User Score
8.7

Universal acclaim- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 38 out of 41
  2. Negative: 1 out of 41
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  1. Joel
    May 5, 2003
    10
    To ask of this movie more from it's story, plot or arc, is to miss the fact that it is to be experienced. To that end, it is the most beautiful experience I've had in a movie in a very long time.
  2. BradY.
    Jun 20, 2003
    10
    A tour de force. how the 14 cinematographers managed to film this is amazing. the effect is outstanding. the viewer soars with these marvelous, incredible flying spirits!
  3. Elliott
    Aug 4, 2003
    10
    An undeniable masterpiece. To think that the amateurishly made Bowling for Columbine actually won the Oscar over this, or even Spellbound, is shocking. A crime against humanity, or birds, I should say. Note: The MPAA rating should not have been G for reasons reviewers already noted. But that has nothing to do with the quality of the film. It should be seen by all above the age of say, An undeniable masterpiece. To think that the amateurishly made Bowling for Columbine actually won the Oscar over this, or even Spellbound, is shocking. A crime against humanity, or birds, I should say. Note: The MPAA rating should not have been G for reasons reviewers already noted. But that has nothing to do with the quality of the film. It should be seen by all above the age of say, eight years. Expand
  4. Anne
    Feb 1, 2004
    7
    When I saw this movie in the theatres I was amazed and moved. I work with migratory birds and was pleased that the movie was depicted from the bird's point of view. However, when the DVD was released I was anxious to see how these great achievments were accomplished so close to wild birds. I was dismayed and upset to see that they imprinted birds to make this movie. I felt it was When I saw this movie in the theatres I was amazed and moved. I work with migratory birds and was pleased that the movie was depicted from the bird's point of view. However, when the DVD was released I was anxious to see how these great achievments were accomplished so close to wild birds. I was dismayed and upset to see that they imprinted birds to make this movie. I felt it was disney all over again and now wonder what happened to the birds after the movie was completed. Another exploitation of animals for human entertainment. Shame on you! Expand
  5. ScottN.
    Nov 21, 2003
    8
    This movie does have stunning visuals, and mind-blowing perspectives on birds in flight. But, if you watch the DVD features, such as the making of, you'll realize that most scenes were very contrived and staged, even if birds do migrate through those environments. Examples are the geese in Monument Valley, and the others plopped into the fierce windchill in the Himalaya, or the This movie does have stunning visuals, and mind-blowing perspectives on birds in flight. But, if you watch the DVD features, such as the making of, you'll realize that most scenes were very contrived and staged, even if birds do migrate through those environments. Examples are the geese in Monument Valley, and the others plopped into the fierce windchill in the Himalaya, or the surprise landing on the French Navy ship. Thankfully, the filmmakers openly acknowledge this on the DVD, and one can understand and accept that they had to stage things to have any chance at all of filming these scenes. But I think the viewer should be "warned" of this beforehand, so they don't think the film makers had the most amazing luck and coincidence in being at the right place at the right time. If you can accept how it was made, and indeed it was incredible how they made this film, then it is highly enjoyable. Expand
  6. AlfredG.
    Jun 6, 2003
    10
    A masterpiece. I rate it three Academy award. It does have three minor flaws. l) I miss words in the comm entry of Jacques Perrin; he should have hired a voice over. 2) The parrot escapting is a phony set-up, and 3) he stripped in a scene from a sattalite photo as a backdrop. Shouldn't do that in a documentary.
  7. Jinny
    Jul 16, 2003
    10
    I've seen it three times; I'll see it again. If there were an eleven, I'd give it a twelve. Even my non-birding friends loved it! It's just not like anything else, and it's not only about birds. You will smile and sing and fly.
  8. Michelle
    Aug 12, 2003
    10
    Stunning! I felt like I took the amazing journey along with the birds. The film is a beautiful, informative, and riveting work of art. Every age would enjoy this!
  9. Deborah
    Aug 25, 2003
    10
    Yes, I'm sure there is always a person who can find flaws in even the best of things......... The beauty of this film is what matters....... how very beautiful nature is in the midst of so much to the contrary.
  10. MarkC.
    Sep 17, 2003
    10
    A beautiful and very wonderful film! A true classic with emotions and awesome views making this one not to be missed! I paid to see it twice! (I have never done this before with any film!)
  11. PaulaW.
    Mar 19, 2005
    9
    Gigantic technical achievement, visually lovely. An important piece of work.
  12. MatttetH.
    Oct 3, 2003
    10
    Unbelievable and sad at times.
  13. K.M.
    May 12, 2003
    5
    This film has many moments of truly stunning camera work. Nobody can deny this whatsoever. But it is curious to me why this documentary has been packaged up and, ultimately, so well received by the art house cinema goers. Why this and why now? The birds-in-flight sequences are certainly wowing, undeniably, but there have been years of worthy footage shot by unsung or ignored This film has many moments of truly stunning camera work. Nobody can deny this whatsoever. But it is curious to me why this documentary has been packaged up and, ultimately, so well received by the art house cinema goers. Why this and why now? The birds-in-flight sequences are certainly wowing, undeniably, but there have been years of worthy footage shot by unsung or ignored documentarists. This film tries to be too much. It would be a soaring success if left to its true intent as a beautifully shot documentation of migratory birds (but, um, neither Golden Eagles nor Snowy Owls fall into that category folks). Instead, the film is also used as a stage to sneak in a few morality jabs. They come across as completely contrived and nowhere near as arresting as those explored in the QATSI series or Baraka. With the exception of the Eastern European factory complex sequence (which I think is well done), the leaky truck, the combines, and the jailbird parrot scenes devolve their ultimate intent to mere hokiness. It comes across as way too staged, plain and simply. Another weakness is that the film relies on the aw-how-cute-look-at-the-fuzzy-chicks syndrome. I'll grant that this is terribly hard to avoid as far as educating a global audience out of their ingrained anthropomorphic emotions and in to notions that even majestic creatures are a natural food source. Not a single person in the audience peeped when fish or frogs were captured and eaten. Quite the antithesis when a group of crabs closes in on a wounded bird. But perhaps the cheapest shot mixed up in this documentary are the few political jabs taken by the creators. Again, with the exception of the one sequence in Eastern Europe, all the man-made dangers migratory birds encounter happen to be conveniently in America. Then you have the requisite hunting scenes, referred to in the credits as "all taking place in North America where it happens daily". That's not false, but it's recklessly only a fraction of the truth. As if nobody hunts birds anywhere else on the planet? The narrative is inane and completely superfluous; detracting the splendid visuals with an odd throwback to elementary school educational filmstrips. And the music is plain awfull. The drek of new age. This could have been outstanding. But it's far from. Expand
  14. Joe
    May 23, 2003
    8
    It's hypnotic for about an hour until the penguins show up (and I love penguins). Then you really start to feel your butt falling asleep. Honestly, this movie is made for bird-lovers, cinematographers and stoners.
  15. GFB.
    May 8, 2003
    10
    A movie of great beauty and substance.
  16. BenA.
    Jan 1, 2004
    8
    THis movie was very enjoyable. I want to put a tv and dvd player in my bedroom and just fall asleep to it. That's not to say its boring. Its just to say its quiet and calming. It has this mellow music, and almost no narroration. Im sure it would be a pleasant sleep. See this movie. It will probably relieve your stress.
  17. Adriennek-g.
    Jul 10, 2004
    10
    "Winged Migration" is an extraordinary documentary and should be seen by all who love birds, and or documentaries. The cinematography that this film presented was genius and wonderfully executed by the directors Jacques Cluzand, Michel Debates, and Jacques Perrin. I stongly believe that all should see and taste what a good movie is by watching "Winged Migration."
  18. [Anonymous]
    Jan 31, 2005
    10
    Just too Gooood!!!
  19. armandos.
    Apr 7, 2005
    10
    The best bird documentary I have ever seen. The images of nature inspire awe in the viewer. There is little need for narrration-a plea to preserve the wetlands crucial for the migrating birds.
  20. GuyM.
    Jun 26, 2006
    10
    Absolutely marvelous movie and overall effort.
  21. ChadS.
    Jul 24, 2003
    6
    Some viewers may wish the filmmakers saved that injured bird from the sandcrabs. They can't hide behind the documentary filmmaking tenet of remaining objective because that parrot jailbreak looks staged. The penguin sequence is problematic too. After a penguin baby is killed, we see its guts all over the scavenger bird's body. The next shot is of a penguin, presumably its Some viewers may wish the filmmakers saved that injured bird from the sandcrabs. They can't hide behind the documentary filmmaking tenet of remaining objective because that parrot jailbreak looks staged. The penguin sequence is problematic too. After a penguin baby is killed, we see its guts all over the scavenger bird's body. The next shot is of a penguin, presumably its mother, looking up at the sky as if in anguish. We don't know for sure if this bird is reacting to the murder. It feels a little manipulative. Granted, the proximity the filmmakers got to these feather machines is astonishing, but you sort of wish there were some long takes of a bird in flight so the viewer could really experience the vicarious miracle of being airborne. And no way should "Winged Migration" be rated G. Bambi's mother was animated. Expand
  22. MichaelT.
    Jul 25, 2003
    10
    An amasingly beautiful piece of art. Impecably shot and elegantly narrated. Incredible technique. I will try to purchase a copy.
  23. MatthieuR.
    Aug 13, 2003
    8
    I) To all those who complain that this movie shouldn't be G-rated: death is a part of life. The sooner kids understand this, the better off they will be. Saturday morning cartoons are more insidious than this film. II)This documentary is visually stunning, but really provides little in the way of facts, commentary or general knowledge. Just pretty pictures. As such, Bowling for I) To all those who complain that this movie shouldn't be G-rated: death is a part of life. The sooner kids understand this, the better off they will be. Saturday morning cartoons are more insidious than this film. II)This documentary is visually stunning, but really provides little in the way of facts, commentary or general knowledge. Just pretty pictures. As such, Bowling for Columbine deserved to win the Oscar, and did. III) Some shots are contrived, and the music borders on the cheesy and manipulative. Expand
  24. UnbearableLightness
    Dec 16, 2003
    10
    Although I was strongly urged by friends to see this movie when it was in theatres I waited until the dvd release... which I realize now was a huge mistake. I was deeply moved, which is amazing considering 90% of the movie is simply music and footage of birds. I haven't been able to stop talking about this movie since I finished watching it. I was also very excited to hear Nick Cave Although I was strongly urged by friends to see this movie when it was in theatres I waited until the dvd release... which I realize now was a huge mistake. I was deeply moved, which is amazing considering 90% of the movie is simply music and footage of birds. I haven't been able to stop talking about this movie since I finished watching it. I was also very excited to hear Nick Cave singing at the end of the movie. Amazing. Expand
Metascore
82

Universal acclaim - based on 34 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 32 out of 34
  2. Negative: 0 out of 34
  1. 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.
  2. The results are exhilarating, thrilling, and extend the wingspan.
  3. 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.