Metascore
73

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

User Score
8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 310 Ratings

Your Score
0 out of 10
Rate this:
  • 10
  • 9
  • 8
  • 7
  • 6
  • 5
  • 4
  • 3
  • 2
  • 1
  • 0
  • 0
  • 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 forFreshly 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
    75
    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. Negative: 21 out of 129
  1. PeterM.
    Jan 26, 2008
    10
    A great film. even though i loved penn's other three films i wasn't that excited about this; but its a masterpiece.
  2. CarlosLoayza
    Jul 21, 2009
    10
    this movie is right on target on the hipocrisy all around us and how somwtimes nature is the answer to bring a man's soul down to earththis movie is right on target on the hipocrisy all around us and how somwtimes nature is the answer to bring a man's soul down to earth and realised what's really important.. I think Sean Pean capture this message brilliantly.

    I think those who critizice this message have obviously never been in a situation of extreme discomfort and have life a secure, rouitine, and danger free life. book smart "intelegent" people who are scare to live and who have played it safe all their life.
    Expand
  3. Nov 18, 2010
    10
    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 supportingThe 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
  4. ChrisL
    Jul 26, 2008
    9
    A beautiful movie - tragic, though. I'd never heard of Emile Hirsch before, and I must say his acting astounded me. Call a thing by its A beautiful movie - tragic, though. I'd never heard of Emile Hirsch before, and I must say his acting astounded me. Call a thing by its right name.... Expand
  5. Bla
    Mar 5, 2008
    8
    The first bit of the film I felt a bit bored with but the last 2/3rds of it I dug a lot. The narration done by his sister is at best brief The first bit of the film I felt a bit bored with but the last 2/3rds of it I dug a lot. The narration done by his sister is at best brief and at worst melodramatic and intrusive to the film's flow. Thankfully these narrating bits were left alone for a long while in the film, and allowed the story to progress without her weepy interjections. Expand
  6. DougN.
    Oct 23, 2007
    7
    The film is not "spellbinding" as the Chicago Sun-Times claims. But it is interesting, especially as it's based on a true life case. It The film is not "spellbinding" as the Chicago Sun-Times claims. But it is interesting, especially as it's based on a true life case. It reminded me of "Grizzly Man", by Werner Herzog except this one is more happy. I have to say, I think Sean Penn is really growing as a director - great job. Expand
  7. JoshuaW.g
    Sep 26, 2007
    0
    This movie is very simple. It's a 2 hour and 20 minute glorification and romanticization of a guy who wasn't playing with a full This movie is very simple. It's a 2 hour and 20 minute glorification and romanticization of a guy who wasn't playing with a full deck, mentally speaking, who (perhaps somewhat inadvertently) committed suicide in the wild. He died ONLY because he didn't bother to take basic provisions like a map. Sean Penn admitted on Charlie Rose that if he simply had a map, he easily could have walked out of the area where he died instead of dying. But he was too crazy to take a map or basic survival provisions, or learn basic survival training, and thus wasted his life for no reason. His death was completely senseless, stupid and unnecessary. He was not a hero. He was not an inspiration. Therefore this movie has no reason to exist, because glorifying and romanticizing a guy who committed suicide is bad for society and mankind as a species. If you really are desperate to see a glorification of suicide then it's much cheaper to watch the old clip of Dr. Jack Kevorkian from the news show "60 Minutes" instead of buying a ticket to "Into the Wild". Expand

See all 129 User Reviews

Trailers