Pee-wee's Big Adventure Reviews

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Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
You have been warned.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
February 9, 2010
Reubens always lets us feel superior to his creation, and when his character slips, as it does more than once in this first feature outing, his own condescension shows through.
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
February 9, 2010
Fair warning: this movie could induce terminal boredom in adults and rot the minds of the young.
Michael Szymanski
International Press Academy
June 1, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Scott Weinberg
July 25, 2002
| Original Score: 5/5
Beth Accomando
July 8, 2008
The filmmakers create a zany and surreal world for Pee-wee yet it all seems perfectly natural and credible. Plus, it's all infused with a subdued yet rampant silliness that's enchanting.
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
August 27, 2012
Chiefly successful because of its commitment to an artistic ideal: make something that looks, talks, feels, and moves like a cartoon.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Rebecca Murray
August 22, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
Cole Smithey
May 21, 2006
Goofy, silly, and just plain funny.
| Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
August 30, 2004
Mostly the film is filled with bizarre jokes that only grow funnier as the film's cult appeal increases; it wears its 20 years well.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
November 1, 2014
Burton demonstrates his knack for building seemingly dynamic meta-worlds inside our own world, depicting Pee Wee's own journey as exciting, harrowing, and often times scary.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
February 9, 2010
Children should love the film and adults will be dismayed by the light brushstrokes with which Paul Reubens (one of three credited screenwriters, but star-billed under his stage name, Pee-wee Herman) suggests touches of Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor.
Christopher Null
June 25, 2005
Arguably Tim Burton's strangest film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
August 7, 2002
| Original Score: 5/5
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
February 14, 2003
A little gem, odd, quirky and completely different; James Brolin as Pee Wee Herman is a blast.
| Original Score: 3/5
Shane Burridge
January 1, 2000
Communicates a genuine sense of eccentricity that keeps it bubbling along
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
October 15, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
December 13, 2003
| Original Score: 5/5
Rob Blackwelder
December 26, 2004
| Original Score: 4/5
Pablo Villaca
Cinema em Cena
March 28, 2005
Já exibindo seu senso de humor bizarro, Burton impressiona em sua estréia como diretor, criando uma aventura ingênua, mas inventiva (e Reubens é um comediante de mão cheia).
| Original Score: 4/5
Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
January 25, 2011
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