Critics Consensus: WALL-E Is the Best-Reviewed Film of 2008

Plus, Wanted delivers the adrenaline-fueled goods.

This week at the movies, we've got lonely robots (Pixar's WALL-E, directed by Andrew Stanton) and kinetic killers (Wanted, starring Angelina Jolie, James McAvoy, and Morgan Freeman). What do the critics have to say?

It's rare that a picture earns comparisons with Chaplin's City Lights and Kubrick's 2001. It's rarer still that said picture is also praised as intelligent, visually remarkable, darkly funny, and ultimately, heartwarming family fare. However, critics say the good folks at Pixar have done just that with WALL-E, perhaps the studio's most audacious film yet. Set in a dystopian future, WALL-E is the tale of a garbage-collecting robot navigating an unpopulated Earth. Soon he's joined by EVE, a female bot searching for vegetation, and falls head-over-treads in love. Critics have been heaping praise on Pixar for years, but there's a reason for that: The studio re-invents the rules of CG animation each time out. The pundits say WALL-E deftly blends slapstick, political satire, heartbreaking romance, and masterful storytelling into a one-of-a-kind movie experience. At 96 percent on the Tomatometer, WALL-E is not just Certified Fresh. It's not just one of the best-reviewed films of the year. It's one of the best-reviewed films in Pixar's history.


"Now where can we get some Brawndo?"

If you're looking for realism and well-developed characters, you can safely skip Wanted. However, if visceral, kicky popcorn fun is what you crave, critics say this Angelina Jolie-toplined flick should largely satisfy. Directed by Timur (Night Watch) Bekmambetov, Wanted is the story of an average Joe (James McAvoy) who finds himself recruited into a secret society by the enigmatic Fox (Jolie), in which he learns how to be an efficient assassin before getting in over his head. The pundits say Wanted is ultra-violent and artificial, but also sharply-paced and loaded with visual flair. At 72 percent, Wanted is more alive than dead. (Check out our video interview with Jolie here, and our breakdown of McAvoy's best-reviewed films here.)


"Clean up on aisle five!"


Also opening this week in limited release:

Louise Bourgeois: The Spider, The Mistress and The Tangerine, a documentary about the iconoclastic artist, is at 89 percent;

Beastie Boy Adam Yauch's Gunnin' for That #1 Spot, a doc about street-hoops Mecca Rucker Park, is at 82 percent;

Catherine Breillat's The Last Mistress, adapted from a novel by Jules Barbey d'Aurevilly and starring Asia Argento, is at 71 percent;

Trumbo, a doc about the blacklisted screenwriter of Roman Holiday, is at 64 percent;

Elsa & Fred, a romantic comedy about a wild love affair between two seniors in Madrid, is at 50 percent;

Finding Amanda, starring Matthew Broderick and Brittany Snow, a comedy about a compulsive gambler's search for his drug-addicted niece, is at 46 percent;

Full Grown Men, a dark comedy about arrested emotional development starring Matt McGrath and Judah Friedlander, is at 44 percent;

And Hannari: Geisha Modern, a doc about the Japanese performance tradition, is at zero percent.


"I'm taking my Tomatometer with a grain of salt."

Recent Pixar Movies:
--------------------------
95% -- Ratatouille (2007)
75% -- Cars (2006)
97% -- The Incredibles (2004)
98% -- Finding Nemo (2003)
95% -- Monsters, Inc. (2001)

Comments

martinscorsese25

christopher cantos

i really doubt wall e will beat kung fu panda in the box-office... its always the same every year... dreamworks beat pixar in the box-office even though pixar's films are far more superrior than any film dreamworks has done.... they said there are no dialouge for the first 30 minutes, kids won't love that, so kids might not want to watch it twice... and even though grown ups will love to watch this twice, kids still is the main audience for animation.. which sucks!!!! i hope children of the world will be smart in picking films, but you've got to give them a break, they are just kids...

Jun 26 - 05:05 PM

quickshade

Brandon Kruse

WOW, I forgot some people can't do proper math.

Toystory: $191,796,233
A Bugs Life: $162,798,565
Toystory 2: $245,852,179
Monsters, Inc: $255,873,250
Finding Nemo: $339,714,97
The Incredibles: $261,441,092
Cars: $244,082,982
Ratatouille: $206,445,654

Lifetime Gross: $1,908,004,933

Dreamworks: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=dwanimation.htm

Double the amount of movies as Pixar yet total income: $2,402,621,233

In fact only the top 5 Dreamworks movies have outranked the lowest Pixar income movie. Minus the 3 shrek sequels and only 2 of them have. and the compare to the 2 lowest income movies Pixar has. Shrek was great for Dreamworks and I'll admit it worked out well for them. But Dreamworks has not done better than Pixar at all. The fact that Wall-e should earn enough money to push Pixar into the 2.1-2.2 billion dollar range is great news. The fact that Pixar did it with only 1 sequel in their entire library and in 9 movies......well....shows how good they are.

This isn't a bash on Dreamworks, it's just simple math that some people can't do. Sure Pixar could push out subpar movies and sequels every year, But they don't. They release quality content, and still earn the same amount of money as other studios.

Jun 26 - 06:00 PM

ffamilyguy

Tyson Thomas

Amen to that Quickshade. Pixar dominates pretty much in every category. And even though Cars was the lowest rated of the Pixar, it actually made more than any Pixar movie by far...simply because of merchandise sales. Think about it....what little boy wouldn't want a toy car. They sold over 50 million on just toys...not including other stuff like clothing and bed stuff, stickers, folders...etc..you name it, it was sold more than any other Pixar movie. NOW...who wants an INCREDIBLE Part 2. I Pray that they make it. Of all the Pixar movies, the Incredibles was probably the hippest/coolest Pixar movie. All of them are good, but The Incredibles was so damn entertaining and fun that I felt like a little kid again. Shoot I can go on for days about PIXAR. Dreamworks....has Shrek...I can't really think of any other CG movie that they have made...did they make Madagascar, cause that sucked.

Jun 26 - 11:19 PM

Slipperypick

Christopher Child

I'm continually surprised and even a little amazed when people say that kids won't appreciate Wall-E's non-dialog aspects. Do these people have or know children? The fact is that dialog usually distracts the younger kids from what it is they really want to see. Kids could care less about what the characters SAY than what they DO.
I know my kids will love Wall E. I probably will love it even more. Pixar has never disappointed me.

Jun 27 - 07:38 AM

Eggnog70

Brian Dunn

"i really doubt wall e will beat kung fu panda in the box-office... its always the same every year... dreamworks beat pixar in the box-office even though pixar's films are far more superrior than any film dreamworks has done.... they said there are no dialouge for the first 30 minutes, kids won't love that, so kids might not want to watch it twice... and even though grown ups will love to watch this twice, kids still is the main audience for animation.. which sucks!!!! i hope children of the world will be smart in picking films, but you've got to give them a break, they are just kids... "

I couldn't agree more, though I do think Wall-E will dominate in the box office this weekend but overall, Kung Fu Panda, which is supposedly quite good (I haven't seen it), will be the long term box office champ.

Jun 27 - 03:32 PM

blattman

Mike Greenblatt

Kids today are a lot smarter then you are giving them credit. If it is visual, it doesn't have to be in English. Check out "The Triplettes of Belleville," I saw it with a four year old who understood and loved the story. Wall-E will translate fine.

Jun 26 - 05:22 PM

homeimp

Rob Wills

Please send the 4 year old to me. I didn't understand or get Les Triplettes at all. It was one of the very few films I left before the end. Something must have been "lost in translation" for me.

Jun 26 - 07:17 PM

hitnrun017

Ethan Connolly

Wanted is the first movie this year that I've been HIGHLY anticipating, can't wait for tomorrow. I'll probably go see Wall-E sometime next week, too.

Jun 26 - 05:34 PM

quickshade

Brandon Kruse

WOW, I forgot some people can't do proper math.

Toystory: $191,796,233
A Bugs Life: $162,798,565
Toystory 2: $245,852,179
Monsters, Inc: $255,873,250
Finding Nemo: $339,714,97
The Incredibles: $261,441,092
Cars: $244,082,982
Ratatouille: $206,445,654

Lifetime Gross: $1,908,004,933

Dreamworks: http://www.boxofficemojo.com/franchises/chart/?id=dwanimation.htm

Double the amount of movies as Pixar yet total income: $2,402,621,233

In fact only the top 5 Dreamworks movies have outranked the lowest Pixar income movie. Minus the 3 shrek sequels and only 2 of them have. and the compare to the 2 lowest income movies Pixar has. Shrek was great for Dreamworks and I'll admit it worked out well for them. But Dreamworks has not done better than Pixar at all. The fact that Wall-e should earn enough money to push Pixar into the 2.1-2.2 billion dollar range is great news. The fact that Pixar did it with only 1 sequel in their entire library and in 9 movies......well....shows how good they are.

This isn't a bash on Dreamworks, it's just simple math that some people can't do. Sure Pixar could push out subpar movies and sequels every year, But they don't. They release quality content, and still earn the same amount of money as other studios.

Jun 26 - 06:00 PM

ffamilyguy

Tyson Thomas

Amen to that Quickshade. Pixar dominates pretty much in every category. And even though Cars was the lowest rated of the Pixar, it actually made more than any Pixar movie by far...simply because of merchandise sales. Think about it....what little boy wouldn't want a toy car. They sold over 50 million on just toys...not including other stuff like clothing and bed stuff, stickers, folders...etc..you name it, it was sold more than any other Pixar movie. NOW...who wants an INCREDIBLE Part 2. I Pray that they make it. Of all the Pixar movies, the Incredibles was probably the hippest/coolest Pixar movie. All of them are good, but The Incredibles was so damn entertaining and fun that I felt like a little kid again. Shoot I can go on for days about PIXAR. Dreamworks....has Shrek...I can't really think of any other CG movie that they have made...did they make Madagascar, cause that sucked.

Jun 26 - 11:19 PM

garymey

First Last

I saw WALL-E two weeks ago with a packed house of 50% kids under 12. Hardly anyone budged. I sat through that dialogue-less opening amazed at how beautifully it communicated without spoken words and kept wondering "when will they start squirming?" They did not. Silent films didn't need spoken word for the first 30 years of the movies and audience today are captivated by them f they were good.

So WALL-E should hold its own and if it opens people's eyes to new ways of telling stories then Bravo to Pixar for continuing to break the rules.

And I loved the whole movie and the brilliant short, PRESTO. Just another rule they have broken...putting shorts switch the features after industry largely abandoned the policy.

Jun 26 - 06:12 PM

TheCaptain of TeamLoyalty

John Webb

I am currently working at disney and right now all the employees, and guests cannot wait to see the movie, i see it doing really well.

Jun 26 - 06:27 PM

homeimp

Rob Wills

Please send the 4 year old to me. I didn't understand or get Les Triplettes at all. It was one of the very few films I left before the end. Something must have been "lost in translation" for me.

Jun 26 - 07:17 PM

Dachshund96

Alpha Z

All these stupid movies are just baby sitting tools. Of course they do well.

Jun 26 - 07:54 PM

bijibadness

Biji Badness

98 percent with 80 reviews is a stupid movie? who are you and what are you doing on this website?

Jun 27 - 03:25 AM

Coyote22

Dane Jorgensen

You actually liked 10,000 B.C.? Wow, I never thought I'd hear someone confess to that. Personally, I wish that movie could be screened by those Mystery Science Theater guys, then it would probably be watchable.

Jun 27 - 03:37 PM

mezz

Marcel Morin

Life's too short to be so bitter.

Jun 30 - 02:36 PM

devdev

Harry Sayer

Didn't think Wall-E would do THAT good. Seriously, 97 percent? That's incredible.

Jun 26 - 08:12 PM

Almost.Famous

adam ramberg

Think thats incredible look at pixars toy story movies. 100 percent for christ sake. Wall-e's reviews dont surprise me at all.

Jun 27 - 03:13 PM

oyguvaltshappy

matthew ericson

as extraordinary as Wall-E's reviews are, I was truthfully expecting something similar to what it got (maybe a tad lower than this, though), whereas Wanted seemed like a film that would receive a critical trashing, making it this week's true surprise in my eyes.

That doesn't change the fact that Wall-E looks absolutely phenomenal.

Jun 26 - 09:43 PM

Schumacherh8ter

Scott D'Agostino

Nice "Idiocracy" joke. Tomorrow's my mom's birthday; might take her to see "Wanted". She's a fan Freeman, McAvoy, and, to a lesser extent, Jolie.

Jun 26 - 09:43 PM

barryzuckercorn

Barry Zuckercorn

Some of you are too strange. Look at Pixar's track record, for Jebus' sake, and you're surprised Wall-E would be that good? Oy vey.

Jun 26 - 10:10 PM

tabascoman77

Matt Perri

Andrew...

Where at Disney do you work?

Curious is all... :)

Jun 26 - 10:39 PM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

Tabasco,

Wherever he works at Disney, I'm sure it's in full view of the public, where his winning personality, even temper, and non-judgmental attitude can be put to good use ;-)

Jun 27 - 07:11 AM

ffamilyguy

Tyson Thomas

Amen to that Quickshade. Pixar dominates pretty much in every category. And even though Cars was the lowest rated of the Pixar, it actually made more than any Pixar movie by far...simply because of merchandise sales. Think about it....what little boy wouldn't want a toy car. They sold over 50 million on just toys...not including other stuff like clothing and bed stuff, stickers, folders...etc..you name it, it was sold more than any other Pixar movie. NOW...who wants an INCREDIBLE Part 2. I Pray that they make it. Of all the Pixar movies, the Incredibles was probably the hippest/coolest Pixar movie. All of them are good, but The Incredibles was so damn entertaining and fun that I felt like a little kid again. Shoot I can go on for days about PIXAR. Dreamworks....has Shrek...I can't really think of any other CG movie that they have made...did they make Madagascar, cause that sucked.

Jun 26 - 11:19 PM

bijibadness

Biji Badness

98 percent with 80 reviews is a stupid movie? who are you and what are you doing on this website?

Jun 27 - 03:25 AM

Coyote22

Dane Jorgensen

You actually liked 10,000 B.C.? Wow, I never thought I'd hear someone confess to that. Personally, I wish that movie could be screened by those Mystery Science Theater guys, then it would probably be watchable.

Jun 27 - 03:37 PM

Gimy

Gimy Moo

SNOOOOOOOOOZE...i don't believe it ntil i see it. Rat was supposedly a GREAT movie and i thought it was boring and all around well below average. same thing with Happy Feet, which i thought was boring because all it turned out to be was a festival of penguin karoake.

considering critics bashed 10,000 bc and i actually really liked it...the rating means jack to me. it would be nice if it was better than kung fu panda(which was really good) but the whole Short Circuit rip off still bothers me.

Jun 27 - 05:08 AM

~*Admiral Snowstorm*~

Dominique Amsterdam

Gimy:

Yeah, I see where you're coming from. I mean, how did the critics not notice the superb visuals, heartwarming story, inspirational characters, and diligent historical accuracy of 10,000 BC? And on top of that, they praise a movie like Ratatouille, some children's movie about talking rats?

People these days, they have no taste in movies.

Jun 27 - 07:30 AM

miketwo

mike torres

oh boy i feell bad for you.

10,000bc has got to be the worst acted, the worst executed movie in this past decade. It dragged so bad.

As for Wall-e i went to see the midnight showing hoping to get away from seeing it with young children. I was amazed to see children at that time of night but the attention they gave this movie even in the first 30 minutes with little dialogue is amazing. The movie is perfect in so many ways. The animation, the character development and the story really delivers. Not only is it a great love story but a spectacular sci fi movie

Jun 27 - 03:12 PM

nate2709

Nate 2709

You thought Ratatouille was boring AND you really liked 10,000 BC? Wow.

Jun 30 - 10:38 PM

JojoTR

John Phillips

Dreamworks is just about a pop culture references that will fizzle away in a few years. When Pixar uses culture references at least they use ones that have past the test of time. And when your story is original enough, you don't need pop culture to lure people in. Thank you Pixar.

Prime example of Dreamworks being Dreamworks: Shark Tale

Jun 27 - 05:20 AM

Elixor

Daniel Klooster

Wall-E was very enjoyable, saw it last night. I'd be shocked if it doesn't do extremely well.

Saying Wall-E's design is a rip off of Number 5 from Short Circuit is just silly. It's like saying that any movie that has star ships with four wings is a rip off of Star Wars because they end up looking like X-wings. Similar shapes are all that's there, don't see any attempts of ripping anything off.

Jun 27 - 05:46 AM

miketwo

mike torres

I agree with you, saying that Wall-e is a rip-off from short circuit is nonsence. Wall-e's personaility alone proves that. I remember watching short circuit and during the whole movie i never forgot that all he was was a machine with malfunctioning circuits. From the minute Wall-e shows on screen you are completely pulled into believing he is more than just a piece of metal. He is more human like than many human characters in dozens of movies i have seen

Jun 27 - 03:16 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

What I can't believe is the comparison still being made. Beyond the WALL-E's character design, there is absolutely no similarity between this film and Short Circuit. Not plot-wise, not thematically. Nothing. Folks can say, sure, he looks a little like Johnny 5. But saying "WALL-E is a ripoff of Short Circuit" is ludicrous.

Jun 30 - 07:01 PM

Matanuki

Matanuki .

What I can't believe is the comparison still being made. Beyond the WALL-E's character design, there is absolutely no similarity between this film and Short Circuit. Not plot-wise, not thematically. Nothing. Folks can say, sure, he looks a little like Johnny 5. But saying "WALL-E is a ripoff of Short Circuit" is ludicrous.

Jun 30 - 07:15 PM

sunsaz

Chris Moore

Move over, Iron Man and Indy. I think we have our next $300 million earner in Wall-E. Between the children and the sci-fi geeks, those two demographics alone will put the film well on its way to $300 mil.

Jun 27 - 06:58 AM

ProducerPaul

Paul Barrett

Tabasco,

Wherever he works at Disney, I'm sure it's in full view of the public, where his winning personality, even temper, and non-judgmental attitude can be put to good use ;-)

Jun 27 - 07:11 AM

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