Alice in Wonderland Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ March 5, 2010
Classic Tim Burton with great acting. Everyone in this movie looked like they were having so much fun doing it and it showed. We saw this in Digital 3d and to be honest the 3d may not even have been needed. It looks like digital screening of this would suffice. It would be a wonderful visual feast.
Super Reviewer
½ September 2, 2012
I liked the plot. The movie made more sense than Lewis Carroll's book. I didn't mind the computer graphics or the acting.
paul o.
Super Reviewer
½ January 3, 2011
Such a disappointment! Tim Burton just slaughtered the story and the 3-d was horrible! Johnny Depp was alright, same goes for Mia Wasikowska. Just a waste of my money and a large hole of hate growing for Tim Burton! The story had no heart and the over exaggeration in CGI wasnt helping.
Samuel Riley
Super Reviewer
July 2, 2012
This is one of the hardest films for me to confirm whether its a good film or not. Firstly, the name is false advertised; I belileve it was going to be a fresh remake, instead its a unnecessary sequel to the books. Secondly, the acting cast was a hit and miss. While Mia Wasikowska makes a unique protagonist, Johnny Depp is once again placed into a character which doesn't fit him. There are times when he sound more like 'Captain Jack Sparrow'. Helena Bonham Carter does make a strong villian as the Red Queen. However, the key successes for this film are its stunning effects and its voice cast. From Alan Rickman, to Stephen Fry, Timothy Spall, Barbara Windsor and Michael Sheen. The positives and negatives are so balanced, I wouldn't say its Tim Burton's best, but its definetely worth a try.
Super Reviewer
½ March 1, 2010
This is definitely Burton's own version of the classic story, and, it's mostly an adequate one. The celebratory dance at the end was a little too over-the-top and silly, and I think the plot was a bit thin, however, the performacnes are wild and creepy and fun (if a bit much at times) and the look and art direction, though typical of Burton's work, are fantastic. I wasn't bored, but this really didn't wow me. It gets high marks for what works, but overall is still kinda average and shows Burton stuck in neutral instead of continuing to crusie at such a high level after Sweeney Todd.
Super Reviewer
February 22, 2011
The OG "Alice in Wonderland" cartoon edition, was a movie that kinda puzzled me. I didn't understand why it had such a large following behind it because it was transparently obvious that there were many drug references with some of the most strangest ideas. The live action version comes along and I've gotta say, there are two things in this movie that are superbly done: Johnny Depp's acting and the cinematography. Johnny Depp, who plays as the Mad Hatter, is so engrossed in the character that you can hardly recognize that it is Johnny Depp. Absolutely phenomenal. The cinematography is pitch-dark with rich and vibrant colors and ideas. However, the plot fails to steer the audiences into its story correctly due to poor emphasis on key plot elements and hard-to-hear dialogue. After a second viewing with subtitles, I understood what the movie was trying to shoot for, but sadly, it failed.
Super Reviewer
½ October 28, 2011
I kinda liked it. Interesting adaptation, though a little too inappropriate to be PG. I could not imagine watching this movie with the children I babysit.
Super Reviewer
½ October 2, 2011
I liked it, but I feel like it did not pay enough homage to the original. In that sense this film is flawed.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2011
Alice in Wonderland is a boring and unimaginative film, its dark and weird, but the effects are still amzing. Alice (Mia Wasikowaska) falls down a rabbit hole and is brought to world called Wonderland, and is told by the things there she is the savior to the evil Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter). The plot was boring, cheesy, and stupid, and is truly not a step up for Burton. The cast, escpically Mia, are very boring and dull, and the voice acting wasn't that great either, except from Rickman as the caterpillar. The effects and music and makeup are the highlight of the film, but that is not enough to save a failure of a film. Alice in Wonderland is a bad movie, but its not completely hopeless.
Super Reviewer
½ June 23, 2011
It was ok, but that's about it. I got bored after a while and was suprised it was only an hour and 49 minutes long. It seemed much longer and dragged on far too long than it should have. Average.
Super Reviewer
½ May 2, 2011
Yuck, this movie is a) really boring and long, b) really disgusting and CGI-masturbatory, and c) kind of mean spirited. I'm really sad about this too because I had really looked forward to seeing this.
Super Reviewer
½ June 7, 2010
I'm tempted to just mark this down as a failure and call it a day. I liked the sinister feel of it, in that even the "good guys" seemed to have a bit of a dark side. And it looked OK (although I'm tiring of Tim Burton's "style"). But the performances were mediocre at best, with Helena Bonham-Carter's Red Queen particularly flat and uninspired, and I was unimpressed with Danny Elfman's score. With the exception of the Cheshire Cat (voiced by Stephen Fry), Matt Lucas' dual roles as Tweedledee and Tweedledum, and a couple of tolerable scenes involving the Mad Hatter, I was pretty much left unmoved. I'm thankful for the relatively short running time. And what the hell was up with that stupid "Thriller"-style dance that Johnny Depp's Mad Hatter did towards the end? Did I miss something? The dance and the music for same completely threw the film off-balance for me, and annoyed the crap out of me to boot.

As an aside, am I the only one who got a distinct "Wizard of Oz" vibe from this film? Not in the fantasy production values, but rather in the story elements? We have a girl who travels to a fantasy dreamland, dream characters that show up in similar form in real life, good and bad queens/witches, armies who help the bad queen/witch. Or was that the whole point?
Daniel Mumby
Super Reviewer
February 15, 2011
There's been a lot of nonsense written about Tim Burton in the past few months. Way in advance of Alice in Wonderland's release, detractors from all sides were bemoaning his supposed decline, accusing him of everything from selling out to never being any good in the first place.

In the face of this huge backlash, most of it unwarranted and much of it stupid, I wanted to be the one to stand up for Tim Burton. After all, his last three films - Big Fish, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory and Sweeney Todd - have all been great, and the latter is on a par with his masterpiece Ed Wood. But all good things must come to an end, and in the case of Alice in Wonderland the end is quite a bitter one.

What makes Alice in Wonderland so depressing is that there is so much potential within both the story and Burton's approach to it. Both the original novels are about the role of childhood fantasies in preparing one for the traumas of adult life. The heroine is an outsider who doesn't fit into the world being designed for her - she is a classic Burton protagonist in the manner of Winona Ryder in Edward Scissorhands. And considering his knack for creating dark and exuberant visual worlds, Burton would seem the ideal choice for the drug-induced majesty of Lewis Carroll.

But in spite of all the good omens, the finished product is as banal and directionless as Terry Gilliam's The Brothers Grimm. Both films appear on the surface to be the directors' dream project, considering Gilliam's fascination with fairy tales which stretches back to Jabberwocky. But both Grimm and Alice are clear examples of an artistic, distinctive and often mad director having their visions suppressed or suffocated in favour of a bloated and anodyne mainstream blockbuster.

For starters, the script for Alice in Wonderland is little short of pathetic. Its relationship to Carroll's works is at best stand-offish and at worst completely patronising - it borrows famous lines (like the Mad Hatter's riddle) and then rephrases them in such a way that sucks all the fun and insanity out. This becomes all the more shocking when we discover it's written by Linda Woolverton, who wrote Beauty and the Beast and co-wrote The Lion King. How could someone who made her name retuning fairy tales for family audiences have got this one so damn wrong?

The biggest crime of the script, however, is not its contempt for Carroll's language. The biggest crime is that all the central ideas of both the novels and Burton's work are swiftly trampled underfoot, in favour of something a lot more generic and predictable. All the ideas about Alice being independent are quickly overruled by the central plot involving the compendium: one cannot be independent if your destiny is predetermined. In the face of this revelation, Alice as a character descends into the very thing that Burton sought to avoid: despite the best efforts of Mia Wasikowska, she comes across as little more than a sniffy, spoilt brat.

The central plot of this 'reimagining' of Alice is also massively derivative. The idea of a plot built around the poem 'Jabberwocky' was handled, albeit unevenly, in the Gilliam film, while having Alice re-enter the fantasy world of her youth is a blatant rip-off of The Chronicles of Narnia. Then there is the design of the White Queen's castle, which looks like a cross between Lothlorien and Minas Tirith, and various elements lifted from the Harry Potter saga - the final battle on the chess board recalls The Philosopher's Stone, while the design and defeat of the bandersnatch owes something to the basilisk in Chamber of Secrets.

The problem with all these derivative details is that the twisted, quirky and often creepy darkness of Burton's work can't get a word in edgeways. Despite occasional design elements which are quintessential Burton, this has none of the strange whimsy of the original Disney version, nor the haunting and absurdist quality of Jonathan Miller's take. There are also very few attempts to address how Wonderland (or Under-land) has changed since Alice left: we get a flashback sequence with a village being burned, but not much else. Even when the characters become fractured, like the Mad Hatter changing accents, it's played as a gimmick instead of a lead-in to something more substantial.

What we end up with is a film with all the structure and balance of a rollercoaster. The script keeps hurling us in four different directions, and we can't stop for more than two minutes without something exploding or being hurled at the screen. The film never quietens down for long enough to let the story work on its own terms, and with the exception of The Cheshire Cat (voiced by Stephen Fry), the characters rarely resemble anything more than one-trick ponies. This is the legacy of Pirates of the Caribbean, producing a film which even at 108 minutes feels bloated, baggy and boring.

Then there is the 3D to consider. Many individual shots in Alice in Wonderland seem to have been designed solely for the 3D version - something that is obvious even when watching in 2D. The extended sequence of Alice falling down the rabbit hole, or the Mad Hatter's flying drapes, or even the floating Cheshire Cat, add nothing to the story and feel bolted on, much like the 3D itself: the film was shot against green-screen and then retro-fitted in post-production. The experience of shooting so much in green-screen actually made several of the actors nauseous, and there are endless examples in the finished film of mismatched eye-lines and bad continuity, of the kind that you thought only George Lucas was capable of doing.

The role of CGI in the composition of special effects hints at the major deficiency in Burton's visual approach. When he was making his early films with entirely mechanical effects, there was always a feeling in the back of one's mind that the limitations of animatronics and make-up meant that only so much of his unique vision was finding its way out of his head and onto the screen. As the role of CGI has grown in harmony with organic effects, more and more of Burton's designs have been physical realised in a way which was both elaborate and believable. But Alice in Wonderland relies so heavily on CGI that it comes to resemble the heaven sequences in The Lovely Bones: there is the same sense of a world of many mismatched parts, whose logic and composition are being made up as its director goes along.

On top of all that, we have a number of plot holes to digest. We readily accept that Alice can change size by eating cakes and drinking from bottles, but why don't her clothes change size with her, for decency's sake if nothing else? Why does the Bandersnatch change sides so readily having previously given Alice a nasty wound? Why does the Mad Hatter speak in a Scottish accent at carefully selected moments? And why, if Crispin Glover's knave had his eye on the throne all along, did he wait until he was being banished to try and kill the Queen?

Alice in Wonderland is Burton's biggest failure since Mars Attacks!. The debate is not so much whether the film is any good, as to how much of the end product is his fault. In spite of everything there are moments in which his true colours shine through: certain scenes with the Red Queen or Cheshire Cat spring to mind. Burton has been known to bounce back quickly, having followed Mars Attacks! with Sleepy Hollow and Planet of the Apes with Big Fish. But he will have to work twice as hard to prevent this obvious blip from becoming the start of his epitaph.
Super Reviewer
January 23, 2011
Alice in Wonderland: A slow moving, but entertaining ride. This movie puts it's 3D to good use though.

Grade: C
Super Reviewer
December 21, 2009
it was good to see Crispin in movie for more than 15 seconds, and to see Helena Bonham Carter's fucking lobster-claw head without any treatment. you know, like how it looks in real life. but there were about 800 kids in this theatre, which frightened me, considering this is a shitty country theatre in a shitty town, owned buy a guy named "Tim-Bob" who has "3-teeth". and any movie i see with a bunch of kids around takes away a point. not bad tho... oh and about that ridiculous mariachi dance thing that Johnny Depp does at the end? if anyone ever mentions that to me, i will kick them in the head, causing it to blow up to the size of Helena Bonham Carter's head... mmmm almost.
Super Reviewer
January 8, 2011
Lewis Carroll's classic tale "Alice in Wonderland" has been covered time and time again throughout the years but is there anyone more suited to a version than gothic visionary director Tim Burton?
Years after her adventures in Wonderland have become a dimly remembered dream, 19-year-old Alice (Mia Wasikowska) takes a tumble into eerily familiar 'Underland', a realm of terror under the mad Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter), who has usurped the White Queen (Anne Hathaway). Disappointed she's forgotten them, the Mad Hatter (Johnny Depp) and friends insist Alice is their prophesied champion returned and that she's back to end the Red Queen's reign of terror.
Followers and avid fans of Lewis Carroll may not be happy with Tim Burton's adjustment to the story. He has tweaked a few things, mainly changing Wonderland to Underland and making Alice older. They may seem like unnecessary changes but it's allowed in adaptations and that's exactly what this is, an adaptation. Not a complete transfer from page to screen. That being said, I still loved it. Burton can be a bit hit and miss of late but there's no denying the splendid vision and imagination he has brought to this classic children's adventure tale. Yes, it's laden with CGI but it looks absolutely wonderful and everyone in it is perfectly cast. I normally can't stand Bonham Carter but she is excellent as the tyrannical Red Queen with her shrunken body and bulbous head and Depp makes a very fine flame-haired, schizophrenic Hatter with convincing Scottish brogue, as well as a fine voice cast and a more than competent Wasikowska as the older Alice. To upset fans further though, Lewis Carroll's word play, language and riddles are omitted but if you accept it as Burton's variation then there is lots to be enjoyed.
An exciting, visually splendid undertaking from the (7th) Burton/Depp partnership. Pure fantastical escapism.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2010
three stars...
Super Reviewer
½ December 23, 2010
I honestly wasn't expecting much from this title, even though I like the original Disney animated film. Why? Well, there's been one or two Tim Burton films I didn't like, others I love, and it stars Johnny Depp, whom I'm usually a fan of, but....i HATED the Charlie & The Chocolate Factory remake, deeming it one of the worst remakes of all time, and Depp's worst. This one actually isn't a whole lot like the original "Alice in Wonderland." The storyline and plot are totally different, but I was impressed to find that it was still a pretty entertaining film, even if I did get tired of looking at and listening to the Red Queen.
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