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Free Birds (2013)



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

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


Average Rating: 4.6/10
Critic Reviews: 20
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 17

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



liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 36,579

My Rating

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


Animation, Kids & Family, Comedy

Feb 4, 2014


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All Critics (80) | Top Critics (20) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (66)

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

November 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Globe and Mail
Globe and Mail
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 1, 2013 Full Review Source:
Top Critic IconTop 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.

November 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

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

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

All sidekicks and sight gags, with little story cohesion or purpose.

October 31, 2013 Full Review Source: San Francisco Chronicle
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic IconTop 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.

April 8, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Mezzanine
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.

February 9, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

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

February 7, 2014 Full Review Source: Daily Record [UK]
Daily Record [UK]

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

January 19, 2014 Full Review Source: Movie Talk
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.

December 1, 2013 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
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.

November 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Birmingham Mail
Birmingham Mail

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

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: This is London
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.

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Mail [UK]
Daily Mail [UK]

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

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

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

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
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.

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Sky Movies
Sky Movies

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

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: The List
The List

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

November 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Irish Times
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.

November 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

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 ...

November 28, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
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.

November 28, 2013 Full Review Source: ViewLondon

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.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: Daily Star
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.

November 26, 2013 Full Review Source: HeyUGuys

Not bootiful.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Even tykes will tell it to get stuffed.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Audience Reviews for Free Birds

March 30, 2014
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.
February 28, 2014
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

Strong start, amusing but flaps of towards the middle and end!
February 18, 2014
Film Crazy

Super Reviewer

A time machine takes two turkeys back to the first Thanksgiving to try to get turkeys off the traditional holiday menu. A character piece (with some slightly objectionable humor, meant for the parents of the adolescents that this is aimed at ... one hopes that stuff was for the parents!), it's actually a little better than the all out dollar grab it was planned as being. That it's animated and meant for the kiddies eases some of the cheese factor.
November 8, 2013

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Free Birds - Esst uns an einem anderen Tag (DE)
  • Free Birds (UK)
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