Generally unfavorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 4 out of 31
  2. Negative: 14 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Kyle Smith
    You can't get this kind of full-on sensory-jolt anywhere else, not legally anyway. "Sharkboy" will be equally beloved in elementary schools and in college dorms.
  2. There is such a joy of play in the film that it's easy to overlook the overdone performances and the lazy script shortcuts.
  3. 70
    Slight but immensely enjoyable charmer.
  4. On the whole it feels genuine. Lautner and Dooley are compelling as the sullen, instinctual Sharkboy and the radiant, hot-headed Lavagirl, and it's easy to see why they dominate shy, hesitant Max's dreams.
  5. Robert Rodriguez and his kids conjure up a charming 3-D fantasy.
  6. An often imaginative though less than magical family feature.
  7. 50
    Because the real world scenes are in 2-D and the dream and fantasy scenes are in 3-D, we get an idea of what the movie would have looked like without the unnecessary dimension. Signs flash on the screen to tell us when to put on and take off our polarizing glasses, and I felt regret every time I had to shut out those colorful images and return to the dim and dreary 3-D world. On DVD, this is going to be a great-looking movie.
  8. Only part of it is in 3-D, but youngsters should enjoy pulling their special specs on and off at appropriate moments.
  9. 50
    The result is like a low-rent "Wizard of Oz" or "Labyrinth," sticking close to the formula of a kid who falls asleep and wakes up in a fantastical wonderland where everything's just a little bit off.
  10. A case of a yummy yarn spoiled by cheesy visuals.
  11. For a movie aimed at children, Shark Boy and Lava Girl is gloomy.
  12. A strange Hollywood film, but for a home movie it's one bang-up job.
  13. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    There's little chance of grabbing teens (or even many tweens) during summertime playdates. Still, small fry will be enchanted by this rambunctious action-adventure.
  14. Charmingly low-tech fantasy.
  15. Like choral singing and travel photography, this adventure is more fun for participants than it is for spectators.
  16. 42
    A story that would be charming if recited at the dinner table tries to carry a feature film, and it's not even close to the task. The result is screamingly bad.
  17. Mr. Rodriguez seems unsure what his film is really about, making the moral of the story -- "dream an unselfish dream" -- feel more like a vaguely judgmental homily than a satisfying conclusion.
  18. There's really just not a lot here. I'm sure Racer's story will entertain the very wee ones -- but so do keys.
  19. The low-tech film looks like a kid's crude drawing, plays like entry-level Game Boy, and is about as nourishing as a Tootsie Pop.
  20. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    There's sad news to report about The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl in 3-D: Put on the cardboard glasses, and you can still see the movie.
  21. 38
    As sweet and hopeless and silly as a doting dad framing his second-grader's latest finger-painting and calling it a Matisse.
  22. The story's so sloppy that it contradicts itself constantly.
  23. Reviewed by: Angel Cohn
    The concept is cute and the movie starts out well, but it devolves into a muddled, overstuffed mess that wears out its welcome around the time the novelty of 3-D effects wears off.
  24. 30
    Sadly, the film's creaky, sometimes painful dialogue makes it all too easy to believe that it was genuinely co-written by a small child.
  25. 30
    Based on characters created by Rodriguez's then-seven-year-old son, Racer Max, the film doesn't belong in wide release. It belongs on a refrigerator door, alongside "100%" spelling tests, old lunch menus, and notices from the PTA.
  26. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Pretty lame. Sharkboy has an especially frantic, amateur atmosphere, with a mostly maladroit cast.
  27. Sharkboy relies almost entirely on 3-D for its kicks. The novelty, however, quickly wears thin with the thinnest of stories to project.
  28. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    One could forgive a budget this threadbare, performances this amateurish, a plot this tortuous if the 3-D effects passed the cool test. Sadly, watching ''Adventures" is an experience akin to seeing the world through dung-colored glasses.
  29. Reviewed by: Simon Braund
    A bizarre, hopelessly muddled fantasy that's likely to induce utter bewilderment in its target audience.
  30. 20
    Visually undistinguished, narratively inert, populated by a cast of charmless child actors, "Sharkboy and Lavagirl," with any luck will fade quickly from theaters, memories and Rodriguez's own Things to Do Today list.
  31. The result is astoundingly boring and, frankly, tedious to sit through.
User Score

Mixed or average reviews- based on 148 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 42 out of 93
  2. Negative: 42 out of 93
  1. Oct 17, 2011
    Terribly written and played with crappy CGI, "The Adventures of Sharkboy and Lavagirl" is definitely one of the year's worst adult, and well as child, films. Full Review »
  2. ryanj.
    Sep 6, 2005
    Anyone who thinks popcorn commercialised peices of contempoary, not even contempoary but martek orientated crap should have their IQ tested and then get back to me with the LOW score. Full Review »
  3. Dec 21, 2012
    WHAT THE **** is this piece of ****? Are you kidding me?! I'm so angry it makes me bleed out of my eyeballs! Seriously, it and see for yourself how bad it is. Quick! Incinerate all the copies in the world! Full Review »