March of the Penguins

Metascore
79

Generally favorable reviews - based on 39 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 39
  2. Negative: 0 out of 39

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Critic Reviews

  1. 100
    The movie pays tribute to sexual equality and to each gender's agility and strength of character.
  2. 100
    A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.
  3. 91
    The film that results from Jacquet's application is gorgeous and even inspiring, a tale of loyalty hard-tested and hard-earned, a sumptuous travelogue, and a reminder that some of the critters with whom we share the planet are, in ways, as complex in their feelings as any human being.
  4. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    90
    Jacquet's movie is as visually ravishing as "Winged Migration," and more gripping.
  5. 90
    The glacially beautiful new documentary March Of The Penguins confirms that no computer-animated or hand-drawn penguin could ever match the curious majesty of the genuine article.
  6. 90
    Thrilling documentary.
  7. 90
    As uplifting as anything you will find in theaters.
  8. 90
    There's more drama, and more heartbreak, in March of the Penguins than in most movies that are actually scripted to tug at our feelings.
  9. Jacquet's penguins are as absorbing and incredible as any man-made phantasmagoria you'll find in the multiplex this summer, and it's all real.
  10. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    88
    A cinematic experience that is dazzlingly different from anything currently in theaters, March of the Penguins captivates with its straightforward but powerful story of dogged determination, survival against harsh odds and sacrifice.
  11. 88
    A remarkable, eye-popping nature documentary.
  12. 88
    It's poignant to watch the chicks in their youth, fed by their parents, playing with their chums, the sun climbing higher every day, little suspecting what they're in for.
  13. The best action movie of the month contains chase scenes, fights, a love story, exotic locations - well, one exotic locale, snow-blasted Antarctica - and a battle for survival against long odds amid brutal conditions.
  14. Luc Jacquet's exquisitely shot eye-of-God study of a year in the lives of these distinctive birds is a nature film built with a feel for the epic and a love of operatic narrative.
  15. This sentimental but riveting film has no qualms about playing on our emotions.
  16. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    80
    Watch them march to the very extremes of extremis, though, and it's easy to feel awe.
  17. A nature documentary that captures the ferocity and heroism of nature.
  18. 80
    The film goes beyond a nature movie with excellent photography and the determination of the animals it documents.
  19. Astonishing if imperfect nature documentary.
  20. A delightful, wholesome experience for the family.
  21. 80
    It doesn't take a screenwriter, for example, to point out the uncanny fact that, when two parent penguins perform a neck-curving pas de deux above their tiny chick, they resemble nothing so much as a perfect heart.
  22. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    75
    If anything, it's the degree to which the animals differ from us that makes March of the Penguins so fascinating.
  23. When it comes to cute, this baby is off the charts.
  24. The director's tenacity has resulted in a breathtaking as well as heartbreaking adventure of life and death.
  25. Mostly it's an incredible tale of ritual and perseverance.
  26. 75
    Concise and intriguing.
  27. 75
    Michael Moore might want to look into this before more animal docs steal his thunder.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    70
    Sometimes harrowing, sometimes hokey, sometimes heartwarming nature documentary.
  29. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    70
    It's a gentle film about somewhat alien beings, who entertain us by creating instead of destroying.
  30. 70
    Some of the eggs fail to hatch and some of the chicks die, and the parents' cries are painful to hear, though what they're really crying for is the future of their species.
  31. Parents of young children should be warned: Here's a family-values film that won't be much fun for the whole family.
  32. 63
    Does what all good National Geographic documentaries do: it informs and entertains while providing interesting wildlife footage. Unfortunately, it's not cinematic.
  33. The penguins' matter-of-fact victory over some of the Earth's most punishing conditions is astonishing enough without the epic airs.
  34. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    60
    It's a missed opportunity to make a great documentary, but still decent family entertainment, with awe-inspiring Antarctic scenery and some very cute stars.
  35. The Central Park Zoo is cheaper, you can walk away from the penguins after 10 minutes, and it has snow monkeys and beer.
  36. As a zoological spectacle the movie is riveting. But the narration tries to make us think of these adorable animals as if they saw the world in human terms.
User Score
8.0

Generally favorable reviews- based on 115 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 59 out of 68
  2. Negative: 3 out of 68
  1. Jan 9, 2012
    5
    Maybe if I were a nature-fan, or a bird-fan, or more preferably, a penguin-fan, I would have enjoyed this film. The way things are, I just didMaybe if I were a nature-fan, or a bird-fan, or more preferably, a penguin-fan, I would have enjoyed this film. The way things are, I just did not find it all that amazing. Ok. I was just ok. All white all the time. And the little penguins. They're cute. And all. And it's Morgan Freeman. We get it. Ah. Maybe it's Freeman, we've had too much of him narrating lately. Either way, it just did not do anything for me. It was alright, but I felt bored by the film since, well, I do not care about the poor penguins. There have been way better documentaries than this - thank god! Full Review »
  2. Mar 1, 2011
    10
    This really is a great movie for the family. I was really surprised as to how good this movie was. It was a tad preachy but it really wasThis really is a great movie for the family. I was really surprised as to how good this movie was. It was a tad preachy but it really was necessary for the story line so it did not get in the way. How the humans were filmed, without animation, was brilliant. It was short and captivating. Full Review »
  3. May 16, 2016
    8
    Who couldn't resist watching the backstory of flightless birds that are penguins and stars Morgan Freeman? Only if you're not that one guy whoWho couldn't resist watching the backstory of flightless birds that are penguins and stars Morgan Freeman? Only if you're not that one guy who gives 0's on any random movie for apparently no reason whatsoever. Full Review »