Generally favorable reviews - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 15 out of 20
  2. Negative: 1 out of 20
  1. One great monster movie. [11 June 1993, Daily Notebook, p.C1]
  2. Reviewed by: Caroline Westbrook
    So the script and the performances aren't exactly Oscar material, but it scarcely matters given that the real stars here are the ILM-created dinosaurs, a miracle of modern moviemaking.
  3. As a flight of fantasy, Jurassic Park lacks the emotional unity of Spielberg's classics ("Jaws," "Close Encounters," "E.T."), yet it has enough of his innocent, playful virtuosity to send you out of the theater grinning with delight.
  4. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    For dinosaurs to rule the earth again, the monsters needed majesty as well as menace. And Spielberg got it all right. [14 June 1993, p.69]
  5. 88
    Colossal entertainment -- the eye-popping, mind-bending, kick-out-the-jams thrill ride of summer and probably the year.
  6. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    Spielberg's must-see is so wondrous at depicting things that go crunch in the night that its human characterizations and pokey exposition seem astonishingly halfhearted… On a "people" level, Park isn't “Jaws,” but on a jolt level - oh, yes, it is. [11 June 1993, Life, p.1D]
  7. 75
    The movie delivers all too well on its promise to show us dinosaurs. We see them early and often, and they are indeed a triumph of special effects artistry, but the movie is lacking other qualities that it needs even more, such as a sense of awe and wonderment, and strong human story values.
  8. 75
    Given the complexity of attitudes and the ambiguous take on the family represented in such Spielberg films as “E.T.'' and “Poltergeist,'' the bland affirmations of Jurassic Park seem platitudinous and insincere. He's forcing it here, and it shows. [11 June 1993, Friday, p.A]
  9. There's only one kind of movie that Spielberg has truly mastered: the kind that looks like a wide-screen video game complete with loony plot twists and mind-bending special effects. And that's Jurassic Park down to its bones. [11 June 1993, Arts, p.12]
  10. 75
    The biggest weakness of the novel is characterization, and the same flaw is fully evident in the screen adaptation.
  11. Reviewed by: Staff (Non Credited)
    An exhilarating, sometimes terrifying monster of a movie that, once it gets you in its clutches, won't put you down again until the closing credits start to roll.
  12. It becomes less crisp on screen than it was on the page, with much of the enjoyable jargon either mumbled confusingly or otherwise thrown away. [11 June 1993, p.C1]
  13. Reviewed by: Staff (Not Credited)
    Spielberg's scary and horrific thriller may be one-dimensional and even clunky in story and characterization, but definitely delivers where it counts, in excitement, suspense and the stupendous realization of giant reptiles.
  14. 70
    A dumbed-down adaptation of Michael Crichton's techno-novel on the dangers of dinosaur cloning, it's not Spielberg at the top of his game, but it's dino-mite just the same.
  15. 67
    I continually found myself longing for the sheer intensity of the director's past glories, like Jaws, or even Duel. Spielberg seems to be trying so very hard for that elusive “Gosh, Wow, Sense of Wonder!” that it all looks strained in spots.
  16. The suspense and technical wizardry are the only reason to watch Jurassic Park. In a summer movie, that's more than enough, of course. But screenwriter Michael Crichton, adapting his popular novel with David Koepp, slashes almost everything that made the book an entertaining read.
  17. The results make poor old King Kong look like something from a Macy's Thanksgiving Day parade. Such is progress. [12 July 1993, p.26]
  18. All the imagination and effort (including 18 months of pre-production) that went into making the dinosaurs state-of-the-art exciting apparently left no time to make the people similarly believable or involving. In fact, when the big guys leave the screen, you'll be tempted to leave the theater with them. [11 June 1993, Calendar, p.F-1]
  19. There's more soul to be found in any Kong close-up than in this film's overplayed reactions, which are used to instruct us what we should be feeling at any given moment. This is never boring, but I can't recall another Spielberg film that left me with a more hollow feeling.
  20. Perfectly passable kiddie escapism. It has a thrill or two, and a chill or three, but it has no poetry, little sense of wonder, no resonant subtext (Jungian or otherwise), no art... When it's over, it's gone. Extinct.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 306 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 73 out of 80
  2. Negative: 3 out of 80
  1. Feb 21, 2012
    As a wide-eyed 13 yr old boy gripping the theater armrests with white knuckles, I remember this film rewiring my brain as I watched it. I walked out a changed person, never to view movies the same way again. The good ones... the truly special ones... aren't just something to watch. They transport you to another world. They take you away and cleanse you of the drudgery of reality. They nestle into your memory and never leave. Jurassic Park was the first film to affect me in this way and I'll never forget that feeling. Much obliged, Mr. Spielberg! Full Review »
  2. May 26, 2011
    One of the best movies ever made, and a movie that has a special place in my heart. Honestly, I believe this movie should've won best picture at the Oscars, not Schindler's List. Full Review »
  3. Sep 19, 2013
    Jurassic Park holds up surprisingly well to this day. It may not be the deepest or best written movie ever made, but it's one of the most thrilling. Spielberg is a master of creating tension and incredible set-pieces. Most of the visual effects are still adequate, which is incredible for a movie made in 1993. If a visual effects film holds up like that after 20 years there's a good chance it may never be completely antiquated. The script can be somewhat clunky at times however. It's not a bad script, just somewhat lacking when compared to something like The Truman Show or Inception. It's still more than functional for a monster movie, and the main characters are thankfully likeable if somewhat needing of more complex characterization. It's not perfect, but it's an extremely memorable and sometimes exhilarating action film that has deservedly gone down as a benchmark in movie history. Full Review »