Winged Migration


Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34

Where To Watch

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Critic Reviews

  1. Stays in the mind, changing the way we look at the world.
  2. 100
    By the end of the film, one begins to recognize specific birds, rooting for their safe returns and saddened by some of their failures.
  3. 100
    Watching this movie, you can dream with open eyes.
  4. This French documentary gives us unprecedented intimacy and sweep.
  5. What an extraordinary idea it was to make this film. What a splendid achievement.
  6. 90
    Birds are not just the movie's stars, but its whole universe. They inspire in Perrin and his crew, and in us, not just awe but humility. You'll never look at them the same way again.
  7. 90
    The most astounding cinematic testament to flock mentality since Hitchcock's "The Birds."
  8. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    A magnificent documentary that flies us along with migratory birds on their intercontinental travels, it's the polar opposite -- North Pole, South Pole and all latitudes in between -- of modern feature films that rely on special effects.
  9. Reviewed by: Lisa Nesselson
    Visually stunning, practically dialogue-free and very family-friendly.
  10. Reviewed by: Richard Schickel
    Intellectually austere but technologically and aesthetically riveting documentary.
  11. It's not the enormous undertaking that impresses so much as the sheer ecstasy of flight and the ability of Perrin's team to catch it.
  12. 90
    Mysteries still surround many aspects of bird migration. This film unravels exactly none of them. Rather, in some of the most remarkable footage you'll ever see, the film lets you look over the shoulders of migrating birds.
  13. 88
    Leaves you in a state of stunned, exhilarated awe, both for what it shows and how it shows it.
  14. The results require immense patience but also reward it immensely.
  15. 88
    The result is a movie miracle; it soars.
  16. 83
    Somewhat marred by Bruno Coulais' treacly New Age score -- as well as by Perrin's somewhat daft and repetitive narration. But the key word is "somewhat." In the main, Winged Migration is an unforgettable piece of moviemaking.
  17. Absolutely breathtaking documentary whose close-up shots of birds in flight are so freakishly intimate that the film is compelled to open with the statement they're not special effects.
  18. 80
    The fractured structure, which moves from one species to another while following a generally chronological overall arc, can occasionally leave your mind to wandering, but for a film with no plot or characters to focus on it is remarkably gripping.
  19. At its best, Winged Migration is a marvel, and if that seems like a gee-whiz word, that's because this film has a lot to be gee-whiz about.
  20. 80
    The score is appropriately ethereal. From the Paris skyline to the Great Wall of China, the film's locales on every continent are rarely less than breathtaking. Calling the camerawork stunning, of course, is an understatement.
  21. 80
    Astonishing both for the beauty of the birds and for its sheer technical brilliance.
  22. The results are exhilarating, thrilling, and extend the wingspan.
  23. 75
    A thrillingly vicarious experience that answers a primal urge to join our feathered friends as they soar and glide in the blue beyond.
  24. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    If it were any more real - if it were Imax, say -- the audience would be molting.
  25. 75
    Jacques Perrin's Oscar-nominated Winged Migration does for birds what the 1996 documentary "Microcosmos" did for insects: It looks at them intimately, very close up, in shots that seem impossible to explain.
  26. It may sound facetious, but Winged Migration provides such an intense vicarious experience of being a flapping airborne creature with the wind in its ears that you leave the theater feeling like an honorary member of another species.
  27. Jacques Perrin's Winged Migration is merely about birds, and though you learn less about the various species Perrin circled the globe to document than you might from an afternoon with Animal Planet, you become intensely chummy with the process and labor of flying.
  28. Parts of this film are as blandly lulling as a mood tape, but at best it’s a literally soaring experience.
  29. As moving wallpaper, Winged Migration is the cat’s meow: One almost wishes the wondrous images had been filmed in the even bigger IMAX format. But as an informative documentary, Winged Migration’s birdbrain comes to the fore.
  30. Makes a case that despite human inability to empathize with the emotional lives of other animals and creatures and to believe they are here only to serve our needs and convenience, birds are as capable of courage, violence, affection and commitment to family as we are.

Awards & Rankings

User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 23 out of 24
  2. Negative: 0 out of 24
  1. GuyM.
    Jun 26, 2006
    Absolutely marvelous movie and overall effort.