Metascore
86

Universal acclaim - based on 44 Critics What's this?

User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 246 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions. (Fox Searchlight Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 37 out of 44
  2. Negative: 0 out of 44
  1. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jul 5, 2012
    100
    "The whole universe depends on everything fitting together just right," declares Hushpuppy, the fierce, nappy-headed girl at the center of this extraordinary southern gothic.
  2. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jul 13, 2012
    100
    Shot in Louisiana, with non-professional actors and apparently set-designed from a junkyard, Beasts of the Southern Wild marks one of the most auspicious American directorial debuts in years.
  3. Reviewed by: Damon Wise
    Oct 3, 2012
    100
    Beautiful, funny, timely and tender, this is the American arthouse movie of the year.
  4. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Jun 22, 2012
    91
    It's undoubtedly something extraordinary: like a live-action Miyazaki film, with Days Of Heaven narration, set in a dirt-poor community at an unspecified time of crisis.
  5. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 27, 2012
    88
    It's unlikely there will be a film as visually stunning or poetic this year - or perhaps any year - to rival Beasts of the Southern Wild.
  6. 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.
  7. 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.

See all 44 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 47 out of 76
  2. Negative: 17 out of 76
  1. 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 a long career waiting for her. Expand
  2. 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. Expand
  3. Jul 23, 2012
    9
    I have never written a review but after seeing Beasts of the Souther Wild, felt compelled to write something. I am sure the cinephiles have heard the hype about the movie but to be clear it is totally justified. It is hard to describe as most say but the best way for me to describe it is a magical, lyrical and visually sumptuous film. The leading actress, Quvenzhane Wallis, who was only six years old when it was shot, is simply amazing in the role of Hushpuppy. Probably one of the best child performance I've ever seen. Academy, please give her the Oscar because I can tell you we will not see a performance like this very often. She completely owns this movie. Dwight Henry also another non-professional actor amazes in his performance. I understand this movie might not be for everyone but I suggest take ride and immerse yourself in the Bathtub because it is a very special film. Expand
  4. 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. Expand
  5. 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) 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. Expand
  6. Jul 16, 2012
    4
    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. Expand
  7. 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. Expand

See all 76 User Reviews

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