Mixed or average reviews - based on 21 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 8 out of 21
  2. Negative: 3 out of 21
  1. Reviewed by: Jeff Labrecque
    Director Zack Snyder (300) has crafted the rare 3-D eyegasm that's worth the premium ticket price.
  2. Reviewed by: Scott Bowles
    The film is surprisingly deft and entertains at both the adult and juvenile levels. If something in Guardians catches your eye, trust your gizzard.
  3. A splendid adventure sure to thrill children and fantasy buffs, while leaving everyone else passably entertained.
  4. This picture sometimes rivals "Avatar" in its spectacular landscapes and thrilling flying sequences, but of course it won't come anywhere near those megagrosses, and it's too scary to be wholeheartedly embraced by children.
  5. There's a confusion that you can sense as well, with the film pulled between its light and dark sides just as the owls struggle with forces of good and evil. That hesitation keeps "Guardians" from reaching the deep, emotionally rich center that confers greatness in the animation world.
  6. The movie is beautiful but, for one unfamiliar with the source material, confusing. I needed an owl scorecard.
  7. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    The result is sometimes charming and always visually astonishing.
  8. 63
    A gorgeously animated combat fantasy - "The Lord of the Rings" meets "Happy Feet."
  9. The script is merely serviceable and too reminiscent of similar fantasy tales. But kids will instantly relate to the gentle Soren, while watching wide-eyed as he faces each challenge.
  10. Reviewed by: Dan Jolin
    This is unlikely to win Kathryn Lansky's antipodean owl fantasy any new fans, but even the bemused (and confused) can luxuriate in some grand-scale visual storytelling.
  11. Directorially, the film takes a few too many trips into prosaic slow motion.
  12. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Issues of faith, courage, loyalty, sacrifice and betrayal (the last perpetrated by Soren's brother) are all tackled by Snyder with understated maturity, though a series of slightly repetitive aerial skirmishes can't quite match the inventiveness of Feet's buoyant song-and-dance mash-ups.
  13. 58
    Unfortunately, the story rarely rises above cookie-cutter kids'-fantasy tropes.
  14. Legend of the Guardians sounds as if it were scripted by a team of 11-year-old boys, with too much plot for its 91-minute running time, a script that steals liberally from "Star Wars" and some occasionally eye-roll-worthy weirdness.
  15. Reviewed by: Andy Webster
    Legend of the Guardians may be a hoot, but for all its pyrotechnics, it fails to soar.
  16. Reviewed by: Andrew Barker
    Though visually stunning and blessed with immaculate 3D work, film is fatally bogged down by tackling an essentially ridiculous premise (gladiator-attired owls fight genocide) with stony solemnity, and by subsisting on a note of sustained menace and terror in what is ostensibly a children's film.
  17. Zack Snyder's films have some of the best opening-credits sequences in cinema; the unfortunate thing is that there's always a movie after them.
  18. The sketchy visual traits that differentiate the many characters in this avian universe will leave viewers crying, "Who, who" along with the owls.
  19. 38
    The movie is still a mess, stumbling from comic-relief scenes that aren't funny to a job-training interlude in which we learn that, among other things, owls make excellent . . . blacksmiths?
  20. 38
    And the action? It's especially hard to determine who's fighting whom in "Legends," because, well, because they are a bunch of owls.
  21. An unmemorable, frenzied, characterless hodgepodge that delights the eyes while numbing the brain.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 117 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 33
  2. Negative: 2 out of 33
  1. Dec 17, 2011
    It is very hard to say no to this movie due to its fantastic animation, action, dark tone, and voice performances and it even has a bit of humor and succeeds well enough even though the story isn't told very well. I give this film 82% of a good movie. Full Review »
  2. Oct 5, 2011
    "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole", a action flick summer blockbuster directed by Zack Snyder, is a great movie with outstanding visuals but fails to contain any significant points to boast about. Full Review »
  3. Oct 20, 2010
    Star Wars and The Lord of the Rings all mixed together into one huge CGI epic hit. though, it has a dark tone and it may not be suitable for kids, but despite that, it has nice character development, great visuals, and awesome butt-kicking action scenes. Legend of the Guardians is an excellent CGI movie of the year. Full Review »