Metascore
61

Generally favorable reviews - based on 31 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 22 out of 31
  2. Negative: 3 out of 31
  1. Reviewed by: Kevin Carr
    100
    Willard doesn’t try to be great art (although if you really think about it, there are plenty of themes borrowed from “Hamlet,” “The Birds” and “Frankenstein” to name a few). Willard just is.
  2. Reviewed by: Joel Stein
    90
    Glover, as usual, is phenomenal.
  3. 89
    Cooly feral in dark suit and tie, Glover’s the man in the gray flannel suit gone way, way over the edge, and it’s one of the most fully realized screen performances in ages, rats and all.
  4. 83
    The "Citizen Kane" of rat movies makes for a terrific overhaul in this wonderfully entertaining and, yes, touching take on that terribly confused man/child named Willard.
  5. 80
    It's one of many references to the movie-wise, but a resonant one, for Glover's performance turns out to be shockingly emotional, drawn as daringly close to the bone -- within this story's limited thematic range -- as Anthony Perkins' work in Hitchcock's seminal film.
  6. 80
    It only takes rat trainers and CGI artists to create swarms of vermin, but it takes a twisted kind of genius to treat them as equals.
  7. In a culture clogged with appropriated effluvia and remake cop-outs, Willard is wittier and nastier than we deserve.
  8. This is a one-riff movie and instant cult classic.
  9. 75
    Want your skin to crawl? This one's for you.
  10. Reviewed by: Kevin M. Williams
    75
    This faithful resurrection of the original "Willard," a twisted gem in its own right, also is funny.
  11. 75
    Morgan never reaches the heights the film probably would have hit if had been directed by Tim Burton, whose style is frequently evoked -- especially Shirley Walker's playful score, which seems channeled directly from Burton's frequent collaborator Danny Elfman.
  12. A silly, snarling romp -- a fun (if you're in the mood for it), sometimes scary look at the life of a socially awkward man whose best friend is a white rodent he names Socrates.
  13. The new version is actually better. It's still a fairly ham-handed revenge-of-the-nerd horror fable, but you don't go to a movie like Willard for subtlety. You go to be skeeved out by rats, rats, and more rats, and I'm tempted to say that Willard does a fairly rat-tastic job of it.
  14. Has the modesty of a savvy, smart drive-in movie with Hollywood studio polish and a movie buff's loving care.
  15. 70
    Has plenty of dark horror style, but it lacks the weird charm of the 1971 original starring Bruce Davison...It's a nice homage.
  16. The new Willard, which has taken the original's humanity and the psychological validity, leavened with a dollop of dark humor, and replaced them with a technically impressive but essentially heartless spoof.
  17. 63
    There is real wit in Glover's performance. And wit, too, in R. Lee Ermey's performance as the boss, which draws heavily on Ermey's real-life experience as a drill sergeant.
  18. 63
    As filler for the long, dry winter movie season, the movie is more than passable, and its sense of humor has a wicked, unforgiving spin that is decidedly pro-rodent.
  19. Glover, wearing his close-cropped hair in a pompadour and striking beady-eyed, furrow-browed poses that scare the hair off a tarantula, makes it as much fun as a rat revenge movie can be.
  20. Simply twiddling with the fine-tuning on the central character is not enough to warrant remaking a film. Both Glover and Willard deserve better.
  21. The pleasure comes from watching the clever rodents do their stuff. Computerized images have been kept to a minimum, and real animals provide most of the film's atmosphere.
  22. Reviewed by: Mike Clark
    50
    The movie isn't without style, but the material can't remotely sustain 100 minutes.
  23. 50
    As high camp, Willard might have something going for it, but not as a horror movie.
  24. Perhaps too much energy was spent on being stylish rather than simply low-rent horrifying. The upshot is not very stylish and not very scary.
  25. 50
    The chills are functional at best and the attempts at pathos negligible.
  26. 40
    Production-designed within an inch of its life, this remake's best conceit is the casting of Crispin Glover as its socially maladroit rat fancier.
  27. 40
    You're just sitting there, somewhere between mildly amused and fairly bored, watching the filmmakers squander Hollywood's most eccentric character actor and a lot of very fine specimens of the order Rodentia.
  28. Reviewed by: Scott Foundas
    30
    Strictly for the birds.
  29. The worst flaw of Willard is a clunky tone-deaf screenplay based on Gilbert Ralston's original and updated by the director. Barely a line flies by that doesn't land with a wooden thud.
  30. Everything that was modest, soundly grounded and therefore horrifying about the 1971 rodentarama that starred Bruce Davison is now insistent, Grand-Guignol-intense and therefore shrug-offable when it isn't downright awful.

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