Metascore
57

Mixed or average reviews - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 18 out of 34
  2. Negative: 2 out of 34
  1. Reviewed by: Carrie Rickey
    Nov 21, 2012
    88
    The shaggy, whimsical characters have a primal familiarity, as though they were developed by a tag team of Maurice Sendak and Walt Disney.
  2. Reviewed by: Olly Richards
    Nov 26, 2012
    80
    It's gorgeously designed, deftly written and frequently laugh-out-loud funny. For child or adult, this is a fantasy to get lost in.
  3. Reviewed by: Mike Scott
    Nov 21, 2012
    80
    It's a grand, colorful adventure, an escapist romp draped in tinsel. And, who knows -- if you're all good little boys and girls this year, perhaps it will also be the first installment in a new DreamWorks holiday tradition.
  4. Reviewed by: James Rocchi
    Nov 20, 2012
    80
    One of the best kid's films of the year, full of delight and action and charm and comedy.
  5. Reviewed by: Jody Mitori
    Nov 23, 2012
    75
    The Guardians make a winning team that is a prime candidate for a sequel, just like "The Avengers."
  6. Reviewed by: Stephen Whitty
    Nov 23, 2012
    75
    A satisfying holiday treat for adults and children alike.
  7. Reviewed by: Tasha Robinson
    Nov 21, 2012
    75
    While Rise Of The Guardians boasts a great deal of visual energy and amounts to a lot of fun, it's mostly lacking in that kind of depth elsewhere.
  8. Reviewed by: Roger Ebert
    Nov 20, 2012
    75
    There's an audience for this film. It's not me. I gather younger children will like the breakneck action, the magical ability to fly and the young hero who has tired of only being a name. Their parents and older siblings may find the 89-minute running time quite long enough.
  9. Reviewed by: Michael O'Sullivan
    Nov 20, 2012
    75
    Thoughts become things. That's the message of Rise of the Guardians, a charming if slightly dark and cobwebbed animated feature about how believing in something makes it real, or real enough.
  10. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Nov 20, 2012
    75
    Rise of the Guardians is an all-star addition to holiday movies lists but the real question is: Which holiday?
  11. Reviewed by: James Berardinelli
    Nov 19, 2012
    75
    Rise of the Guardians is enjoyable as a stand-alone adventure - not groundbreaking animation but a solidly entertaining 90 minutes for older children and adults.
  12. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Nov 21, 2012
    70
    As much as its premise may sound like the start of a bad joke, Peter Ramsey's movie preserves just enough genuine childhood wonder in its whooshing, high-tech theatrics to make it a delight.
  13. Reviewed by: Chris Packham
    Nov 20, 2012
    70
    At times, it approaches some of Pixar's best.
  14. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Nov 20, 2012
    70
    Works so hard at celebrating wide eyes and naïve joy that it comes close to spoiling its own intermittent wonderfulness.
  15. Reviewed by: Owen Gleiberman
    Nov 20, 2012
    67
    It's all more lightweight-likable than exciting.
  16. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Nov 20, 2012
    63
    This does seem to leave room for bigger, bolder, more momentous adventures down the line.
  17. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Nov 20, 2012
    63
    With its fanciful razzle-dazzle, Rise of the Guardians is appealing, if slightly hectic, family fare.
  18. Reviewed by: Ed Gonzalez
    Nov 20, 2012
    63
    This spirited enough yarn is sincere and heartening in its belief that our devotion to these youthful myths is healthy for our sense of wonderment.
  19. Reviewed by: Josh Winning
    Nov 25, 2012
    60
    More "oooh… aaah" than "ho-ho-ho", ROTG is so full of yuletide razzmatazz that only true Scrooges will have trouble stomaching it. If only Santa's workshop had given the script more of a tinker...
  20. Reviewed by: Stephanie Zacharek
    Nov 23, 2012
    60
    Rise of the Guardians is adapted from Joyce's book series The Guardians of Childhood. But the occasional Joycean touch aside, it bears so little resemblance to the look and feel of its source material that it ought to be considered an entirely different beast.
  21. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Nov 20, 2012
    60
    There is a lot to savor in Rise of the Guardians, but sometimes too much of a good thing can be exhausting.
  22. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Nov 20, 2012
    60
    It has a great voice cast, a kinda-sorta interesting premise and the 3-D is effective, but somehow it just doesn't add up.
  23. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Nov 15, 2012
    60
    The characters and settings are attractively designed, and the vocal performances have real color and a sense of fun that gently undercuts the treacly sincerity of certain obligatory kid-pandering moments.
  24. Reviewed by: Xan Brooks
    Nov 15, 2012
    60
    If Rise of the Guardians is finally never more than the sum of its parts, the parts themselves have real appeal.
  25. Reviewed by: Peter Rainer
    Nov 21, 2012
    58
    Too much of this movie, directed by Peter Ramsey, is more clamorous than inspired, and little kids might find parts of it too scarily intense.
  26. Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    Nov 23, 2012
    50
    The movie lacks a resonant center. The script seems to have been written by committee, with members lobbying for each major character, and the action, set in vast environments all over the map, spreads itself so thin that a surfeit of motion vitiates emotion.
  27. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    Nov 21, 2012
    50
    Like most children's movies, Rise of the Guardians mimics the patterns of adult entertainment. Where is the magic in that?
  28. Reviewed by: Liam Lacey
    Nov 21, 2012
    50
    From time to time, as Alexandre Desplat's insistent score surged yet again while the characters rushed by, I found myself wanting the movie to slow down. Some of these images are too beautiful to disappear so quickly.
  29. Reviewed by: Peter Hartlaub
    Nov 20, 2012
    50
    Innocence and joy are threatened by the Boogeyman, and from there the plot comes pretty close to mirroring this summer's "The Avengers" movie. Mostly in a good way.
  30. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    Nov 15, 2012
    50
    Even tots may emerge feeling slightly browbeaten by this colorful, strenuous and hyperactive fantasy, which has moments of charm and beauty but often resembles an exploding toy factory rather than a work of honest enchantment.
User Score
7.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 193 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 49
  2. Negative: 2 out of 49
  1. Mar 19, 2013
    10
    i love love love this film. The characters,the story line, everything. Definitely a top film. Although it is aimed at children, this is totally a full age friendly film.
    Pitch Black is a complex character and at some parts you almost feel sorry for him... until he is a complete dooshbag yet again.

    Would definitely recommend.
    Full Review »
  2. Nov 26, 2012
    4
    This movie was beautiful to look at. The characters were striking and vibrant in appearance. The writing was never very clever or insightful though. I think I would have loved this movie if I was under the age of 10, but their was very little that would entertain adults as well as children. Overall it wasn't unpleasant, but I wouldn't really recommend seeing it to anyone either. Full Review »
  3. Nov 21, 2012
    6
    A reasonably fun holiday flick that feels at times a bit disjointed and a bit lacking in depth. Certainly we can connect with the themes, but the movie fails to draw us into the "magic". Full Review »