Twentieth Century Fox | Release Date: April 17, 1987 CRITIC SCORE DISTRIBUTION
Generally favorable reviews based on 15 Critics
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There's something delicious in the way Kaplan, who has been working carefully and naturalistically, suddenly gives in to the excess the screenplay has been inviting all along--the shudder of pleasure that comes with a loss of control. Making a movie isn't only a question of doing everything right, but also of knowing when to make a meaningful misstep. [17 Apr 1987, p.A]
The drama is predictable, and the confrontations lack rational dialogue. In other words, this is just of the sort of movie that a 9-year-old would probably enjoy. [1 May 1987, p.A]
Kudos to the production team for finding a perfect chimp for the lead role. Little Virgil has a look of such perfect solemnity and clearness of intent that not only do we not doubt that he could fly a plane, but we begin to suspect that he could craft a better script as well. [17 Apr 1987, p.D1]
Project X is a predictable, sappy Save The Monkeys movie. [17 Apr 1987, p.1D]
The original screenplay by Stanley Weiser (based on a story by Weiser and Lasker) offers intriguing situations, and Jonathan Kaplan's direction hurries the action along. Perhaps because he has covered the same territory before, Broderick's performance is surprisingly flat. Helen Hunt fares better, especially in her scenes with Willie. [18 June 1987]
Along the way, director Jonathan Kaplan (Over the Edge, Heart Like a Wheel) deftly extracts from Virgil's predicament rivers of the milk of human kindness and encourages excellent performances from Broderick (Ferris Bueller is old enough to smoke and drink beer legally in this one, but he still looks like a kid) and Helen Hunt, Virgil's Wisconsin trainer. [20 Apr 1987]