Critic Review - Variety

Director Spike Jonze's sharp instincts and vibrant visual style can't quite compensate for the lack of narrative eventfulness that increasingly bogs down this bright-minded picture.

October 12, 2009 Full Review Source: Variety | Comments (11)
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Scott Trevor

While I plan to see the movie and I expect to enjoy it, this is the one thing I have worried about with it: it doesn't look like it has much of a story. So I expect to see a few reviews like this.

Oct 12 - 01:36 PM


Ben Noe

I'm starting to have a flashback to when Watchmen was being released; the top critics are mainly giving rotten reviews and rest are mainly giving positive reviews.

Oct 12 - 04:56 PM


Michael Anthony

Only idiots don't recognize the strong story. Sorry.

Oct 12 - 06:51 PM


James D'Ambrosio


Oct 13 - 06:06 AM


Scott Trevor

-- Itri2 wrote: "Only idiots don't recognize the strong story. Sorry."

Since I'm such an idiot, please elaborate on the "strong story" evident from dialogue-less scenes of a boy walking beside a monster and riding on top of it. Not the story in the book, not the story from seeing clips or from seeing the movie itself, but solely from the TV advertisements -- the only previews I've seen.

You, too, Franchise. You guys hide behind your anonymity calling people idiots. Come on. Lay it out. How do those previews imply a strong story, stronger than any crap movie out there? Remember that I have heard good things about it and the I plan to see it, but it doesn't LOOK like it has a strong story. So please, enlighten me so I won't be such an idiot.


Oct 13 - 09:02 AM

Chandler W.

Chandler Wise

Um...hello? It's a story about growing up, being a kid, and discovering yourself.

You're the moron if you can't see that much.

Oct 13 - 05:12 PM

Pontius P.

Pontius P

That isn't a story. It's a theme. And the actual theme is how children master various feelings.

The reality is, there really wasn't much story to the book (beyond being sent to bed without supper). Hell, it was only 9 sentences long. In fact, the specific theme of the book is difficult to pinpoint without taking into account the two books that followed. Being a picture book, what it had that was so endearing was atmosphere.

From the trailer, it's apparent that atmosphere was faithfully reproduced. We also know that Spike Jonze, working closely with Sendak for many years, was able to nail down the theme. What we don't know is how he has conveyed adequate conflict (story) to carry a feature-length film.

Oct 14 - 01:48 AM

will s.

will stamp

Well said, Pontius

Oct 15 - 12:53 AM

Andrew B.

Andrew Birkin

Seems Todd's brain has become addled with a surfeit of Tinseltown flicks. The 7 clips available on the internet are enough to tell me this is going to be the best movie about childhood since ET - probably eclipsing even that gem, given that Jonze is far more visionary than Spielberg...

Oct 14 - 06:06 AM


Matt Welch

Anyone saying it doesn't have a story because it doesn't have major *events* knows nothing about story. Or film for that matter. A story could be one man sitting in a bar staring at the wall and talking for an hour and a half, if that amount of action is appropriate to what the film is trying to portray.

Oct 15 - 03:24 PM


In Your Dreams

too much fanboy compensation in this thread, pass

Oct 17 - 12:58 AM

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