Arthur Christmas Reviews

Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic
December 5, 2011

It's as bright and twinkling as a Christmas tree, decked with warmth and humor.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bruce Diones
New Yorker
Top Critic
December 5, 2011

It's busy but buoyant, and it honors the tradition of giving with wit and style.

Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
Top Critic
December 2, 2011

The action is swift and witty, and the 3-D effects are imaginative and not simply tacked on as with so many animated movies these days.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
Top Critic
November 25, 2011

The movie fails utterly at coming up with a story that merits all the eye candy.

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
Top Critic
November 24, 2011

With a clever script that successfully updates many Christmas myths and dialogue that crackles with sophisticated wit, this movie offers the kind of pre-holiday experience that parents and children alike will appreciate.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kathleen Murphy
MSN Movies
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

Everything you see in Arthur Christmas is fashioned in the service of telling a story ... brilliantly

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
John Anderson
Newsday
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

The results are not only funny and fresh, but represent a new way of tackling the whole yuletide paradigm: Santa as a high-tech hereditary monarchy.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

For the kids, the action is always lively and, for the rest of us, the dialogue has a witty and even caustic edge.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Trey Graham
NPR
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

The surprise gift of the season: a sharp, savvy holiday comedy that doesn't get its laughs at the expense of those who start to glow in the early days of December. It's a most entertaining package indeed.

Tom Long
Detroit News
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

Good for the kids, good for the parents, and good for Christmas.

Full Review | Original Score: B
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

The premise recalls those sophisticated lies parents cook up when their kids start asking logical questions about Santa.

Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

Unexpectedly fresh, despite the familiar-sounding premise.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Kyle Smith
New York Post
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

An animated kiddie comedy that delivers all the wonder you'd expect in a movie about a guy delivering one package.

Full Review | Original Score: 0.5/4
Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
Top Critic
November 23, 2011

Hilarious, fast-paced and superbly entertaining.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

It would be a Christmas miracle save for one lump of coal: an ear-shattering Justin Bieber song over the end credits.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Keith Staskiewicz
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

Like most of Aardman's work ... [it's] more clever than outright funny, but it's also genuinely sweet, and the complicated relations among Santa's clan are surprisingly believable

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Nick Pinkerton
Village Voice
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

It's a lovely bit of work.

Tom Russo
Boston Globe
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

Take it as you will: a special Christmastime treat, or a gift-wrapped cross-promotional fruitcake (um, thanks?) from Aardman's Hollywood partners.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Scott Bowles
USA Today
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

What makes Arthur sing is that it plays as much like a family comedy as a holiday film.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

If "Arthur Christmas" doesn't make you happy, I honestly don't know what's wrong with you.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Nathan Rabin
AV Club
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

Arthur Christmas gets a little sappy toward the end -- it is a Christmas movie, after all -- but it otherwise strikes just the right combination of naughty and nice, reverent and irrelevant, holiday-sweet and Aardman dry.

Full Review | Original Score: B+
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

This kind of thing can be disastrous in the wrong hands, but Arthur Christmas maintains a sharp wit that perfectly counterbalances its lovely (and, by the end, fully earned) holiday sentimentality.

Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

The North Pole Control Room may be cold but the emotions are warm, delivering sweetness when it counts.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Mary F. Pols
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

Both Nighy and Broadbent do wonderful, richly funny voice work.

Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

It's good. Frantic, yes, sometimes aggressively so. There's some padding in the airborne sequences built to exploit the 3-D format. But a tender and upbeat spirit informs the writing and the execution.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Jody Mitori
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

"Arthur Christmas" stays sweet without becoming overly sentimental and is filled with sly details and smart action sequences.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

It's difficult to come up with a new spin on something as established as a Christmas movie, but "Arthur Christmas" does a good job of it.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Neil Genzlinger
New York Times
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

The plot may be a little too cluttered for the toddler crowd to follow, but the next age group up should be amused, and the script by Peter Baynham and Sarah Smith has plenty of sly jokes for grown-ups.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
John Hartl
Seattle Times
Top Critic
November 22, 2011

The movie is dense with witty visual detail that helps to distract from the somewhat trumped-up moral dilemma at its center.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
David Germain
Associated Press
Top Critic
November 17, 2011

In her directing debut, Aardman veteran Sarah Smith and her co-writer Peter Baynham offer a fresh look at the Santa legend: a flawed Claus.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Peter Debruge
Variety
Top Critic
November 10, 2011

Arthur Christmas feels less insularly British than previous Aardman releases; there's plenty here for all ages and nationalities, including the sly but entirely welcome suggestion that female characters have been under-credited in previous yuletide tales.

Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic
November 10, 2011

Leave it to the folks who brought us Wallace & Gromit, Chicken Run and Flushed Away to bring a delightful blast of fresh air to the conventional Christmas genre.

Derek Adams
Time Out
Top Critic
November 8, 2011

What makes this festive fantasy engaging is the savvy way in which it debunks cold efficiency in favour of more wholesome values. It's just a pity Arthur himself is so bland.

Full Review | Original Score: 3/5