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Nim's Island (2008)


Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 101
Fresh: 52
Rotten: 49

Critics Consensus: Despite good intentions, Nim's Island flounders under an implausible storyline, simplistic stock characters, and distracting product placement.

Average Rating: 6/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 17
Rotten: 12

Critics Consensus: Despite good intentions, Nim's Island flounders under an implausible storyline, simplistic stock characters, and distracting product placement.


Average Rating: 3.1/5
User Ratings: 180,904


Movie Info

Anything can happen on Nim's Island, a magical place ruled by a young girl's imagination. It is an existence that mirrors that of her favorite literary character, Alex Rover--the world's greatest adventurer. But Alexandra, the author of the Rover books, leads a reclusive life in the big city. When Nim's father goes missing from their island, a twist of fate brings her together with Alexandra. Now, they must draw courage from their fictional hero, Alex Rover, and find strength in one another to … More

PG (for mild adventure action and brief language)
Action & Adventure , Kids & Family
Directed By:
Written By:
Joseph Kwong , Paula Mazur , Jennifer Flackett , Mark Levin
In Theaters:
Aug 5, 2008
Box Office:
Fox Walden - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Nim's Island

All Critics (101) | Top Critics (29) | Fresh (52) | Rotten (49) | DVD (5)

Foster proves adept at broad physical comedy, the animated sequences charm, and codirectors Mark Levin and Jennifer Flackett send up the make-believe Rover with panache.

Full Review… | December 17, 2008
Chicago Reader
Top Critic

It's a wondrous and warmhearted adventure story with some nifty special effects and some first-rate performances.

April 7, 2008
Ebert & Roeper
Top Critic

There's a lot to like about spunky Breslin, even when she's unnecessarily recapping events or recapitulating Home Alone as she chases caricatured cruise-ship tourists from her island. She's a charismatic, energetic presence at the heart of the film

Full Review… | April 7, 2008
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Nim's Island is a win-win proposition: an entertaining, diverting adventure saga that offers excitement and a relatable heroine for children, and also will remind their parents of favorite classics from their own youth.

Full Review… | April 4, 2008
USA Today
Top Critic

A sweet-natured family adventure film that should be quite popular with the grade-school girls at which it's aimed.

Full Review… | April 4, 2008
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Nim's aquatic adventures and those on land provide the majority of thrills in this exhilarating and enchanting family picture. It's the best I've seen this year and highly recommended for girls and for boys, too.

Full Review… | April 4, 2008
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

The material isn't up to the level of the film's lead, Abigail Breslin.

Full Review… | July 26, 2012

Overplayed: there are entirely too many beaming smiles and emotional flip-outs...the only reason to see this movie is Foster, whose overplaying somehow succeeds at charming where her costars fail. [Blu-Ray]

Full Review… | August 11, 2008
Groucho Reviews

If you have a child, Nim's Island is the kind of film you won't be sorry you shared with him or especially her, and if you don't have a youngster, you'll wish you did.

Full Review… | July 19, 2008
Spectrum (St. George, Utah)

A more enjoyable saga of girl power than Breslin's highly touted followup vehicle, 'Kit Kittredge.'

Full Review… | July 11, 2008
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

The first half is really cute and imaginative. Unfortunately, the second half isn't quite as good.

Full Review… | June 8, 2008
Sin Magazine

... the cast and the cute critters make up for the weaker elements and bring home a nice movie for the 5-11 age group.

Full Review… | June 5, 2008
Atlantic City Weekly

An energetic but whisper thin south sea adventure that borrows heavily from Home Alone and Jewel of the Nile.

Full Review… | May 22, 2008
Windy City Times

The movie gets plain silly, but at least it's lively, and young girls will enjoy Nim's lifestyle in her eco-friendly and frolic-packed tropical paradise.

Full Review… | May 2, 2008
Daily Telegraph

for all the curiosity of seeing Foster in a rare comic rôle, her neurotic, tic-afflicted, accident-prone Alexandra annoys more than she engages, which is a problem for a character who contributes so little to the actual plot apart from diversion

Full Review… | May 1, 2008
Eye for Film

There's nothing very suspenseful going on ... but the cast and the story will appeal to both kids and adults.

Full Review… | April 20, 2008
Shadows on the Wall

here is in fact no actual villain or conflict or tension or fun, and let's face it: we all know Jack will make it back safe and sound (sorry kids, but Wendy Or doesn't have JK Rowling's narrative cahoonas)

Full Review… | April 15, 2008

I found one vital piece of 'Nim's Island' to be ridiculous and the entirety to be only marginally successful.

Full Review… | April 12, 2008
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

...the promised adventure never quite materializes.

Full Review… | April 11, 2008
Sacramento News & Review

If your kids have been totally weaned on ADD-addled animated flicks that mostly coast on crude humor and instantly dated pop culture references, then this clearly isn't the film for them.

Full Review… | April 10, 2008
Creative Loafing

Strictly for kids.

Full Review… | April 9, 2008
Laramie Movie Scope

Foster/Breslin provide warm/funny moments but the story sinks in the middle

Full Review… | April 8, 2008

Played for laughs, [Foster's] neurotic tics become repetitious and more abrasive than humorous%u2014such as her addiction to Purell (hello, product placement!).

Full Review… | April 8, 2008

Plenty of things happen that adults will have to overlook and forget any reasoning because this is a movie aimed at kids, and on that point it delivers.

Full Review… | April 8, 2008

I haven't felt this embarrassed for a star since Robert DeNiro donned a tutu and did the can-can in Stardust.

April 7, 2008

Audience Reviews for Nim's Island

Completely unbelievable movie but my daughter loved Nim and all the animals.

John Manard

Super Reviewer

I quite liked the idea of the story and indeed the film started so well with the lovely animated introduction but just seemed to go down-hill from there. Everything was overdone. If it was a cake it would be a cup cake with wedding cake sized icing, sickly, hard to swallow and with very little content. Abigail Breslin was fine, Gerard Butler was quite good in his double role but the supporting cast of exaggerated stereotypes where tiresome and Jodie Foster's performance is probably among the worst I've ever seen. Her attempts at physical comedy made me want to throw things at my television and shout bad words. Not what you want from a 'Family film'. I think the directors (always be weary when there is more than one) had great intentions initially, they just got lazy and went all Hollywood. I'm surprised this got a cinema release and didn't go straight to video.

Anthony Lawrie

Super Reviewer

There's not a lot of adventure in Nim's Island but there is a lot of character development and although it might be confusing for some, the acting and script just about save's it.

Directors Cat
Directors Cat

Super Reviewer


Your adventure starts here.

This movie is basically for a kids audience, in order to really grasp it's full magic you have to be a kid. The film uses alot of imagination which is cool if your a kid but for a grownup like me it didn't really moved me or made me love it more. The story was nice and it had some funny moments.

Nim's Island tells the story of a young girl named Nim (Abigail Breslin). She lives on a beautiful uncharted island with her father Jack Rusoe (Gerard Butler), a research scientist studying microscopic marine organisms. She spends her days having wild adventures in the woods along with her animal friends, Fred the lizard, Galileo the pelican, and Selki the seal, and her wild imagination. Nim has a huge passion for books, especially the Alex Rover books. Jack is about to take Nim on a two day research trip looking for protozoa, but Nim begs to be left behind so she can help the hatching baby sea turtles. Jack reluctantly leaves Nim behind and sails out to sea. While he is away, Alexandra Rover (Jodie Foster) the author of the Rover books emails Jack to get his knowledge about volcanoes for her next book. Nim replies thinking he is the great adventurer Alex Rover. Everything goes well until a huge storm hits the island and Jack becomes lost at sea. Nim sends a letter to her literary hero pleading for help. Little does Nim know, that Alex Rover is a woman (Jodie Foster). Alexandra is agoraphobic and never leaves the house. She rarely even opens her front door. Alex also has a wild immagination, whereas her fictional character Alex Rover (also Gerard Butler) talks to her, mocks her, and gives her pep talks. When they find Nim's Letter, fictional Alex badgers Alexandra until he finally convinces her to leave the confines of her townhouse to go and help Nim. After a long and terrifying journey, both of the Alex's make it to Nim's Island and try to help. Will they find Nim's father? Find out by going to see Nim's Island.

Manu Gino

Super Reviewer

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