Dear Mr. Watterson

Metascore
54

Mixed or average reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
Watch On
  1. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 21, 2013
    60
    It’s not a bad movie, by any means. Just repetitive in its relentless praise.
  2. Reviewed by: Ian Buckwalter
    Nov 15, 2013
    60
    The documentary is at its best when it eases up on the adoration a little and turns to a serious discussion of the state of comics these days, what with newspapers on the decline and digital media scattering an art form that was once centralized on pages delivered to everyone's door.
  3. Reviewed by: Frank Scheck
    Nov 14, 2013
    60
    For all its fandom and self-indulgence, Dear Mr. Watterson does offer some insightful musings about the decline of comic strips in general, with their content ever shrinking due to the diminished state of the newspaper industry.
  4. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Nov 12, 2013
    60
    Still, if any modern strip is worthy of an extended, Hobbes-style tongue bath, it’s this one.
  5. Reviewed by: Marc Mohan
    Nov 21, 2013
    58
    So, be warned: You may not learn anything from this mild, unremarkable film, but you might be tempted to order the deluxe, four-volume “The Complete Calvin and Hobbes” after watching it. I was, and I don’t regret it a bit.
  6. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Nov 18, 2013
    50
    Look, Dear Mr. Watterson is a nice movie. Calvin & Hobbes fans may get a kick out of it. But it falls squarely into the promotional genre of documentary filmmaking — the same way so many music docs nowadays seem to be just movies about how awesome the director’s favorite band is.
  7. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Nov 15, 2013
    50
    Like the rest of Dear Mr. Watterson, it’s a good-hearted gesture. But unlike Calvin’s alter ego Spaceman Spiff, this film never manages to achieve liftoff.
  8. Reviewed by: Nicolas Rapold
    Nov 14, 2013
    50
    But viewers looking to learn more about Mr. Watterson and his creation than what’s contained in his Wikipedia entry may come away as hopped-up with impatience as Calvin when confronted by parental indifference.
  9. Reviewed by: Andrew O'Hehir
    Nov 14, 2013
    50
    Schroeder isn’t much of a comic-strip expert or historian, by his own admission, so Dear Mr. Watterson bounces off many of the most interesting issues in and around “Calvin and Hobbes,” noticing them but not exploring them deeply.
  10. Reviewed by: Noel Murray
    Nov 13, 2013
    50
    Too much of Dear Mr. Watterson is taken up by Schroeder and an array of non-professional C&H-lovers offering vague praise, with little to no real analysis—aesthetic, historical, or cultural.
  11. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Nov 12, 2013
    50
    [A] heartfelt but largely inarticulate documentary.
  12. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Dec 5, 2013
    40
    It is, in short, everything you’d expect from a crowd-sourced documentary, designed to celebrate its subject, while mostly just validating the aesthetic taste of its backers.
  13. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Nov 14, 2013
    40
    The deeply private, intensely ideological and undeniably brilliant Watterson would make an absolutely fascinating subject. But director Joel Allen Schroeder has no access to him. So instead he talks a lot about how much he loves “Calvin and Hobbes” and then invites other fans to do the same.

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