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Frankenweenie Reviews

Tom Charity
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Tim Burton's most enjoyable movie in a long time.

Full Review Source:

January 7, 2013
Christopher Orr
The Atlantic
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Burton's best film since 1994's Ed Wood or even 1990's Edward Scissorhands.

Full Review Source: The Atlantic

October 10, 2012
Dave Calhoun
Time Out
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This is a Tim Burton film with something to say. And that's a rare and precious thing.

Full Review Source: Time Out | Original Score: 4/5

October 10, 2012
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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The stop-motion animation - a favorite tool of Burton's - is given loving attention, and the character design is full of terrific touches, such as the hulking flat-topped schoolmate who looks a bit like a certain man-made monster.

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

October 5, 2012
Connie Ogle
Miami Herald
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The best thing about an animated monster movie with this much heart is: It's alive. In the best possible way.

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 5, 2012
Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
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This 3-D, black-and-white "family" comedy is the year's most inventive, endearing animated feature.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

October 5, 2012
Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
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Designed to appeal to both discriminating adults and older kids, the gorgeous, black-and-white stop-motion film is a fresh, clever and affectionate love letter to classic horror movies.

Full Review Source: Washington Post | Original Score: 3/4

October 5, 2012
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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The most Tim Burton-y of the director's films, and not just because it contains a vast catalog of references to his own movies - everything from "Edward Scissorhands'' to the underrated 1989 "Batman.''

Full Review Source: New York Post | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 5, 2012
Tom Long
Detroit News
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"Frankenweenie" may just be a wacky horror cartoon, but it's an awfully good wacky horror cartoon. Frighteningly good, you might say.

Full Review Source: Detroit News | Original Score: B+

October 5, 2012
Rafer Guzman
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It's a quintessential Burton film, but also more Disney than a lot of Disney films.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 5, 2012
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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A 3-D, black-and-white, stop-motion animated film, it's a one-man blow for cinematic biodiversity.

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

October 5, 2012
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
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The overall effect is great cinema, good fun, a visual feast for pie-eyed Burton fans - and a terrifically warped reminder of just how freaky a PG film can be.

Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle | Original Score: 4/4

October 4, 2012
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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Some audiences might feel that "Frankenweenie" is creaky, but those on the same wavelength as Burton will gratefully declare it's alive.

Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch | Original Score: 3/4

October 4, 2012
A.O. Scott
New York Times
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While "Frankenweenie" is fun, it is not nearly strange or original enough to join the undead, monstrous ranks of the classics it adores.

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

October 4, 2012
Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
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There are so many horror auteurs Burton wants to thank that the film is absolutely bursting at the seams with knowing nods.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 3/5

October 4, 2012
Stephanie Zacharek
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Burton half succeeds in making this revamped Frankenweenie its own distinctive creature, pieced together from the essential bits of the 29-minute original. But he just doesn't know when to stop, and his overgrown creation gets the better of him.

Full Review Source: NPR

October 4, 2012
David Hiltbrand
Philadelphia Inquirer
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Frankenweenie is the apotheosis of goth director Tim Burton's oeuvre: artistic yet sterile, incredibly meticulous and totally misbegotten.

Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer | Original Score: 2/4

October 4, 2012
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The story brims with self-parody, social satire, horror, nostalgia, wit and emotional insight, with Burton keeping all the plates spinning.

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

October 4, 2012
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Only Tim Burton could envision this Frankenstein-inspired tale, and it's a honey, a dark and dazzling spellbinder that scares up laughs and surprising emotion.

Full Review Source: Rolling Stone | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 4, 2012
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
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"Frankenweenie" is a mere 87 minutes long, which turns out to be just the right length; there's not enough time for Burton to go off the rails as he does in so many of his films.

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

October 4, 2012
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
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Burton's extraordinary powers of imagination are in dazzling bloom, from the gorgeous stop-motion animation to the goofy, homemade horror movies the children direct.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 4/5

October 4, 2012
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
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Missing, however, are the authentic feelings of morbidity and alienation that once made Burton an interesting filmmaker.

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

October 4, 2012
James Berardinelli
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Even as the narrative becomes progressively more ghoulish and a Godzilla wannabe shows up, Frankenweenie never loses its heart.

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

October 4, 2012
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
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I was nagged by the feeling that the main motivating force behind the film is to convey that its makers really, really, really love old-school horror movies.

Full Review Source: MSN Movies | Original Score: 3/5

October 4, 2012
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
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High-concept and stylish, Frankenweenie is a playlist of films and characters from Burton's movie-loving childhood.

Full Review Source: Toronto Star | Original Score: 3/4

October 4, 2012
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
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The monster-movie component of "Frankenweenie" stomps all over the appeal of the original 30-minute version.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 2.5/4

October 4, 2012
Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
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Older kids, horror-movie buffs and Burton fans will likely enjoy this oddly gentle tale of a boy and his dog.

Full Review Source: Seattle Times | Original Score: 3/4

October 4, 2012
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
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While Frankenweenie is pleasant enough as a curated tour through horror's past, it doesn't add much to its present.

Full Review Source: AV Club | Original Score: C

October 4, 2012
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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This isn't one of Burton's best, but it has zealous energy.

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

October 4, 2012
Richard Roeper
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"Frankenweenie" is a chill-inducing delight.

Full Review Source: Richard | Original Score: 4.5/5

October 3, 2012
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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A beautifully crafted homage to classic horror films, a study of grief and a commentary on the mysteries of science and those who narrow-mindedly fear its advances.

Full Review Source: USA Today | Original Score: 3.5/4

October 3, 2012
Alonso Duralde
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Fans of Tim Burton 1.0, rejoice: Frankenweenie hearkens back to the director's salad days and, in turn, to the old-school horror classics that inspired him in the first place.

Full Review Source: TheWrap

October 3, 2012
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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The resulting homage to Frankenstein in particular and horror movies in general is exquisite, macabre mayhem and a kind of reanimation all its own.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: A-

October 3, 2012
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
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It's all perfectly entertaining, but never really reaches the heights of hilarity, perhaps because everything about the plot is underdeveloped.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 3/5

October 3, 2012
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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Revisiting the past - his own, and that of the masters who came before him - seems to have brought this filmmaker's boyish enthusiasm back to life, as well.

Full Review Source: Associated Press | Original Score: 3/4

October 3, 2012
Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
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If dark and twisted is how you like your Burton movies, you're in luck.

Full Review Source: San Jose Mercury News | Original Score: 3/4

October 2, 2012
Keith Uhlich
Time Out New York
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What still eludes Burton is the ability to deepen the superficial allure of his visions.

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

October 2, 2012
Chris Packham
Village Voice
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Tight and brief, hitting all the marks you'd expect from an animated kid's film, and enlivened by Burton's visual style. The man should make more small movies like this one.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

October 2, 2012
William Goss
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It's the best thing with Burton's name on it in the past five years.

Full Review Source:

September 21, 2012
Todd McCarthy
Hollywood Reporter
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Imaginative in a highly familiar and ultimately tedious way.

Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter

September 21, 2012
Justin Chang
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This beautifully designed canine-resurrection saga feels, somewhat fittingly, stitched together from stray narrative parts, but nonetheless evinces a level of discipline and artistic coherence missing from the director's recent live-action efforts.

Full Review Source: Variety

September 21, 2012
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