Into the Woods - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Into the Woods Reviews

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Super Reviewer
½ September 5, 2015
Rob Marshall's Into the Woods goes in, then manages to get lost.

The integration of characters from multiple fairy tales is an intriguing concept and while the film starts off in amusing fashion, it loses its moxie. The jumps between characters and story arcs is mediocre at best, while plot details are lacking as the story pushes forward in time to get through its tale in 2 hours. The film's content is also more mature and dark than a family friendly atmosphere. A PG rating is too generous.

80-90% is singing. Even when musical numbers are not taking place, character dialogue is being sung. Fortunately, there are some catchy tunes that sink into the brain, but there are equally as much tiresome vocals exiting the speakers.

The female leads are the highlight. Meryl Streep, Emily Blunt, and Anna Kendrick liven the picture, when the blandness of James Corden and Chris Pine step on the stage.

Into the Woods has some journey-full moments; just not enough to make it an exciting trek into the woods.
Super Reviewer
½ April 6, 2015
Sondheim and Lapine's dark and twisted musical retelling of fairy tales gets a fairly faithful, albeit PG adaptation. I, of course, have no big problem with this because I always found the massive stage musical a bit of a massive letdown after Act I, especially with the Baker's Wife getting killed off after she has sex like some horror movie trope. The sex and death are toned down, which actually evens out the story better, but the demise of the Witch and the reveal of the Mysterious Man/Big Bad Wolf/Baker's Father are anticlimactic and nonexistent, respectively.

All the performers give such impressive turns that I feel like I have to comment on every one of them because it's really a well-cast ensemble. Emily Blunt is the definite stand-out, being probably the only one of the cast who consistently acted intentions while singing, making the Baker's Wife a funnier character than I previously thought with her charmingly flushed comic relief.

Anna Kendrick is, as usual, a musical dynamo with her high and bright Broadway-rafters voice, and Chris Pine and Billy Magnussen steal the show in "Agony" with their princely posturing. Tracey Ullman plays Jack's Mother with cantankerous mettle, and James Corden is quite plucky as the hapless Baker. Tammy Blanchard, Lucy Punch, and Christine Baranski also make a nasty and daffy step-trio. Mackenzie Mauzy as Rapunzel is actually given more to do here than she is given as the good-woman mother on "Forever."

I'm not a fan of the children's songs or characters, but Lilla Crawford has some pipes and decent comic timing, while Gavroche kid enunciates too oddly for my taste. Meryl Streep is a trifle slow with the "greens" tongue twisters, and while she does belt some meaty notes later, I'm not sure how much of her vibrato was added in post-production. I didn't think that voice came out of the same woman who did "Mamma Mia"...
Super Reviewer
½ February 20, 2015
A nearly unbearable musical that believes that a bloated, unfocused mishmash of several fairy tales is enough to be interesting, but it only manages to be a torture for the ears with irritating songs and voices besides poor character development, plot holes and no sense of pacing.
Super Reviewer
½ February 15, 2015
Fairy tales, like "Jack and the Beanstalk," "Little Red Riding Hood," and "Sleeping Beauty," are mashed together in Soundheim's classic musical.
Soundheim's original play is good because it questions fairy tale morality, revealing that the violence and sexuality inherent in most fairy tales is simplistic. Disney has made numerous changes to the story, all of them bad, all of them to the detriment of Soundheim's original point. When the characters question whether or not to kill the giant, their conundrum is glossed over and the decision is made because ... reasons. And this doesn't occur until the third act of the film. The first two acts added nothing to my understanding of fairy stories, and with the exception of Red Riding Hood, finally portrayed as a sexual awakening, the stories unfold just as you might think they would.
Meryl Streep is fantastic, displaying pipes I never thought she had, and the two princes induced laughs from the rest of the audience, but the rest of the performances were fine at best.
Overall, I wonder how good this could have been had the Mouse House been willing to take a few risks.
Super Reviewer
½ January 31, 2015
Really makes you wonder why someone would make the conscience decision to adapt a good play into a mediocre film. The genres are separate for a reason and Into the Woods simply illuminates these differences in an unflattering light.

The pacing is unbalanced leading to an awkward story flow and climatic revelations play out in a rather static fashion due to the way staging works in theater.

The film works best when the characters come to grips with themselves and their identity, but these scenes are boring to watch since they tend to be exposition conversations between characters.

The musical numbers are entertaining enough, the actors are brilliant and put a lot of energy into the work but alas, watching a play to be adapted into an incompatible medium is just sheer... AAAAGGGGOOOOOONNNNNYYYYY
Super Reviewer
January 13, 2015
I'm not much of a musical fan, but every now and then they are ok. "Into The Woods" is a musical about a couple who want to have a child and make a deal with a witch(Meryl Streep) in order to reverse a curse that has been placed on their home. The story weaves a lot of old fairy tales together. Cinderelle, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the beanstalk, among others come together to form this unique tale. The music is catchy and the effects are good, but the performances are what really stand out. Anna Kendrick, Emily Blunt, and Meryl Streep all do fantastic. Johnny Depp is the big bad wolf, and he has like 5 minutes of screen time. But he is great as well. It's just a good, ole fashion musical that the whole family will enjoy. I watched it with my 3 year old and he seemed to enjoy it for the most part. Is one of the best movies of 2014? Naw, not really. But it stands good next to a lot of the musicals that have come out in years past like "Les Mis". Check it out if your in the mood for a neat fantasy filled musical.
Super Reviewer
½ June 22, 2013
The pacing and tone are all over the place, but stand-out performances from members of the cast, a gorgeous visual style and a number of heartfelt moments make 'Into the Woods' an enjoyable musical, even if it doesn't work entirely as a whole.
Super Reviewer
½ March 12, 2014
A uniquely original fairytale that throws out the old and brings in a new message for the kids to soak up! Amazing performances, my only problem is that i wouldn't have cast Corden who at best is average but whilst being overshadowed by greats looks below average!
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2015
Intertwining the classic Disney tales to make them seem like they take place all in the same universe was a very clever idea, and the execution here is near pefect. "Into the Woods" benefits from many positives, from it's cast to it's story, but the poor choices made by the writers truly harmed my experience for the picture. About halfway through the film it ends, and you kinds of feel ripped off by a short film, but happy about the ending. Nope, the film continues, making for almost two entire films. There were some very unique filmmaking choices spread out during the duration of this picture, but I cannot help but look back and be disturbed by a few aspects. The lovey-dovey Disney aspect is thrown away after the first two acts and it becomes this dark brooding creppy musical. "Into the Woods" is more good than bad, but I cannot put my figer on what age group this was actually made for. It is definitely not for kids, and adults who grew up with the original material may just be disturbed. This film is enjoyable, but jumbled and creepy as well.
Super Reviewer
January 5, 2015
This is one of those 2 hour movies that feels like it's 3 and a half. The performances were pretty solid, so not sure what is up with that. Just prepare yourself.
Super Reviewer
December 31, 2014
"Into the Woods" is a musical fairy tale told as an exceedingly long, run-on sentence. Although the performances were adequate and the film allowed grander visuals than might be possible on the stage, the director was unable to sustain any interesting elements throughout the film. Being in the audience to watch these characters sally into the woods was more of a predicament than an experience.
Super Reviewer
December 29, 2014
Quite enjoyable yet the ending left quite a few plot holes. I liked the songs and the performances were good, but the second half went downhill with some dubious/convenient plot choices and holes.
Super Reviewer
December 25, 2014
A fantastic Disney musical that offers a thought-provoking deconstruction of fairy-tales. It's deviously dark, hilarious, the songs are catchy, and the performances are perfectly on-point (Highlights include Meryl Streep, Chris Pine, and Emily Blunt).
Super Reviewer
December 24, 2014
Meh, I was bored.
Super Reviewer
January 7, 2015
Into the Woods boasted some great songs and fun performances. But, it dragged on for a long time and it became almost a little too weird and crowded with characters. So much was happening that it was hard to really care about anyone. Maybe I expected too much, but I heard its from a popular stage musical and I hope that at least had a little focus in its story. Into the Woods was a solid musical, but looking back I have a headache thinking about all the weirdness that went on here.
Super Reviewer
March 29, 2015
Disney brings the Stephen Sondheim Broadway musical Into the Worlds to the big screen as a lavish fantasy adventure. The plot combines several Grimm fairy tales, including Cinderella, Little Red Riding Hood, Jack and the Beanstalk, and Rapunzel, and puts a new twist on them. Featuring Anna Kendrick, Chris Pine, Emily Blunt, Meryl Streep, and Johnny Depp, the film has an all-star cast that delivers some impressive performances. But the production is overdone, making everything feel staged and contrived. The characters also seem slightly askew; having been mishmashed into each other's stories. Additionally, Sondheim's music can be a little bombastic at times, and doesn't flow organically. Into the Woods is an ambitious film that gets points for creativity, yet tonally it never quite comes together.
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