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Generally favorable reviews - based on 28 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 53 Ratings

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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 28
  2. Negative: 0 out of 28
  1. The endearingly enduring 1952 E.B. White novel about friendship and salvation, has been turned into a beautifully rendered motion picture that's full of warmth, wit and wonder.
  2. 91
    It's the whole constellation of relationships that Winick and company create in and around the barn that brings the movie its kaleidoscopic charm.
  3. 80
    Best of all may be the narration, by Sam Shepard: His voice, the kind of voice God might have if he'd ever smoked Camels, frames this gentle but potent little story with good-natured authority, making it feel modern and ageless at once.
  4. Reviewed by: Jessica Grose
    70
    Still, with such stellar source material, this Charlotte's Web won't disgrace your childhood memories -- or your child.
  5. What it is, to borrow a word from the ever-eloquent spider Charlotte, is average. Don't misunderstand: While never quite enchanting, this "Web" is perfectly entertaining. But it could - and should -have been so much more.
  6. It's not exactly radiant, but at least the movie's a little bit humble.
  7. 50
    This passable live-action feature from Christian mogul Philip Anschutz (The Lion, the Witch and the Wardrobe) also relies heavily on the voices, though the actors are sometimes miscast (Julia Roberts as the spider) or chosen more for their on-screen personas than their pipes (Steve Buscemi as the rat).

See all 28 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 21
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 21
  3. Negative: 5 out of 21
  1. ShannonN.
    Jan 11, 2007
    10
    I think that this movie was one of the cutest I've seen all year, I loved the book and the movie was awsome. The movie was everything I pictured it would be when I read it. Expand
  2. ChristaG.
    May 20, 2007
    10
    OMG (Oh my Gosh!) This movie was great! Wilbur has a great sense of humor and so does Charlotte! She is so caring and loveable for Wilbur! My mom loved it and so did my grandma! Hope you liked it too. Expand
  3. FranklinC.
    Dec 25, 2006
    8
    Worth seeing, even if you don't have kids. Kids in the theater certainly loved it and were emotionally involved; one child cried out, "I don't want Charlotte to die!" The story's emotion even put a lump in my throat, maybe more because I remembered how I felt when my 3rd grade teacher read us the book. My main criticism is with Julia Roberts' performance; it's horrible. In Charlotte's first few appearances, you can really tell that she is reading dialogue rather than acting. Her voice is a miss-match for Charlotte, lacking in undertones of wisdom and sincerity that I imagined in Charlotte's voice. The sense that she is merely reading dialogue fades a bit, but never leaves. Otherwise, a spendid movie. Expand
  4. Feb 2, 2013
    8
    This review contains spoilers, click expand to view. It is interesting how children and animals interact and speak together. The casting is very good. For example, Fern is spoken by Julia Roberts. The movie is based on the novel by E.B. White. It is very similar to the movie, only some scenes are different. I found the movie brilliant and thought-provoking because the voices fit to the characters very well. For example, there is a rat in the movie and the voice is very nasty just like him. At the end Charlotte dies, that’s tragic because she and Wilbur were good friends. It’s like when your mother dies. This shows that animals also have feelings. That’s why the movie is so interesting for me. Expand
  5. JPP.
    Dec 16, 2006
    7
    What do you get when you combine the acting talents of young Dakota Fanning with an all-star cast and mix it with the classic tale of a pig named Wilbur and his spider friend, Charlotte? The answer is easy. You get what appears to be a great film at first look, but really is only a fair adaptation which pales in comparison to the book in which it is based on. Gary Winick's take on E.B. White's 1952 novel 'Charlotte's Web' tells the tale of a young pig named Wilbur, who here is voiced by Dominic Scott Kay. Late one night just as he is about to be slaughtered for being a runt, he is saved by a young girl. Fern, played by Dakota Fanning, rushes in and promises to care for him and in doing so, inevitably ends up spending all her free time with him. Soon though Wilbur grows to be a bit too big to remain in the house. Fern's mother then decides it is time for him to go and live across the road in her uncle's barn. Reluctantly, Fern agrees. Once there Wilbur, befriends what is considered to be a hideous creature residing within the corner of the barn's entrance. This creature would be the spider named Charlotte A. Cavatica, who is voiced by Julia Roberts. As time passes Wilbur eventually learns of the fate all spring pigs such as himself meet in the winter. It is then that Charlotte promises Wilbur she will not let him meet that fate and he will indeed see the first snow of winter. Now it's all up to Charlotte to find a way to get the message across to Fern's uncle and everyone else that Wilbur is anything but ordinary. 'Charlotte's Web' was one of the few films I was really looking forward to this year. I honestly don't know what it was, but there was something about the trailer that when I first saw it made me go, wow. Now that I've finally seen the film, I look back at that trailer and say, wow. Only this time it's not the original wow of awe I had. It is a wow of realization that not only is the book better than the film, but so is the trailer. I was hoping for excellence. The only thing excellent I saw was Julia Robert's voice performance, which is boosted by the interesting CGI character design created for, Charlotte. Even though the story is great, the film does not manage to pull it's weight. Ninety percent of the film is done with the camera remaining still. This makes the scenes seem one dimensional and dull. The all-star cast is a bit of a problem as well. Since I knew and recognized every person playing each character, it was hard to not focus on that aspect. The irony of Oprah Winfrey playing a chatty goose is just too funny to not snicker at over and over again. Despite those things though, we have to remember who this film was made for: kids. I don't believe they are going to even know who most of the people playing the characters are, much less how the film was shot. The constant jokes will be enough the keep them happy and entertained. So even though it falls flat by normal standards, the fact that it can be enjoyed by children makes it okay in my book. Expand
  6. Rev.Rikard
    Dec 22, 2006
    7
    Any attempt to bring a classic book to the big screen is always going to fall short, especially when this story has imprinted itself in the hearts of the young since 1952. The characters will look and sound nothing like they do in our imagination. However, timing is an important dynamic in creating any film; we needed a nice, gentle story about magic, authentic relationships and hope. Christmas comedies have grown tiresome, attempts to bring biblical narratives about transcendent events are disappointing, and films that better fit Halloween than a traditionally religious holiday related to human kindness feel "grossly" out of place. Therefore, reclining with the kids while watching a good movie (not great, just good) feels alright. That is what this movie is: it is alright. There is no snap, crackle or pop; there is an abscence of spine-tingling drama; and, the laughs are very sporatic. Still, I'll take it. A little magic and hope are better than nothing. Expand
  7. AdamL.
    Jan 27, 2007
    0
    This movie is one of the worst movies I have ever seen in my life. I wasted 5 bucks on this movie. the acting was terrible. This is a disgrace to E.B. White! Expand

See all 21 User Reviews

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