Metascore
56

Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 35
  2. Negative: 3 out of 35
  1. 83
    Pure, light entertainment.
  2. Reviewed by: Kim Newman
    80
    Yayyyy, monsters!
  3. Reviewed by: Robert Wilonsky
    80
    The grandeur of the effects--the honest-to-God spectacle of the thing--elevates Monsters vs. Aliens to something approaching art. It's not a masterpiece, but it's most certainly a milestone.
  4. Reviewed by: Jessica Winter
    80
    The richly multilayered picture tends to have a gently immersive effect, akin to a stroll through the world's most expensive diorama.
  5. Full disclosure: I saw Monsters vs. Aliens in 2-D. No dorky plastic glasses, no alien ooze flying at my head. More full disclosure: I liked it.
  6. Reviewed by: Perry Seibert
    75
    This is a lean 90 minutes, packed with laughs and age-appropriate thrills -- not to mention a solid lesson for girls about self-respect.
  7. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Dazzling colors, winning characters and energetic visual effects all work in concert, with the 3-D animation serving to intensify the experience.
  8. Reviewed by: Staff (Not credited)
    75
    This is a pleasure to watch for everyone.
  9. The movie may best be appreciated by people who know the references. All five monsters come from low-budget science fiction films of the 1950s.
  10. My favorite voice/animation combo, however, is Stephen Colbert's very terrestrial president of the United States.
  11. There is a nice mix of action with tender moments -- especially among the misfit monsters
  12. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    70
    In fact "nice" is the adjective that seems to surface most in trying to pin down the film's most salient quality, which means that while the film is enjoyable enough, it is unlikely to become a classic for us, or a "Shrek" sort of franchise for DreamWorks.
  13. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    70
    Another crowd-pleasing, expert-babysitting vaudeville turn.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    70
    A film of chuckles, smiles and light amusement rather than big laughs, galvanizing excitement and original invention.
  15. Children won't get the references to atomic-age monster movies, but the film offers more than nostalgia: there are slyly funny performances by Seth Rogen as an omnivorous blue blob and Stephen Colbert as the U.S. president, who faces down, and then flees, an alien invasion.
  16. 67
    On some level, the latest DreamWorks CGI project isn't a movie so much as a gag-delivery system wrapped in special effects. The story is crammed with incident, yet completely trifling; there are a ton of personalities, but no real characters.
  17. 63
    "WALL-E" had more charm, more soul, more everything. But there's enough merry mischief here to satisfy, even if you’re way past puberty.
  18. 63
    3-D is a distraction and an annoyance.
  19. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    63
    If you have to see Monsters vs. Aliens - and if you're a parent, you will have to - make sure it's the 3-D version.
  20. 63
    Monsters vs. Aliens suffers from the common 3D problems: dim lighting, poor focus in fast-paced action sequences, and too many distractions for the movie to grab the viewer.
  21. 60
    The 3D visuals are an enormous part of MVA's experience and they also help to cover up the lackluster “comedy.”
  22. The movie works hard -- desperately hard -- to be all things to all audience segments. And the visible effort erodes the sense of gaiety, of unfettered fun.
  23. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    55
    After a while, you can see the setups happening -- and once you do, the careening gets predictable. Which gets old, really fast.
  24. The movie is reasonably entertaining, though it helps to be 6 years old.
  25. Despite the 3-D gadgetry, there's a musty odour to the script.
  26. This action-comedy will seem fresh only to 8-year-olds -- though it may give parents an excuse to introduce some of the '50s horror movies it parodies.
  27. 50
    Even in 3D, as the picture is being shown in some theaters -- Ginormica is a disappointingly flat character.
  28. 50
    The movie is curiously unmemorable, partly because nearly all of its humor depends on your having seen something like it before, even if you haven't.
  29. 50
    Has bells and whistles, superb technical sophistication and dazzling visual effects, sound, fury and Reese Witherspoon. What it doesn't have is heart. Like so many vehicles that have popped out from the DreamWorks Animation snark tank, Monsters vs. Aliens is too clever by half.
  30. 50
    As I took off my gray-lensed 3-D spectacles at the end of Monsters vs. Aliens, I felt not so much immersed as fuzzy with exhaustion. What I had seen struck me less as a herald of shining possibility than as a thrill ride back to the future--back, that is, to an idea of the future, and a stale one at that.
  31. The misfits, as ever, must take a back seat to the morality, and the result – while in no way migraine-inducing – traffics in rote truisms.
  32. The biggest battle in Monsters vs. Aliens is banality vs. originality, and banality carries the day.
  33. It's tough to get on board with these monsters. They don't get the banter they--or we--deserve, and the screenwriters lean on wearying stereotypes.
  34. 38
    Will pop your eyes without tickling your funny bone.
  35. 25
    Dreamworks Animation's clunky and wildly unimaginative Monsters vs. Aliens really doesn't have a clue what to do with the [3-D] technique.
User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 149 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 44 out of 68
  2. Negative: 10 out of 68
  1. Oct 9, 2011
    5
    Occasionally funny at times, but ultimately "Monsters vs. Aliens" is your average road-to-hero Dream works animation movie.
  2. Feb 15, 2011
    6
    This movie is good for kids, but adults will be bored, the plot isn't all that great and the characters are ok, but there perfectly good for aThis movie is good for kids, but adults will be bored, the plot isn't all that great and the characters are ok, but there perfectly good for a kids movie, all in all I would recommend this for a rental, but don't expect much of a reason to watch it again. Full Review »
  3. GavinC.
    Oct 11, 2009
    5
    Although occasionally coming up with a spark of enjoyment, M vs A's plot is bland and the laughs it inspires are almost always forced.