Beasts of the Southern Wild - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beasts of the Southern Wild Reviews

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May 30, 2018
Beautiful and awesomely weird . I felt like the characters were my best friends by the end of the movie. Almost perfect if it weren't for the annoying music.
January 30, 2018
This is an unusual fantasy film which changed direction a couple of times. Interesting but not memorable. AAN AFI
½ November 8, 2017
Beasts of the southern wild stars young Quvenzhané Wallis in her debut role as 'Hushpuppy'. A 6 year old who lives with her father (Dwight Henry) in a place they call 'The Bathtub'. A place where the people love the land as much as they love each other. Unfortunately the land doesn't love them back when a hurricane heads their way.

This film is co-written and directed by Benh Zeitlin, a man with no real credits to his name making this his first full length feature film, and it's not a bad way to start off with it being nominated for two oscars respectively. However unfortunately despite all the charm this film clearly possesses, it was never enough to bring me in, I felt that this film dragged by the end and there are a few reasons why.

I never cared for any of the characters. Despite the brilliant performance by young Wallis as Hushpuppy, I never felt like a relationship was formed between her and the audience. Everything felt forced, and this was even worse for the other characters like her father, who is played fine by Henry. The whole way through the film was practically telling us how to feel and what to think about him, there was no breathing space to think for ourselves which is thanks to the screenplay written by Behn Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar. It meant the film quickly bored me, and there was no coming back from there.

The directing choices in the film also felt jarring for me. There was an abundance of shaky cam, if used properly this can be effective but it only succeeded in making me annoyed and dizzy. Despite this the cinematography by Ben Richardson is undoubtedly stunning, especially for it's little budget of $2m. However unfortunately this is never enough to drag me into a film and enjoying it throughout.

Overall I feel this is a film which will separate many people. You may love it, you may hate it. It wasn't nominated 2 oscars for nothing after all. However what the film was trying to tell or do never quite hit me. Resulting in a not so enjoyable viewing experience.
½ November 1, 2017
The acting is superb all around (especially Dwight Henry and Quvenzhane Wallis), and the story is very sad and depressing. But it nevertheless is engaging, unusual, and surprisingly artful. 7/10
September 27, 2017
The team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild has created a broken, battered and yet hauntingly brave world, where beauty is not guaranteed, but utterly worth fighting for, and you get to spend some time in this world.

In a nutshell

Six-year-old Hushpuppy lost her mom ages ago. Her dad is ailing. Her world, a forgotten Southern bayou, is a stark, dangerous place filled with fiercely flawed, but brave, individuals. When a storm disrupts her life, and the balance she so strongly believes in, these memorable individuals fall apart, stand strong, drink copious amounts of alcohol and fight for their lives.

Mood of the film

On one hand it is magical, almost mythical, and on the other hand it is terrifying. You expect the worst of people, and the worst possible outcome for Hushpuppy.

Best performances

Quvenzhané Wallis is utterly believable as the defiant, strong Hushpuppy. Watch out for the scene where she flexes her little muscles and shouts at her dad, "I'm the man!".

Standout scene

Hushpuppy's vulnerability is never more visible than when she dons a welding mask, lights the gas stove with a flamethrower and eventually burns down her house.


I could go digging around for some, but if I have to try that hard to find any negatives, then they're not worth noticing.

Is the film relevant today?

It touches on really important issues, such as how removed we are, in fact, from death, from nature and from reality. I was thinking throughout the film that this Northern Suburbs Joburger would not last five minutes in that world.

Does it cop out?

Nope. You know Hushpuppy's life forward is going to be tough and brutal, yet you leave the cinema with hope.


Dwight Henry (Wink) owned a bakery where the crew put up an audition notice. He was invited to audition. He got the role, but could not be reached, because he had moved his bakery to bigger premises. Two months went by before they found him. He declined the offer, as he was focusing on his bakery. However, every crew member rocked up at the bakery and pleaded with him. He accepted the role, but only on condition that they could rehearse during his midnight "baking hours"!
August 18, 2017
I have watched this movie at least 4 times and enjoyed it each time. The shaky filming bothered me when I saw it in the theater, but I like the effect at home on TV. It is a film that doesn't explain everything, so you need to think how to answer the questions it brings to mind. What are the beasts: people in the "Bathtub"? Or in the community that takes them from their home? Or the Aurochs?
Does Hushpuppy meet her mother?
Do the Aurochs represent Hushpuppy's fears that she needs to face?
The acting was wonderful, and the feelings of drama, resilience, love & hate, and community intertwine to make a memorable experience.
I bought the movie, so I will be watching it again.
½ July 5, 2017
The beginning was shaky, but I think it fit the more I watched. I think the metaphor with the beasts and the ice caps crashing down, kind of like her life, made me really think and I like a movie that makes me think.
June 18, 2017
Beasts of the Southem Wild é conceitual e realista mas, e o cinema? E a arte? Um agrupamento de cenas chocantes não é necessariamente um drama! Os roteirista Lucy Alibar e
Benh Zeitlin fizeram um cine-apelo barato para tentar integrar o primeiro escalão de Hollywood, conseguiram!
May 1, 2017
My favorite move of all time. The acting is amazing, the music is perfect, the raw nature as a community battles both capitalism and their primitive selves. There has been, in my opinion, no finer picture made.
April 23, 2017
A unique film about family, community, loss, and the indignities suffered by the powerless at the hands of the powerful. I've watched it twice, and it held up on the second viewing. Definitely worth a watch.
April 21, 2017
I cannot get my head around the acclaim this film has received, I found it dull from beginning to end. Cute kids talks like those inspirational quotes Middle Age Mum's post on Facebook and Instagram whilst a nonsensical plot plays out. Really, really boring.
April 14, 2017
This epic masterpiece film is the epitome of survival and what family really means. It is the ultimate display of human connection and courage. I was immediately blown away, captured like never before and totally stunned by every single second that passed in Beasts of The Southern Wild.
Super Reviewer
March 3, 2017
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.
February 24, 2017
Man, maybe it was a product of the hype, but I found this really underwhelming. After a strong start, I became less and less enthralled as it went along. By the end I thought it was quite cheesy. I don't know. Not a bad film, but I wouldn't recommend this for a Best Picture nomination.
February 20, 2017
Just one of the most perfect beautiful films ever crafted
February 8, 2017
anticlimactic and a bit aimless towards the end, this still gets 4 stars for a handful of scenes which are unforgettable in their power to synthesize the drama of nature and civilization.
½ February 2, 2017
A modern day fantasy with amazing attention to detail, design and originality, but also a not-so-engaging feel.
½ February 1, 2017
Meaningless artyfartyness
January 26, 2017
ALTAMENTE RECOMENDABLE ! Bestias del Sur Salvaje, posiblemente sea una de las mejores películas que vi, y que vi este año. Es una historia de Realismo Mágico, sobre una olvidada y rebelde comunidad que vive en una isla que puede ser hundida por los desastres naturales y perderse en el océano. La comunidad de la Bañera deben vivir en condiciones inhumanas debido a la extrema pobreza que deben enfrentar, sin embargo con espíritu siempre orgulloso y optimista, esta microsociedad se basa en la solidaridad por el otro. Las extremas condiciones los han hecho muy duros y fuertes. En el medio de esta isla pantanosa, resalta la pequeña Hushpuppy ( Quevenzhane Wallis) quien es una nena de seis años, muy inteligente, dulce y también salvaje, que tiene una percepción inusual de la realidad. . Ella piensa que el balance del Universo depende del balance de su mundo y que dicho balance se ve amenazado por sus acciones. Una tormenta de gran magnitud amenaza el futuro de la Bañera y Hushpuppy asumirá una responsabilidad épica al tratar de restablecer el orden de las cosas, para salvar a su moribundo padre y a la isla. Muy dura, pero excelente! // This movie is a story about a strong, forgotten and defiant community who live in an island that is about to sink in the ocean. They must live under unbearable poverty conditions, that makes them rougher than anyone. In the middle of the baouyish island there is little Hushpuppy ( Quevenzhane Wallis) who is a six-year-old girl, quite smart, and with an unusual perception of reality. She thinks that the balance of the Universe is connected to the balance of her world, and she see that balance threatened do to her actions. A strong storm will jeopardize the future of the Bathtub as the island is called, Hushpuppy will struggle to repair the damaged structure of her world in order to save her dying dad and her sinking island for that she must go throuhg epic catastrophes that will show her bravery, intelligence, wildness and unusual way of thinking
½ January 22, 2017
Artistically speaking the film is brilliant. The cinematography, dreamlike sequences, music, imagery, and poetic narration thru a child was amazing. I also thought the little girl was a very good actor. However, i thought the message and plot was pretty shallow. It seemed as though the film was trying to say living like that was acceptable and seemed to cover up some of the horror and details. I do think this film is overrated since it is mostly just art and that doesnt make a good film imo.
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