Mixed or average reviews - based on 35 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 21 out of 35
  2. Negative: 1 out of 35
Watch On
  1. Hilarious and heartfelt from start to finish, this is the best Shrek of them all, and that's no fairy tale.
  2. 83
    This movie is a last chance to save the series, which it does.
  3. It has a sweetness all its own.
  4. This is - allegedly - the final chapter in the series, and everyone involved appears invigorated.
  5. 80
    More redux than sequel, the final Shrek is more parent- (and specifically dad-) oriented than ever; it may also produce the first twinge of nostalgia in the kids who thrilled to the original at a formative age.
  6. Reviewed by: James White
    DreamWorks could be entering a period of fresh creativity. With How To Train Your Dragon and a balanced, darker-hued and very funny Shrek finale, they’ve found the magic again.
  7. 75
    Although Shrek Forever After is not as funny or as impudent is its great-grandparent, some of its comedic jabs land solid blows to the funny bone.
  8. 75
    For this last chapter, the filmmakers play things relatively straight, resulting in the best Shrek movie to date.
  9. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    The visual jokes -- one standout is an army of ogres condemned by the Pied Piper to perpetual line-dancing -- are pretty irresistible.
  10. Believe it or not, there's life in the old boy yet. After a disappointing third outing, this "Shrek" brings the cycle of fairy-tale-themed films to a fine finish.
  11. Letting Shrek get grumpy again has freshly animated this cartoon series.
  12. Whatever else gets tossed into the mix, Shrek must be the heart and soul. In this, Myers is a master; he makes it seem easy being green.
  13. What fortifies Shrek Forever After are its brilliantly realized principal characters, who nearly a decade after the first “Shrek” film remain as vital and engaging fusions of image, personality and voice as any characters in the history of animation.
  14. After an uninspired middle period, the "Shrek" series has, like the revitalized character himself, roared back to form.
  15. Everyone involved fulfills his or her job requirements adequately. But the magic is gone, and Shrek Forever After is no longer an ogre phenomenon to reckon with. Instead, it's a "Hot Swamp Time Machine."
  16. Shrek 4 is at its best when it's sadistically doing these character remixes; you can feel the filmmakers' glee at getting to shrug off story continuity and make a mess.
  17. It's no classic, but Shrek Forever After is a pleasant reminder that every time a cash register rings, this ogre turns angelic.
  18. 63
    It's a fun ride. What's missing is the excitement of a new interpretation.
  19. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Donkey continues to be lovable, and Puss in Boots (Antonio Banderas) has one of the funnier character arcs.
  20. Worse, Shrek Forever After feels like just another animated movie -- which is exactly what the series was fighting against when it started, and a big reason why it caught on with audiences.
  21. Reveals a definite been-there, done-that feeling.
  22. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    The reputed swan song for the series and its first entry in 3D, pic contains a respectable number of laughs, but also borrows its storyline from the oft-recycled "It's a Wonderful Life," and if that's all its creators can do, it's best to put Far Far Away far far away.
  23. Reviewed by: Ernest Hardy
    It takes the film a deadly long time to kick in, and when it does, it largely retreads formula: ironic use of pop standards, musical numbers with contemporary choreography played for maximum laughs, risque one-liners.
  24. If you found "Shrek the Third," the third film in the "Shrek" franchise, tired, it will probably come as no surprise that Shrek Forever After is downright exhausted.
  25. 50
    Forever After still goes down like warmed-over porridge. You don’t have to be Goldilocks to think that this time they’ve cooked their Golden Goose.
  26. Yet even though Forever After is not as fresh-seeming as its predecessors, it provides passable entertainment, especially for the kids who won’t be familiar with the George Bailey storyline retread – or midlife crises, for that matter.
  27. There’s nothing much wrong with the film’s pacing or characterizations. We’ve just seen it all in fresher and funnier forms, from Donkey’s sassy backtalk to Puss in Boots’ eye-widening charm.
  28. 50
    To see this final installment is to know: It’s time.
  29. Reviewed by: Mary Pols
    The resulting adventure is once again lively and clever, although its creative underpinnings -- a sort of flea-market pastiche of antique fairy tales, vintage vaudeville and contemporary pop culture -- seem rather more shabby than chic.
  30. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    Wanders far away from the infectious and propulsive zing that we've come to expect the past nine years.
  31. 42
    That’s no huge surprise, given the last two Shrek films, but it’s still dispiriting watching a once-promising series make ever-greater commitments to apathy.
  32. 40
    Third times are rarely charms in the movies, much less fourth go-rounds, and it takes more than ho-hum 3-D and video-game-ready action sequences to liven up diminishing returns
  33. Having run its course in the third installment, the franchise jogs and lurches but mostly meanders through a story that tests the limits of true love (Shrek's, and ours).
  34. 25
    Tired? This series is as exhausted as Shrek after a day of baby wrangling and diaper changing.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 219 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 47
  2. Negative: 4 out of 47
  1. Sep 28, 2011
    "Shrek Forever After" has permanently changed a funny, pure franchise into a greedy one craving for money. Nice work, Dreamworks...
  2. Dec 21, 2011
    It wasn't as good of a finale as I hoped from Shrek, but it definitely showed us again why we loved Shrek so much by bringing back the heartIt wasn't as good of a finale as I hoped from Shrek, but it definitely showed us again why we loved Shrek so much by bringing back the heart and most of the charm and some great 3D and animation. I give this movie 80%. Full Review »
  3. Nov 7, 2012
    The jokes at this point are forced and feel very plastic. The dialogue doesn't flow as it did in the first film.