Generally favorable reviews - based on 27 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 27
  2. Negative: 1 out of 27
Watch On
  1. Preteen girls – and not just those who are already American Girl fanatics – should be entranced. And why not? Not many movies for that audience are as respectful as is this one.
  2. 88
    Just about perfect for its target audience, and more than that. It has a great look, engaging performances, real substance and even a few whispers of political ideas, all surrounding the freshness and charm of Abigail Breslin, who was 11 when it was filmed.
  3. 88
    One of the 10 best American movies released so far this year, Kit Kittredge: An American Girl is the surprisingly satisfying first theatrical film inspired by a long-running series of historically themed dolls.
  4. A smart, playful, informative pleasure.
  5. Offers solid, kid-friendly storytelling.
  6. Reviewed by: Lael Loewenstein
    Anchored by a fine performance from Abigail Breslin, this wholesome, engaging entertainment offers something for viewers ages 7 to 107.
  7. Much as she did in "Little Miss Sunshine," Breslin imbues Kit with joy.
  8. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    The period ambience, comforting yet urgent, is the best part of Kit Kittredge - that and Breslin, who never once gets actressy.
  9. 75
    A thoroughly satisfying and engaging children's picture that never forgets those kids probably didn't get to the theater by themselves.
  10. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    It's fun, fast-paced, educational entertainment that's fit for the whole family -- American boys included.
  11. It's not only fresh and unassuming, but a film that serves, very nicely, the severely underserved audience of young girls.
  12. A crime wave gives the heroine a mystery to solve and provides most of the comedy, but the film is stronger in its dramatic stretches.
  13. In Kit’s world the absent father (a familiar theme from girls' novels including "Little Women" and "A Little Princess") is an epidemic, and the picture makes this the impetus for children's resourcefulness and emotional development.
  14. Reviewed by: Michael Ordona
    This can be strong stuff for kids, but the film's humanistic approach preaches tolerance and hope.
  15. It's an unashamedly old-fashioned and richly visualized evocation of a time when values were key, trust in your neighbor complete, and a way of life that should be simple is made unfathomably complex because of economic hardship.
  16. Has its heart in the right place and its head shoved well down into a box of clichés.
  17. While the film starring Abigail Breslin as a resourceful 10-year-old is faithful to the Kit books, it's pokey where it should be perky.
  18. Sure, this is marginal, but it's precisely in the margins that the movie excels.
  19. Reviewed by: Jessica Reaves
    Strictly a kids' movie--brimming with easy-to-swallow life lessons.
  20. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    This sweetly enjoyable family film stars the endearing Abigail Breslin as Kit. And, refreshingly, it's actually about something -- the Great Depression -- and tackles such serious issues as prejudice, poverty and homelessness.
  21. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Based on several American Girl stories about a 1930s cub reporter in Cincinnati, this dull theatrical debut especially disappoints because I'm usually fond of square, sepia-toned, period-costumed kids' movies (like Fly Away Home) that go nowhere at the box office.
  22. 60
    Roughly speaking, the characters in Kit Kittredge may be stereotypes, but they're stereotypes with soul. And they live in a very real place.
  23. It's certainly been a while since we've seen a movie this resolutely old-fashioned. But while the script feels a little stiff and moralistic at times, it's hard to fault a film with such an intelligent, good-hearted heroine.
  24. 50
    With all the good will in the world, I couldn't warm up to Kit Kittredge. The movie is like a 1930s or 1940s short about Americans pulling together, stretched out to feature length.
  25. 42
    By the time it reaches an action-packed finale that's choreographed like an ancient Keystone Kops short, Kit Kittredge has cornered the market on bland.
  26. Kit Kittredge is a dutiful bore. Still, I couldn't help but wonder if, in the face of all-out market collapse, it might serve a dual purpose as primer for kiddies on economic depression – because food stamps always taste better with a side order of spunk. Or is it pluck?
  27. The director, Patricia Rozema, has a rare talent: She gets third-rate performances out of first-rate performers with almost startling efficiency. All are bland, some hardly exist at all, and as performance, the whole thing seems a waste.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 22 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 11
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 11
  3. Negative: 0 out of 11
  1. Apr 30, 2012
    The film wasn't too engaging or exciting, and had a few flaws in the execution, but it did give out an insight on 1930s history for childrenThe film wasn't too engaging or exciting, and had a few flaws in the execution, but it did give out an insight on 1930s history for children and kids-at-heart, without leaning so much into mindless mischief or "Home Alone"-style antics. Abigail Breslin's portrayal of Kit was also just as flat-out impressive as Bruno Ganz's dramatic performance in Downfall, or more like what Aaron Staton did in L.A. Noire, especially when Kit had to investigate a string of hobo-related robberies in Ohio.

    My two-thumbs up to this film.
    Full Review »
  2. PamelaW.
    Oct 29, 2008
    Absolutely adorable, even for grown ups!
  3. JayH.
    Oct 26, 2008
    A very sweet and entertaining film, Abigail Breslin is terrific, Julia Ormond as well. It's a feel good and fun film. Nice attention to A very sweet and entertaining film, Abigail Breslin is terrific, Julia Ormond as well. It's a feel good and fun film. Nice attention to period detail, sensitively directed. Quite good. Full Review »