Certain movies engage your affections so strongly that, even if they start to fall apart, you tend to keep rooting for them. That's pretty much the case with Newsies.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
A Disney musical with an undistinguished score, fair to middling choreography, and clunky direction that still manages to be entertaining in spots because of its story.
Bale and Menken are literally what make the movie sing.
| Original Score: 3.5/4
Despite Newsies' many flaws, it's bracing to see Disney attempt a PG movie about something as meaty as labor relations. Would that every strike be resolved with so little bloodshed and so many songs.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Stop the presses! Newsies is the best live-action movie musical since Little Shop of Horrors.
| Original Score: 4/5
An old-fashioned musical that is better when its characters sing and dance than when they talk.
| Original Score: 3/4
Though the cast is large, no interesting or even moderately well-rounded personalities emerge from it, and no compelling relationships emerge between the characters.
| Original Score: 2/4
The movie stands as a textbook demonstration of why they don't -- and probably shouldn't -- make 'em like they used to.
| Original Score: C
The writers have created cardboard cutouts instead of flesh-and-blood characters.
It's a bit of a throwback and a solid family film and, at the time, represented a well-intentioned leap of faith of the sort that studios rarely take.
If you have a soft spot for feisty, back-talking bambini with cute squints, backwards caps and names like Crutchy, Dutchy and Bumlets, your heart will melt.
This film's real trouble lies in its joyless, pointless execution.
Although the material does indeed involve young protagonists, no effort is made to show their lives in a way today's kids can identify with. This movie must seem as odd to them as a foreign film.
| Original Score: 1.5/4
Its intentions seem fairly modest, and so are its achievements. It's a modestly enjoyable diversion.
It looks like its own rehearsal -- an early one at that.