Beasts of the Southern Wild


Beasts of the Southern Wild

Critics Consensus

Beasts of the Southern Wild is a fantastical, emotionally powerful journey and a strong case of filmmaking that values imagination over money.



Reviews Counted: 200

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 39,265


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Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.8/5

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Movie Info

In a forgotten but defiant bayou community cut off from the rest of the world by a sprawling levee, a six-year-old girl exists on the brink of orphanhood. Buoyed by her childish optimism and extraordinary imagination, she believes that the natural world is in balance with the universe until a fierce storm changes her reality. Desperate to repair the structure of her world in order to save her ailing father and sinking home, this tiny hero must learn to survive unstoppable catastrophes of epic proportions. -- (C) Fox Searchlight

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Critic Reviews for Beasts of the Southern Wild

All Critics (200) | Top Critics (47)

What is also extraordinary is that almost all the people we see are actors. So this is not a documentary but a moving enactment by people who are themselves moved.

Jun 17, 2013 | Full Review…

Beasts of the Southern Wild is sheer poetry on screen: an explosion of joy in the midst of startling squalor and one of the most visceral, original films to come along in a while.

Jan 8, 2013

Benh Zeitlin's debut feature is part film, part hallucination: a ripe and gamey piece of what you might call Apocalyptic Southern Gothic, ambitious and flawed but sprinting with energy.

Oct 18, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

A dreamy but strikingly immediate and frayed-at-the-edges, child's-eye view of life on the margins of America.

Oct 16, 2012 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
Time Out
Top Critic

A beautiful, strange tone poem about childhood and innocence.

Jul 20, 2012 | Rating: 4/4

The atmosphere Zeitlin develops here is moist with promise and danger, and he moves back and forth between outright fable and pungent reality with an astounding sureness of vision for a first-time director.

Jul 19, 2012 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…
Detroit News
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Beasts of the Southern Wild

A spellbinding film that uses a shaky handheld camera (and grainy image) together with a lot of visual poetry to create a combination of naturalism and fantasy, with a wonderful performance by the young Quvenzhane Wallis in a touching story about love and courage.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Once there was a Hushpuppy... Good Film! You have never seen anything quite like "Beasts of the Southern Wild". It is a film that will have you thinking about the love between a father and a daughter, about appreciating what you have in life and our ability to adapt to whatever comes at us. Quvenzhané Wallis is certain to beat Anna Paquin and Tatum O'Neal out as the youngest best actress nominee in history. Best original Screenplay is also almost a certainty. Go in with an open mind and enjoy this unique film that plays almost like a documentary and yet is full of fantasy elements as well. If I have one quibble with the film it is the hand-held camera technique that at least in the early scenes is particularly annoying. It usually takes so much from my enjoyment of the film. I get it though, it gives it a more realistic feel and in this film it may have added to the overall experience. Still bugs me though. Hushpuppy, an intrepid six-year-old girl, lives with her father, Wink, in the Bathtub, a southern Delta community at the edge of the world. Wink's tough love prepares her for the unraveling of the universe; for a time when he's no longer there to protect her. When Wink contracts a mysterious illness, nature flies out of whack, temperatures rise, and the ice caps melt, unleashing an army of prehistoric creatures called aurochs. With the waters rising, the aurochs coming, and Wink's health fading, Hushpuppy goes in search of her lost mother.

Manu Gino
Manu Gino

Super Reviewer


Wildaly M
Wildaly M

Super Reviewer

An interesting movie. Not sure that I get the significance of it all. I found it sad, and confusing. People seemed to do things without any discernible reason. The little girl did a great job of acting, but I think it is one of those movies that people praise because they are too embarrassed to admit that they didn't understand it. I don't understand what the hype was about, personally...

Cynthia S.
Cynthia S.

Super Reviewer

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