User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 354 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Negative: 98 out of 354

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  1. Sep 1, 2014
    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.
  2. Aug 15, 2014
    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.
  3. Jun 29, 2014
    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.
  4. May 13, 2014
    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.
  5. Jan 5, 2014
    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.
  6. Dec 19, 2013
    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.
  7. Nov 8, 2013
    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
  8. Sep 7, 2013
    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 interesting look keep the attention up. Soundtrack is spot-on. Expand
  9. Aug 1, 2013
    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 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
  10. Jun 16, 2013
    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.
  11. Mar 26, 2013
    Now, yes. Many people.. are going to disagree with me, go ahead, hate me. I don't like this movie. I DESPISE THIS MOVIE!!! This is just too dark, too dark (by this part, I mean literally, JUST LOOK AT THE BACKGROUND PEOPLE!!!), and what is pretty much one of the worst costumes on a person for a kids movie, this movie is unappealing and is too dark for a children's movie. And I wanted to give it a chance, because when I was a little kid (or even a baby), this was one one of my favourite books, and you people are giving me this, how disgraceful. Expand
  12. Aug 17, 2012
    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
  13. Aug 13, 2012
    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.
  14. Mar 22, 2012
    The book is my all-time favorite children's story and still holds up as a wonderful tale well into my adulthood. So forgive me if I take it a little personally when (the normally competent and entertaining) Spike Jonze comes along and turns it into a complete bore. On top of being a snoozer, the world of the Wild Things is as stale and spartan as you can get... the complete opposite of the lush world created by Maurice Sendak. There are also moments of scariness that I don't believe young children should see despite it's questionable PG rating. So yeah, it's a kids' movie that's unsuitable for younger kids. Good call on that one, Spike. Altogether a huge, thudding disappointment that I would like to say would have Mr. Sendak rolling in his grave... except he's still alive... and he has a producer credit in the film. So an unfortunate big thumbs down to one of my literary heroes. :(.... Expand
  15. Oct 28, 2011
    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.
  16. Oct 8, 2011
    "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.
  17. Sep 28, 2011
    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
  18. Sep 14, 2011
    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.
  19. Jun 27, 2011
    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.
  20. Apr 9, 2011
    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.
  21. Feb 6, 2011
    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 work with, pulling a half decent movie from it was impressive. Expand
  22. Feb 2, 2011
    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 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
  23. Jan 20, 2011
    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.

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  24. Dec 18, 2010
    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 film version is a total failure and major disappointment. Expand
  25. Nov 2, 2010
    If you are a fan of this book, or if your kids are just now becoming fans of the book, please do not let them watch this movie, it will ruin the book for them. This movie does no justice to it. The only way you could watch this movie and maybe enjoy it a bit is if you had nothing better to do and you rented this movie. Otherwise stay way.
  26. Oct 19, 2010
    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 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
  27. Aug 30, 2010
    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 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.
  28. Aug 16, 2010
    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.

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.