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The Super Mario Bros. (1990)

tomatometer

16

Average Rating: 3.7/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 27

Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.

25

Average Rating: 4.5/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 6

Despite flashy sets and special effects, Super Mario Bros. is too light on story and substance to be anything more than a novelty.

audience

29

liked it
Average Rating: 2.4/5
User Ratings: 172,538

My Rating

Movie Info

The huge success of the video games featuring animated Italian plumbers the Mario Brothers led to this $42 million live action movie. The two brothers (Bob Hoskins and John Leguizamo) live in Manhattan and are chasing Princess Daisy (Samantha Mathis), who wears a necklace made from a meteor fragment. Its powers can free a race of reptilian creatures from the city's sewers. The villainous ruler of the creatures, who are descendants of dinosaurs, is King Koopa (Dennis Hopper). Koopa has kidnapped

Jun 3, 2003

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (27)

Scenery rushes by, noise blares, characters pop up wearing new costumes that they couldn't possibly have had time to change into as they eluded their adversaries.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Ultimately, it's one more stop in the arcade, beckoning, waiting to soak up time and money.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately, the highlights are sporadic.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Wildly overproduced and derivative.

March 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

It will baffle kids, bore adolescents, and depress adults.

February 9, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This film's two directors and three screenwriters have clearly tried hard to breathe life into their nonstory, to the point where the film's intensity seems more crazy than cynical.

May 20, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are none of the game's hidden pleasures, such as booby traps or treasure caches, and the casting is peculiar.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Even moviegoers who don't own Nintendo (if any such species exists) will thoroughly enjoy these superheroes. And chances are, this is only the beginning of their film exploits.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Devotees of the game may derive some pleasure from seeing its obstacles given quasi-flesh and set in motion, but that inert pleasure soon pales in a torrent of none-too-special effects, confusing story line and characters without personalities.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: Baltimore Sun
Baltimore Sun

Bizarre, replete in often stunning special effects and verrrry strange from the outset, Super Mario Bros. is curiously entertaining, even though it often makes little sense.

May 30, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Bombs explode, cars careen and crash, people leap from dimension to dimension in this blaring, glaring picture. Kids might get a charge out of the mayhem. I got the vapors.

February 7, 2011
Charlotte Observer

As the ad campaign helpfully pointed out, "this ain't no game, it's a live-action thrill ride." Half-true: it is surely not a game, for it is typically held that games are pleasurable.

May 30, 2010 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Game over, man.

April 7, 2010 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

Despite eye-catching sets and smart casting, this first feature-length film to be adapted from a video game is a bloated muddle.

April 7, 2010 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

While it isn't as bad as it was initially built up to be, it is an early example of why videogames don't make good movies.

July 10, 2003
eFilmCritic.com

Super Mario Bros. is about as playful and challenging as an unplugged pinball machine.

May 27, 2003
Movie Eye

They should have used cheat codes to make this a winner.

February 6, 2003
Your Movies (cleveland.com)

If the very expensive special-effects extravaganza Super Mario Bros. is any indication, we probably won't be seeing Legend of Zelda: The Movie very soon.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

The movie is the trailer, shown over and over and over again.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Audience Reviews for The Super Mario Bros.

So bad I have not enough words to describe it. I can nitpick as a fan of the video game how this live action version fails and I can tear it apart as a film fan, but why bother. You can either avoid this film like a plague of fungus, or you can watch it over a few beers and laugh your ass off at its awfulness.
May 10, 2014
MovieGeek13

Super Reviewer

So could this be one of the worst films ever made?? yep we have a contender. Huge on hype and anticipation but hugely sole destroying upon release. Its hard to comprehend what the creators of this film were looking to achieve, the style, looks, soundtrack, plot, basically any links to the classic legendary videogame are none existent.

The main issue with this film is the blatant fact it has NOTHING to do with the classic videogame. Apart from the two leads and the villain there is zero here to please anyone unless you have a metal and dinosaur fetish. True Hoskins does look wonderfully like 'Mario' in his red n blue jumpsuit and I did quite like the sliminess of Hopper as 'Koopa' but that's as far as it goes.

The whole thing is just so damn odd, its a corny thing to say but its basically 'Mad Max' 'Highlander II' and 'Blade Runner' styled futuristic visuals aimed at children but utter nonsense. I guess this could be forgiven if the visuals were good or original but its all so ugly and scrappy looking. As if no one could really be too bothered so they just tossed a load of sparking metal, badly dressed extras and the most bizarre designed cars I've ever seen...everywhere.

Nothing really makes much sense in any way whatsoever, sure its a kids film and 'Mario Bros' isn't a stern reality based concept but some of the decisions in this film!. The effects of course are horribly dated now which you can't poke fun at really but geez its nasty!. Early CGI effects, terrible stunts with obvious wire work, awful costumes, the fungus king and awful hairstyles...yet the dino model/puppet of 'Yoshi' looks good and moves quite nicely.

It really does feel as if the bigwigs had gotten halfway through making one film and suddenly decided to turn it into a Mario film for kids. Just take the tonne of crappy looking junk they already had going and stick in some very loose references to Nintendo's big franchise and voila! instant Mario Bros movie hurrah!. I really believe this was the set of 'Lawnmower Man 2' transformed at the eleventh hour, and they still fudged that up too.

Its not too often that a film is really so bad, really its not!! and this was suppose to be a blockbuster and franchise builder!. Sure there are bad films but this is really really quite terrible in all areas with virtually nothing to save its ass. I did quite like the use of the old Nintendo Super Scope 6. But was that a clever little easter egg wink/nod for the legion of NES/SNES players or did they really think they could fool everyone into thinking it was a proper purpose build prop?. I'll let you decide.
November 30, 2012
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

Oh god this film... This film was every one of these actor's low points in their carrer's. From the second I was told there was a Super Mario Brothers movie, I knew it was going to be bad, but I wasent expecting it to be this bad. I should start off by saying the film was narrarated by Homer Simpson. I then new this would be the cheesiest thing EVER. Then it wasent til later in the film I was like, 'Wait, is that... no, that cant be Dennis Hopper!' but saddly it's true. Bob Hoskins as Mario, Hopper as King Koopa and MOJO NIXON AS TOAD!!! COME ON! What's sad is you know they wanted to make a sequal to this and thank the beard of Zeus they didnt! They didnt include Peach, Wario, Donkey Kong or even the main bad guy BOWSER! Please avoid this film at all cost, for your own sake... I can never get those 114 minutes of my life back...
March 5, 2012
Joshua Wilburn

Super Reviewer

One of the first awful video game to screen adaptation. This adaptation of the popular video game franchise, Super Mario Bros. To say that this film is trash is an understatement. This film is poorly constructed; everything about it seems out of place, poorly conceived, sloppy and lazy. I really don't know if Super Mario brothers could have been a good idea for a good film. But by having seen this film, evidently not. I saw it when it came out, and hated it back then, hate it now. This film is a poor waste of celluloid and money. If this film would have been made today, it probably would have been directed by Uwe Boll, famed awful director of awful video game to screen adaptations. This films awful plot is decorated with lavish special effects, and unfortunately, it doesn't redeem this horrid film. The cast are terrible in their parts and it sinks the film even further. Sure, the idea of making a film based on the Mario Bros could have been cool, but this film is simply poorly executed. If you haven't seen this film, and are considering it, don't. This film is a waste of time. Stick with playing the classic video game, as it's far superior to this trash. Super Mario Bros was simply filmed to make a quick buck, and this film stands as a testament as no matter what kind of crap the studios greenlight, no matter how awful it is, the audience will go see. Luckily, this film sucks big time, and is a total waste. Avoid this if you haven't seen it. You'll be glad you did.
November 14, 2011
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

Movies Like The Super Mario Bros.

    1. Iggy: Was she corpulent, very corpulent?
    2. Luigi Mario: No, she was just really round.
    3. Spike: Ah, Big Bertha, the bouncer at the Boom-Boom Bar!
    – Submitted by Chris R (15 months ago)
    1. Daisy: (in unison) Are you all right?
    2. Luigi Mario: (in unison) Are you all right?
    – Submitted by Chris R (15 months ago)
    1. Mario Mario: Where the hell are we? This is crazy!
    – Submitted by River P (18 months ago)
    1. Luigi Mario: No. It's Luigi Mario. See because we're brothers, we gotta have the same last name.
    – Submitted by Randon L (23 months ago)
    1. Luigi Mario: I got a feeling we're not in Brooklyn no more.
    – Submitted by Jed G (24 months ago)
    1. Mario Mario: Come & get it, lizard breath!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (2 years ago)
View all quotes (14)

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