Metascore
69

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 29 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jun 12, 2012
    80
    Brave offers a tougher, more self-reliant heroine for an era in which princes aren't so charming, set in a sumptuously detailed Scottish environment where her spirit blazes bright as her fiery red hair.
  2. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 12, 2012
    70
    Visually stunning and strongly voiced, but doesn't take any real risks.
  3. Reviewed by: Ian Nathan
    Aug 12, 2012
    80
    No less lovely than former films, in many ways lovelier, but Brave is boutique Pixar: less ambitious, more succinct, excellence at a lower ebb.
  4. Reviewed by: Ben Child
    Jun 25, 2012
    80
    For the animation studio's debut foray into fairytale, Pixar has delivered a rousing family melodrama.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 25, 2012
    85
    My heart belongs to Bear Elinor, whose movements and mannerisms are a tender echo of Human Elinor's – her character is designed and drawn just that carefully.
  6. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 22, 2012
    63
    The end result is something that feels like it was put together from a jumble of Disney clichés tacked onto the skeleton of "Beauty and the Beast."
  7. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 22, 2012
    75
    No envelopes are pushed in Brave, which was directed by Brenda Chapman and Mark Andrews, and no genres are subverted. It's a safe experience; but safe, in this case, is better than sorry.
  8. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 22, 2012
    75
    Just misses living up to its name.
  9. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Jun 22, 2012
    50
    You can't help wishing they'd thought a little further outside the box.
  10. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 22, 2012
    80
    The magic is back at Pixar.
  11. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 21, 2012
    63
    Brave feels like a merely good-enough children's movie.
  12. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 21, 2012
    75
    It's a lively, psychologically astute tale filled with humanity, wit and charming performances.
  13. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 21, 2012
    80
    It's a rollicking children's entertainment, gorgeously animated and wittily cast, and also an unusually astute exploration of the complex bond between mothers and daughters, a relationship that's often either elided or sentimentalized in children's literature and film.
  14. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 21, 2012
    50
    In terms of story and emotional power, Brave comes up short.
  15. Reviewed by: Ann Hornaday
    Jun 21, 2012
    63
    The conflicts, magic spells, chase sequences and reconciliations feel strangely by-the-book for a studio so well known for throwing the book out entirely.
  16. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 21, 2012
    70
    Brave simply doesn't feel as much like the Pixar movies we've come to expect.
  17. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 21, 2012
    60
    This is less a film in the lustrous Pixar tradition than a Disney fairy tale told with Pixar's virtuosity. As such, it's enjoyable, consistently beautiful, fairly conventional, occasionally surprising and ultimately disappointing.
  18. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 21, 2012
    70
    The tussling between Elinor and Merida is familiar, but while the mother-daughter clashes may make the story "relatable," they drain it of its mythopoetic potential, turning what could have been a cool postmodern fairy tale into another family melodrama.
  19. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 21, 2012
    60
    Gorgeously animated and featuring a tapestry of real-looking wonders, Brave is certainly a thing of beauty. But its emotional layers don't yield the same depth.
  20. Reviewed by: Shawn Levy
    Jun 21, 2012
    58
    Tepid, boilerplate production.
  21. Reviewed by: Steven Rea
    Jun 21, 2012
    75
    Satisfying and spirited and laced with humor.
  22. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 21, 2012
    63
    Eventually it straightens out into a fast, funny, emotionally resonant story about mothers and daughters, but it takes a while to get there and it's never less than weird.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 21, 2012
    88
    A rousing, gorgeously animated good time.
  24. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 21, 2012
    75
    At this point in Pixar's history, the studio contends with nearly impossible expectations itself. This is what happens when you turn out some bona fide masterworks. Brave isn't that; it's simply a bona fide eyeful.
  25. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 21, 2012
    100
    Brave has a manic, almost daffy energy and sense of humor.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Jun 21, 2012
    80
    Visually the most ravishing and complex Pixar movie, Brave evokes memories of Walt Disney's early experiments with the multiplane camera, but with the more persuasive intricacies available to CGI artists.
  27. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Jun 20, 2012
    67
    The core family relationships ring pleasingly true, and the rebellious Merida is, alongside Katniss Everdeen, an intelligent, capable, and empathetic proto-riot grrrl with stupifyingly kickass hair and even better aim.
  28. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Jun 20, 2012
    75
    At its best, Brave accesses all the complicated feelings involved between a parent and a rebellious adolescent: the mutual frustration, the lack of communication, the way conflicting desires can mask love without weakening it.
  29. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 20, 2012
    75
    This is a great-looking movie, much enlivened by the inspiration of giving Merida three small brothers, little redheaded triplets.
  30. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 20, 2012
    75
    Merida may be a headstrong heroine, a feisty animated hybrid who calls to mind Katniss Everdeen, Bella Swan, and the neo-fairy-tale protagonist who faces off against her evil stepmother in "Snow White and the Huntsman." But she is also, for safety's sake, a nice girl in a pretty green dress who loves her family and believes in dynasty.
User Score
7.2

Generally favorable reviews- based on 487 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 12 out of 146
  1. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    Brave is a simple story, but told with such depth and magic it is hard not to love this movie. It isn't the studios best but it sure is great. Wonderfully voice acted by Kelly McDonald and the rest of the cast. And it is expertly and beautifully animated with wonderful detail. It is funny, emotionally resonant, and altogether beautiful. I give this movie 95%. Full Review »
  2. Jun 22, 2012
    10
    i think brave have a place with a pixars movies like the incredibles and monsters inc because of the story of brave is not brilliant like up and wall e but he is exciting and funny enough to be a pixar movie :) Full Review »
  3. Jun 22, 2012
    3
    This review contains spoilers, click full review link to view. This does not stand up to Pixar's other work. It's sloppy and poorly executed, in short. It's overstuffed with plot threads and conflict but fails to find resolution for any or find a reasonable way to tie them together. It ended up being thematically contradictory. And maybe worst of all, it ended up being way more boring than it needed to be; the plot was so totally without ambition or surprise, it lacked interest as well. Let's talk specifics.

    Who was the main villain? Was it the twisted witch who created the spell that turned the queen into a bear? I guess not, because she disappeared in the middle of the movie. Was it the other clan heads? I don't think so, since they all joined together with the protagonists in the end--after we were told (and never, ever shown) that they had actually been best friends the whole time. So I guess it was the big evil bear who serves as the final boss then, huh?

    What was up with that bear anyway? Okay, so he used to be a prince but he tried to change his fate and was inadvertently punished by becoming a bear. So he's like a symbol of how we shouldn't try to change our fate, I guess? And then he attacks the clansmen because of his lingering, ill-advised drive to overtake them and become supreme ruler, right? Well, no, because after he's killed we see his spirit, and his spirit is apparently relieved and thankful that he was freed from the bear. And if the queen is any example, he had long since been acting totally under bear impulses the whole time. So the main villain was basically a wild bear and only ever enters the film because he just happened to be around, we guess? And then we had to kill him? Was anything in the film resolved with his death, besides just one less bear in the forest?

    How DID they kill him? Did the main character get to use her archery skills which were pretty heavily established by the first act, and every trailer and poster and promotional artwork for the film? Nope! Did the father finally have his revenge on the evil bear, which is pretty much all he ever talked about doing? Nope! Oh, maybe the clansmen all joined together and showed their renewed unity by defeating the legendary bear monster! Nope, that wasn't it. The mother and daughter join forces kinda but are pretty useless against the final boss, and instead they end up killing him by pushing a stonehedge rock on him. Which is pretty confusing, thematically, since the stonehedge rocks _also_ represented changing of fate in some weird way. And then the traitorous prince spirit gets relief, so... what are we even saying here? That he deserved to go free? Seriously, what point is being made here? Is changing your destiny good or bad?

    And hey for that matter why does the heroine always talk about "changing her fate" like that's a real, concrete thing that people can just do? So much of this destiny-speak just honestly comes off sounding like gibberish. And also also what the HECK was up the unbearably cheesy montages over unbearably cheesy female vocals? Where you hear a musical number about reaching for the stars while the daughter rides around on her horse with her hair rushing in the breeze? It's just silly.

    There's just so much wrong and so little time to illuminate all of it. Somebody needed to spend more time thinking about this and tightening the script.
    Full Review »