the Oscar nominations (at all). I wasn't impressed by Quvenzhane Wallis's performance. Expand
Metascore
86

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
    80
    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
    100
    Beautiful, funny, timely and tender, this is the American arthouse movie of the year.
  3. Reviewed by: Kate Stables
    Oct 1, 2012
    80
    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.