Metascore
65

Generally favorable reviews - based on 41 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 26 out of 41
  2. Negative: 0 out of 41
  1. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jun 21, 2013
    100
    True to the spirit of the original film, "Monsters Inc.", and matches its tone. But it never seems content to turn over old ground.
  2. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jun 19, 2013
    91
    Speaking of second chances, Monsters University is exactly the rebound Pixar needed after 2011's "Cars 2" left some wondering if the studio had lost its magic.
  3. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jun 17, 2013
    91
    It’s easily the most enjoyable animated film so far this year, one that is visually stunning, wickedly subversive, incredibly funny (Day's character is a hoot), and (at times) lump-in-your-throat emotional.
  4. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Jun 21, 2013
    83
    Keep your ears tuned for Helen Mirren as the imperious Dean Hardscrabble. Hogwarts would have loved her.
  5. Reviewed by: Trevor Johnston
    Jul 12, 2013
    80
    While Monsters University can’t claim outright originality, this is a far richer movie than most were expecting.
  6. Reviewed by: Robbie Collin
    Jul 12, 2013
    80
    The animation is photoreal – startlingly and mesmerisingly so. And the depth of feeling the tale of their friendship evokes is matched only by your incredulity, as you paw at your eyes six minutes later, that you are crying about two computer-generated umbrellas.
  7. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Jul 8, 2013
    80
    Dazzlingly clever and hugely funny, it succeeds both as a broadening of the Monsters universe and as a film in its own right. Monsters University had a tough task, and it’s passed with honours.
  8. Reviewed by: Joshua Rothkopf
    Jun 18, 2013
    80
    Monsters University aces a two-part test—first, appealing to kids with gorgeous, hyperrealistic animation that teases out every pink hair on a beastly art student; then luring in parents with several knowing jokes about strumming your guitar on the quad or playing beer pong.
  9. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Jun 9, 2013
    80
    Even when the story mechanics feel more than a bit secondhand, the exquisite interplay of vibrant pastel hues and almost photorealist textures (smoothly but not crucially enhanced in 3D) makes the film a continual pleasure to behold.
  10. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Jun 21, 2013
    75
    A charming, family friendly endeavor and, although it falls short of the best Pixar has brought to the screen over its long association with Disney, it's nevertheless worth a trip to the theater, especially for kids.
  11. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    The visuals are impressive, while the goodhearted and endearing story is a little slight.
  12. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    Crystal, 65, and Goodman, 61, are a long time out of college, but they somehow manage to carry off the callowness of youth.
  13. Reviewed by: Peter Travers
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    It's all infectious fun, despite the lack of originality. In the art of tickling funny bones, Crystal and Goodman earn straight A's.
  14. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Jun 20, 2013
    75
    The ending takes an unfortunate detour that stretches the running time, but this is still quality Pixar work.
  15. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    True to its name, Monsters University brims with cleverly designed creatures, a student body worthy of the recently deceased Ray Harryhausen. What the movie lacks is its precursor’s human ace-in-the-hole—that pint-sized, inadvertent agent of chaos, Boo.
  16. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jun 19, 2013
    75
    The movie is mostly fun and ultimately disposable, which is a letdown after Pixar's previous greatness.
  17. Reviewed by: Eric Kohn
    Jun 9, 2013
    75
    Monsters University, the latest Pixar offering, charms in an excessively familiar way that illustrates a troublesome eventuality: Pixar has lost its edge.
  18. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    Jun 21, 2013
    70
    Though this is a sweet, clever, gorgeously animated movie I’d be glad to take my kid to on a Saturday afternoon, I’m not sure it’s one I’d insist all my grownup friends drop what they’re doing to see.
  19. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jun 20, 2013
    70
    Perhaps only Pixar could give us such a rare beast: a delightful disappointment.
  20. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jun 19, 2013
    70
    It’s cute, funny, exciting to look at but not quite magical.
  21. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    Jun 21, 2013
    65
    What hasn't advanced is the plotting, which was nothing special last time and is so formulaic now that it's basically surprise-free.
  22. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Jun 21, 2013
    63
    The background designs are beautiful and there are plenty of lively sight gags, but magic isn’t in the cards.
  23. Reviewed by: Richard Roeper
    Jun 20, 2013
    63
    Though colorful and sweet-natured and occasionally capable of producing the mild chuckle, this is a safe, predictable, edge-free, nearly bland effort from a studio that rarely hedges its bets.
  24. Reviewed by: Joe Williams
    Jun 20, 2013
    63
    Despite its brainy title, Monsters University only earns a passing grade on its looks.
  25. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Jun 19, 2013
    63
    This is not a bad movie, and to small children it will be a very good one. But it is closer to average than one would wish from the company that gave us “Up,” “Wall-E,” “The Incredibles,” and “Toy Story 3."
  26. 63
    Monsters University is a prequel that is far more conventional, not nearly as witty or clever as that original.
  27. Reviewed by: Neil Smith
    Jul 12, 2013
    60
    Pixar falls back on the tried and tested in an entertaining caper that will be a surefire kid pleaser this summer. Old favourites are always welcome, but it would have been nice to see some more new ideas too.
  28. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Jun 20, 2013
    60
    As a piece of summer entertainment, this strenuously upbeat prequel to Pixar's "Monsters, Inc." passes with vibrant colors and will, of course, excel at the box office...But as an offering from Pixar, the studio that set the platinum standard for contemporary animated features, it's an awful disappointment — and one more reason to worry about Pixar's future under Disney ownership.
  29. Reviewed by: Manohla Dargis
    Jun 20, 2013
    60
    While it’s a visual enchantment (there’s a knockout compendium of horror film clichés), its reversion to a largely male domain after “Brave,” its first and only female-driven story, is a drag.
  30. Reviewed by: Elizabeth Weitzman
    Jun 20, 2013
    60
    The movie is not up to the company’s highest standards, but it’s certainly better than most other kid flicks you’ll see this year.
  31. Reviewed by: Alan Scherstuhl
    Jun 18, 2013
    60
    Monsters University feels not like the work of artists eager to express something but like that of likable pros whose existence depends on getting a rise out the kids. It's like the scares Sully and Mike spring on those sleeping tykes: technically impressive but a job un-anchored to anything more meaningful.
  32. Reviewed by: Henry Barnes
    Jun 10, 2013
    60
    A fun, disposable watch.
  33. Reviewed by: Jordan Hoffman
    Jun 18, 2013
    55
    This is design work of the highest caliber and it is impossible to not enjoy simply watching these little buggers run around. It is unfortunate, however, that the creativity, originality and propulsive storytelling found in the original “Monsters Inc.” just didn’t matriculate with them.
  34. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    The animation is snappy in the way it handles an extremely eclectic-looking bunch of monsters. The 3-D effects are nifty but, as with so much about "MU," not necessary.
  35. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    Less an awful movie than a totally uninspired one. The under-5 set may find it funny, though I suspect their parents will be checking their watches a lot, as I did.
  36. Reviewed by: Rene Rodriguez
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    Monsters University feels half-hearted and lazy, like they weren’t even trying. At least show a little effort, guys.
  37. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Jun 20, 2013
    50
    No better or worse than the average (and I mean average) time-filling sequel cranked out by other animation houses.
  38. Reviewed by: Kimberley Jones
    Jun 19, 2013
    50
    It’s not like Monsters University is a bad movie. It’s just not a terribly interesting one.
  39. Reviewed by: Nick McCarthy
    Jun 18, 2013
    50
    Unfortunate proof that the animation studio previously known for its brains is now resting a little too heavily on its nominal brawn.
  40. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jun 9, 2013
    50
    A humdrum straight line of a film, Monsters University never surprises, goes off in unexpected directions or throws you for a loop in the manner of the best Pixar stories. Nor does it come close to elating through the sheer imagination of its conceits and storytelling.
  41. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Jun 21, 2013
    40
    What Monsters University fails to do, though, is to scare up any real emotion.
User Score
7.8

Generally favorable reviews- based on 464 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 5 out of 131
  1. Jun 29, 2013
    10
    I was pleasant with Monsters University. I was disappointed with Cars 2 and Brave then I had to see this movie because I love Monsters, Inc.I was pleasant with Monsters University. I was disappointed with Cars 2 and Brave then I had to see this movie because I love Monsters, Inc. It turns out that Monsters University is surprisingly imaginative and hilarious, with clever moments and insightful animation. Full Review »
  2. Jun 21, 2013
    9
    If you're like me and you were extremely disappointed with "Brave" and "Cars 2" then SEE THIS MOVIE! It only proves that Pixar still has thatIf you're like me and you were extremely disappointed with "Brave" and "Cars 2" then SEE THIS MOVIE! It only proves that Pixar still has that magic touch that many skeptics were saying had faded. I saw it on an unfortunately small screen and I was still excited the entire time. This movie is also worth seeing in 3D. The animation is amazing. #seeit Full Review »
  3. Jun 22, 2013
    6
    Not a bad film but nothing special from Pixar. I am a big Monsters inc. fan and I really like the characters of Mike and Sully, but I wasNot a bad film but nothing special from Pixar. I am a big Monsters inc. fan and I really like the characters of Mike and Sully, but I was hoping for a more spirited effort. Full Review »