Metascore
80

Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    100
    Terrifying and beautiful, believable and fantastical, this is one of the best children's films in years and Selick's finest -- better even than "The Nightmare Before Christmas."
  2. This thrilling stop-motion animated adventure is a high point in Selick's career of creating handcrafted wonderlands of beauty blended with deep, disconcerting creepiness.
  3. Selick's fantastical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel will be too dazzlingly rich for many; it'll be like "caviare to the general," as Hamlet said of a complex play enacted for a public with lazy minds.
  4. A classic fairy tale with a contemporary sensibility and a spooky horror under the candy-house fantasy.
  5. 100
    The results are nothing short of magical.
  6. 100
    A remarkable feat of imagination, a magical tale with a genuinely sinister edge.
  7. Reviewed by: Tracie Cooper
    100
    Thankfully, Coraline is appropriately dark, and like its inspiration, is only a children's movie by the thinnest of margins.
  8. What a shrewd achievement for writer-director Henry Selick ("The Nightmare Before Christmas"), to have made a movie that everyone will acclaim as beautiful, when perhaps the most beautiful thing about it is the sheer ugliness of it all.
  9. This is a marvelous family story, tapping into all sorts of childhood dreams and nightmares involving Mommy, monsters and heroic youngsters. Selick's imaginative sets and puppets are in perfect pitch with Gaiman's fantasy.
  10. 90
    Coraline lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange and full of feeling.
  11. 88
    This is perhaps the most effective 3-D movie I have ever seen, with a sophisticated, involving story that will appeal to many adults. The only reservation I have is with the PG rating, which seems too lenient for a story that may give very young children - particularly if they are sensitive - nightmares.
  12. 88
    The combination of 3-D photography and puppet-animation - centered on actual figures designed by hand and manipulated frame by frame - creates a world that's dense, active and fluid: a sensory Jacuzzi.
  13. Reviewed by: Jenni Miller
    88
    The story is creepy fun and 100-percent different than whatever other crap is flooding the February market.
  14. It pulls audiences into a meticulously detailed universe, familiar in many respects, wacked and menacing in many others.
  15. A macabre mystery for children and a cautionary tale for their folks, Coraline is a yarn - twisty, knotty, taut - about a perennially bored girl whose parents are too preoccupied with work to pay her much mind.
  16. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    85
    Selick puts his real faith not in the gimmickry that Coraline's audiences will think they've shown up for, but in the stronger virtues that they'd likely view as old-fashioned: character, and story, and handmade figures, handmade milkshakes, handmade blades of grass, each one moving utterly persuasively as he and his animators tweak it, frame by frame.
  17. 83
    For its sheer visual gusto alone, Coraline is a wonder.
  18. Reviewed by: Matthew Sorrento
    80
    At the finale of this visual delight, every hired hand and technician also deserve acclaim.
  19. 80
    Coraline is a beautifully designed, rather scary answered-prayer story.
  20. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    80
    This eccentric and deliriously inventive fantasy finds stop-motion auteur Henry Selick scaling new heights of ghoulish whimsy, buoyed by a haunting score that works its own macabre magic.
  21. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    80
    Coraline Jones isn't the pluckiest or most ingratiating sprite ever to take center stage in a children's film, and her (mis)adventures aren't especially novel, but Coraline is still a consistent splendor to behold.
  22. 80
    Coraline is essentially faithful to the spirit of its source material. But it's also so visually inventive, and so elaborately tactile, that it stands apart as its own creation.
  23. Stays remarkably true to a kid's-eye perspective and dormant fears.
  24. 75
    The film has been crafted with a consideration that the best family movies appeal not only to a young target audience but to the parents who accompany their offspring to theaters.
  25. 75
    This is a gloomy film with weird characters doing nasty things. I've heard of eating chocolate-covered insects, but not when they're alive.
  26. 75
    OK, sensitive tykes may be scared shitless. But those who tough it out with this twisted, trippy adventure in impure imagination will only be the better for it.
  27. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    "The Corpse Bride" with teeth, Bruno Bettelheim retooled for the multiplex, a nightmare of daft and creative consequence. I really liked it.
  28. 75
    Essentially a horror movie for kids, but it is also gentle and funny and whimsical, and even in its darkest moments, Selick never forgets who his target audience is. Still, some young children might have a nightmare or two after seeing it.
  29. Presented the usual way, the film would be enchanting. In 3-D, however, Coraline is completely engrossing. Selick uses the technique brilliantly to enhance the comedy and horror that mingle in his more "family-friendly" version of Gaiman's dark story.
  30. An extraordinary achievement that nevertheless falls short of its full potential, Coraline is absolutely worth seeing, for older children and adults alike. But the connection will be entirely through your eyes; if you want it to touch your heart, you'll have to go to the book on which it's based.
  31. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    This is the animated film as art film. Coraline doesn't try to ingratiate; it just looms, like a cemetery gate, daring curious souls to tiptoe in and fend for themselves.
  32. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    70
    Moment by moment, the film is a font of pleasures, yet there's something about it that keeps the audience at an aesthetic remove. Like Coraline in the doppelgänger world, we swoon over all the neat stuff without ever making ourselves at home.
  33. 70
    It's the first stop-motion feature filmed entirely in stereoscopic 3-D, and the technique makes Selick's artwork even more wondrously creepy. The problem is Gaiman's story, which keeps accumulating otherworldly mythology but doesn't establish a clear line of action in the home stretch.
  34. Director Henry Selick is all too effective at conjuring grody ghastliness. He's less effective at giving that ghastliness a human dimension, a resonance, a reason for being beyond cheap thrills.
  35. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    Coraline is a plucky heroine, and director Selig's imagination is indisputable. But the story falters in parts, and its dark tone could be off-putting for children.
  36. Selick has a great fantasy filmmaker's artistry, but he lacks that overflowing Geppetto-esque love that brings puppets to life. In Coraline, he's woozy with his own lyricism.
  37. For all its visual delights, however, Coraline remains more an engaging spectacle than a connective drama. That is chiefly because of the writing. Director-writer Henry Selick doesn't reach for the kind of universality that would enrich the movie.
  38. Coraline is distinguished, if you can call it that, by a creepiness so deep as to seem perverse, and the film finally succumbs to terminal deficits in dramatic energy, narrative coherence and plain old heart.
User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 348 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 13 out of 125
  1. Jun 30, 2013
    10
    Coraline is a masterpiece with insightful and clever stop-motion animation that will entertain you like never before. The 3D is absorbing andCoraline is a masterpiece with insightful and clever stop-motion animation that will entertain you like never before. The 3D is absorbing and intelligent, Athena wise 3D use. The plot is original and riveting, with a pleasant and fascinating ending that you will never expect it coming. Coraline easily is imaginative, powerful and surprisingly, one of the greatest works done in a long time. Full Review »
  2. Oct 28, 2011
    8
    "Coraline" is very basic in terms of story structure or voice acting. But it's the originality that pushes this visually magnificent movie"Coraline" is very basic in terms of story structure or voice acting. But it's the originality that pushes this visually magnificent movie into the stage of performances. Overall a well-made animation that audiences of every age will definitely enjoy. Full Review »
  3. Dec 18, 2011
    9
    Henry Selick takes Neil Gaiman's imaginative story and makes wonders with it with thrills, dark humor, great stop motion animation, and a coolHenry Selick takes Neil Gaiman's imaginative story and makes wonders with it with thrills, dark humor, great stop motion animation, and a cool original score make Coraline one of the best animated films ever made in my opinion. I give this movie 93%. Full Review »