ParaNorman Reviews

Top Critic
Cath Clarke
Time Out
September 11, 2012
Ghoulish? Yes. Funny? You bet.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Richard Roeper
Richard Roeper.com
August 30, 2012
Paranorman has a unique look that's equal parts old school and cutting edge.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
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Bruce Diones
New Yorker
August 27, 2012
The film avoids the pandering of many animated features, bringing an acerbic edge and a thrilling intelligence to its story.
Top Critic
August 22, 2012
"ParaNorman" took a huge risk on a scarier concept, and it paid off enormously.
Full Review | Original Score: A
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Rafer Guzman
Newsday
August 17, 2012
"ParaNorman" is never less than entertaining, but you'll have to follow it into a strange purgatory between two opposing genres.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Rick Groen
Globe and Mail
August 17, 2012
If the story lacks the consistent psychological depth of Coraline, another tale of an outcast finding solace in a parallel world, amends are made during the lovely climax.
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Tom Long
Detroit News
August 17, 2012
Chances are most kids, and most adults, will find "Paranorman" perfectly horrible in the best possible way.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Lou Lumenick
New York Post
August 17, 2012
Employs stop-motion animation to provide hand-crafted appeal to the clever and surprisingly scary story of a Massachusetts town whose witch-hunting past catches up with it on its 300th anniversary.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Sean O'Connell
Washington Post
August 17, 2012
A colorfully macabre stop-motion animation comedy that embraces the sociopolitical allegories of George A. Romero's zombie pictures and reworks them into a feature-length episode of "Scooby-Doo."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
August 16, 2012
Humor depends on character, context and continuity, none of which is in abundant supply in "ParaNorman."
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
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Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
August 16, 2012
The world of Blithe Hollow exists in real space. The residents have real bags under their eyes, real bellies at their belt buckles. Ugliness alternates with rapturous beauty ...
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Betsy Sharkey
Los Angeles Times
August 16, 2012
It may be the most fun you'll have with ghosts and zombies all year.
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Claudia Puig
USA Today
August 16, 2012
An entertaining and visually attractive family-friendly story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Manohla Dargis
New York Times
August 16, 2012
The story, an amusing if not especially fresh tale involving a witch and some Puritans, is principally a vehicle for the movie's meticulously detailed pictorial beauty, which turns each scene into an occasion for discovery and sometimes delight.
Top Critic
August 16, 2012
The spirit of great stop-motion animators like George Pal and Ray Harryhausen lives on in ParaNorman, and not just as a ghost: It's so real you could almost reach out and touch it.
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
August 16, 2012
"ParaNorman" has plenty of rambunctious thrills to give the kiddies goosebumps, while older connoisseurs of stop-motion animation will appreciate the Laika studio's inventive visuals.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
August 16, 2012
The movie has its moments of dark whimsy and cheeky wit, but most of what it has is body parts.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
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Peter Travers
Rolling Stone
August 16, 2012
It's not just Pixar that kicks ass in animation. There's magic in ParaNorman, a small miracle in stop-motion 3D from the wizards at Laika.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Jake Coyle
Associated Press
August 16, 2012
ParaNorman, blessed with otherworldly animation, can't escape the demons of story.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
August 16, 2012
This swell stop-motion animation operates on a wavelength similar to that of Laika's debut feature, Coraline, with assured character comedy counterbalanced by a solemn sense of macabre wonder.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
August 16, 2012
It's as slow as a corpse, and half as interesting.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
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Randy Myers
San Jose Mercury News
August 16, 2012
It delivers a potent, multipronged fable that touches on meaty themes, from bullying to dealing with death. It also delivers an especially resonant message about not succumbing to a cult of fear.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
August 16, 2012
The quick-witted script and visual puns (check out Norman's bedroom) make this a zombie movie for kids, but one parents can enjoy.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
August 16, 2012
Butler and Fell are diehard fans of the horror genre and they have peppered the film with an endless array of subtle homages and gags.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Moira MacDonald
Seattle Times
August 16, 2012
It's filled with clever detail, both old-school and state-of-the-art.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tasha Robinson
AV Club
August 16, 2012
The results are breathtakingly chilling, but it's easy to wonder what heights ParaNorman could have reached by doing one thing that well throughout, instead of 10 things at once, haphazardly.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
August 16, 2012
What works about "ParaNorman" is its subtle interweave of the stoical and the heroic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
August 15, 2012
Beautifully rendered in 3-D stop-motion animation, the film combines ghoulishness and hilarity in a way that suggests Evil Dead 2 for the Nickelodeon set.
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Bill Goodykoontz
Arizona Republic
August 15, 2012
Truly, this is one animated film that would work just as well as a live-action movie.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Keith Uhlich
Time Out
August 14, 2012
This is the kind of grim fairy tale, equal parts midnight-movie macabre and family-round-the-hearth compassionate, that scars in all the right ways.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Jonathan Kiefer
Village Voice
August 14, 2012
Butler called it "John Carpenter meets John Hughes," and that does just about sum ParaNorman up, though the actual math still feels a little fuzzy.
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Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
August 14, 2012
... if you're any kind of animation or graphic art fiend or even mild enthusiast, the visuals are sure to stagger you. ParaNorman is an extrasensory delight for sure.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
August 8, 2012
The story may be thin, but the project, a feat of stop-motion animation, is made with generous care by the same impressive LAIKA studio artists who conjured up the gorgeous Coraline.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Justin Chang
Variety
August 3, 2012
Few movies so taken with death have felt so rudely alive as ParaNorman, the latest handcrafted marvel from the stop-motion artists at Laika.
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Michael Rechtshaffen
Hollywood Reporter
August 3, 2012
It has its entertaining moments, but this paranormal stop-motion animated comedy-chiller cries out for more activity.