Into the Woods - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Into the Woods Reviews

Top Critic
Sophie Gilbert
The Atlantic
December 31, 2015
When it comes to navigating how to be both a family-friendly holiday crowdpleaser and a faithful adaptation of a tricky but profound musical, Into the Woods is mostly golden.
Top Critic
Mara Reinstein
Us Weekly
January 19, 2015
A disclaimer: Despite a dizzying and delightful first half, the film ultimately devolves into a very grim fairy tale.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
January 6, 2015
With the exception of Meryl Streep (as the Witch) and James Corden (as the Baker), the cast is bland, and the bombastic orchestrations tend to steamroll the nuances of Sondheim's score.
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Cath Clarke
Time Out
January 5, 2015
If you go down to the woods today... you'll find A-listers dressed like 'Game of Thrones' extras belting out showtunes.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Wesley Morris
Grantland
December 29, 2014
The movie is a watchable, tuneful contraption.
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
December 26, 2014
Marshall's film captures enough of the emotions that course through this sneaky fairy tale about childish things like love, sex, grief, insecurity, abandonment, and forbearance.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
December 25, 2014
A jolly mash-up of symbol-laden, signature once-upon-a-time tales about lust, envy, greed, and misguided pursuits of happiness.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Stephen Holden
New York Times
December 24, 2014
"Into the Woods," the splendid Disney screen adaptation of the Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine musical, infuses new vitality into the tired marketing concept of entertainment for "children of all ages."
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
December 24, 2014
"Into the Woods" could have taken a well-worn path toward stagey sentiments, but those who worried that Hollywood might drain the enchantment from the Enchanted Forest can live happily after.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Preston Jones
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/DFW.com
December 24, 2014
The sly send-up of fantasy tropes and healthy doses of humor help Into the Woods feel very much like the books and films it gently satirizes, even as it stands on its own as a solid entry into the musical-fantasy genre.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
December 24, 2014
Rob Marshall - who previously shepherded a glossy if slightly diluted version of "Chicago" to the screen - does a decent job transferring the material.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
December 24, 2014
As with Chicago, Marshall makes bold choices, but they pay off. His cast may glitter with film stars, but they work as an ensemble and keep their stories emotionally true against a terrifically rich orchestral accompaniment.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
December 24, 2014
What makes "Into the Woods" so entertaining is the cleverness of the tale itself and the way specific characters match the talents of its storytellers.
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Dana Stevens
Slate
December 24, 2014
Instead of being a rueful meditation on the inevitable disappointments of adulthood, the last act plays out as a generic dystopian bummer.
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
December 24, 2014
A mixed bag of clever twists on familiar storybook myths, engaging performances and forgettable songs.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
December 24, 2014
"Into the Woods" is a paean to the primal magic of storytelling.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
December 24, 2014
The Stephen Sondheim-James Lapine 1987 musical Into the Woods has been transferred to the screen by director Rob Marshall with most of its complexities and light-dark tonalities intact.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Rex Reed
New York Observer
December 24, 2014
I left disenchanted and irritated by so many missed opportunities.
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
December 24, 2014
"Into the Woods'' thankfully retains most of its wit and bite, and showcases two of the year's very best female performances, from Streep and Blunt.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
December 24, 2014
Does it work as a movie? Thanks to a few cast members, the answer is - yes, and for the most part quite nicely.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Christine Dolen
Miami Herald
December 23, 2014
For anyone who can appreciate the darker side of fairy-tales told in a musical with depth and nuance, Into the Woods is a journey worth taking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
December 23, 2014
A capable cast and some very fine songs, but parents should take note of the dark themes. This Disney movie ain't kid stuff.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Brad Wheeler
Globe and Mail
December 23, 2014
What is celebrated is the art of storytelling and the bedazzling attraction of a killer cast, uninhibited acting, giddy escapism, attractive visuals and an extroverted score.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Matthew Lickona
San Diego Reader
December 23, 2014
Steven Sondheim's musical theater meditation on the complication, compromise, and carnality that adulthood brings to the fairy-tale world of children's fairy tales, gently Disneyfied for younger audiences eager to sing along.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Stephanie Merry
Washington Post
December 23, 2014
Some of the musical's superfans will feel shortchanged by the movie no matter what, but you have to give credit where it's due. The adaptation is pretty faithful to the original - for better and worse.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
December 23, 2014
The cast is top-notch, the story is satisfyingly dark, the performances are fun and, of course, the songs are terrific.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Mick LaSalle
San Francisco Chronicle
December 23, 2014
With archness and irony, "Into the Woods" goes deeper into the fairy stories, allowing us to see familiar archetypes in new and not so flattering ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jesse Hassenger
AV Club
December 23, 2014
Even if this Into The Woods lacks the exhilaration of the best movie musicals, it does capture the show's emotional intimacy -- no small task in a field that favors razzle dazzle.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
December 23, 2014
Yes, the sets and costumes elicit swoons, but it's the peerless Sondheim score, however truncated, that makes this Woods a prime destination.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
December 22, 2014
Into the Woods left me out in the cold.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Lindsey Bahr
Associated Press
December 22, 2014
It's hard not to get swept up in the grand production of it all.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
December 22, 2014
With its ominous gnarled trees and enchanted look, Into the Woods is a place worth exploring.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Alan Scherstuhl
Village Voice
December 22, 2014
Director Rob Marshall simply cuts from one tale to the next, isolating his actors. There's little sense that the fairytale space is a shared one -- it's just a bunch of noisy incident transpiring in unrelated treestands.
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
December 22, 2014
For years, composer and lyricist Stephen Sondheim's 1987 fairy tale mashup, written with librettist James Lapine, has hacked its way through the thicket of Hollywood development. And the movie now before us? Here's a relief: It's good.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
December 22, 2014
Rumbles on for too long and has some dry patches here and there-but just when we're growing fidgety, we get another rousing musical number or another dark plot twist, and we're back in business.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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David Edelstein
New York Magazine/Vulture
December 19, 2014
Corden is a wonderfully funny, self-effacing bloke - I'm thrilled at the prospect of seeing him nightly, hosting his own show after Colbert. Maybe he'll have Emily Blunt as a guest. It's her movie.
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
December 19, 2014
The life lessons are delivered with insight and heart, the rightfully beloved music is well handled and the cast is so enthusiastic that we can excuse some rough patches.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Karen D'Souza
San Jose Mercury News
December 18, 2014
This movie always seems to distance itself from that existential truth that was at the core of Sondheim's original.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Chris Nashawaty
Entertainment Weekly
December 17, 2014
The first two-thirds of the film, which are like the Brothers Grimm's Greatest Hits on laughing gas, have a fizzy, fairy-dust energy.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
December 17, 2014
The stage musical delightfully reminded audiences that while happy endings are possible, you should always be careful about what you've wished for. Now comes the movie version, and it's a singing and dancing manifestation of both of those ideas.
Top Critic
Scott Foundas
Variety
December 17, 2014
If so much as one tween viewer adds Sondheim to his or her iPod playlist alongside the likes of "Let it Go," all will have been worthwhile.
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David Rooney
Hollywood Reporter
December 17, 2014
This twisty fairy-tale mash-up shows an appreciation for the virtues of old-fashioned storytelling, along with a welcome dash of subversive wit.