Metascore
58

Mixed or average reviews - based on 30 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 17 out of 30
  2. Negative: 1 out of 30
  1. Reviewed by: Laremy Legel
    Jul 16, 2013
    85
    Particular credit must be given to Samuel L. Jackson’s voicing of Whiplash and Paul Giamatti’s work on the voice of Chet. The chemistry between the two is awesome, hilarious even.
  2. Reviewed by: Genevieve Koski
    Jul 16, 2013
    80
    There’s nothing remotely revolutionary about Turbo’s underdog-sports narrative, but that’s okay—it’s one of the sturdiest plots in film for a reason—and the film’s emotional beats are no less potent for being expected, thanks to the ground-level focus on the human-snail relationships that fuel them.
  3. Reviewed by: Nell Minow
    Jul 17, 2013
    75
    The movie gets a bit slow, with too much time spent on the human characters, who are dreary and underwritten, compared to the big dreams of the little snail. But the film picks up when the racing snails come back onscreen, thanks to the adorable character design, with expressive use of those googly eyes, and especially to the voice talent.
  4. Reviewed by: Lou Lumenick
    Jul 16, 2013
    75
    A fresh, fast and funny little fable.
  5. Reviewed by: Chris Nashawaty
    Jul 10, 2013
    75
    While there's no denying that the film is a harmless, wholesome, and heart-warming ride crafted with polish and skill, it's also so predictable that you'll see every twist in the story driving down Fifth Avenue.
  6. Reviewed by: Bilge Ebiri
    Jul 17, 2013
    70
    In the end, Turbo is an unambitious movie about a very ambitious character, but it has an infectious sense of fun. Don’t expect too much from it, and you’ll be pleasantly surprised.
  7. Reviewed by: Betsy Sharkey
    Jul 17, 2013
    70
    A series of strong emotional crosscurrents tied to the notion of winning and losing are in the hands of a very eclectic and capable cast.
  8. Reviewed by: Peter Debruge
    Jul 10, 2013
    70
    Here, the laughs come not from the silly voices but a blend of snappy editing and clever character bits, including a recurring joke about an inappropriately named sidekick who calls himself White Shadow (Michael Patrick Bell).
  9. Reviewed by: Marjorie Baumgarten
    Jul 17, 2013
    67
    By the time Turbo reaches the finish line, this new iteration of the fable about pursuing one’s dreams no matter how unlikely they seem joins the winner’s circle without quite nabbing the trophy.
  10. Reviewed by: A.A. Dowd
    Jul 16, 2013
    67
    For all its chronic familiarity, the movie has its minor pleasures, many of them visual. Though at this point it's basically a given that a new studio-animated movie will look good, Turbo often looks downright exceptional.
  11. Reviewed by: Trey Graham
    Jul 19, 2013
    65
    Turbo is harmless good fun — and impressionable kids could take worse lessons away from the multiplex.
  12. Reviewed by: Matt Zoller Seitz
    Jul 17, 2013
    63
    Turbo is just strange and lively enough to make you wish it were better.
  13. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    Jul 16, 2013
    63
    Has some appealing characters, a few laughs and then devolves into a predictable Tortoise and the Hare spinoff.
  14. Reviewed by: Jen Chaney
    Jul 16, 2013
    63
    A derivative but nevertheless good-hearted movie that’s peppered with enough clever touches to engage adults as well as moviegoers of the smaller, squirmier variety.
  15. Reviewed by: Tom Russo
    Jul 16, 2013
    63
    Turbo makes an entertaining go of it by borrowing very liberally from the “Fast & Furious” franchise — Michelle Rodriguez even voices a character — and sticking a slime trail onto “Rocky” for the rest.
  16. 63
    While small children may be enchanted by this little gastropod that could, adults will be more sorely tested. For all the horsepower Turbo boasts about, the movie tends toward the sluggish — as in slow as a slug.
  17. Reviewed by: R. Kurt Osenlund
    Jul 16, 2013
    63
    As a film about social issues, and simply being yourself, it's commendably progressive, going so far as serving as a kind of coming-out story.
  18. Reviewed by: Tim Robey
    Oct 24, 2013
    60
    Rather than bionically enhancing all its characters, a better movie might have found ways to celebrate their sloth and slime.
  19. Reviewed by: Ken McIntyre
    Oct 21, 2013
    60
    Paul Giamatti shines as Theo’s pessimistic brother Chet, and the uplifting message never smashes you over the head.
  20. Reviewed by: Anna Smith
    Oct 15, 2013
    60
    Kids should be game for the ride, and the colourful characters offer humour and poignancy: Paul Giamatti’s cautious snail Chet shares a sweet friendship with reckless Turbo. Comparisons with Pixar’s ‘Cars’ are easy to make, but that’s no bad thing.
  21. Reviewed by: Joe Neumaier
    Jul 16, 2013
    60
    Families who have already raced to “Monsters University” and “Despicable Me 2” will find Turbo an acceptable third-place finisher. A sort-of escargot-meets-“Cars” adventure, it has some sharp vocal turns and remains fun even when its inventiveness runs out of gas.
  22. Reviewed by: Bill Goodykoontz
    Jul 16, 2013
    60
    Competent, pretty funny in places, awfully nice to look at, that sort of thing. There’s just not a lot of excitement, though.
  23. Reviewed by: David Hiltbrand
    Jul 17, 2013
    50
    Let's face it: Kids aren't a very demanding audience. If there's color, movement, and a high quotient of silliness, they're happy.
  24. Reviewed by: Steve Persall
    Jul 16, 2013
    50
    This is such a generic endeavor — not a poor effort, just one that doesn't attempt to do anything besides splash a screen with color and movement.
  25. Reviewed by: A.O. Scott
    Jul 16, 2013
    50
    It is interesting to note that a movie strenuously preaching the virtue of being different should be so fundamentally — so deliberately, so timidly — just like everything else of its kind... Still, even in the absence of originality, there is fun to be had, thanks to some loopy, clever jokes...and a lively celebrity voice cast.
  26. Reviewed by: Todd McCarthy
    Jul 12, 2013
    50
    An attractively designed but narratively challenged, one-note film.
  27. Reviewed by: Nick de Semlyen
    Oct 14, 2013
    40
    If you want to see Paul Giamatti as a snail - and who doesn't - you've come to the right place. If you don't, wait for Cloudy 2.
  28. Reviewed by: Nick Schager
    Jul 16, 2013
    40
    Content to be merely cheerfully clichéd, it's an assembly-line kids' film that, unlike its daring protagonist, risks little, and thus reaps only modest rewards.
  29. Reviewed by: David Fear
    Jul 16, 2013
    40
    All Turbo does is give Reynolds, Paul Giamatti, Samuel L. Jackson and Snoop Dogg the easiest paychecks they’ll ever make, and its corporate overlords the chance to sell a few toys.
  30. Reviewed by: Drew Taylor
    Jul 17, 2013
    25
    One of the more disappointing big studio animated features this year, a movie can't even muster the energy to be visually engaging, let alone give you anything to care about story-wise.
User Score
6.1

Generally favorable reviews- based on 100 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. Jul 17, 2013
    6
    There's nothing overtly wrong with Dreamworks Animation's slick (from snail slime) new summer kid-pleaser, but for a movie about a speed-obsessed snail who just go with it enters the Indy 500, it sure does sit there. It's easy, formulaic and light on laughs. But, for those dragged to see it by children, it won't make you want to rub salt in your eyes. So it's a faint fail or a faint pass, depending on your resilience. Ryan Reynolds voices Theo aka "Turbo" a snail inexplicably determined to be as fast as a Nascar racer. As if you could hear it coming straight out of a pitch meeting. "Wouldn't it be funny if a snail wanted to be fast? Because they're so slow!" Paul Giamatti plays Turbo's "isn't the life we have just fine?" brother, Chet, who mostly shouts things like "It's not natural!" and "That's not what Mother Nature had in mind!" at Turbo so much that you come to realize, after 10 minutes, that the villain in this film is reality. And after endless bickering between a sourpuss and an contrived dreamer, you begin to resent both sides of the argument. In fact, and this is where I'll lose some of you (but it's where my mind goes when I'm bored during a kids' movie), there's a struggling LGBT undercurrent to whole story. Especially when it comes to how much Turbo wants to desperately change who he is as a creature entirely. And, subsequently, how much he's told that he's wrong for wanting to be something different. You get relentlessly beaten about the head by both sides of the fence so much that after a while you have to clear the cobwebs and remember that you're watching a stunt-casted cartoon flick.
    From there the story plays out as predictably as possible, leaving little room for surprise or inspiration. Samuel L. Jackson, Snoop Dogg (Lion?) and Maya Rudolph play members of Turbo's rag-tag daredevil snail crew as the movie tries its hardest to convince you that a super-powered snail is somehow the underdog in a racing sport, despite the fact that he's already vastly superior simply by being a supernatural "thing that should not be." A chemical has, in fact, enhanced his performance.
    Full Review »
  2. dpc
    Jul 29, 2013
    9
    Saw it with my 7 year old son we both had a great time. Yes, the story is hardly innovative, but the animation is great, the humor is great, the voice acting is great and it's overall just a lot of fun. Turbo is getting a bit beat up for the wrong reasons. Critics should take in account the target audience, like my son, who loved it. And as an adult, believe me, you could do far worse. So, if you are 2 dudes in your 20s, you probably won't be blown away (as you might with Pixar) but for families with easy-going kids, you won't be sorry you dropped some cash on a Saturday afternoon. Full Review »
  3. Jul 22, 2013
    7
    The animation is probably weaker than most animations films today but Turbo is more human, more interesting and better made overall than Monster University and Despicable Me 2. Full Review »