Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 288 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: Freshly graduated from college and with a promising future ahead, 22-year-old Christopher McCandless chose instead to walk out of his privileged life and into the wild in search of adventure. What happened to him on the way transformed this young wanderer into an enduring symbol for countless people. Was Christopher McCandless a heroic adventurer or a naïve idealist, a rebellious 1990s Thoreau or another lost American son, a fearless risk-taker or a tragic figure who wrestled with the precarious balance between man and nature? (Paramount Vantage) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. 91
    There's a bittersweet quality to McCandless' story that Penn captures intuitively.
  2. 88
    Penn, in tandem with the superb cinematographer Eric Gautier (The Motorcycle Diaries), captures the majesty and terror of the wilderness in ways that make you catch your breath.
  3. Reviewed by: Glenn Kenny
    Penn has often said that he dislikes acting and would prefer to direct full time. Into the Wild is impressive enough to give him license to do just that.
  4. It’s half-crock and half-sublime, which seems about right for its subject.
  5. 63
    The movie tries its hardest to celebrate the impetuousness of its hero and the exhilaration of his accomplishments. Mostly, though, it just reminds you of the severity of his mistakes.
  6. A murky screenplay leaves most of the humans ciphers, save for Hal Holbrook in an exquisitely calibrated performance as the avuncular desert retiree whose advice McCandless should have heeded.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 98 out of 127
  2. Negative: 21 out of 127
  1. Nov 18, 2010
    The film repects the true story as expressed in Jon Krakauer's book. I can't overstate how good Emile Hirsch is as the lead. Every supporting actor plays their part to near perfection. Sean Penn is as good a director as he is an actor. The music goes really well with the film. Expand
  2. Jun 20, 2011
    Into the wild is a story of an inspired, adventurous young man who grows tired of societal customs and relationships around him as he sees them to be insincere and unnecessarily comfortable. He leaves behind the comforts society has offered him and begins an unpredictable, yet passionate journey into the wild. After many lessons learned from being so intimate with nature and it's habitants he learns that "happiness is only real when shared" making this expectedly cynical story a heartwarming perspective of the importance of intimacy with everything and everyone around us. Expand
  3. Aug 27, 2010
    From the beginning, Into the Wild reels in the viewer in to an alternate form of thought. A mind-awakening tale with an ethereal aesthetic, cultivating freedom, escapism and human's most innate desires, it not only inspires but reaches in to the souls of those who allow it. Expand
  4. Mar 10, 2013
    The other day I took a chance on the film Into The Wild and I was absolutely blown away by how powerful it was. It depicts the real-life events of Christoper McCandless, who disposed of his cash, assets and personal belongings and spent two years hiking around the American Southwest before heading to Alaska in search of a great adventure. This journey of self-discovery is both moving and inspiring on so many levels. Such an endeavour is often of no interest to anyone but the individual themself; however, this is a story that had to be told. In this day and age of motion pictures that overkill with CGI, have mundane plots, and no real heart, this film was a welcome breath of fresh air.

    Director and adapter, Sean Penn, did a great job of transforming Jon Krakauer's words and depicting them onscreen. Yes, that's right, Sean Penn. I would have never thought I'd see him creating a screenplay so moving and heart-wrenching. This work is so far removed from anything I've personally seen him do in the past, but he did an exceptional job. He really focuses hard on the main character, Christoper McCandless, and the people he touches and inspires along his journey.

    The movie can be a little slow-paced at times that's really the only negative aspect I took away from it but there's always something around the corner that lifts your spirits.

    Anyway, I truly believe this is a film everyone should see at least once in their lifetime. I implore you to give it a shot.
  5. Apr 11, 2014
    Into the Wild is a great, great movie. It had great acting and a great score. And I love how the atmosphere starts out lively and free but slowly starts to feel lonely and isolated. It's an outstanding movie and I would highly recommend it, 7/8. Expand
  6. Mar 16, 2011
    What starts off as a slow-paced bore becomes a meaningful (if not altogether-too-perfect) tale of a young educated man who transcends the boundaries of materialism and consumerism and escapes to the complete wild of frozen Alaska. While Hirsch's character is at times sickly sweet, this is toned down through the vast array of characters he meets. The mature and intelligent encounters transform this film from a simple travelogue to a much deeper study of human nature. The protagonist promotes a rejection of greed, glamour and materialism and their substitution with a naturalistic noble-savage-esque love of life. What the film fails to achieve however is the power that will change our ideals indefinitely - or perhaps that wasn't the intention. Expand
  7. Apr 10, 2013
    Movies are suppose to a form of entertainment through comedy, drama, romance, action and suspense and Into the Wild is only but a massive bore. I found more interest in watching a nature show on the Discovery Channel. Into the Wild is nothing but a monotonous, self-centered, adolescent fable. Expand

See all 127 User Reviews