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Generally favorable reviews - based on 38 Critics What's this?

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8.2

Universal acclaim- based on 126 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , ,
  • Summary: From the beloved novels by Michael Bond, Paddington tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindlyFrom the beloved novels by Michael Bond, Paddington tells the story of the comic misadventures of a young Peruvian bear who travels to the city in search of a home. Finding himself lost and alone, he begins to realize that city life is not all he had imagined – until he meets the kindly Brown family who read the label around his neck that says “Please look after this bear. Thank you,” and offer him a temporary haven. It looks as though his luck has changed until this rarest of bears catches the eye of a museum taxidermist. [TWC] Expand
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Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 38
  2. Negative: 0 out of 38
  1. Reviewed by: Chris Hewitt (1)
    Nov 24, 2014
    100
    Marmaladen with gloriously silly jokes, pitch-perfect performances and incidental detail, this is a warm, witty and wondrously inventive great big bear-hug of a movie.
  2. Reviewed by: Dan Kois
    Feb 1, 2015
    90
    Paddington is a wonder: warm, gentle, well-acted, funny without being stupid.
  3. 88
    Paddington is perfect for today's audiences, so long overfed on comic-book fodder. The bear's impeccable manners, perfect diction, and earnestness make him the ultimate anti-Bart Simpson.
  4. Reviewed by: Roger Moore
    Jan 14, 2015
    75
    Bonneville, who did mostly comedy, pre-“Downton,” rediscovers his funny bone.
  5. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    Jan 15, 2015
    75
    How English is this movie? As English as a cold, rainy day at the beach. As English as the politeness that masks hostility, as English as a pie that contains meat, as English as secretly wishing you lived in some other country.
  6. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jan 15, 2015
    75
    Whishaw, Hawkins and Downton Abbey's Bonneville strike just the right notes. Imaginative production design, which occasionally brings to mind Wes Anderson's "Moonrise Kingdom," adds to the story's appeal.
  7. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Nov 19, 2014
    60
    Full credit to the film-makers, who manage to map their digital bear against his human co-stars and marry Bond’s antique conceit to a high-concept story.

See all 38 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 28 out of 29
  2. Negative: 0 out of 29
  1. Feb 15, 2015
    10
    Even if you've never read the books or seen the TV series (I haven't), this is still a lot of fun. Silly jokes in a highly enjoyable, nicelyEven if you've never read the books or seen the TV series (I haven't), this is still a lot of fun. Silly jokes in a highly enjoyable, nicely played film that contains many laugh out loud funny moments. A surprising treat. Expand
  2. Jan 31, 2015
    10
    Surprisingly well done movie for children and adults--anyone remembering the books will love it, anyome else will be enchanted by the WesSurprisingly well done movie for children and adults--anyone remembering the books will love it, anyome else will be enchanted by the Wes Anderson like tone the Director brings to the material. Well worht seeing Expand
  3. Jan 20, 2015
    9
    Loved it. Very clever and very English. Good for children too. Teaches about compassion. There are many episodes that are laugh-out-loudLoved it. Very clever and very English. Good for children too. Teaches about compassion. There are many episodes that are laugh-out-loud funny. To see Lord Grantham of Downton Abbey in one particular episode is just too much. Expand
  4. Feb 16, 2015
    8
    This charming film lovingly recreates the Paddington books in all their glory. Fun, beautifully animated, and surprisingly funny for bothThis charming film lovingly recreates the Paddington books in all their glory. Fun, beautifully animated, and surprisingly funny for both children and adults, this is a worthwhile film to see this year. For sure, it follows the cliches that one would expect from a children's movie but they are forgivable due to the excellent recreation of the marmalade-loving Paddington and the lighthearted and humorous performances from the cast. The only real downside was the weakness of the villain played by Nicole Kidman who felt forced and out-of-touch with the tone of the movie. However, overall this film is thoroughly enjoyable - definitely worth a trip to the cinema. Expand
  5. Mar 25, 2015
    8
    This adorable adventure is slightly cliche, but really warmed my heart and made me reminisce about one of my favourite childhood stories.This adorable adventure is slightly cliche, but really warmed my heart and made me reminisce about one of my favourite childhood stories. Incredible range of talent and glad to see Nicole Kidman in a worthwhile film. Expand
  6. Apr 15, 2015
    7
    Did anyone see Paddington coming? I didn't. CGI/live-action crossovers have never struck me as a technique that could ever lead to anythingDid anyone see Paddington coming? I didn't. CGI/live-action crossovers have never struck me as a technique that could ever lead to anything other than cringing from adults and mindless amusement from the kiddies. Well, here we are. I didn't think the day would come so soon, trust me. I've been yearning for a long time to stumble across a savory family film, but the consideration of Paddington as that diamond in the rough had never even crossed my mind. I'm here to report the good news - Paddington rules. It's not just a good movie, but one that even verges on greatness in instances and I'm convinced if it had found the right audience and not been released in the garbage heap of a month that is January, Paddington could've found itself approaching instant-classic status.

    Now let's take a step back. This is still just a family film. This isn't a revelatory movie for the genre. It doesn't subvert cliches. It doesn't break new ground. Paddington, rather, succeeds because it casts aside what has become prevalently detrimental in a recent slew of family films (mean-spirited cynicism, degraded intelligence) and embraces theage-old virtues of naivety and warm-heartedness that make the genre so appealing. Paddington is not a movie that succumbs to referring to zeitgeist topics of cultural relevance. It sticks to what is true to the original content of the books and, though it is visually resplendent thanks to advances in technology, is rendered somewhat timeless.

    The modern aesthetic I mentioned earlier is a seamlessly blended interaction of the titular computer generated bear and the game cast of VERY English actors. When I say that I BEARLY noticed that Paddington was CGI (obvious, grating pun obviously intended), I mean it. The illusion never broke, everything felt authentic, a compliment I can only bestow to a few applications of the hybrid medium (Life of Pi, LOTR, the new Planet of the Apes films). And boy, is this bear a delight.

    Ben Whishaw voices Paddington with a gentle, graceful, mannerly demeanor that never breaks or betrays itself by succumbing to negativity. He is a compassionate, warm children's icon I can believe in. The ensemble of performers he is surrounded by is uniformly great as well, with Sally Hawkins exuding her typically optimistic effervescence and Hugh Bonneville's stuffy disposition deconstructing into the butt of many jokes. The child performances are devoid of irritation, another welcome pair of performances in the mix. Even Nicole Kidman, whom I would have expected to buckle to cartoonish villainy, avoids outright juvenile gags, save for an attack perpetrated by pigeons in the final act. The only performance issue I draw in Paddington is in the form of Jim Broadbent, whose antics are bumbling and infantile to the degree of mild irritation, though not embarrassment.

    Humor abounds at every turn. A silly gag here, an unexpected misdirect there, all for the sake of inconsistent absurdity. Not everything works, as they rarely do in any comedy, but Paddington's hit-to-miss ratio is high, and it's all accented with a quirk I hadn't anticipated. Some off-kilter camerawork and the spontaneous insertion of a subversively articulate vernacular make it feel like the kids film Wes Anderson never made (oh wait, Fantastic Mr. Fox anyone?). These oddball stylistic flourishes Paddington employs avoid stagnancy. While some of the jokes feel obvious, there are also those that also catch me off guard. There is actual wit on display.

    Paddington is a movie about an anthropomorphic bear from Peru with a deep appetite for marmalade and an emergency sandwich at the ready underneath his hat. It's a silly one, this flick. Amidst it's slapstick and hilarity, however, there is depth and real emotion. Paddington deserves laudatory sentiments decreeing it one of the best family films in recent memory because it is, plain and simple. Buy this one for your kids and keep it as one of the formative films of their childhood, it deserves that much.
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  7. Jan 16, 2015
    5
    Not having been exposed to Paddington in any of his previous incarnations either as a book or TV series and, based on the very effectiveNot having been exposed to Paddington in any of his previous incarnations either as a book or TV series and, based on the very effective trailer, I was eagerly anticipating the delights of the talking bear from darkest Peru. Therefore, it is with genuine sorrow that I have to acknowledge the fact that the whole does not equal the sum of its sometimes very inspired parts. The main problem is with the story itself which just doesn't cut it when compared to some amazing scenes of slapstick timed to absolute perfection.

    Paddington himself is wonderfully realised and uncannily voiced by Ben Whishaw. Let's face it, it's the bear we have come to see and he doesn't disappoint. Scene after scene ignites. The bathroom and cello tape sequences in particular are great fun. Also, there are magical moments involving a dolls house and a miniature railway carriage. In fact, there is so much to enjoy that it is rather a shame that the linking narrative and Paddington's human counterparts start to drag the film down. Ultimately, one is forced to acknowledge the film's unfortunate schizophrenia. Funny and moving it maybe, but sadly it's also rather yawny.
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See all 29 User Reviews