Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 33 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 33
  2. Negative: 0 out of 33
Watch On
  1. 100
    You'll laugh, you'll cry -- the year's best movie.
  2. 90
    Anderson offers no phony uplift for the Tenenbaums or for audiences. But he does know how to take a sad song and make it better. In these troubled times, that's a gift.
  3. 90
    In a film that verges on greatness, it is a sign of terrific faith, as well as of Anderson's promise as a director, that when one of the characters in The Royal Tenenbaums wears hospital pajamas after a detour into grief, the words over his heart read "recovery area."
  4. 90
    May not be the movie of the year, but it is a seasonal gift to us all. Sweet and funny, doggedly oddball if bordering precious.
  5. Reviewed by: Ron Wells
    90
    A very funny and painfully relevant two hours of entertainment.
  6. A big generational saga that woos the audience with its humor, spirit, style, and ability. Genius here is an evolutionary thing.
  7. The performances are all terrific, but Gene Hackman is close to a career best as the family patriarch Royal, the most useless man you can't help loving.
  8. 88
    More flat-out funny than "Rushmore," but in neither film is the humor joke-based. What you're laughing at is the behavior of characters who are so fixed in their idiosyncratic worldviews that they can't help but careen into each other like out-of-control bumper cars.
  9. 88
    Once you're among them, the Tenenbaums -- and Anderson -- cast quite a spell.
  10. A devastatingly funny portrait of a wildly dysfunctional clan, Wes Anderson's The Royal Tenenbaums is a movie about how people never really mature in ways that matter.
  11. 88
    Exists on a knife edge between comedy and sadness. There are big laughs, and then quiet moments when we're touched.
  12. It's a B+, not an A. This would be enough for most filmmakers. But Anderson must contend with a higher standard. It's his fault for being original.
  13. Far and away the funniest comedy in town.
  14. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    80
    Underachieves in its own way by trapping an expansive, probing story in a brittle, highly artificial style that constricts character and emotional development.
  15. Reviewed by: Anthony Lane
    80
    Spend an eveing with some of Edward Gorey's writings and drawings, rub against the velvet of his lugubrious wit, and you will be ready for Royal and the clan. [17 Dec 2001, p. 97]
  16. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    80
    For Hackman embodies the energy and outrage the rest of this rather twee family lacks. Royal stirs them all to life, and this great, bumptious performance by an actor gleefully rediscovering his funny bone stirs us to appreciative life too.
  17. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    80
    Hackman gives the con-man lines a simple, straight-ahead urgency that makes the man first hilarious and then, as the pleasures of human company are withdrawn and his resentment begins to bubble up, inexplicably touching. This is a great performance.
  18. 80
    This is not a movie that wraps up its story in a tidy bow, but it's a lot more fun than most of the ones that do.
  19. It makes for chuckling entertainment and it's fun to watch as it's happening. But its New York characters are not a bit believable, there's no real bite to the humor, and the film never adds up to be more than the sum of its parts.
  20. Isn't nearly the landmark comedy it thinks it is, but its quirkiness should appeal to the highbrow funny bone in all of us.
  21. Anderson's cinematic style gets more adventurous from one movie to the next, and he begins this story with bursts of originality that leave his respected "Rushmore" far behind.
  22. Might have been about the rise and fall of a family of gifted children. That would have been the typical way to approach the story. Instead, it's something rare -- a movie about people who have already fallen, whose best days are behind them.
  23. At once endearing and unbearably show-offy, it seems to be the product of a sensibility formed by age-inappropriate reading.
  24. One expects more from writer-director Wes Anderson (and his co-scribbler, Owen Wilson) than such frivolous fun that bears no lingering effect.
  25. Over the course of 108 minutes, The Royal Tenenbaums drops downward on the humor scale from hilarious to funny to quirky to pretentiously bizarre to chaotic.
  26. Reviewed by: Jay Carr
    63
    There are laughs in it. But mostly you sit around waiting for it to be funnier, or at least funny more often. The problem is that it hasn't figured out a way to be funny while satisfyingly accommodating the pain in these characters.
  27. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    63
    The film grows on you, but more substance and less calculated quirks would have been a royal treat.
  28. Anderson is something of a prodigy himself, and he's riddled with talent, but he hasn't figured out how to be askew and heartfelt at the same time. When he does, he'll probably make the movie The Royal Tenenbaums was meant to be, and it'll be a sight to see.
  29. Reviewed by: David Ansen
    60
    In the antic, melancholy comedy The Royal Tenenbaums, the singular Wes Anderson (“Rushmore”) abandons his native Texas for a storybook vision of New York.
  30. Absurdist, but also condescending and self-infatuated; The Royal Tenenbaums is at least three times too clever for its own good.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 272 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 76 out of 112
  2. Negative: 29 out of 112
  1. Feb 20, 2014
    8
    The Royal Tenenbaums contains all the usual things Wes Anderson puts in his movies. Quirky effective humor and jokes, unique interestingThe Royal Tenenbaums contains all the usual things Wes Anderson puts in his movies. Quirky effective humor and jokes, unique interesting characters, an unpredictable plot and that bizarre visual flair. The fact that I can always tell when I'm watching a Wes Anderson movie just by looking at one frame draws me to his work. The Royal Tenenbaums is one of his best, ever second is enjoyable and I cannot even stress how ridiculously entertaining the last 20 minutes is. One of my favorite comedies, worth watching as long as you understand Anderson's type of humor. Full Review »
  2. Dec 26, 2013
    4
    The characters go from fascinating to funny to complete dead weight much like the movie itself. It had moments of great potential, but theyThe characters go from fascinating to funny to complete dead weight much like the movie itself. It had moments of great potential, but they are eventually sucked up with a lot of boring weird scenes. Full Review »
  3. Aug 14, 2012
    10
    This is the most down-rated movie ever! Great director, fu**ing good actor and a perfect story. A superb family, who cant evolve because ofThis is the most down-rated movie ever! Great director, fu**ing good actor and a perfect story. A superb family, who cant evolve because of their own fear. Full Review »