• G, 1 hr. 20 min.
  • Documentary
  • Directed By:
    Luc Jacquet
    In Theaters:
    Jun 24, 2005 Wide
    On DVD:
    Nov 29, 2005
  • Warner Independent Pictures

Opening

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March of the Penguins Reviews

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
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Watch them march to the very extremes of extremis, though, and it's easy to feel awe. Life must beget life, whatever the cost.

Full Review Source: Wall Street Journal

August 5, 2013
J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
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Some of the eggs and chicks freeze, and the parents' cries are painful to hear (probably more for us than for them).

Full Review Source: Chicago Reader

August 5, 2013
Christy Lemire
Associated Press
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French director Luc Jacquet and a team of incredibly brave (and heavily bundled) documentary filmmakers captured this complicated mating ritual with strikingly crisp photography that's both grand and intimate.

Full Review Source: Associated Press

August 5, 2013
David Ansen
Newsweek
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This astonishing film, shot in the Antarctic, captures sights never seen before.

Full Review Source: Newsweek

November 1, 2007
Damon Smith
Time Out New York
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Birth, death, romance, danger: All play a role in Jacquet's homage to a remarkably endearing creature.

Full Review Source: Time Out New York

August 16, 2007
Nick Funnell
Time Out
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Morgan Freeman's slick voice-over compounds a slightly plodding structure, but the dedication of the penguins -- and the cameramen -- assure your wonderment.

Full Review Source: Time Out

June 24, 2006
David Denby
New Yorker
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A perfect family movie, a perfect date movie, and one of the most eye-ravishing documentaries ever made.

Full Review Source: New Yorker

September 6, 2005
Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
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Documentaries are the surprise hits of the summer, and none is scoring bigger than Luc Jacquet's wondrous look at the emperor penguins of Antarctica.

| Original Score: 3/4

August 5, 2005
David Edelstein
NPR's Fresh Air
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The movie easily transcends the 'Isn't-that-amazing?' animal genre.

Full Review Source: NPR's Fresh Air

August 2, 2005
Allison Benedikt
Chicago Tribune
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It's an incredible tale of ritual and perseverance, both for the emperor penguin and the untouched land, sparkling white and aqua, pristine and brutal.

Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 28, 2005
Roger Moore
Orlando Sentinel
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Yes, this is nature anthropomorphized. But after seeing this touching and beautiful film, you might not be so quick to dismiss that 'They're a lot like us' point of view.

Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel | Original Score: 4/5

July 22, 2005
Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
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Mr. Jacquet's magnificent exploration of the tortured life-and-love cycle of the noble emperor penguin soars as one of the most passionate and perceptive expressions of interspecies empathy in the history of the cinema.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

July 21, 2005
James Berardinelli
ReelViews
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When I go to the movies, I expect to have an experience. This is just a TV show -- admittedly a quality one -- but a TV show nonetheless.

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

July 18, 2005
Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
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It's not a stretch to say these penguins experience recognizable emotions such as grief, jealousy, pride and plain old romance. Who knew?

Full Review Source: Miami Herald | Original Score: 3/4

July 15, 2005
Bruce Westbrook
Houston Chronicle
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A rousing affirmation of nature's brilliance in the face of environmental challenge.

Full Review Source: Houston Chronicle | Original Score: 3/4

July 8, 2005
Terry Lawson
Detroit Free Press
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Even if you have somehow managed to resist penguin charm or never given them a second thought, March will leave you amazed at the nobility of the human -- I mean, animal -- spirit.

Full Review Source: Detroit Free Press | Original Score: 3/4

July 8, 2005
Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
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An amazingly photographed and inescapably fascinating documentary about the life and struggles of emperor penguins.

| Original Score: B

July 8, 2005
Michael Booth
Denver Post
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A brilliant tour of nature at its most unnervingly beautiful.

Full Review Source: Denver Post | Original Score: 4/4

July 8, 2005
Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
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"March of the Penguins" is exquisite to behold, but what makes this a truly great film is its emotional impact.

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

July 7, 2005
Jeff Strickler
Minneapolis Star Tribune
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The cuteness rating of the subjects of this documentary is off the charts.

Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Original Score: 3/4

July 7, 2005
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
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When they fall over, they do it with a remarkable lack of style. And for all the walking they do, they're ungainly waddlers. Yet they are perfect in their way, with sleek coats, grace in the water and heroic determination.

Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Original Score: 3.5/4

July 7, 2005
Kerry Lengel
Arizona Republic
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Everything a nature film should be: breathtaking, heartbreaking, soul-inspiring.

Full Review Source: Arizona Republic | Original Score: 4/5

July 7, 2005
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
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A gentle film about somewhat alien beings, who entertain us by creating instead of destroying.

Full Review Source: TIME Magazine

July 7, 2005
Bruce Newman
San Jose Mercury News
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Comes with the shapely narrative of such animated classics as Bambi and The Lion King, and yet the penguins are all quite real.

| Original Score: 3/4

July 7, 2005
Eleanor Ringel Gillespie
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
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March of the Penguins is an astonishing and irresistible documentary set in the frozen no-man's-land of Antarctica.

Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution | Original Score: A-

July 5, 2005
Stephanie Zacharek
Salon.com
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There's more drama, and more heartbreak, in March of the Penguins than in most movies that are actually scripted to tug at our feelings.

Full Review Source: Salon.com

July 5, 2005
Nancy Churnin
Dallas Morning News
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The cinematography is exquisite, especially the long, lingering looks at Antarctica -- a splendidly desolate stretch of land rarely seen by human eyes.

Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Original Score: B+

July 1, 2005
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
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Jacquet has made an absorbing, visually spectacular film.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

July 1, 2005
Misha Berson
Seattle Times
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Mostly upbeat, visually stunning and in awe of the resiliency and loyalty of its subjects.

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

July 1, 2005
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
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It instills a deep reverence for the unforgiving power of nature and the stubborn resilience of life.

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

July 1, 2005
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
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Kids might blanch at some of the more upsetting images, but ultimately the movie will delight and uplift more families than it will scare.

Full Review Source: Boston Globe | Original Score: 3/4

July 1, 2005
Desson Thomson
Washington Post
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A delightful, wholesome experience for the family.

Full Review Source: Washington Post

June 30, 2005
Richard Roeper
Ebert & Roeper
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This has the look and feel of a top-notch special on cable, but not a feature film. I can't recommend that viewers spend nine or ten bucks on something that will play perfectly well eventually on TV.

Full Review Source: Ebert & Roeper

June 27, 2005
Claudia Puig
USA Today
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March of the Penguins captivates with its straightforward but powerful story of dogged determination, survival against harsh odds and sacrifice.

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

June 24, 2005
Peter Howell
Toronto Star
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Children will love it, and parents will feel inclined to never again complain about such minor human complaints as 2 a.m. feedings, messy bedrooms or purloined car keys.

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

June 24, 2005
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
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Through the narration and editing that emphasizes the human-like behaviour of the penguins, March of the Penguins sets up sentimental expectations that are abruptly undermined by scenes of nature's brutality.

Full Review Source: Globe and Mail | Original Score: 2.5/4

June 24, 2005
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
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It's an amazing story, and director Luc Jacquet brings it to the screen in astonishing close-up

Full Review Source: Newark Star-Ledger | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 24, 2005
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
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A remarkable, eye-popping nature documentary.

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

June 24, 2005
Jami Bernard
New York Daily News
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You'd have to be inhuman not to adore March of the Penguins.

Full Review Source: New York Daily News | Original Score: 3/4

June 24, 2005
Stephen Holden
New York Times
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It's impossible to watch the emperor penguins in Luc Jacquet's sentimental but riveting documentary without feeling a tug of anthropomorphic kinship.

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

June 23, 2005
Kevin Crust
Los Angeles Times
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Packed with more romance and nail-biting adventure than a summer of tent-pole movies.

Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times | Original Score: 4/5

June 23, 2005
Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
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The stoic, resolute heroes and heroines of Luc Jacquet's March of the Penguins captivate the viewer.

June 23, 2005
Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
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Beautifully shot film.

Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly

June 23, 2005
John Anderson
Newsday
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Jacquet has made a film possessed of an intimacy that seems unfilmable.

Full Review Source: Newsday | Original Score: 3.5/4

June 23, 2005
Rex Reed
New York Observer
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A fascinating insight into a species about which we know little that is loving, compassionate and unforgettable.

Full Review Source: New York Observer

June 22, 2005
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
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The Central Park Zoo is cheaper, you can walk away from the penguins after 10 minutes, and it has snow monkeys and beer.

Full Review Source: Village Voice

June 22, 2005
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
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Luc Jacquet's exquisitely shot eye-of-God study of a year in the lives of these distinctive birds is a nature film built with a feel for the epic and a love of operatic narrative.

Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly | Original Score: B+

June 15, 2005
Joe Leydon
Variety
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[The] spirit-lifting finale will delight auds hearty enough to brave the journey.

Full Review Source: Variety

May 7, 2005
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