Mixed or average reviews - based on 28 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 5 out of 28
  2. Negative: 12 out of 28

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Critic Reviews

  1. 90
    A giddy madcap classic, one of the wildest and funniest American comedies in years.
  2. There's unwieldy mess -- but there's also unruly brilliance to this dark and funny story about the havoc that ensues when a man's uncensored Freudian id is allowed the run of the place.
  3. Grand fantasy, in which Brendan Fraser and stylish design and energetic special effects play off one another for maximum fun.
  4. The movie is booby-trapped with so many loud gags that some of its sneakier humor is nearly lost in the din.
  5. 63
    Wildly uneven collage of effects and live action is no Disney-bland vision of dreams gone bonkers. There's enough Freudian material to reupholster a thousand therapy couches.
  6. Reviewed by: Robert Horton
    Looks like a very cheerful and imaginative accident.
  7. Although Monkeybone will undoubtedly make you laugh at its slapstick highjinks, the irony is that for a movie that's ultimately about soul, that's the one commodity that's in precious short supply up on the screen.
  8. A fairly serious psychodrama rendered in cartoon images.
  9. Selick proves a clumsy director of live-action scenes and never overcomes the muddled, half-baked script or the scatological gags.
  10. 58
    It's alternately mind-boggling and patience-testing, mixing astounding sequences of over-the-top invention with scenes of inept acting and indifferent filmmaking.
  11. Too grotesque for children and just too silly for their parents.
  12. 50
    A shapeless, chaotic, overly frantic comedy that manages to make almost no sense, even if you're paying close attention.
  13. New York Post
    Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    An occasionally delightful mess of a movie.
  14. Like so many movies that depend on effects for effect, plot comes in a poor second to spectacle. That leaves the Fraser, funny and sexy as hell, left with little chance to prove it.
  15. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    A movie interesting enough in its conception to appeal to adults winds up being best suited to preadolescent sensibilities.
  16. 40
    The scenes set on earth--messy, predictable satire about the commercial exploitation of fevered genius. The unconscious/underworld scenes may be boring because neosurrealism is a cliche.
  17. Chicago Tribune
    Reviewed by: Mark Caro
    Isn't much more creative than your average gross-out comedy.
  18. 38
    The movie never takes off; it's a bright idea the filmmakers were unable to breathe life into.
  19. Feels like it's been homogenized and Hollywoodized to death.
  20. 30
    The result is a script so needlessly complicated that it defies comprehension.
  21. 30
    Selick is widely and rightly regarded as a master of surreal, dark humor, and wildly inventive animation technique, and Monkeybone is the first tarnish on his otherwise spotless reputation.
  22. Reviewed by: Dennis Harvey
    It's equal parts wacky, sappy and sniggery.
  23. Like a half-remembered dream, the movie's often so overwhelming that even its dull, dead moments (of which there are many, unfortunately) leave you wondering what you're missing and what you've just forgotten.
  24. Boston Globe
    Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    For all its antic grasping it lies flatter on the screen than its graphic novel source lies on the page.
  25. Baltimore Sun
    Reviewed by: Athima Chansanchai
    A raunchy, remorseless "Curious George."
  26. A shell of a romantic fantasy festooned with characters inspired by and resembling those in the bar scene in "Star Wars," the waiting room in "Beetlejuice" and the circus in "A Bug's Life."
  27. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Adds up to one numbingly unfunny comedy.
  28. A self-adrenalizing, self-destructing pop-culture whirligig.

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