Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 38
  2. Negative: 4 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 19, 2011
    90
    The rare sequel that not only improves on but retroactively justifies its predecessor, this lightning-paced caper-comedy shifts the franchise into high gear with international intrigue, spy-movie spoofery and more automotive puns than you can shake a stickshift at, handling even its broader stretches with sophistication, speed and effortless panache.
  2. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 23, 2011
    88
    Lasseter is back behind the wheel, and you can feel his love for all things automotive in every frame. No humans blot this anthropomorphic romp. Cars do all the talking.
  3. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Jun 22, 2011
    88
    Cars 2 is fun. Whether that's because John Lasseter is in touch with his inner child or mine, I cannot say.
  4. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 19, 2011
    80
    Cooler cars and more action follow Lightning and Mater as they mix it up with spies and Formula 1 racers in yet another Pixar winner.
  5. Reviewed by: Mick LaSalle
    Jun 23, 2011
    75
    In terms of story and atmosphere and overall feeling, Cars 2 is a brand-new experience - and a distinct improvement.
  6. Reviewed by: M. E. Russell
    Jun 23, 2011
    75
    But if it's going to be diet Pixar, at least it's action-packed diet Pixar -- with overwhelming, detail-choked production design that occasionally had my jaw lowering like a forklift.
  7. Reviewed by: Wesley Morris
    Jun 23, 2011
    75
    This is an action movie that nods to Hayao Miyazaki and those sleeky dumb European chase thrillers with guys like Harrison Ford and Liam Neeson.
  8. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jun 22, 2011
    75
    They turn more of the story over to the comic relief, the dopey tow truck Tow Mater, and get a sillier, more kid-friendly movie out of it. Yes, Cars 2 is better than "Cars."
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Jun 24, 2011
    70
    A fun, silly, kid-friendly summer popcorn entertainment.
  10. Reviewed by: Kenneth Turan
    Jun 23, 2011
    70
    These creations have become like family to Lasseter as well as to each other, and they never fail to make us smile.
  11. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 23, 2011
    70
    It's sweet-spirited, visually delightful (if aurally cacophonous), and it will make for a pleasant enough family afternoon at the movies. But we've come to expect so much more than mere pleasantness from Pixar that Cars 2 feels almost like a betrayal.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 26, 2011
    67
    Marginally better than its predecessor, but the same problem still remains: Cars just aren't very interesting as anthropomorphic animation vehicles (pun intended).
  13. Reviewed by: Lisa Schwarzbaum
    Jun 22, 2011
    67
    Not to get all Dorothy about it, but when it comes to Cars, there's no place like home. The emotional punch of the original is inextricably rooted in the movie's appreciation of off-the-beaten-track America, and all that homegrown vintage car culture signifies.
  14. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 24, 2011
    63
    Although it would be unfair to label Cars 2 as unwatchable, it is surprisingly tedious in parts and not as satisfying as one might expect.
  15. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 23, 2011
    63
    It's not that it's a bad film. But the bar is high, and it's lackluster and predictable, missing that alchemic blend of humor, pathos and indelible characters that give Pixar movies their brilliant shine.
  16. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 23, 2011
    63
    Unfortunately, the sequel shortchanges the very relationships that gave the first movie its surprising heart.
  17. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Jun 23, 2011
    63
    While the plot may be too twisty for most kids (and adults) to follow, the art of Cars 2 is as imaginative as anything Pixar has ever done.
  18. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 23, 2011
    63
    Cars 2 is like a gorgeous sports car with a toxic tailpipe, a busted navigation system and a loud stereo that plays only commercials.
  19. Reviewed by: Ian Freer
    Jul 18, 2011
    60
    It's not vintage Pixar, but Cars 2 is still streets ahead of most of the animated pack. For all its energy and Bondian panache, perhaps its problems are insurmountable: Pixar's cars - and their universe - don't resonate and endear as much as its toys, monsters, clownfish and OAP dreamers.
  20. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jun 24, 2011
    60
    This savvy and sensitive company has unapologetically made a movie for (very) young moviegoers.
  21. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 22, 2011
    60
    What Cars 2 lacks is that moment the best Pixar films have, when parents and children alike stand slack-jawed with awe at something wonderful happening on-screen - when the films move beyond mere entertainment and become something more, something better.
  22. 60
    Formally, everything's in order-it's an attractive film with some ingenious action sequences-but the problems overwhelm the pleasures, leading to the conclusion that this film's trouble is under the hood.
  23. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 24, 2011
    58
    The redneck rust bucket is on screen so much that 3-D glasses should come with tetanus shots.
  24. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Jun 23, 2011
    55
    The plot of Cars 2 is both overly convoluted and thin, and it folds in so much unvarnished toddler-instruction that it almost feels like an educational film.
  25. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 24, 2011
    50
    For the first time in its 25-year existence, Pixar has created an utterly ordinary film.
  26. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 23, 2011
    50
    Just who is Pixar aiming this movie at? Contemporary children or their great-grandparents?
  27. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jun 23, 2011
    50
    It is not entirely without charm or wit. Directed by John Lasseter (with Brad Lewis credited as co-director) from a script by Ben Queen, Cars 2 lavishes scrupulous imaginative attention on its cosmopolitan settings.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 23, 2011
    50
    The movie has its own deficits - a lack of variety, originality, subtlety, clarity and plain old charm.
  29. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jun 23, 2011
    50
    Cars 2 makes for a decent play date but is not an especially good movie.
  30. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 23, 2011
    50
    Lasseter's sequel smooshes the vehicular ensemble of the first "Cars" into a nefarious James Bond universe, heavy on the missiles and ray guns and Gatling guns and electrocutions. Sound peculiar? It is peculiar.
  31. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jun 21, 2011
    50
    Notwithstanding John Turturro's amusingly smug Italian F1 speedster and a few lighthearted jabs at Japanese TV and technology, Cars 2 generally remains stuck in neutral.
  32. Reviewed by: Nathan Rabin
    Jun 23, 2011
    42
    Cars 2 looks fantastic, but the studio has never given audiences - especially audiences over the age of 10 - less reason to be emotionally invested in the beautiful shiny things flying across the screen.
  33. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Jun 23, 2011
    40
    A Pixar movie is always lively, and this might be the studio's liveliest (and loudest) yet - but its leanest in terms of warmth and heart.
  34. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Jun 21, 2011
    40
    The razzle-dazzle can't distract from the monotonously overstuffed spy-film plot.
  35. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jun 24, 2011
    38
    Things are so dull, rote and humorless that when signboards in a European scene read "Mondiale Grand Prix," I at first thought they said "Mondale Grand Prix," which sounds like an unwanted award this movie could easily win.
  36. Reviewed by: Lawrence Toppman
    Jun 23, 2011
    38
    The sequel doesn't develop the characters, interject any warmth into its frenetic story or take us anywhere we haven't been.
  37. Reviewed by: J.R. Jones
    Jun 30, 2011
    30
    A rare dud from Pixar.
  38. Reviewed by: Jamie N. Christley
    Jun 22, 2011
    25
    A crass and uncharacteristically threadbare cash-grab.
User Score
5.9

Mixed or average reviews- based on 295 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 62 out of 116
  2. Negative: 31 out of 116
  1. Jun 28, 2011
    4
    My 3.5 year old boy loves all Pixar movies, as do I. Cars 2 should be rated PG, not G, as it IS very violent. Guns, explosions, and killing/death are what the entire movie consists of, oh yeah and racing. We are trying to limit the amount of violence/weapons our son intakes. If you remember, even in Toy Story, Woody never had a gun in his holster, always empty. I don't necesarily mind that Pixar went this route cause it's not there job to cater to young children. I am however disapointed that the MPAA approved a G rating for this film when it CLEARLY should be PG. Full Review »
  2. Jun 24, 2011
    8
    There are some thoughts that people will think that they gonna hate the sequel, and so does the original that the audience won't like the premise of Cars. I know people likes it or hates it, but I have to say that Cars 2 was really fun to watch and it's very exciting adventure better than the first one. The only thing that I really like in this sequel is secret agents, countries, action, adventure, and new fancy places. That's all I really enjoy myself watching this. Anyways, the story is more better developed that they make a new idea for the sequel that Lighting McQueen and Mater are going to the international world cup to win the race and then there are two secret agent spies that are facing with the bad villain who wants to destroy the cars who filled with oil. The voice acting did great and I really enjoy the new characters that they can bring more fun and more exciting to be decent and cool. The animation is pretty cool and the action scenes were awesome. I really like when the cars are chasing around with guns, explosions, and high-tech gadgets in everywhere that they race. But for my opinion, that I take it back when this movie will not be exciting as now and there's more that they came from where people think it's gonna be suck, so it's nice to make a better sequel once again for making a better cars animation. They know exactly what they can do for it and those animators are having fun for it. So that case, see this movie and see how fun that this movie will take more advantage for better animation, if you think so. Full Review »
  3. Jun 24, 2011
    0
    This film is terrible. You may ask yourself, why did Pixar make a sequel to their objectively worst film ever? Why give Mater and Larry the Cable Guy, arguably the worst "comedian" ever, more screen presence? I'll tell you why. Cars has made 8 BILLION dollars in merchandise sales since it's release. Yes, 8 billion. $8,000,000,000. Really, they would be stupid not to make another one. They are, after all, a business. They're in it for the money. But they should seriously at least attempt to retain their artistic integrity. Since Cars, Pixar released not only their four greatest films, but four of the greatest animated films ever made. They broke their streak with this film. They're artistic geniuses, they're capable of so much more, yet they squander it on this trash. They sacrifice their honor in the name of the all-mighty dollar. So take your kids to see this piece of filth, buy them their Cars toys and backpacks and lunchboxes. Contribute to the artistic downfall of the greatest animation studio ever. This is a terrible film. I gave it an honest chance because Toy Story 3 was a sequel that outdid both of the previous films, proving Pixar can pull of cashgrabs while making a quality film, but this is a piece of trash. If Brave doesn't prove they can continue the quality we saw in movies like Wall-E and Up, I honestly will lose all faith in Pixar. Full Review »