Where the Wild Things Are

User Score
6.5

Generally favorable reviews- based on 380 Ratings

User score distribution:

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User Reviews

  1. AnonymousMC
    Oct 20, 2009
    4
    I'm going to go ahead and agree with everyone else; visually, this movie is stunning. Aside from that, I didn't like it. The whole movie was largely forgettable and boring. The music is distracting and it often took me a minute to discern the music from the actual audio of the film. The events are disconnected and just sort of happen one after another with no real flow or senseI'm going to go ahead and agree with everyone else; visually, this movie is stunning. Aside from that, I didn't like it. The whole movie was largely forgettable and boring. The music is distracting and it often took me a minute to discern the music from the actual audio of the film. The events are disconnected and just sort of happen one after another with no real flow or sense of plot. More than that, though, the movie seems to illustrate the point that life is terrible and no matter what you do to try and fix it, it will only get worse. Certainly not a message for a kids movie. And on that note, the movie seems to reward bad behavior more than it does anything else. The boy throws a tantrum for no reason and is gifted a kingdom. When he returns home, he gets cake. We leave the movie with nothing resolved, and I myself was annoyed.

    It's apparent that many people liked this film. I want to say people liked it because they expected to. I personally would recommend watching the trailer instead. It's much more moving and exciting than the film was.
    Expand
  2. kent
    Nov 6, 2009
    6
    More for adults than kids. Awfully serious and depressing, especially for kids. Takes patience to watch through, but moving near the end.
  3. Nov 2, 2010
    4
    If you are a fan of this book, or if your kids are just now becoming fans of the book, please do not let them watch this movie, it will ruin the book for them. This movie does no justice to it. The only way you could watch this movie and maybe enjoy it a bit is if you had nothing better to do and you rented this movie. Otherwise stay way.
  4. JacobP
    Oct 18, 2009
    6
    Some people may walk into this show thinking it's a children's film, understandably as it
  5. EggyG
    Feb 17, 2010
    5
    I really want to love this movie, just like the book, but just can't. The style, art, effect and music of this film are incredible, very imaginative and lively. The downside are the scary & depressing story, tone and dialogue throughout the film...it's like having a nightmare instead of inspiring children story. Just too bad.
  6. sebastianl.
    Oct 26, 2009
    6
    For those of us who remember--or faithfully engage the vestiges of--an imagination worthy of childhood, this film underestimates the continuities of that imagination. Max looks like nothing more than a series of Freudian ejaculations of creativity, with that creativity accomplishing little more than assuaging or redirecting his psyche. Children--and human beings in general--tend to For those of us who remember--or faithfully engage the vestiges of--an imagination worthy of childhood, this film underestimates the continuities of that imagination. Max looks like nothing more than a series of Freudian ejaculations of creativity, with that creativity accomplishing little more than assuaging or redirecting his psyche. Children--and human beings in general--tend to construct more from their relationships with ids and moms. I understand the desert loneliness thing, but come on, credit the kid with some color in his world. Expand
  7. denisem
    Jan 5, 2010
    5
    I had high hopes for this movie. As a mom, the plight of the kid was toooo sad, in the beginning and even throughout the entire film. The scene in which the mom was chasing Max was too real and terrifying, too-and didn't really resolve until too late in the film. It was my understanding the wild things (which max created) were supposed to adore him. This could have had a LOT more I had high hopes for this movie. As a mom, the plight of the kid was toooo sad, in the beginning and even throughout the entire film. The scene in which the mom was chasing Max was too real and terrifying, too-and didn't really resolve until too late in the film. It was my understanding the wild things (which max created) were supposed to adore him. This could have had a LOT more comedic-upbeat stuff in it. It was akin to being at a dinner party in which one of the couples is fighting and everyone then feels their stress and leaves bummed out. This film made me sad and worried about kids and modern families. Expand
  8. LeslieB
    Mar 22, 2010
    5
    The elegant story has a myth power because it doesn't try to explain itself. The film stretches that tiny little bit of material adding neurosis and angst. Where the book was therapeutic and healing, the film seems to need a trip to the shrink.
  9. LeoL
    Apr 21, 2010
    4
    Overrated slow-paced mess of a film that is dull for adults and children alike. Half my group of friends feel asleep. The moral of the story seems to be that running away and coming back means that bad behaviour is rewarded. Psycho-babble does not a deep film make.
  10. Jim
    Oct 16, 2009
    4
    Visually amazing but slow and depressing.
  11. ScottR.
    Oct 16, 2009
    6
    This film is like an $80 million lament on the childhood of someone who didn't really enjoy that period of his or her life. I didn't connect with the film on any emotional level, and there's only so far that a cerebral experience can carry me in terms of liking something. Do I appreciate this film? Sure. Do I like it? Not really. Would I take my kids to see it if they were This film is like an $80 million lament on the childhood of someone who didn't really enjoy that period of his or her life. I didn't connect with the film on any emotional level, and there's only so far that a cerebral experience can carry me in terms of liking something. Do I appreciate this film? Sure. Do I like it? Not really. Would I take my kids to see it if they were younger than 12? Absolutely not. This film tries to dissect how a child sees and interprets the world, but it does so from a very adult perspective. It takes almost all the fun and magic out of being a kid and replaces those fundamentals of childhood with imaginary realism. Is childhood discovery of right and wrong really such a dramatic event? No. I find this film to be much more of an examination of Spike Jonze's views on how mis-parented youths look back on their childhood than anything else. Basically, it was the polar opposite of "Up", which I consider to be the best film of the year thus far. Does that make it an awful film? Of course not. But it's like Spike Jonze wants us all to live in the melancholy of his childhood, and that bored me to tears. Expand
  12. Ross
    Oct 17, 2009
    4
    This movie was a massive disappointment. It offered very little beyond the outstanding design and the well-done intro portion. Just watch the trailer 5 times and you'll be better off. Beware of critics who WANT to support the new Jonze movie.
  13. R.T.
    Oct 19, 2009
    6
    Fun, imaginative, creative and interesting --- all about the peek into a 10yr old's mind... and it's exactly what you get, including personifications of himself and stereotypes/people in his life.
  14. CW
    Oct 19, 2009
    6
    I don't get it. This is a very trippy movie. Maybe it's better while high. Also, the whole thing has a tragic and overly-dramatic feel to it. Which young children won't even get, or probably just be scared by. However, there are some hijinks kids will enjoy. The avant-garde music is quite good. As art, I suppose it's worth seeing. It will leave you saying "WTF?"
  15. SusanW.
    Oct 19, 2009
    4
    Dark and moping with no resolution; you get the feeling it's all deep and allegorical, and like Max, you just don't get it.
  16. TH
    Oct 20, 2009
    5
    This movie is neither trippy nor is it's indie-pop soundtrack "avant-garde". This is Jonze's adaptation of a children's book updated for the pretentious Pitchfork generation. It's not as deep as it thinks it is, isn't very engaging to watch, and doesn't have anything very original to say. It sure is pretty looking though.
  17. SteveA
    Oct 20, 2009
    6
    This movie was gorgeous to look at. The scenery was beautiful; the wild things were spectacular. The acting was great. Keener was impressive as usual. The kid was awesome. He gave a subtle, nuanced performance, as opposed to the Ace Ventura acting that Disney bombards us with. Even the wild things conveyed a lot of emotion. Furthermore, the soundtrack was very cool. Unfortunately, this This movie was gorgeous to look at. The scenery was beautiful; the wild things were spectacular. The acting was great. Keener was impressive as usual. The kid was awesome. He gave a subtle, nuanced performance, as opposed to the Ace Ventura acting that Disney bombards us with. Even the wild things conveyed a lot of emotion. Furthermore, the soundtrack was very cool. Unfortunately, this movie was also a huge depressing bore. It was so bogged down in pessimism that it was impossible to enjoy. The last half dragged forever. In the end, the wild things were either depressed or deranged. The plot was too simple and had no twists or surprises. It was very unfortunate. Expand
  18. DannyR
    Oct 16, 2009
    6
    I am very much ambivilent about this film. It's certainly not for the kids, nor is it a great representation of the book. It's weak points were that it was fairly unfocused and it was a HUGE downer; I didn't leave the theatre with a smile on my face. It was, however, beautifully produced and now I want to buy plush animals of the monsters. Definitely worth seeing, I just I am very much ambivilent about this film. It's certainly not for the kids, nor is it a great representation of the book. It's weak points were that it was fairly unfocused and it was a HUGE downer; I didn't leave the theatre with a smile on my face. It was, however, beautifully produced and now I want to buy plush animals of the monsters. Definitely worth seeing, I just didn't like the movie as a whole. Expand
  19. TaylorF.
    Oct 17, 2009
    6
    Not very many redeeming characters in this movie....it is very sad without really giving us any real change in any of the characters. It is a well done movie and very visually stimulating, just didn't get much out of it.
  20. KamsleyB
    Oct 18, 2009
    4
    This was NOT an enjoyable movie for any child and I have four who hated it... It was nothing short of a psychotherapy session for any adult who has felt the cruelty of divorce in their lifetime.
  21. alecf
    Nov 9, 2009
    6
    The monsters were very depressing and emo. i felt very aqward watching this movie, it was dark and depressing but the characters are like a bunch of barnys. another problem is that nothing really happens throughout the movie and at the end i was left feeling like i must have had accidentally slept through most of the movie soon realizing i definatly did not. the only reason why i can give The monsters were very depressing and emo. i felt very aqward watching this movie, it was dark and depressing but the characters are like a bunch of barnys. another problem is that nothing really happens throughout the movie and at the end i was left feeling like i must have had accidentally slept through most of the movie soon realizing i definatly did not. the only reason why i can give this movie a 6 is because the kid in the movie was a pretty good actor and i hope he can land a role in a movie that isnt this mediocre. the main problem is that spike jonzee or what ever his name is tried to get to philosopical when he should have stuck to the books roots and made it into an adventure with a story that isnt absolutley sad and depressing. i also must add that the kids freakouts were very scary and definatly not normal behavior for kids his age, its not the actors fault its probably the directors. i wouldnt recommend this movie to anyone except big fans of the book who will probably be happy just to see their favorite childhood friends in action on the big screen. Expand
  22. TiffanyL
    Dec 26, 2009
    4
    We have 4 young children and enjoy going to family movies. My husband and I read and loved "Where the Wild Things Are" as children, and our kids have enjoyed it too. Unfortunately, this movie does not live up to the simple magic of the book. It was violent and the Wild Things were horribly sarcastic and depressed. They sounded like a bad "All in the Family" re-run. It was so bad that we We have 4 young children and enjoy going to family movies. My husband and I read and loved "Where the Wild Things Are" as children, and our kids have enjoyed it too. Unfortunately, this movie does not live up to the simple magic of the book. It was violent and the Wild Things were horribly sarcastic and depressed. They sounded like a bad "All in the Family" re-run. It was so bad that we almost left in the middle--only staying to see if it redeemed itself. It did not. I wouldn't even recommend this movie for a $1 Redbox rental. The one bright spot is the boy who plays Max is a great little actor. I disliked this movie so much that I'm speculating the pro critics who gave it "100" were paid off. Expand
  23. BrianR
    Oct 23, 2009
    5
    This is basically a bore. It's nearly two hours of depressed muppets.
  24. Aug 16, 2010
    5
    A sad experience, one that made me feel about myself rather than enjoying the innocence of youth. There's not enough story to carry a full movie, and the wild things seem more like reality show characters bickering amongst themselves rather than fantasy creatures. I was excited for this film, mainly because the story is brilliant and Jonze is very good, but I was sorely disappointed.
  25. Feb 6, 2011
    6
    This was nowhere near as brilliant as it could have been. It was severely flawed in it's lead character, Max, who most of the time came across as selfish and rude, but never really changed throughout the film. The creature effects were well done and there were a few memorable scenes, but overall it was a bit of limp adaptation. That being said, considering what Spike Jonze had to workThis was nowhere near as brilliant as it could have been. It was severely flawed in it's lead character, Max, who most of the time came across as selfish and rude, but never really changed throughout the film. The creature effects were well done and there were a few memorable scenes, but overall it was a bit of limp adaptation. That being said, considering what Spike Jonze had to work with, pulling a half decent movie from it was impressive. Expand
  26. Aug 1, 2013
    6
    I'm not sure what exactly to make of the meaning behind all those beautiful images. The center to me seems to be the portrait of childhood imagination, the boundless energy and freedom of play. But the magic is marred by a conservative guitar-soundtrack that reminds us of the mundane, uncreative rituals of adults. In passages, the film plays like a commercial because of the overlyI'm not sure what exactly to make of the meaning behind all those beautiful images. The center to me seems to be the portrait of childhood imagination, the boundless energy and freedom of play. But the magic is marred by a conservative guitar-soundtrack that reminds us of the mundane, uncreative rituals of adults. In passages, the film plays like a commercial because of the overly pleasing music. It just destroyed the atmosphere and magic for me. The child acted like a child acting like a child, as if his subconsciousness was constantly aware that it was all theater. Real kids are supposed to be more fully 'into it', a state of mind nailed pretty well in some other films. The monsters had voices of standard human bodies, although being much bigger than humans. In a movie that plays all-in on atmosphere, those mistakes are deal-breakers. If you have a special interest in childhood psychology, I guess its a relevant movie, but I doubt you'll come away from it much wiser. I had high expectations for some movie magic and the movie didn't deliver. Only partly, in the sometimes grand scale of the images. I want to give extra points for originality, but it was based on a book, so in fact its a very conservative vision based on an original book. Expand
  27. Aug 15, 2014
    4
    A mind numbingly boring story with a stupid premise , the only redemption this film has is the special effects and costumes , and even then they are not that great.
Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. For all the artfulness, the feel of the film is rough-hewn, almost primitive. It’s a fabulous tree house of a movie.
  2. Where the film falters is Jonze and novelist Dave Eggers' adaptation, which fails to invest this world with strong emotions.
  3. 50
    I have a vision of eight-year-olds leaving the movie in bewilderment. Why are the creatures so unhappy? That question doesn’t return a child to safety or anywhere else. Of one thing I am sure: children will be relieved when Max gets away from this anxious crew.