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The Witches (1990)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.6/10
Reviews Counted: 32
Fresh: 32 | Rotten: 0

With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.

100

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 12
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 0

With a deliciously wicked performance from Angelica Huston and imaginative puppetry by Jim Henson's creature shop, Nicolas Roeg's dark and witty movie captures the spirit of Roald Dahl's writing like few other adaptations.

audience

69

liked it
Average Rating: 3.2/5
User Ratings: 58,270

My Rating

Movie Info

In Nicolas Roeg's adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel The Witches, a young boy is vacationing at the seaside with his grandmother when he discovers that the hotel he is staying at is hosting a convention of witches. Eavesdropping on the witches, he learns that the Grand High Witch (Anjelica Huston) has devised a plan to turn all of the children in England into mice. With creature-effects by Jim Henson's Creature Shop, The Witches was the last film Henson worked on before passing away in 1990. ~

Jun 22, 1999

Warner Bros. Pictures

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All Critics (32) | Top Critics (12) | Fresh (32) | Rotten (0) | DVD (2)

It's not a film for small children. But for precocious first-graders with a warped sense of humor and an appetite for chills, thrills and spills, nothing could be better.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Real darkness seethes beneath the "Once upon a time" surface, mostly due to Henson's seemingly curious selection of the brilliant and audacious Roeg to direct.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The Witches is a slow-to-get-going but ultimately entertaining yarn about a nasty coven conspiring to turn Britain's entire populace of single-digiters into mice.

November 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There are moments of genuine charm and solid invention, but it`s a film that doesn't believe enough in itself.

November 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A minor but very enjoyable Nicolas Roeg fairy tale.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The wizardry of Jim Henson's Creature Shop and a superbly over-the-top performance by Angelica Huston gives The Witches a good deal of charm and enjoyment.

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

Filled with grotesque witches and mouse stunts, this is a wild fantasy for both children and adults. Harry Potter was never like this.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Based on a Roald Dahl book, Nicholas Roeg's The Witches is a film surprisingly faithful to the creepiness of the original.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Roald Dahl's book about a little boy on a seaside holiday who discovers a witches' convention plotting to annihilate children is brilliantly brought to life in this fantasy adventure by director Nicolas Roeg.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

What a lot of fun is The Witches. A few days before Labor Day, it is safe to say that it`s the most enjoyable movie of the summer.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: South Florida Sun-Sentinel
South Florida Sun-Sentinel

The scenes of magic and mayhem are peppered with sly surprises, and Anjelica Huston plays the wildest wicked witch since Dorothy got back from Oz.

November 25, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

The Witches has an engrossing story populated with many amusing characters.

November 22, 2013 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Daily News
Philadelphia Daily News

Deliciously cruel to children, Roeg remains true to Dahl's underlying sense of real horror.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: Empire Magazine
Empire Magazine

A wildly entertaining fairy tale.

November 26, 2012 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Some kids will love it, some may find disturbing.

December 29, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A skewed, dark adaptation of Roald Dahl's story featuring one of Anjelica Huston's most energetic performances.

July 14, 2003
KFOR Channel 4 News

A truly magical film from Nicolas Roeg that finally gets undermined by muppetry.

December 29, 2002
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Quite the entertainer. It's a little scary, but not too frightening for children.

August 2, 2002
Arizona Daily Star

Audience Reviews for The Witches

Intelligent, scary and with a good black comedy. But, maybe not very appropriate for children.
December 15, 2011
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

This movie really scared me for some reason when I was a kid, I had nightmares. The weirdest things scare you as a kid, don't they? Anyway, this movie is okay, it's based on the book of the same name.
April 14, 2011
ajv2688

Super Reviewer

30/10/2010 (TELEVISION)This is a classic for me, a childhood film that use to scare the crap out of me! I manage to catch this flick during the Halloween weekend and it was a pretty good re-watch, I hadn't seen it in years so it was quite a treat.It's quite a flick for it's time and it was pretty darn hilarious to see all the scenes that use to scare me look like a joke to me now. I still like this story and it was indeed a memorable one from childhood.I like scarier films now but this is still a classic and I guess it's one for the younger audiences. Funny, darkly and certainly an entertainer!
December 25, 2010
EightThirty

Super Reviewer

Love love LOVED this move in Elementary school. I had no idea it was Nicholas Roeg!!!!
October 28, 2010
kenstachnik

Super Reviewer

    1. Helga: Your son is a mouse!
    – Submitted by Matthew D (23 months ago)
    1. Helga: I could see it in her eyes...
    – Submitted by Matthew D (23 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Hexen hexen (DE)
  • La maldición de las brujas (ES)
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