Beasts of the Southern Wild (2012)



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

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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
PG-13 (for thematic material including child imperilment, some disturbing images, language and brief sensuality)
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Lowell Landes
as Walrus
Levy Easterly
as Jean-Battiste
Pamela Harper
as Little Jo
Gina Montana
as Miss Bathsheba
Jonshel Alexander
as Joy Strong
Nicholas Clark
as Boy With Bell
Quvenzhane Wallis
as Hushpuppy
Joseph Brown
as Winston
Hannah Holby
as Open Arms Babysitter
Jimmy Lee Moore
as Sgt. Major
Jovan Hathaway
as The Cook
Kendra Harris
as Baby Hushpuppy
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Critic Reviews for Beasts of the Southern Wild

All Critics (185) | Top Critics (46)

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.

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

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.

January 8, 2013
Associated Press
Top Critic

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

Full Review… | October 16, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

A beautiful, strange tone poem about childhood and innocence.

Full Review… | July 19, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 19, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a film to get lost in.

Full Review… | July 19, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Beasts of the Southern Wild

A spellbinding film that makes appropriate use of a shaky handheld camera and welcome visual poetry to enhance its sense of fantastic naturalism, and it has 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

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