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Free Birds (2013)


Average Rating: 4.2/10
Reviews Counted: 80
Fresh: 14
Rotten: 66

Critics Consensus: Technically proficient yet creatively moribund, Free Birds begs unfortunate comparisons with the dim-witted fowl that inspired it.

Average Rating: 4.6/10
Reviews Counted: 22
Fresh: 4
Rotten: 18

Critics Consensus: Technically proficient yet creatively moribund, Free Birds begs unfortunate comparisons with the dim-witted fowl that inspired it.


Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 38,949


Movie Info

In this irreverent, hilarious, adventurous buddy comedy, directed by Jimmy Hayward (Horton Hears a Who!), two turkeys from opposite sides of the tracks must put aside their differences and team up to travel back in time to change the course of history - and get turkey off the holiday menu for good. (C) Relativity Media

PG (for some action/peril and rude humor)
Animation , Kids & Family , Comedy
Directed By:
In Theaters:
Feb 4, 2014
Box Office:
Relativity Media - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Free Birds

All Critics (80) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (66)

Free Birds is not (sorry) a turkey of a film. But it doesn't really soar terribly high either.

Full Review… | November 8, 2013
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A lot of agreeable kookiness compensates for the ramshackle script in this tale of turkeys traveling back in time to prevent becoming an essential part of Thanksgiving dinner.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013
Orange County Register
Top Critic

The movie's animal rights, vegetarian message should go down easily with politically correct parents - at least until they choke on the offensive depiction of 17th-century turkeys as face-painted, headband-wearing native Americans.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Everything about "Free Birds" feels perfunctory, from its generic title and holiday setting to its starry voice cast and undistinguished use of 3-D.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013
Top Critic

A stale turkey hash that heaves a lot of ingredients in the oven but never turns on the gas, a frantic attempt to come up with an animated film built around Thanksgiving Day traditions.

Full Review… | November 1, 2013
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A forgettable - and occasionally borderline offensive - animated tale of turkeys trying to take back Thanksgiving.

Full Review… | October 31, 2013
New York Post
Top Critic

Any given scene from Free Birds seems more like a YouTube parody of stupid children's films than a piece of something that real human beings put together with honest artistic intent.

Full Review… | April 8, 2014
Movie Mezzanine

These birds are good to look at, and you can easily get caught up in the characters. But the situation is a bit too much to swallow . . . even for Thanksgiving.

Full Review… | February 9, 2014
Movie Metropolis

This family-friendly animation gets off to an amusing start but soon flies off into la-la land.

Full Review… | February 7, 2014
Daily Record [UK]

The muddled story and lacklustre animation makes this a film that's strictly for the birds.

Full Review… | January 19, 2014
Movie Talk

Anyone who's seen Chicken Run will wonder why they're not enjoying a well-constructed Aardman animation rather than attempting to make sense of this incoherent transatlantic trifle.

Full Review… | December 1, 2013
Observer [UK]

More of a Turkey Twizzler than a sizzler, Free Birds isn't funny enough to leave adults rolling in the aisles, nor does it have a sustained sense of peril to leave children on the edge of their seats.

Full Review… | November 30, 2013
Birmingham Mail

Ultimately embarrassing and even offensive but has an offbeat premise, some neat characters and plenty of guffaw-worthy gags.

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
This is London

I can't bring myself to say that this film is a you-know-what. Let's just say that there should be no pardon. It deserves to die a death.

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
Daily Mail [UK]

The animation is good but the plotting is too slow and unclear.

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
Daily Express

Surely Owen Wilson can do a lot better than a slipshod animation about time travelling turkeys?

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
Little White Lies

This undercooked cartoon caper about a rogue turkey heading back in time to get his compadres off the menu for the Thanksgiving Day dinner fails to ruffle anything like a feather.

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
Sky Movies

Free Birds lacks the humour, pathos or narrative skill of a proper children's film.

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
The List

The film does boast an appealing buddy pairing in Wilson and Harrelson, a dash of conceptual originality, and some genuinely funny jokes.

Full Review… | November 29, 2013
Irish Times

It's weirdly confusing and structurally unsound, though no more so than any film about time travel, including Looper and Austin Powers: The Spy Who Shagged Me. It is, however, enjoyable, with some funny lines.

Full Review… | November 28, 2013

The script is furiously unfunny - in the 17th century part of the story we get a 'my wife's cooking' joke, which certainly feels like it belongs there ...

Full Review… | November 28, 2013
Daily Telegraph

Disappointing, poorly thought out animated comedy that fails to deliver any decent laughs and is further let down by a slapdash script, some blatant product placement and a miscast Woody Harrelson.

Full Review… | November 28, 2013

After a brief lesson in American history, British kids will probably have a fine time. And there's just enough double-edged comedy to keep grown-ups from squawking too.

Full Review… | November 26, 2013
Daily Star

Ultimately, Free Birds is a formulaic piece of cinema, and despite the relatively original idea, it doesn't go anywhere you don't expect it to, with so little risk taken along the way.

Full Review… | November 26, 2013

Not bootiful.

Full Review… | November 25, 2013
Empire Magazine

Even tykes will tell it to get stuffed.

Full Review… | November 25, 2013
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Free Birds


A mediocre, run-of-the-mill animation destined to be rapidly forgotten by everyone, not only for being mostly unfunny and full of clichés but also because it holds few to no surprises, making sure that every joke is explained and leaving almost nothing to our imagination.

Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer



Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer

The greatest turkey movie of all time.

Good animated movie! I'm very relieved to finally see an animated movie made just for fun and without feeling the need to add an unnecessary message or plot or emotional attachment. There was only one instance where they tried to get you emotionally involved, it didn't work but it didn't disturb me either. This film is sweetly entertaining. Camera angle used in story telling keeps the pace of film on very good note. Animation is done creatively. You would feel that you are simply watching a typical Hollywood movie. Even animated choreography justifies it. Overall, it has all ingredients of a good film, drama, emotion and entertainment. Please go and watch with your kids. They will enjoy as well as you.

After years of fruitless warning of his farmyard brethren of the coming Thanksgiving doom, Reggie the Turkey finds himself spared as the annual Pardoned Turkey. However, Reggie's easy life is disrupted by Jake, a fanatic turkey who drags him along with the insane idea of going back in time to make sure turkeys are not part of the first Thanksgiving. Through foolhardiness and luck, the pair manage to take an experimental time machine to do just that. Now in 1621 at the Plymouth colony, Reggie and Jake find themselves in the middle of a turkey clan's struggle for survival. In doing so, their preconceptions of the world and themselves are challenged forever in a conflict from which the world will never be the same.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Strong start, amusing but flaps of towards the middle and end!

Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

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