Metascore
38

Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 27
  2. Negative: 12 out of 27
  1. Reviewed by: Kate Erbland
    Oct 30, 2013
    76
    A more than worthy (and weird) holiday diversion for the whole family.
  2. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Nov 1, 2013
    63
    Free Birds is pleasant enough holiday fare. And kudos to the animators for transforming a rather unattractive — or at least unappreciated — species into a cast of endearing characters.
  3. Reviewed by: Bill Zwecker
    Oct 31, 2013
    63
    While the overall concept of the script is pretty creative and original, at several points along the way the storyline gets a bit muddled.
  4. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Oct 31, 2013
    63
    At an hour and a half, the action in Free Birds gets stretched thin. It’s Thanksgiving fare, sure, but it only partly satisfies our hankering.
  5. Reviewed by: Stephanie Merry
    Oct 31, 2013
    63
    Free Birds has the colorful palette, zippy action and silly story to keep kids giggling, but it also delivers a few worthwhile winks to parents.
  6. Reviewed by: Peter Bradshaw
    Nov 29, 2013
    60
    Enjoyable, with some funny lines.
  7. Reviewed by: Michael Rechtshaffen
    Oct 29, 2013
    60
    Although it seldom approaches the inspiration of its plucky premise... Free Birds nevertheless manages to avoid being branded a holiday turkey.
  8. Reviewed by: Sheri Linden
    Oct 31, 2013
    50
    With its flat punch lines, formulaic action and undercooked mélange of messages — touching on everything from factory farming to genocide — the film waddles awkwardly.
  9. Reviewed by: Stephan Lee
    Oct 30, 2013
    50
    In the end, the jokes simply aren’t funny enough to lift these flight-challenged fowl off the ground.
  10. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Oct 29, 2013
    50
    A cute but disposable item were it not for the story’s weird racial undertow.
  11. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Oct 29, 2013
    50
    Like so many modern animated features, Free Birds packs too much in; the picture feels cramped and cluttered, and, despite its occasionally manic action, it moves as slowly as a fattened bird waddling toward its doom.
  12. Reviewed by: Kevin McFarland
    Oct 30, 2013
    42
    The best moments are jokes that feel grafted onto a film that was probably close to completion before anyone involved realized they were portraying a fight between turkeys and English settlers as the largest conflict in the European colonization of North America.
  13. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Nov 25, 2013
    40
    Not bootiful.
  14. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Nov 1, 2013
    40
    Children, of course, won’t notice the political subtext. But do be prepared for them to exit the theater demanding that you make only Tofurkey in the future.
  15. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Oct 31, 2013
    40
    The folks behind Free Birds are trying to entertain us. But they rarely succeed.
  16. Reviewed by: Christy Lemire
    Nov 1, 2013
    38
    Everything about Free Birds feels perfunctory, from its generic title and holiday setting to its starry voice cast and undistinguished use of 3-D.
  17. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Oct 31, 2013
    38
    Well-intended but maladroit, with a clever premise and cute animation that are undermined by the trite sci-fi parody plot and manic, unfunny banter.
  18. Reviewed by: Sara Stewart
    Oct 31, 2013
    38
    A forgettable — and occasionally borderline offensive — animated tale of turkeys trying to take back Thanksgiving.
  19. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Oct 31, 2013
    38
    Frozen, undercooked and sorely lacking much in the way of “all the trimmings,” this turkey isn’t ready to serve.
  20. Reviewed by: Miriam Bale
    Oct 31, 2013
    30
    Free Birds is likely to leave audiences fuzzy-headed and vaguely nauseated instead of nourished and satisfied.
  21. Reviewed by: Louis Black
    Oct 31, 2013
    30
    Free Birds falls flat, despite its good intentions, ideological cuteness, humorous polish, and skillful computer animation. The fine voice talents of the almost-ideal cast are wasted.
  22. Reviewed by: Scott Tobias
    Oct 30, 2013
    30
    Free Birds feels like Hollywood brining small children for the blockbusters they’ll pay to see when they’re older. It’s littered with quips, but the film puts a premium on loud, effects-driven action that mistakes nonstop intensity for cartoony entertainment.
  23. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Oct 31, 2013
    25
    In execution, the film is all sidekicks and sight gags, with little story cohesion or purpose.
  24. Reviewed by: Chris Cabin
    Oct 31, 2013
    25
    The film is absent of humor and thrills, and accented with designs and color schemes that are equally notable for their lack of risk.
  25. Reviewed by: Curtis Woloschuk
    Nov 29, 2013
    20
    Any comparisons with Chicken Run are rendered poultry by half-baked gags. Even tykes will tell it to get stuffed.
  26. Reviewed by: Keith Uhlich
    Oct 31, 2013
    20
    To call this a turkey would be an insult to poultry.
  27. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Oct 30, 2013
    16
    The characters are so two-dimensional that a meaningful connection with the material isn't elusive; it's downright impossible.
User Score
3.9

Generally unfavorable reviews- based on 64 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 10 out of 24
  2. Negative: 10 out of 24
  1. Nov 1, 2013
    6
    Free Birds isn't a disaster, merely a bloated stab at family entertainment (and a spiffy commercial for Chuck E. Cheese pizza, which I'm only now learning is something people in America actually have delivered). It's a hero's tale, it's a sci-fi riff, it's a history lesson, it's a portrait of friendship, it's Braveheart with turkeys, it's a pop culture bonanza cut from the Shrek cloth, and together it's none of these. It's the turducken of animated comedies, and while it might satisfy kids, it's not the healthiest option. A stew of half-baked plot elements and bird-brained bits pulled from other movies doesn't make the slapstick toon Free Birds a particularly satisfying experience. Full Review »
  2. Nov 2, 2013
    7
    Very cute movie. Story is engaging, plot is adequately complicated for a kids holiday movie. I was pleasantly surprised today, seeing this after reading the terrible reviews. It's supposed to be silly. It's supposed to be fun. The kids loved it, mine and the dozens of others laughing in the theater.
    The critics are off base here.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 30, 2013
    7
    It was funny and original, not to be taken seriously. The critics and users that bashed it should try to take off their serious faces and just enjoy the silly surprises that this movie keeps throwing at its audience. My kids liked it. And do did I. Full Review »