Opening

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Alice in Wonderland Reviews

Brian Lowry
Variety
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February 23, 2012
Keith Uhlich
Time Out
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Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 2/5

November 17, 2011
Amy Biancolli
Houston Chronicle
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Its single biggest failing -- an affront to Lewis Carroll and the charms of nonsense literature -- is the fact that it makes sense.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 1.5/4

March 5, 2010
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
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The true three-dimensionality here is the old-fashioned kind -- Wasikowska's fully rounded performance. Throughout the technical razzle-dazzle, we keep returning to the pallor of that face, the gravity in those eyes.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 3/4

March 5, 2010
Tom Long
Detroit News
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A visually imaginative fairy tale that suffers slightly from its predictable course but still manages to wow at all the crucial moments.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B

March 5, 2010
Claire Martin
Denver Post
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Burton and Disney have found a glorious way to interpret fairy tales and fantasies.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 4/4

March 5, 2010
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
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No knockouts here. No tkos, either.

Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor | Original Score: C+

March 5, 2010
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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Much of Carroll's magical nonsense remains, even if Burton's film wobbles at the gates of anarchy and ends up being a more average affair than many might expect.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 3/5

March 5, 2010
Dana Stevens
Slate
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A film adaptation should, of course, treat its source material as inspiration rather than dogma. But did Burton have to get the books so entirely wrong?

Full Review Source: Slate

March 5, 2010
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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A succession of chases and fanciful combats, more akin to Dungeons & Dragons than to Carroll, leads to a peculiarly truncated climax. The 3-D effects are enjoyable, but the added depth can't make up for deficits in the concept or the plot.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

March 5, 2010
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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IBurton and Woolverton pursue a message of self-fulfilment, not as vigorously as they might chase a rabbit but to the same delightful end.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 5, 2010
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
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You leave the theater with a pleasant grin on your face, but by no means is it as wide as the Cheshire Cat's, and that's a shame.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News

March 5, 2010
Thomas Rogers
Salon.com
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I found myself trying so hard to like Alice in Wonderland that the process of watching it exhausted me.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

March 5, 2010
Laremy Legel
Film.com
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Alice in Wonderland is, strangely, about the movie you'd expect based on the talent involved.

Full Review Source: Film.com | Original Score: B

March 5, 2010
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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It's a workmanlike effort that will enchant all but the youngest children while holding the interest of parents. That, by definition, makes for a worthwhile family outing.

Full Review Source: ReelViews | Original Score: 3/4

March 5, 2010
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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When it comes to 3-D visual splendors, give me Wonderland over Pandora any day.

Full Review Source: USA Today

March 4, 2010
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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Burton, one of the great visual artists in Hollywood history, is incapable of making an uninteresting movie. Still, I'm not looking forward to the sequel promised in the last scene.

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 4, 2010
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Even Disney and a PG rating can't bury Burton's subversive wit. Like Carroll, he's a master at dressing up psychic wounds in fantasy.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 4, 2010
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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Indecision haunts every frame. The result is a clattering, hectic spectacle that by the end has run out of inspiration. It's a home for abandoned ideas.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 2/4

March 4, 2010
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Though it has a few moments where you can see Burton's imagination giving way to Disney convention, along with a bit of trademark Burton darkness, the pleasures of Alice are virtually always unexpected.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

March 4, 2010
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Carroll purists are likely to dismiss this Alice as spuriouser and spuriouser. But who expects a faithful adaptation of a literary classic from Timothy Beetlejuice?

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 3/4

March 4, 2010
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The sweetly surreal feeling of those original books has been lost. What always felt like an English garden party gone slightly off has been replaced by the grotesque and the Gothic and the overdone.

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 2/4

March 4, 2010
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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In its big-budget extraordinariness, Alice is awfully...ordinary.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 2/4

March 4, 2010
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Even considering the liberties Burton has taken with the original text, it's tempting to think that Carroll himself would consider him an altogether frabjous match.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

March 4, 2010
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
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It's just hard to know why Mr. Burton, who doesn't seem much interested in Alice, bothered.

Full Review Source: New York Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 4, 2010
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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So how's the movie? Mostly frabjous. The visual palette is more artfully riotous than that of other Alice films, the performances more zestful.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

March 4, 2010
James Rocchi
MSN Movies
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Combines the heavy-handed clamminess of unneeded brand remarketing with the hateful hollowness of overdone and empty computer-generated imagery. ... With Burton's uninspired, underdone and underwritten version, you only feel like you're watching money.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 0/5

March 4, 2010
Keith Phipps
AV Club
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Gone: the liquid reality of dreams and a sense that anything can happen. In its place: another story of quests, destinies, and chosen ones.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C+

March 4, 2010
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
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One pill makes you larger and one pill makes you small, and the pills Tim Burton gives you don't do very much at all.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 2/5

March 4, 2010
Chris Vognar
Dallas Morning News
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[Depp's] wide eyes and high whimsy feel a bit derivative of his Willy Wonka (another collaboration with Burton), but he invests so much of his ample energy and instinct in these roles that it's hard to complain.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: 4/5

March 4, 2010
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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"Frabjous" may be a word Carroll invented, but Burton knows just what it means, at least in his own mind. He's clearly excited to invite us inside, and as long as you're open to so much muchness, you'll be very glad he did.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/5

March 4, 2010
Christopher Rosen
New York Observer
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It might be time for Johnny Depp and Tim Burton to start thinking about seeing other people.

Full Review Source: New York Observer | Original Score: 1/4

March 4, 2010
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Here's a riddle: What's Alice in Wonderland without wonder? It's a beloved character landing in the rubble of wrong-headed revisionism.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 2/4

March 4, 2010
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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Alice in Wonderland isn't quite the natural fit of director and material that it seemed to be on paper, but most of Burton's recent movies have been far more disappointing.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 2.5/4

March 4, 2010
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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Its best and strangest interludes assert Burton's skills as a fantasist, as well as Depp's as a squirrely, inventive character actor.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

March 4, 2010
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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Alice plays better as an adult hallucination, which is how Burton rather brilliantly interprets it until a pointless third act flies off the rails.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3/4

March 4, 2010
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
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It looks like a CGI head trip gone postapocalyptic. In the film's rather humdrum 3-D, the place doesn't dazzle -- it droops.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: C

March 3, 2010
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Purists will squeal, but it's a workable and watchable liberty to take with an oft-filmed yet impossible to film novel.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 3/4

March 3, 2010
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
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Carroll purists and freshman English majors may be aghast at the change in story, but for those who watched Avatar and marveled at the images but were left wanting by the wooden acting and tired story, Alice is a treat.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

March 3, 2010
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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Burton's Alice is just another anachronistic feminist tearing down Victorian patriarchal norms. Even her -- [shudder] -- Avril Lavigne-blared theme song is a skin-deep grrrl-power accessory.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York | Original Score: 2/5

March 3, 2010
Jake Coyle
Associated Press
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Though Burton's film boasts some excellent performances, as the caterpillar says to our heroine, it's merely "almost Alice."

Full Review Source: Associated Press

March 2, 2010
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
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The new Alice is casually absurd, off-handed in its violence, and doggedly on message. The movie is not just three-dimensional but blatantly programmatic.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

March 2, 2010
A.O. Scott
At the Movies
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A really interesting movie.

Full Review Source: At the Movies

March 1, 2010
David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
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Burton, bless him, knows you can't CG a soul.

Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture

March 1, 2010
Todd McCarthy
Variety
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Alice in Wonderland has its moments of delight, humor and bedazzlement. But it also becomes more ordinary as it goes along, building to a generic battle climax similar to any number of others in CGI-heavy movies of the past few years.

Full Review Source: Variety

February 25, 2010
Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
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A fantastical romp that proves every bit as transporting as that movie about the blue people of Pandora, his Alice is more than just a gorgeous 3D sight to behold.

February 25, 2010
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