User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 365 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 98 out of 365
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  1. Oct 8, 2011
    7
    "Where the Wild Things Are" is a movie campier than its original book source, but director Spike Jonze successfully transfers the unbiased, pure perspective of a child (Max) to the audience.
  2. 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.
  3. 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.
  4. 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
  5. 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.
  6. 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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  7. 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
  8. 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.
  9. 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.
  10. 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
  11. 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.
  12. 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.
  13. 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.
  14. 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
  15. 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
  16. Aug 17, 2012
    10
    A stunning, emotional , well acted and written movie. Although im glad many others give it a 10 i would disagree with any that state it not a childrens movie. Its for everyone that is or has ever been a child, and certainly some children ( just like the " adults " hear giving well thought out 0 reviews ) will find it boring but some will love it. It has a certain look like no other film .A stunning, emotional , well acted and written movie. Although im glad many others give it a 10 i would disagree with any that state it not a childrens movie. Its for everyone that is or has ever been a child, and certainly some children ( just like the " adults " hear giving well thought out 0 reviews ) will find it boring but some will love it. It has a certain look like no other film . Everyone has differnt opinions on everything in life so dont listen to the ( incorrect ) bad review....know what your getting into and just watch it. U could be missing out on one of your new favs :) Expand
  17. Sep 7, 2013
    7
    Slow pacing does not hinder this enchanting movie, a story so innocent and at the same time so dangerous one cannot help but wonder if director Spike Jonze is secretly a ten years old kid. The integration between costumes and CGI looks beautiful the Wild Things show real emotions and are never clumsy. At one point the movie starts going nowhere, but its delicate allegories and interestingSlow pacing does not hinder this enchanting movie, a story so innocent and at the same time so dangerous one cannot help but wonder if director Spike Jonze is secretly a ten years old kid. The integration between costumes and CGI looks beautiful the Wild Things show real emotions and are never clumsy. At one point the movie starts going nowhere, but its delicate allegories and interesting look keep the attention up. Soundtrack is spot-on. Expand
  18. MaartenH.
    Jan 10, 2010
    10
    Reminded me of my own youth but more creative and sprawling.
  19. EvinC
    Jan 2, 2010
    8
    Good film, but it is so depressing. I still appreciate it for bringing that emotion out in me.
  20. AmyK.
    Oct 18, 2009
    9
    I found this movie delightful in a most refreshing non-Disney, non-pop-culture spouting, non-bosom baring princess sort of way. I disagree that this movie is not for children - and don't understand why it's "better" to feed children such a sanitized, marketable version of reality. Visually beautiful, emotionally real, and yes, "wild" in the truest sense - in that emotions, I found this movie delightful in a most refreshing non-Disney, non-pop-culture spouting, non-bosom baring princess sort of way. I disagree that this movie is not for children - and don't understand why it's "better" to feed children such a sanitized, marketable version of reality. Visually beautiful, emotionally real, and yes, "wild" in the truest sense - in that emotions, relationships cannot be tamed, nor should they be feared for this. Not a message I think we should keep from our children. Expand
  21. BridgetC.
    Oct 18, 2009
    8
    While the story sagged a bit in the late middle, the rest had me gripped and enmeshed in the head of a 9 year old ( hard to do that with my mind).
  22. DebbieT.
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    A beautiful and I think perhaps misunderstood film. This is not a Hollywood formula film. But to mistake that a child cannot enjoy this or relate to the film is unfortunate. My 9 year old daughter loved this film. This is not a film with a morale. It is a portrait of a child's emotions in a breathtaking format. My daughter giggled at the appropriate times. My daughter was quiet and A beautiful and I think perhaps misunderstood film. This is not a Hollywood formula film. But to mistake that a child cannot enjoy this or relate to the film is unfortunate. My 9 year old daughter loved this film. This is not a film with a morale. It is a portrait of a child's emotions in a breathtaking format. My daughter giggled at the appropriate times. My daughter was quiet and thoughtful at appropriate times. The film is an accurate portrayal of a child in our modern world and all the feelings that get wrapped up into it. I'm not sure what folks were looking for. But it was sweet, heartbreaking and charming. Expand
  23. JeffP
    Mar 9, 2010
    10
    This movie is very heartfelt and had me balling my eyes out at the end. It is way too dark for children, but will take you back to your childhood. I absolutely love this movie. Let your emotions run wild during this film.
  24. EnzoP.
    Oct 16, 2009
    9
    Where the Wild Things one of the most anticipated films of the year is not a let down like many other films this year. But, if you are a parent and you are going to bring your children to see this film watch out. I think that this film is for 2nd grade and up and possibly 1st grade. This movie is appropriately rated PG not G. It's not that this film is to inappropriate for them well Where the Wild Things one of the most anticipated films of the year is not a let down like many other films this year. But, if you are a parent and you are going to bring your children to see this film watch out. I think that this film is for 2nd grade and up and possibly 1st grade. This movie is appropriately rated PG not G. It's not that this film is to inappropriate for them well it little bit is but they probably won't get it. Just like what Julie N said don't go in expecting a kids movie. Now going on the specific's of the film you are probably wondering how did the little boy act. Well, Max Records that is his name is terrific except for when he is crying. He really has to work on that a lot. The role he plays is not an easy role. He has to play a boy who has more imagination then Walt Disney and highly sensitive. But what really surprised me was that he was really funny. Spike Jonze the director and the co writer really captured a lot of funny moments and I didn't think it would've been all that funny. For instance Max when he was mad and it was time for dinner he stood up on the table and said FEED ME WOMEN. It might not sound that funny but it is. Also Spike Jonze decided to use a hand held camera for some of the most of the film. If it wasn't a hand held camera I do not know what shaking that entire time. Gosh it felt like the Blair Witch Project sometimes. Also a mistake in the writing was that it wasn't descriptive enough some things about the film it never told us. To add on to that in the ending it started to get out of control. The critic inside me was not happy about the weirdness and craziness but the fan inside me loved it. So it was very hard to give a score on this movie. Mainly because it was very fun, wild and out of control but so enjoyable. That it twisted my brain around. I just couldn't decide. Overall a wonderful film not so much as a family film but still one of the year's best. Expand
  25. C.P.
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    I never do these things, never comment or follow through with films after seeing them (unless with friends). Nevertheless, this movie was stunning. My vocabulary is limited and my mind is weary after seeing the 12 O'clock showing, but I will try to express how I feel. Every frame in this movie could be a photograph, every interaction between the characters is captured so strongly I never do these things, never comment or follow through with films after seeing them (unless with friends). Nevertheless, this movie was stunning. My vocabulary is limited and my mind is weary after seeing the 12 O'clock showing, but I will try to express how I feel. Every frame in this movie could be a photograph, every interaction between the characters is captured so strongly through the cinematography and the perfect setting (Australia). The Wild Things are all brilliantly played out and the pacing of the film is hurried (to accentuate the childlike impulsiveness of Max's mind). As a forewarning, this is not a film for children. It is a brutally dark and emotional film. The simple message from the story, some may have a problem with this, has been expanded into something incredibly large. It has become a tale about self reflection and allowing your mind to look at itself in order to learn what you are doing wrong. Max, the main character, is childish and immature. His anger is often untamed and he allows his sadness turn into aggression. The Wild Things are all branched out of his personality though and he has the opportunity to observe himself from an outside perspective. Its all so simply developed and displayed. There is not a moment in this movie that is misplaced or lacking of beauty. Enjoy it with an open mind. Expand
  26. h_e_n_r_y
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    I really cannot properly describe the way this movie made me feel. It's a film everyone needs to see, not expecting a blockbuster or a 'magical'/cliché Disney film, but rather an experience you haven't had since your best childhood moment. The melancholy lies in the fact that our childhood has been dead for decades, but we have our children to look forward to.
  27. JohannaE.
    Oct 17, 2009
    9
    I really love this movie. I'm quite sure how my 7 and 9 year old children really felt about it. I'm hoping that it left them thinking. We talked about the themes of the film that they may not have understood on the own. I think it's a complex story, ideally for involved parents to take their older children too and discuss afterward. Don't expect children to fully enjoy I really love this movie. I'm quite sure how my 7 and 9 year old children really felt about it. I'm hoping that it left them thinking. We talked about the themes of the film that they may not have understood on the own. I think it's a complex story, ideally for involved parents to take their older children too and discuss afterward. Don't expect children to fully enjoy or comprehend it without you. However, isn't that what parents are for? I enjoyed the absolute beauty and poignancy of the film. It was bittersweet. Expand
  28. StevenS
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    This truly was - A Heartbreaking Work of Staggering Genius. I've never left a theater so emotionally devastated in my life. Frame after gorgeously shot frame just aches with sadness in this beautiful meditation on what childhood is like growing up in a broken home. My hat is tipped and my hand is over my heart.
  29. QuentinV.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    By far the greatest, most imaginative, and clever film adaptation of a children's book ever done.
  30. JoeW.
    Oct 17, 2009
    8
    THIS IS NOT A MOVIE FOR KIDS. ITS ABOUT AS KID-FRIENDLY AS PAN'S LABYRINTH. THE YOUNG KIDS WERE TRAUMATIZED, AND I HAD TO LEAVE EARLY WITH MY 5 YEAR OLD.

    But it is a really excellent adult move. It's unbelievable how that the excellent young actor carried the entire feature.
  31. JoshC.
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    Moving, subtle film.
  32. AD
    Oct 19, 2009
    8
    Not a kids movie, but super funny & deep.
  33. rickm
    Oct 19, 2009
    10
    As you can see from the scores, it would appear you either love or hate this movie. If you know what you are getting into before you see this movie, you will know it is not really a "children's" movie .. it is a movie ABOUT childhood. If you like movies that have the guts to go "outside the box" a little, you will appreciate this movie. It is an amazing accomplishment. Very powerful movie.
  34. JoelH
    Dec 11, 2009
    9
    For all you people complaining about the movie because you brought kids to it, did you even see the previews before you went? As for me, I got what I expected and enjoyed the movie very much.
  35. tabithap
    Dec 12, 2009
    10
    This film is pure, pure magic, and anyone who disagrees needs to think long and hard about what life was like when they were six and confined only by the limits of their imagination
  36. AtticusM
    Oct 20, 2009
    10
    Beautiful... A very symbolic movie. A true work of art.
  37. KirkG
    Oct 22, 2009
    10
    Visually stunning and emotionally exhilarating! A true work of art not to be missed on the big screen.
  38. CalebH
    Oct 23, 2009
    10
    I've seen it twice now and still can't get enough of it! One of the most multi-layered movies I have ever seen. I could eat it up, I love it so!
  39. MarkF
    Feb 10, 2010
    10
    Finally after seeing so much meaningless action and drama at the cinema in the last year, there's a movie that I really FELT. And for this movie that so polarises cinema critics and movie-goers, you have to feel it, and I'm glad I did. Certain visual, certain snippets of dialogue were like little shots to the heart and for me that was the brilliant thing, the sense of Finally after seeing so much meaningless action and drama at the cinema in the last year, there's a movie that I really FELT. And for this movie that so polarises cinema critics and movie-goers, you have to feel it, and I'm glad I did. Certain visual, certain snippets of dialogue were like little shots to the heart and for me that was the brilliant thing, the sense of identification with emotions we felt as children and indeed parents. Expand
  40. TomM
    Feb 6, 2010
    10
    Best film of 09! It was emotional, deeply profound and very original. Great acting and directing.
  41. JamesB.
    Mar 20, 2010
    8
    Pretty weird, but I liked it.
  42. MarkG
    Apr 10, 2010
    10
    This movie is a creative masterpiece.
  43. Ed
    Apr 16, 2010
    10
    Beautiful, heart wrenching, poignant. I can only assume that those who have chosen to bad mouth this wonderfully original piece of cinema have forgotten what it was like to be a child on the brink of losing your innocence and entering a more serious world. So you people can go see Transformers 2 for the 5th time and let the rest of us bask in the glow of a wonderful film that doesn't Beautiful, heart wrenching, poignant. I can only assume that those who have chosen to bad mouth this wonderfully original piece of cinema have forgotten what it was like to be a child on the brink of losing your innocence and entering a more serious world. So you people can go see Transformers 2 for the 5th time and let the rest of us bask in the glow of a wonderful film that doesn't treat its audience like complete morons. Expand
  44. TimB
    Nov 1, 2009
    10
    It's a beautiful film that explores the nature of childhood and imagination to brilliant effect. I think many of the negative reviews come from people too sadly far removed from their own childhoods.
  45. AdamL
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    Absolutely Fantastic! The film invites you in as part of the experience and is truly a classic escape from the everyday.
  46. AaronL.
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    my wife and I are huge fans of the book from growing up and now our 4 year old loves the book. the 3 of us went to the movie today and could not be happier with it. it captures everything we loved about the book and doesn't try to hide anything. our 4 year old girl also enjoyed it, the things that were to old went over her head, but she was very able to follow along. the more intinse my wife and I are huge fans of the book from growing up and now our 4 year old loves the book. the 3 of us went to the movie today and could not be happier with it. it captures everything we loved about the book and doesn't try to hide anything. our 4 year old girl also enjoyed it, the things that were to old went over her head, but she was very able to follow along. the more intinse scene's she just held my hand but was fine. want to see it MANY more times and will recommend it to EVERYONE! Expand
  47. ChandlerW.
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    Excellent film. Truly moving. Great story, plot, moral. A must see for everybody!
  48. SamP
    Nov 6, 2009
    8
    An incredibly solid interpretation of a snippet from boyhood (Jonze's intention in the first place). Anyone putting this movie down for "trying to be philosophical" is an idiot, because the film never does that. It certainly tries to be PSYCOLOGICAL, laying out incredibly blatant symbolism via the wild things; the film succeeds as a strictly psychological narrative. The fact that An incredibly solid interpretation of a snippet from boyhood (Jonze's intention in the first place). Anyone putting this movie down for "trying to be philosophical" is an idiot, because the film never does that. It certainly tries to be PSYCOLOGICAL, laying out incredibly blatant symbolism via the wild things; the film succeeds as a strictly psychological narrative. The fact that many people also find it too "sad" is due to the film's uncanny ability to magnify the problems of a child. The viewer is sad because Max is sad, but when you look at the issues (a neglectful teenage sister, a preoccupied parent) they are temporary experiences of growing up. It's not a very "deep" movie, gang--just different than some may have hoped. Expand
  49. DrewF.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    Absolutely stunning movie, visually, tonally, thematically. I'm amazed that a film like this, that treats its audience, kids and adults alike, without a hint of condescension, could be made in today's market. It's a rich and beautiful piece of work, and bravo to Spike Jonze, Dave Eggers, Maurice Sendak, and all the cast and crew for making it happen.
  50. MatthewA.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    Spike Jonze is 3 for 3 and has created the most perfect realization of Sendak's book that could have possibly been conceived. The negative reviews miss the point of Jonze's vision entirely. Dana Stevens (maybe you should have stuck with your job as an Avon lady?) says that it adds nothing to know the backstory of Max, his mom, and the Wild Things. If you don't get the Spike Jonze is 3 for 3 and has created the most perfect realization of Sendak's book that could have possibly been conceived. The negative reviews miss the point of Jonze's vision entirely. Dana Stevens (maybe you should have stuck with your job as an Avon lady?) says that it adds nothing to know the backstory of Max, his mom, and the Wild Things. If you don't get the importance of those backstories then it will be impossible to appreciate this movie. David Denby similarly says that he can picture little kids being confused as to why the wild things are so dysfunctional. It baffles me that professional film critics would fail to understand such a fundamental part of the story. How else did they expect Jonze to flesh out such a slight children's book? In my mind (and Sendak's apparentely) he has done it perfectly and I couldn't have been more pleased with or touched by the film. Simply perfect. Expand
  51. CP
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    This is a beautiful movie that exceeded all of my expectations. Not for kids, but for thoughtful adults. For me it was magical.
  52. DanM.
    Oct 17, 2009
    9
    I really liked it. Max's feelings were so real and difficult. James Gandolfini's voice so completely embodied Carol it amazed me. It may have been a little slow in parts, but not in a way that it woke me from the "dream". I am not a child anymore, and I don't know if a child would be riveted to it the way I was, but it had that true quality that I remember from childhood.
  53. NathanL.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    The finest film of this year and one of the 10 best of the decade!!! My children, my wife, my mother, and I all cried in the closing credits of this film. Not because it was depressing but, because all of us really cared about Max, his mom, and the wild things that represent the subconscious of a child. This film is like Miyazaki for the mainstream American movie audience. I cannot say The finest film of this year and one of the 10 best of the decade!!! My children, my wife, my mother, and I all cried in the closing credits of this film. Not because it was depressing but, because all of us really cared about Max, his mom, and the wild things that represent the subconscious of a child. This film is like Miyazaki for the mainstream American movie audience. I cannot say enough good things about the emotional complexity with which this film treated children. It was actually the most respectful look at at young children I have ever witnessed in all my many years of film going. However, the true amazement of this film is how it will play to your children. There will be many parents who treat there children like they are to young to understand and become emotionally involved. This is because many parents do not give their kids the credit they deserve. My daughter Jolie looked up at me in the movie (I actually had to tell her to whisper) to tell me how Carol (the leader of the Wild Things) felt and how closely that was to the way her and her sister act. She told me that sometimes she does mean things because she wants everything to be perfect and her sister sometimes doesn't want to hang out with her. She was sad for Carol and understood his sadness. My daughters are both 7. My son, who is for also spoke about these same feelings (with slightly less detail) to his sisters after the film. They also told me that they thought the end made them feel like Max was a good boy who realized how much he loved his mommy. Then they told their mommy how much they loved her and went outside to let their own little wild rumpus start. Kids are extremely intelligent and will do amazing things if parents do not hold them back out of fear. Knowledge is good, not the enemy. So, in conclusion, I believe that this film is for everyone from 4 to 94. It is a film that will reward it's viewers for being intelligent and emotionally involved. I loved this film so much I could eat it up! If there is a better film this year I can't wait to see it. Expand
  54. MichaelH.
    Oct 17, 2009
    9
    I was highly anticipating this film. This film is a 9 year old's snowball fight writ-large, and one of the strangest coming of age films. The plot: boy gets mad at mom, runs away from home, becomes king of Wild Things, gets bored and goes home for dinner. End plot. Max Records put in an excellent performance as the boy, contrary to some reports. The creatures are a bit creepy, but I was highly anticipating this film. This film is a 9 year old's snowball fight writ-large, and one of the strangest coming of age films. The plot: boy gets mad at mom, runs away from home, becomes king of Wild Things, gets bored and goes home for dinner. End plot. Max Records put in an excellent performance as the boy, contrary to some reports. The creatures are a bit creepy, but iconic as the stills suggest. To grow the story to feature length, we are treated to the personality conflicts of the Wild Things. This seemed to flatten the story a bit, rather than fill it out as they become too recognizable somehow. // The film itself was either projected badly at my cinema, or was itself out of focus half the time and washed out. This film is on my list of Bluray must-buys. // Overall I enjoyed the film. I can't put it in any category really. It is not childrens entertainment. But it is not really a 'mature' look back on childhood, either. Appropriately, it sits awkwardly in between. This film is more suited to older, thoughtful kids. It is a psychodrama for 10 year olds, reflecting back to them their way of thinking and experiencing. If this appeals to you, you must see Where the Wild Things Are. Expand
  55. SanjayG
    Oct 17, 2009
    9
    Well shot, hilarious yet incredible dark at times. Incredible soundtrack. I don't think the kids are going to get it so much. Regardless for those who have been waiting a long time coming, Spike Jonze has made a great film.
  56. DanielW.
    Oct 17, 2009
    10
    Wow. I was not ready for this. I have read the book to all three of my kids, and it has been part of the pantheon of great kids' books that don't pander to children, but rather engage their fears and anxieties, and thus establish a connection with them that is deep and longlasting. Cat in the Hat is another one of these books (child abandonment, anyone?), and it was butchered so Wow. I was not ready for this. I have read the book to all three of my kids, and it has been part of the pantheon of great kids' books that don't pander to children, but rather engage their fears and anxieties, and thus establish a connection with them that is deep and longlasting. Cat in the Hat is another one of these books (child abandonment, anyone?), and it was butchered so egregiously at the movies that the thought that Hollywood was going to have a stab at Sendak was terrifying. Not to worry: Jonze and Eggers, with a mighty musical assist by Karen O. and some wild thing costumes that are wonderfully evocative, come up with an interpretation of the 338 word classic that feels right at every turn. There is an integration of all kinds of narrative and stylistic element that could easily have fallen apart completely (Cassavetes-style naturalism as a vehicle for a fantasy?), and yet they are held together by the integrity of the artists' vision. My 5 year-old daughter has been asking me questions about this movie incessantly since we saw the movie 24 hours ago. It is living with her in a way that no kids movie she has seen thus far has, and it lives with me to. The final, emotionally devastating but entirely earned final scenes are among the most truly moving moments I have had at the movies in years. I can't wait to see the movie again. Expand
  57. PeterJ.
    Oct 18, 2009
    8
    This was a really good movie. I had read the story to my kids many times, and they did a really good job not getting too far away from the book.
  58. ZX
    Nov 8, 2009
    9
    Really something different. Suspenseful, scenically and musically beautiful. The kid was spot on. In fact, all the acting was engaging, even as delivered through the scariest Muppets ever.
  59. KennyM
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    Patricia S., you are stupid. This film is beautiful. Movie popcorn with butter-like chemical sludge is gross.
  60. JacobC
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    A masterful film that perfectly captures the emotional confusion of being a kid. It's not a conventional kid's movie by any means, nor is it a fun family hug-fest. This is a deep, powerful, and emotional film and it's one of the best movies I've ever seen. You owe it to yourself to see this movie
  61. JasonM.
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    Beautiful, intelligent, Genius.
  62. JacobM.
    Oct 18, 2009
    10
    Great movie, some acting issues but very minor.
  63. BillyS.
    Oct 19, 2009
    9
    Cinematic Bliss!
  64. EricK
    Oct 20, 2009
    9
    This movie is not for kids. Take them if you want but most children will not understand and might feel frustrated watching a psycho-analytical drama about youth. As an adult who did not read the book and never will, I truly enjoyed this movie and the way it delivered its message. This movie is about life. Regular life. People speak of Max like he has a terrible childhood and is just a bad This movie is not for kids. Take them if you want but most children will not understand and might feel frustrated watching a psycho-analytical drama about youth. As an adult who did not read the book and never will, I truly enjoyed this movie and the way it delivered its message. This movie is about life. Regular life. People speak of Max like he has a terrible childhood and is just a bad kid. You would be surprised how many kids have behavioral problems or simply put conflict in their lives that they are not sure how to deal with. IT'S LIFE. I thought this movie made us look at things the way a child might in a fictional way that is at times magical, funny and then dark and scary. I loved the way he captured the sense of intense playing with abrupt stopping and then someone being very upset for little or no reason. And it's done in a very unusual way. Expand
  65. PaulSt.
    Oct 21, 2009
    10
    Beautiful, complex and moving. It stayed with me all week.
  66. 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.
  67. 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.
  68. 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.
  69. 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.
  70. 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.
  71. 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. Collapse
  72. 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.
  73. 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
  74. JayrE
    Oct 28, 2009
    10
    Max is autistic.
  75. 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
  76. 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
  77. 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!
  78. 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.
  79. 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.
  80. 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.
  81. 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.
  82. 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.
  83. 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.
  84. 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
  85. GabrielS.
    Oct 17, 2009
    8
    A well built movie! Note: not for kids. Lots and lots and lots of emotional depth. GREAT ACTING.
  86. 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.
  87. 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.
  88. 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.
  89. 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
  90. 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
  91. 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?
  92. 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
  93. 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.
  94. 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.
  95. 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.
  96. 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
  97. RickA
    Oct 29, 2009
    8
    I liked it and found it to be fun and entertaining.
  98. 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
  99. 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.
  100. 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
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.