User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 363 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 98 out of 363
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  1. 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
  2. CodyB.
    Oct 21, 2009
    0
    Is this some kind of joke??? I read this story to my 3 year old at least twice a week. So before the movie came out I was excited to go see it with him. During the movie I was bored and depressed and covering my boys eyes a lot. After the movie, I was confused and let down. ABSOLUTELY NO STORY LINE!!! Thanks to Spike Jonzes for turning a classic book into a dud of a movie. My boy is now Is this some kind of joke??? I read this story to my 3 year old at least twice a week. So before the movie came out I was excited to go see it with him. During the movie I was bored and depressed and covering my boys eyes a lot. After the movie, I was confused and let down. ABSOLUTELY NO STORY LINE!!! Thanks to Spike Jonzes for turning a classic book into a dud of a movie. My boy is now terrified of the book. What a joke. Expand
  3. CranstonS
    Oct 21, 2009
    0
    Is this some kind of joke. They marketed a kids movie only to find out it borderlines a horror film. The costumes were amazing but it all stops there. My favorite book as a kid was slaughtered when it was translated into this joke of a movie! DO NOT WASTE YOUR MONEY AND MORE IMPORTANTLY YOUR TIME. IT WILL CAUSE YOU TO NEVER LOOK AT THE BOOK THE SAME WAY.
  4. LucaT
    Oct 20, 2009
    10
    Not a kids movie, but a movie for the kid in us all. Every line of dialogue was reminiscent of being a kid, if not word for word interactions I've had in my own past. Never once does it coddle. A true exploration of the ups and downs of our own emotions. Reminds me of what it was like to be a kid.
  5. PeteW
    Dec 20, 2009
    1
    I was eager to see this movie and left the cinema quite angry. How could Jonze delete a crucial part of the story - the forest growing in the bedroom. There was nothing endearing about Max and what was with the robot dance?? One of the worst movies I've ever seen. 1 point for the soundtrack.
  6. StuartC.
    Dec 20, 2009
    10
    Easily one of my favorite films of the year, and possibly the decade. A beautifully constructed tale of childhood, told in a majestic way by Jonze. A masterful combination of CGI and real costumes and locations allows for a greater emotional impact, bringing the Wild Things out of the pages and into our hearts. Fantastic Film 10/10.
  7. CarolineM
    Dec 28, 2009
    2
    Not at all what I was expecting. When it started I thought I was watching an amateur movie trailer, but no it was the movie. I kept waiting for it to improve, but no again. Except for the creatures, it felt very amateurish. The storyline was minimal and repetitive. The whole thing was a tremendous disappointment.
  8. KrisT
    Dec 3, 2009
    8
    I loved this film. It really searches and finds that inner-child of yours just waiting to be released. Max was great and is truly the most adorable twelve year old ever. The film is amazing and deserves it's rating by far.
  9. TR
    Oct 25, 2009
    3
    This movie made me extremely uncomfortable, like sitting in on an hour 40 of a kid's therapy session. This isn't a movie I'd want to take a kid to. They chose to flesh the story out with dysfunction, and that's not what I thought I was getting into.
  10. DaveH
    Oct 26, 2009
    8
    I was very emotionally affected by this film, which is, despite the hi-tech vibe attached to it, a very subtle work. It gets inside the head of a young boy whose family has shattered and whose life is spent imagining a world where he is strong, happy and in control. The central fantasy element is a beautiful and perceptive representation of a child's imagnation. Highly recommended.
  11. BigE
    Oct 26, 2009
    9
    A wonderfully melancholic movie. It's uncertain plot line is off putting, but I kinda think that's the point.
  12. HarveyB
    Oct 27, 2009
    10
    "Where the wild things are" is an extraordinary film about a young boy who filled with a plethora of emotions goes to a world in his imagination. it is funny, sad and incredibly well made. i have gone to see this movie twice, once for the plot, the other for the subtleties. Go and watch this film. you owe it to yourself why this film is so special. I am deeply sadden that this generation "Where the wild things are" is an extraordinary film about a young boy who filled with a plethora of emotions goes to a world in his imagination. it is funny, sad and incredibly well made. i have gone to see this movie twice, once for the plot, the other for the subtleties. Go and watch this film. you owe it to yourself why this film is so special. I am deeply sadden that this generation of children prefer the blasting and action of films like "Astro Boy" and therefore will not enjoy this film. Expand
  13. nanekim
    Oct 27, 2009
    8
    This is not an easy-going movie, for sure. I think what it can teach us is that issues don't get resolved just because you "run away," and no friend is perfect--we all have our good and bad sides. I think the Wild Things helped Max to grow up, and vice-versa. My daughter (9) and I liked the movie, but we were warned that it's really not for kids.
  14. EricA
    Oct 28, 2009
    9
    Enjoyed this very much and brought back memories of time with my mother as a little boy. Great work from Jonze
  15. JayrE
    Oct 28, 2009
    10
    Max is autistic.
  16. theDUDE
    Oct 29, 2009
    0
    In a nutshell strange movie. I was wondering what the plot to this movie was going to be and about a quarter way through the move I didn't really care. I have no idea why so called movie critics rated this movie so high. maybe they have an interest in the movie such as stock holdings. probubly the worst movie of the year. two thumbs down sucked really bad.
  17. kathyp
    Oct 31, 2009
    0
    Worst movie I've ever seen. Exceedingly dark and depressing; no redeeming value whatsoever. It just depicted a lot of angry venting and selfish behavior. Sadly, they used a popular child's story for a movie that isn't suitable for children.
  18. DWilly
    Oct 30, 2009
    3
    Come on! Seriously. Where the wild things decidedly aren't. The creatures all speak and act like a bunch of glum community college instructors with various levels of bitterness and depression. The script, I have little doubt, was actually written from the ramblings of a nine year old boy; and now all these jackass critics have fallen for it as profound. The meta-joke is on you, Come on! Seriously. Where the wild things decidedly aren't. The creatures all speak and act like a bunch of glum community college instructors with various levels of bitterness and depression. The script, I have little doubt, was actually written from the ramblings of a nine year old boy; and now all these jackass critics have fallen for it as profound. The meta-joke is on you, eggheads. A raccoon named Richard, indeed. This is not art (and it sure as hell isn't for kids). I can go for this kind of stuff when it's done well, and you can see something of this kind done with far and away more talent at just about any video installation at any modern art museum. Nothing's learned, nobody changes, and the final image of the mother (the ever flat and neurotic Katherine keener) watching rapt as her spoiled brat eats chocolate cake says it all. Expand
  19. MattB
    Jan 18, 2010
    10
    This film is an emotional rollercoaster. Like no film I've seen before, it took back to how it felt to be a young boy. Perhaps not for all kids but definitely for those who don't simply want the good ol' popcorn and candy formula of fun, fun, fun with a happy ending, but like to be taken on a ride somewhere darker and somewhere real. Like Bridge to Terabithia did so This film is an emotional rollercoaster. Like no film I've seen before, it took back to how it felt to be a young boy. Perhaps not for all kids but definitely for those who don't simply want the good ol' popcorn and candy formula of fun, fun, fun with a happy ending, but like to be taken on a ride somewhere darker and somewhere real. Like Bridge to Terabithia did so effectively, this film tackles the feelings of fear and uncertainty, maintaining a challengingly melancholic mood throughout. I'm proud to say my 10 and 5 yr olds were equally moved by this film and I say we need more kids' films like this. Films that confuse, make you think and ultimately bring a truly magical cinematic experience. This one obviously polarizes people. Great, I love it even more! Expand
  20. KennethS
    Feb 15, 2010
    10
    It's not like any kid film I've ever seen in my life. The film is emotionally poignant and the ending scene is truly flawless and magnificent. I was touched by Max's journey, and I could feel the hearts of all the animals, each of whom have a unique characteristic. The film, like Matt B said, deals with all kinds of feelings and literally makes you feel insecure and lonely It's not like any kid film I've ever seen in my life. The film is emotionally poignant and the ending scene is truly flawless and magnificent. I was touched by Max's journey, and I could feel the hearts of all the animals, each of whom have a unique characteristic. The film, like Matt B said, deals with all kinds of feelings and literally makes you feel insecure and lonely during the movie. What a wonderful film. Expand
  21. SteveC
    Mar 12, 2010
    0
    Torture to watch. Watch the trailer or read the book. Save yourself for the movie.
  22. Mr.Gone
    Mar 17, 2010
    3
    I think it says something that there is such a large rift in opinions about this movie. Some people regard it as a genius work of child-like art, while others are clearly underwhelmed by the drama. When there are so many 10's from critics and fans, there is also an overabundance of 0s to 4s with many charging that it may be the worst film they've ever seen. I admittedly was not I think it says something that there is such a large rift in opinions about this movie. Some people regard it as a genius work of child-like art, while others are clearly underwhelmed by the drama. When there are so many 10's from critics and fans, there is also an overabundance of 0s to 4s with many charging that it may be the worst film they've ever seen. I admittedly was not the least bit impressed with the lead character, who was not charming or endearing, but quite annoying and rebellious. And, I must reiterate the idea that there doesn't seem to be a clear moral to the story. The kid didn't appear changed or better at the end, just calmer [for the moment], with a nice big slice of chocolate cake as his reward for his retarded (9 year olds don't bite their parents) antics. Furthermore, I'm a bit appalled that so many reputable critics co-sign on the alleged brilliance of this adaptation. I don't see the film being at all successful or appealing to kids. The monsters were depressed, monotone, and lifelessly draped in sun-faded fur. The plot and the characters lacked the animation that would spark the interest of 10 and under movie-goers. And, for adults it was hard to relate. Again, I don't know how many of my friends stood on kitchen tables dressed as their favorite fictional characters in stark rebellion. And once reprimanded, resorted to biting their parents. Maybe, [maybe] at 4. Not 9. It was unrealistic, morally confused, and flat boring. It's definitely an acquired taste, at best and worst. But, with such a compelling need for acquisition, there's absolutely no logical way to justify it as '100' [percent] brilliant. Sorry. Expand
  23. AlanG.
    Mar 27, 2010
    9
    A great movie! I can't believe i cried during this. I love it! Spike Jonze is a great director!
  24. PaulaD
    Apr 19, 2010
    9
    A gem of a movie. It's like an art piece but makes you remember how you thought as kid again.
  25. Sean
    Nov 1, 2009
    3
    I had such high hopes for this movie and was completely let down. I really don't know how all of these critics are giving this movie such high reviews. Was thoroughly disappointed with this movie....
  26. emilyd
    Nov 13, 2009
    3
    Visually beautiful, but that is really all I can say positively. I was with a 12 and a 9 year old and we left the theatre baffled and drained... not for kids. I loved the book as a kid! what a shame!!!
  27. JohnS
    Nov 29, 2009
    1
    Total waste of time & money. Kids 8 and 11 hated it. Do not go see this movie.
  28. JulieN
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    This movie is absolutely incredible. Don't go into it expecting a kids movie, though, because this movie reflects real life. It is not an movie about the spunky troubles of bees or woodland creatures. It's about real problems--and it shows them beautifully.
  29. EricE.
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    Amazing, Beautiful, Life-Changing, Stunning, Magical, Astonishing. these are all words that come to mind after having seen this movie.
  30. BillyG.
    Oct 16, 2009
    2
    Terrible! Way too long and depressing. Feel bad for all the kids who had their hopes dashed at this sad and boring film. Save your money and take the kids out bowling instead.
  31. KieranM.
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    The absolute most meaningful movie I've ever seen. That's maybe because I feel like I can relate to Max. I've felt emotions that I've never felt before. Truly amazing.
  32. JeffH.
    Oct 16, 2009
    2
    WAY too artsy and too much symbolism for kids to "get". He took a wonderful idea and butchered it to the point that the imagination of Max was really properly illustrated.
  33. 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
  34. AnonymousMC
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    Classic Spike Jonze, very complex, introspective, and dark at times but equally sweet and warm, captures very much more than any film I can remember what it was like to be kid and in the final years before adolescence, it takes every emotion children feel and takes it as seriously as they would and does this in an understated way more in creating a tone and atmosphere than overwrought melodrama.
  35. jerradD
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    A well crafted and uniquely stylized film. i loved every minute of it. for the people who are mad that its not a kid movie why do you care? you can't even enjoy a movie for yourself? stop looking at it as a childrens book and start seeing the real morals that are presented in the movie.
  36. TedJ.
    Oct 17, 2009
    2
    Nothing redeeming about this film. You'll want your money back halfway through. Boring story, no characters to get behind, Max is unlikable and annoying, the movie is dark and seems to carry no message. A terrible self indulgent effort by the director.
  37. JakeH.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    I know giving it a 10 makes it look like I either like a movie, or I don't, but this movie really deserves more than a 71. I came into the theater not expecting much. I was blown away. I liked it as much as The Dark Knight. The film style was great. The soundtrack suited the movie so perfectly with the mood. Now this is a children's movie, but is actually better for ages 13-40. I know giving it a 10 makes it look like I either like a movie, or I don't, but this movie really deserves more than a 71. I came into the theater not expecting much. I was blown away. I liked it as much as The Dark Knight. The film style was great. The soundtrack suited the movie so perfectly with the mood. Now this is a children's movie, but is actually better for ages 13-40. A kid will definitely like the movie, but they won't get how powerful the plot is. The story is happy, and there isn't a looming problem that the main character is trying to solve before something happens. Everything just kind of happens. I really loved how powerful the images were. There is this one part at the beginning where Max's sister has friends over. Max then starts a snowball fight with them, and runs to take cover in a snow cave he built. Then one of the friends jumps on it while Max is inside and destroys it. Max is standing in the ruins of his fort bawling, and looks at his sister getting in the car with her friends leaving, and she just forgets about Max. Max then runs into the house, still snowy, goes into his sister's room, and destroys a card shaped like a heart that said "from Max to Claire. It really, really sent a strong feeling of loneliness, and sorrow. Another thing about the plot was what Max did and said. The things he was doing and wanted to do, really felt like something I would want to do when I was little, so for me, this was a personal movie. If you don't see this movie in theaters, or rent it when it comes out, then you are missing out on the best movie of the year. Expand
  38. GabrielS.
    Oct 17, 2009
    8
    A well built movie! Note: not for kids. Lots and lots and lots of emotional depth. GREAT ACTING.
  39. 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.
  40. PaulB
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    This is a deep and both intensely joyful and deeply sad story about growing up. A true masterpiece of cinema that takes anyone with a heart on a journey that makes them feel more alive.
  41. GeneS.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    At the heart of this movie is sorrow and the way it expresses itself is through joy. The monsters are all aspects of Max's interior life and feelings and so they, like Max, think and behave like 9 years olds do. To see monsters act as such is an experience that's unforgettable. You'll be hard pressed to find a more poignant and beautiful movie that has as much integrity as this.
  42. JohnnyS
    Oct 18, 2009
    2
    Visually stunning, but incredibly boring and twee. The kid is annoying and unlikeable, and it is difficult to care about any of the characters.
  43. 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.
  44. StevenZ
    Oct 18, 2009
    7
    The cinematography was stunning, Max's world was beautiful, and the view of the world from the eyes of a child were fantastic. Other then that you have a very drawn out story. Yes, there is great symbolism and all that, but who cares to make those connections when the movie is just so boring. If you see it, great, if you miss it...you're not missing out on anything huge.
  45. ChadS.
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    The wild things aren't so worldly-wise. Cut off from civilization, the limited experiences of these bipolar monsters inform how they talk, which can best be described as being absurdist, but having a prosaic naturalism, a style that will frustrate less adventurous moviegoers, so used to hip and witty cartoon animals well-versed in popular culture, as if the environs they inhabit were The wild things aren't so worldly-wise. Cut off from civilization, the limited experiences of these bipolar monsters inform how they talk, which can best be described as being absurdist, but having a prosaic naturalism, a style that will frustrate less adventurous moviegoers, so used to hip and witty cartoon animals well-versed in popular culture, as if the environs they inhabit were an extension of the human world. The harrowing "Where the Wild Things Are" is an ethnographic film, a coming-of-age film, and most remarkable of all, a handmade film that doesn't bombard you with a glut of computer graphics wizardry. Intentional or not, "Where the Wild Things Are" shares some of the same aesthetics that Jim Henson brought to "The Dark Crystal"; it's also like watching Muppets under the influence of a medicated Ingmar Bergman, or some dour filmmaker with a European sensibility, who just discovered his unbeknownst funny bone. Max(played by the remarkable newcomer Max Records), a loner, finds refuge in storytelling, introduced at the outset as he relates a story to his mother(Catherine Keener), who transcribes her son's words onto her computer. This posterity, this transformation of the oral tradition into immutable proof of the spoken word, foreshadows Max's journey to where the wild things are, an imaginary place made corporeal through his mother's hardware documentation. (I think Max told her this story before, offscreen.) In the original version, Max took the form of Carol(James Gandolfini), a wild thing with abandonment issues, a thinly-veiled reference to the boy's relationship with his sister. This time, he's the king, and has unfettered access to the source of Carol's angst, KW(Lauren Ambrose), who he relates with as somebody else, a friend, rather than a blood relative, reflecting the boy's own wish fulfillment to know Claire in that same capacity. The film captures with raw precision, that moment when siblings grow apart, when age becomes a divide, because of the older one's need to spread her(or his) wings. (KW's friends just happen to be birds.) It's good to be king. Max can be Carol(-like) once he gets back home. This is, unquestionably, the best major studio film of 2009. Expand
  46. RayL.
    Oct 19, 2009
    10
    I really like reading the reviews for this film; it seems that everyone is polarized by this film. People either love it or don't. For me, it was a magical experience. A lot of people say that this is not a children's film. However, I would have loved to have watched this when I was little. This film is something that grows with you and it hits the crux of what it is being a I really like reading the reviews for this film; it seems that everyone is polarized by this film. People either love it or don't. For me, it was a magical experience. A lot of people say that this is not a children's film. However, I would have loved to have watched this when I was little. This film is something that grows with you and it hits the crux of what it is being a child. I feel that some critics missed some of the crucial things that makes this film a masterpiece. Expand
  47. JonathanF.
    Oct 19, 2009
    9
    A strikingly beautiful, and touching story of a lonely boy finding comfort in the escape of his vast imagination. And was it just me or is it surprisingly political, too?
  48. MichaelW
    Nov 9, 2009
    9
    This movie was quite amazing! And I suggest it for older kids and adults. I am 17 years old and I loved it. It was quite touching and actually quite sad. The movie has a lot packed into and I'm not sure that this is even a kids movie. The plot is quite good. It's about the wild sides of Max (the main character) and what becomes his dysfunctional family. It is really good and I This movie was quite amazing! And I suggest it for older kids and adults. I am 17 years old and I loved it. It was quite touching and actually quite sad. The movie has a lot packed into and I'm not sure that this is even a kids movie. The plot is quite good. It's about the wild sides of Max (the main character) and what becomes his dysfunctional family. It is really good and I recommend it! Trust me, you won't be disappointed. Expand
  49. 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
  50. NickF
    Dec 14, 2009
    0
    How to make a 425 word book into a movie.... inject a lot of weird awkward pauses and random pointless events. How to get chocolate cake, Bit your mother and run off for a few days to a strange world, when things go bad take a boat back without addressing any problems.
  51. EvanD
    Oct 22, 2009
    10
    A beautiful film. One of the best of 2009 with great voice work and one of the best performances ever by a child actor by Max Records. a gem of a film that should receive oscar consideration.
  52. AdamP
    Dec 23, 2009
    10
    A great mix of realism and fantasy and also a fine study on child psychology. I loved it - the bad user reviews on here look like they were written by the 9 year olds they took to see the film. Says it all really.
  53. 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
  54. ChristopherC
    Oct 23, 2009
    9
    The cinematic adaptation of one of the greatest children's books of all time is strangely... not for kids. Not having any children myself, I found the movie enthralling. I went in expecting it to be light hearted and formulaic, but what I saw sincerely made me feel, and for that I was grateful.
  55. BrianR
    Oct 23, 2009
    5
    This is basically a bore. It's nearly two hours of depressed muppets.
  56. KatB
    Oct 23, 2009
    1
    What in the World? This movie sucked! Well, maybe that's harsh...but the best scenes were the "real" life scenes with his family/mother. I certainly appreciate the suffering and confusion this child lives with at the hands of his "broken" family, but the fantasy in the movie does NOT live up to the hype and was really goofy. I'll bet the book was better! The child was a great What in the World? This movie sucked! Well, maybe that's harsh...but the best scenes were the "real" life scenes with his family/mother. I certainly appreciate the suffering and confusion this child lives with at the hands of his "broken" family, but the fantasy in the movie does NOT live up to the hype and was really goofy. I'll bet the book was better! The child was a great little actor! Expand
  57. fw
    Oct 23, 2009
    1
    Horrid. Boring. Tedious. Aimless. Pointless. Weary-making.
  58. JayG
    Oct 27, 2009
    3
    Depressing. Dark. Violent. Inconclusive. Mr. Sendak must have needed some money desperately. I wouldn't take my kids to see it. Read them the book and let their imaginations soar.
  59. pH
    Oct 27, 2009
    8
    Not perfect by any means but a brilliant effort that almost succeeds. Sorta long, sorta slow but a slightly flawed masterpiece in the end. I saw it in a theatre full of kids of all ages and not a peep from any of them
  60. RickA
    Oct 29, 2009
    8
    I liked it and found it to be fun and entertaining.
  61. YevgenyV
    Oct 29, 2009
    0
    Very bad, and I am not a fan of the book. The films worst folly is that it's boring. This is a drawn out, pretentious and boring film which possesses an odd, turgid pace, trying to pass itself of as whimsical and philosophic. What. A waste.
  62. BenjaminH
    Nov 11, 2009
    10
    I finally watched this movie today being it was one of my favorite books as a kid. First off let me say this if you are into movies like "Transformers", or "Fast and Furious" type stuff this movie will be boring and you will hate it. It is also not really a kids movie, even though you can take them, there is a good chance that they will not get it or understand it, as the same with most I finally watched this movie today being it was one of my favorite books as a kid. First off let me say this if you are into movies like "Transformers", or "Fast and Furious" type stuff this movie will be boring and you will hate it. It is also not really a kids movie, even though you can take them, there is a good chance that they will not get it or understand it, as the same with most adults. Now that I have got that out of the way, this is one of the deepest movies I have seen in a long time. It is not a kids movie, but a movie about a kid and his personality, imagination, and most importantly his emotions, both good and bad. Honestly this is the best movie I think I have seen in years, it captures being a kid better than any movie I have ever seen and is brutally truthful at times, it leaves you walking away with a feeling of sadness I have had many times since child hood but kind of ignored until now. Please go watch this movie if you like things like this, it is different than what most people think, but stay away if you are into gimmmicky special effects and fast paced action, this will not be the movie for you. Expand
  63. NickL
    Nov 14, 2009
    3
    I watched this sober. That was a mistake. The only good part of this movie was the soundtrack. Boooooring.
  64. JoeM
    Dec 16, 2009
    7
    I enjoyed this film but I wanted to love it. It is filmed very well and the acting is good, but the movie is just too long considering its short and simple source material.. It should have only been 80-90 mins tops.
  65. PatrickC
    Dec 17, 2009
    2
    For lack of strong dialogue, angry and lonely animals with all that derived from just being bored makes for an awful movie. Even if this wasn't "Where the wild things are" it would still have made for a bad movie in general. The soundtrack, costume design was good, but once again, if that was the highlight of any movie, then it's a terrible movie. It varies greatly from the For lack of strong dialogue, angry and lonely animals with all that derived from just being bored makes for an awful movie. Even if this wasn't "Where the wild things are" it would still have made for a bad movie in general. The soundtrack, costume design was good, but once again, if that was the highlight of any movie, then it's a terrible movie. It varies greatly from the book, a 10 minute book mind you, you can't turn that into a 100 minute movie when every second page has only 2-3 sentences. Max's claustrophobia early introduced had me worried every time he was in danger from the other inhabitants, especially overbearing strength. Finally Carol's 'development' was nothing short of miraculous at the end, which at best one could say "Only in Hollywood...". Expand
  66. PB
    Dec 21, 2009
    9
    Fantastic. there is little else to say about a film that brings back so many memories of my childhood and portrays them on screen in such an adult and surprisingly dark way. A film for anyone who has ever gone through their parents divorce, ever run away from home for a day, ever ruined their siblings things out of anger, ever wanted to live in a world of their own. One of my favourite Fantastic. there is little else to say about a film that brings back so many memories of my childhood and portrays them on screen in such an adult and surprisingly dark way. A film for anyone who has ever gone through their parents divorce, ever run away from home for a day, ever ruined their siblings things out of anger, ever wanted to live in a world of their own. One of my favourite films of the decade, I highly recommend it. Expand
  67. marxmetacritic
    Dec 31, 2009
    0
    This is the worst film I have ever seen. When I got to see this film for free with my imax pass, I thought I was in for a pleasant film, but instead I watched one of my favorite childhood books be smashed to pieces right before my eyes. This film: "Where the Wild Things Are" would be more accurately titled: "Where the Depressed, Overly-Dramatic Emo Maniacs Are. The film stars Max, a "9" This is the worst film I have ever seen. When I got to see this film for free with my imax pass, I thought I was in for a pleasant film, but instead I watched one of my favorite childhood books be smashed to pieces right before my eyes. This film: "Where the Wild Things Are" would be more accurately titled: "Where the Depressed, Overly-Dramatic Emo Maniacs Are. The film stars Max, a "9" year old boy (who appears to be around age 13) who goes insane and assaults his mother one night. His mother tries to get him under control, only to cause him to run down the street in his wolf costume, hide in a forest "yelling I hate you!", destroying things and finally sailing away in a small, bashed up fishing boat. He arrives at an island to meet a group of characters who represent his family and his character traits (anger, sadness, etc.) . He befriends Carol, an emo depressing beast who represents how Max is constantly having tantrums, and soon the beast makes him their "king" (who is mainly just a babysitter in charge of keeping these stupid lugs happy). Everything goes wrong, he ruins their lives, and for some reason they just get happy one day and send him home where he treats everyone just as awful as before. The worst part is, that the film has lots of talk about global issues like global warming and the sun going out, making it hard for a usually positive person like me to stomach it. I no longer want to even look at the book, let alone the film. Don't let this happen to you. Expand
  68. 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.
  69. Aug 30, 2010
    0
    There is comfort in having a small number of people elevated in one's opinion. For any thinking person that number is never very large. It is very disheartening when one of that number plummets in our esteem. And, in this case, in such a way. It was a betrayal from someone I have held in this position from my youngest days. Where the Wild Things Are was art, and there was a magic to thatThere is comfort in having a small number of people elevated in one's opinion. For any thinking person that number is never very large. It is very disheartening when one of that number plummets in our esteem. And, in this case, in such a way. It was a betrayal from someone I have held in this position from my youngest days. Where the Wild Things Are was art, and there was a magic to that story in particular. And he lied right to me. I was extremely dubious when I heard it was being made into a full length live action film. But I heard good reviews, and I saw the man himself interviewed, and as incredulous as I normally am (How can you tell when someone is lying? Their lips are moving.), he seemed sincere when he said the film faithfully captured the spirit of the book.

    Shall I catalog how the film missed the essence of every single character in the book? Not only missed, made them the opposite of what their nature was. Max was not a wild, nearly psychotic child. He was not having gleeful snowball fights. He was a lonely, isolated boy who was neglected by his parents, and that was why he sailed away. He was a normal boy, engaging in normal behavior for a child, to which his mother responded in a disproportionate manner. Her detachment was illustrated in the book by having her always out of sight. She was not an overwhelmed mother doing her best with an out of control child. Now the monsters, who in the book were child-like in spite of their size and power, were, I suppose, sort of depicted in this way. But they weren't bratty, petulant, whiny, spoiled children, one of whom, for some unknown reason, has the voice of a Mafioso. That was as much as I could take; I would not finish the film. I suppose Roald Dahl would have had a similar impact if he had allowed that Tim Burton abomination to have been created, and then said right to my face that if was a faithful adaptation. Whoever the rights to that story passed to after his death should be ashamed of themselves, but I choose to believe that Roald would not have sold out in that manner.

    Shame on you, Mr. Sendak.
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  70. Oct 19, 2010
    10
    A beautiful work of cinematic art, although with its flaws. Although it does seem to take itself a tad bit too seriously, it makes up for it in its ability to portray the inner-workings of a childs' mind. Their escape into the world of fantasy to keep from facing reality and the redolent fear of changing is evident. It's certainly not a movie to see with the children, despite the deceptiveA beautiful work of cinematic art, although with its flaws. Although it does seem to take itself a tad bit too seriously, it makes up for it in its ability to portray the inner-workings of a childs' mind. Their escape into the world of fantasy to keep from facing reality and the redolent fear of changing is evident. It's certainly not a movie to see with the children, despite the deceptive marketing done. I adored it, personally, and I completely understand those that don't. It's a hard tale to grasp, and also some people just don't like that kind of movie. But I always grew up with people telling me I was a somewhat strange, so maybe that's what drew me to this strange movie. The camera-work was different and gave it a more realistic feel, the lead, who also is named Max, was very good considering how irritable I am when it comes to child actors. Over-all, a wonderful and somewhat hollow (in a good way) film. I suggest it to those who are up for the challenge. Expand
  71. Dec 18, 2010
    0
    This is the most unrelentingly depressing film I have seen in decades. The producers have completely missed the point of the charming and whimsical book on which it it based and created a film that is very disappointing. Perhaps those who have given good reviews have not read and loved Maurice Sendak's original version--but for anyone who has read this to children at bedtime, the filmThis is the most unrelentingly depressing film I have seen in decades. The producers have completely missed the point of the charming and whimsical book on which it it based and created a film that is very disappointing. Perhaps those who have given good reviews have not read and loved Maurice Sendak's original version--but for anyone who has read this to children at bedtime, the film version is a total failure and major disappointment. Expand
  72. Jan 5, 2014
    8
    Where the Wild Things Are is probably my favorite children's book of all time. The movie is just as soulful as it's source material. It's guaranteed to make any parent weep uncontrollably (much like the first time they read their child the book). This is about as good a movie as could have been made from the slender tome. Excellent stuff.
  73. Feb 2, 2011
    9
    In one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, everything is done right. The performance by the lead boy is fantastic and heart-wrenching, as he portrays fear, despair, affection, and so many others on levels that far precede his years. He deserved far more critical acclaim than he was given. Spike Jonze's direction is nothing short of breathtaking, as he brings the subtle hints atIn one of the most beautiful films I've ever seen, everything is done right. The performance by the lead boy is fantastic and heart-wrenching, as he portrays fear, despair, affection, and so many others on levels that far precede his years. He deserved far more critical acclaim than he was given. Spike Jonze's direction is nothing short of breathtaking, as he brings the subtle hints at deeper meanings that were in the original book to the surface with amazing grace. The "Wild Things" were each brilliantly constructed, portraying different emotional issues while retaining the idea that the family group is necessary and needed, and with hard work and mutual love, it can be attained. The dark look of the film only serves to enhance these ideas, complicated and saddening while allowing, every once in a while, for a glimmer of light and hope to shine through. I doubt that a children's book adaptation will ever be made into a film of such beauty and intelligence again; at least not in my life time. It ranks with the other masterpieces of cinema that are now considered the best of all time. Genius, adult, intelligent, tear-jerking brilliance. The Oscars completely snubbed this gem. Expand
  74. Jan 20, 2011
    8
    WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
    Everybody has a childhood fantasy. Thiz film reminds us how to be a child, where we can escape into our own world. It comes from a Maurice Sendak famous fable, the story told about a little boy who one night had a conflict with his mom. He ran away from home. On his solitude, he lived on his own fantasy, interacted with the characters he made up, and found
    WHERE THE WILD THINGS ARE
    Everybody has a childhood fantasy. Thiz film reminds us how to be a child, where we can escape into our own world. It comes from a Maurice Sendak famous fable, the story told about a little boy who one night had a conflict with his mom. He ran away from home. On his solitude, he lived on his own fantasy, interacted with the characters he made up, and found himself the meaning of life. The movie directed by Eccentric Music Video Director, Spike Jonze. Jonze directed many famous musicians like: Björk, Beastie Boys, Fatboy Slim, etc., which my favorite is Fatboy Slim WEAPON OF CHOICE. His honorable directing credits are BEING JOHN MALKOVICH (1999) and ADAPTATION (2002). Thiz movie take us to a child point of view, which is simple and naïve. I always like Jonze hand-held camera technique. It is very dynamic and effective to describe the surrealism on every of his movies. The boy perfectly casts by Max Records. The boy monster friends voiced by many well-known Actors, like: James Gandolfini, Forest Whitaker, Paul Dano, Chris Cooper, etc. and the other Casts are Mark Rufallo and Catherine Keener as his mom. In the beginning, I had hesitancy that the monsters will be appeared too scary based on original concept. But after I watched it, actually the monsters were very loveable and funny. The best scene I like the most is throwing dirt scene. The scores and soundtracks were also very supporting every scene on thiz movie. In overall, It is not a perfect movie for children, but it is a must-seen thoughtful movie for all of us as an adult.

    Visit My Blog on JONNY'S MOVEE: http://jonnyfendi.blogspot.com
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  75. 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
  76. Jun 27, 2011
    8
    Film maker Spike Jonze directs a magical, surreal, visually astonishing film version of Maurice Sendak's celebrated classic exploring the joyous and wild rumpus of the time and place we call childhood.
  77. Apr 9, 2011
    7
    I enjoyed the movie. Good voice work and the young boy did a good job. The graphics were pretty good. But it was not as good as the book. It won't "ruin" the book for you, but don't watch this before you read the book to yourself or your kid.
  78. Oct 28, 2011
    3
    It is rubbish, I'm sorry to people that liked it but I really didn't enjoy the film. I was looking forward to going to see the film at the cinema but I was really dissapointed, I am a fan of the book but it isn't based on the book at all. I really disliked it.
  79. Sep 14, 2011
    9
    A beautiful recreation the book by Maurice Sendak in which the story is develop in a deeper way with a conflict that connect with real life, even when the characters are monsters. If you think this a movie for children, then you're wrong. Just see it and learn about life.
  80. Sep 28, 2011
    10
    You might think that because of this movie is based on a book for kids, this movies is also for kids or is the same than the book, but no, this movie talks about grow up and all the process of maduration, is a great job and a has a fantastic development and the camera work is excellent
  81. 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
  82. Aug 13, 2012
    8
    A beautiful movie that perfectly captures the essence of the classic tale. Masterful puppetry. Anyone who appreciates the original book will no doubt realize how great this movie is.
  83. Dec 19, 2013
    9
    No doubt this is not for everyone, when you begin to understand all that you see, the universe is the saddest and most beautiful possible thing you can imagine, the mind of a Child, here, is so powerful, sad, depressed, but never without love.
  84. Jun 16, 2013
    9
    A fun emotional adaptation of a beloved children's book. I loved how the connection between Max and these creatures with the feelings of loneliness and anger. Plus the fantastic music by Karen O.
  85. Nov 8, 2013
    0
    This movie was absolute garbage. It ruined the book for me. Which was my favorite bedtime story to read when i was 6. No nostalgia, just garbage. Very eerie for some reason and very dark. I was actually scared of the monsters. Max is a complete baby. Annoying character. And what happened when his room turned into the forest?!?! Instead he runs away cuz he bites his mom or something.This movie was absolute garbage. It ruined the book for me. Which was my favorite bedtime story to read when i was 6. No nostalgia, just garbage. Very eerie for some reason and very dark. I was actually scared of the monsters. Max is a complete baby. Annoying character. And what happened when his room turned into the forest?!?! Instead he runs away cuz he bites his mom or something. Whatever dont watch this movie. Expand
  86. May 13, 2014
    10
    Childhood redeemed!

    I've never thought i see this book in the big screens considering how little content the original had. The author must of had alot of imagination to turn such few words into such a fantasy driven movie.
  87. Sep 1, 2014
    2
    Oh boy! I don't know what to say about this awful and really boring movie
    .The little boy is a terrible actor and the movie is not funny or depressing or whatever,he's just boring.
  88. Jun 29, 2014
    0
    By far the worst movie I have ever watched even worse than Romeo and Juliet: Sealed with a Kiss. The story line, actors, and everything was infinity times worse than the book. Max seemed so dumb I wanted to whack him with a stick to get back to his poor mother. This movie shouldn't even be shown to children.
  89. 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.
  90. Nov 28, 2014
    8
    this film make me laughing at Start till' end .. Spike Jonze Oscar Winner is Brilliant!! Different story and Fresh. Dan yang tidak kalah pentingnya adalah bagaimana cerita di dalam film ini juga menunjukan urgensi rasa kasih sayang dan kepedulian yang ada dalam keluarga. Max memang digambarkan sebagai seorang anak yang kesepian dan pemarah, tapi petualangan yang dilalui Max telah membukathis film make me laughing at Start till' end .. Spike Jonze Oscar Winner is Brilliant!! Different story and Fresh. Dan yang tidak kalah pentingnya adalah bagaimana cerita di dalam film ini juga menunjukan urgensi rasa kasih sayang dan kepedulian yang ada dalam keluarga. Max memang digambarkan sebagai seorang anak yang kesepian dan pemarah, tapi petualangan yang dilalui Max telah membuka matanya dan membawanya kembali ke pelukan penuh kasih ibunya. Bagaimana ceritanya? Silakan ditonton sendiri. Jangan lupa mengajak anak atau keponakan saat menonton film ini karena nilai moral dalam film ini begitu penting untuk ditanamkan dalam diri mereka. Expand
  91. Mar 31, 2015
    7
    Where The Wild Things Are is a very interesting achievement which will go down as one of the most intriguing and original children's adaptations in recent memory. While not everything about the story or its execution is entirely satisfying, Jonze deserves a lot of credit for capturing the mood and tone of Sendak's story, and for his realization of the titular creatures. Whether as aWhere The Wild Things Are is a very interesting achievement which will go down as one of the most intriguing and original children's adaptations in recent memory. While not everything about the story or its execution is entirely satisfying, Jonze deserves a lot of credit for capturing the mood and tone of Sendak's story, and for his realization of the titular creatures. Whether as a playful exploration of a child's imagination or a complex Freudian journey, it is something that remain with you for a very long time. Expand
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.