Metascore
71

Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 354 Ratings

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  • Starring: , ,
  • Summary: The film tells the story of Max, a rambunctious and sensitive boy who feels misunderstood at home and escapes to where the Wild Things are. Max lands on an island where he meets mysterious and strange creatures whose emotions are as wild and unpredictable as their actions. The Wild Things desperately long for a leader to guide them, just as Max longs for a kingdom to rule. When Max is crowned king, he promises to create a place where everyone will be happy. Max soon finds, though, that ruling his kingdom is not so easy and his relationships there prove to be more complicated than he originally thought. (Warner Bros.) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37
  1. 100
    Jonze has filmed a fantasy as if it were absolutely real, allowing us to see the world as Max sees it, full of beauty and terror. The brilliant songs, by Karen O (of the Yeah Yeah Yeahs) and the Kids, enhance the film's power.
  2. 100
    What he’s (Jonze) ended up with strikes me as one of the most empathic and psychologically acute of all movies about childhood -- a "Wizard of Oz" for the dysfunctional-family era.
  3. Reviewed by: Josh Modell
    91
    Spike Jonze has recently said in interviews that his chief goal ...was to try to capture the feeling of being 9. By that measure--by just about any measure, really--he succeeded wildly.
  4. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    This version of Where the Wilds Things Are isn’t about childhood at all but about childhood’s end and what’s gained and lost by it. That’s why very young kids, dull Disney princesses, overprotective parents, and self-serious grown-ups should probably stay away.
  5. To their credit, the creative team has retained the handmade look and unruly spirit of Maurice Sendak's bedtime fable; to their discredit, they haven't added enough narrative or emotional dimension to make it an effective movie.
  6. 50
    In their overly earnest attempt to flesh Sendak’s story out to 100 minutes, Jonze and his co-screenwriter, novelist Dave Eggers, have laboriously spelled out motivations (divorce is bad!), elaborated back stories -- and added reams of less-than-inspired dialogue.
  7. When faced as a director with the rudderless screenplay he (Jonze) co-wrote with Eggers, he's been powerless to energize it in any involving way. Sometimes you are better off with 10 sentences than tens of millions of dollars, and this is one of those times.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Negative: 64 out of 189
  1. ChandlerW.
    Oct 16, 2009
    10
    Excellent film. Truly moving. Great story, plot, moral. A must see for everybody!
  2. 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. Collapse
  3. 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 . 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
  4. 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 interesting look keep the attention up. Soundtrack is spot-on. Expand
  5. AnonymousMC
    Oct 20, 2009
    4
    I'm going to go ahead and agree with everyone else; visually, this movie is stunning. Aside from that, I didn't like it. The whole movie was largely forgettable and boring. The music is distracting and it often took me a minute to discern the music from the actual audio of the film. The events are disconnected and just sort of happen one after another with no real flow or sense of plot. More than that, though, the movie seems to illustrate the point that life is terrible and no matter what you do to try and fix it, it will only get worse. Certainly not a message for a kids movie. And on that note, the movie seems to reward bad behavior more than it does anything else. The boy throws a tantrum for no reason and is gifted a kingdom. When he returns home, he gets cake. We leave the movie with nothing resolved, and I myself was annoyed.

    It's apparent that many people liked this film. I want to say people liked it because they expected to. I personally would recommend watching the trailer instead. It's much more moving and exciting than the film was.
    Expand
  6. DavidS
    Mar 17, 2010
    2
    First: Why did so many reviewers suggest this might be a kids' movie? It's a kid's movie for your wounded inner child. Spike Jonze said he wanted to capture how it was to be nine years old. Well, he succeeded, and maybe that's why I hate this movie so much. Nine for me meant divorce, yelling parents, separation, uncertainty and anxiety. I read books like "Wild Things" to imagine a place beyond all that. But the stressful home Max leaves (like mine) is Oz compared to the mopey, violent, joyless land of emo muppets he lands on. There is nothing bright or delightful about this world or this movie and Max is never in command of anything, but always fearful and sad. And yes, that was my nine, but that doesn't mean it makes a good movie. Especially when nothing happens, and for a long time. Masking the misery with indie-star voices and achy hipster tunes doesn't make it gold. "Wild Things" is painful and boring. Expand
  7. SawyerC.
    Oct 17, 2009
    0
    DEPRESSING! DARK! AWFUL!

See all 189 User Reviews

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