Zathura Reviews

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September 14, 2015
Zathura may share with Jumanji the basic common threads of its storyline, but Director Jon Favreau's film is not only the superior of the two in terms of raw craftsmanship and fun factor, it's also pretty much a perfect little kid-centric adventure film that's suitable for the whole family. Sure it flubs some basic scientific truths, but this is a Fantasy/Adventure film, not a dissertation or treatise on how things work in outer space. Zathura is one of those rare movies that just somehow gets everything right, and few movies are as flat-out entertaining, relaxing, and infinitely watchable as this.
September 29, 2006
This was a good sequel to Jumanji
½ September 11, 2015
"I'm in 4th grade, I have a girlfriend, it's time to grow up" says Walter. I may be misquoting but that is probably one of the best lines I've heard in a while. Zathura is one of the movies that I remember immensely from my childhood. It contains a fun adventure, a solid overall screenplay, and some great visuals. We follow the path of two young brothers who don't get along whatsoever. I've always liked Josh Hutcherson as an actor and he did a pretty great job in this movie. He's always had acting chops and he's made a pretty noticeable career up to this point. Jonah Bobo is actually decent too and although his character is annoying at times, it makes the movie a little bit more real. My point is, if you're going to have a movie that stars child actors, make sure they're at least passable, and both actors here did a good job. I actually thought that they were better actors than Dax Shepard and Kristen Stewart. Anyways, what you can really appreciate about this movie is the fact that they used Green screen/CGI only when the situation called for it. They relied more on props and sets rather than making it some dumb CGI fest. That effort really made the movie still hold up today visually and everything looked great. The movie knows it's tone and does a pretty good job of switching back and forth between serious and fun. There are plenty of exciting action sequences, along with some emotional moments that were a bit of a stretch for a kids movie. But either way, it's still an enjoyable movie for both kids and adults. The whole concept of the board game Zathura was so interesting and you were always curious to see what the next event would be. The twist was a bit of a stretch and there were definitely plot holes, but it's still a great family movie that almost everyone can enjoy.
½ August 12, 2007
Zathura was pretty much, Jumanji in space. Two brothers play a board game they find in their basement and it teleports their house into space and every move they make on the board creates something new they have to deal with. The whole film took place in the house, the only thing that changed was what went on around their house in space. The 2 kids were fun to watch and there were some very funny moments along with sentimental ones toward the end. Some people might see Kristen Stewarts name and get excited, but she was a small role as the sister who was either sleeping or frozen most of the film. Some nice action scenes with robot fights and space battles broke up the story and in the end everything was fairly simple and family based. Zathura may not be as good as the other board game related family adventure but it is good enough that most kids and adults alike, should enjoy watching it.
Mark H.
Super Reviewer
September 8, 2015
Did you enjoy Jumanji? Well, this story is a bit simpler, and doesn't feature Robin Williams, but in many ways is the better movie. The story is good, two young brothers, bored and frustrated with a time-share situation between divorced parents, find an old board game with characteristics of 1940s-50's pressed tin toys and games. A great deal of care and affection went into the making of this movie, and the attention to detail paid off. The special effects are fantastic, especially for 2005, and a huge improvement over 1995's Jumanji. Although Jumanji is fun, it's too obvious that we are watching early CGI, especially the monkeys and the lion and, well, the animals. Zathura's effects are incredible. The space backdrop is flawless, and the scenes with the defective robot and Zorgons are terrific and very realistic. (Yes, they look just like REAL Zorgons, not CGI'd Zorgons.) Casting is good and the boys are fun and have a genuine brotherly relationship. Dax Sheppard is pretty funny but nicely restrained as the hero astronaut. Ironically (I think?) it was this movie and at about the same time, RV with Robin Williams that put Josh Hutcherson on the map and led to the Hunger Games and his fame. Although this is technically a remake of Jumanji with a modified story, different characters and creatures, the story is fresher, the effects much better and should age well (this review is being written in 2015, 10 years after release of Zathura, and the effects remain an astounding achievement and do not appear dated). Just a great action-adventure movie with some fun creatures/characters and good direction by Jon Favreau. The opening titles and set decoration, particularly with the game itself, the box and artwork should have either garnered oscar attention or a special oscar for the effects and artwork. The soundtrack is good too.
September 8, 2015
Well, at least now I know why Jon Favreau was chosen to helm the original Iron Man movie. Zathura is a big, flashy, special effects-driven adventure film, in which annoying kids yell at each other. If only Robin Williams was here to save this stupid thing.
September 6, 2015
In fairness the plot twist was good enough. XD
September 1, 2015
Zathura is simply Jumanji In Space, and that's really all it needs to be. There's even an Alan Parrish figure (with a twist on that too). The kids are annoying, but it's a coming-of-age story of sorts, and it's still fun for a space-themed adventure.
September 1, 2015
Tries to be Jumanji in space and fails.
August 22, 2015
A fun family tame time for all.
October 4, 2012
This movie is very-well directed, and the effects are spectacular, but it's difficult to see it's differences of Jumanji, made 10 years before. Despite this, it is a clear improvement to it's similar predecessor.
½ August 19, 2015
The film has its faults, but I actually like this movie.
½ August 15, 2015
Good movie. My son said this was like Jumanji, but in space. That's pretty accurate. It's right on par with Jumanji though. Good movie.
Super Reviewer
July 29, 2015
Kristen Stewart's best performance! Hahaha I mean it's not her most challenging role, but her adult self is too inhibited to do "mainstream" emotions of surprise, fear, annoyance, and this haughty big sister role actually requires her to stretch her gloomy face (which I still love), and she was young enough to not overthink it.

Young Josh Hutcherson and Jonah Bobo (of "Crazy, Stupid [refuse that superfluous comma] Love") are ridiculously adorable as quarrelsome brothers in this "Jumanji" sequel. I didn't even realize it was an actual sequel adapted from the book by Chris Van Allsburg because I was never a fan of the first with Kirsten Dunst and Robin Williams. "Zathura" has so many funny lines that even adults will enjoy, like, "Get me a juice box, bitch!" "Grandma!" when the urn falls, and "The card!" when they try to convince Lisa of the game's magic.

And who knew that before Dax Shepherd became the butt-of-the-joke lucky enough to lock down hottie Kristen Bell, he was a rather swashbuckling astronaut himself?!
½ July 19, 2009
Mala en extremo. Una trama llena de moralina para que los hermanos se lleven mejor. No hay nada nuevo.
July 12, 2015
Even though it's a sequel, Zathura is just as good as Jumanji. It's a different adventure with plenty of new action. It also is a great mix of practical effects and CGI. And, oddly enough, I can actually stand Kristen Stewart and Dax Shepard in this movie. Well done, movie!
December 1, 2013
Actually pretty decent, Zathura is weirdly entertaining, even if it's cheesy. (B-)
June 8, 2015
Because I'm really just a big kid at heart, I kind of got into this outer space adventure. Unlike Jumanji, this movie gets rid of the adults early actually gives its pint-sized characters a surprisingly well realized story arc
½ April 26, 2015
I loved this as kid, and I still do now. Man, I was a smart kid!
A certified fresh rating of 89%
"With dazzling special effects and a compelling story, Zathura is fun for all ages."
March 13, 2015
The story is good as are the effects but Zathura won't be replacing Jumanji like it wants to and Jonah Bobo's bothersome performance makes it hard to sympathize.
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