Edward Scissorhands

1990, Romance/Other, 1h 45m

60 Reviews 250,000+ Ratings

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critics consensus

The first collaboration between Johnny Depp and Tim Burton, Edward Scissorhands is a magical modern fairy tale with gothic overtones and a sweet center. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

A scientist (Vincent Price) builds an animated human being -- the gentle Edward (Johnny Depp). The scientist dies before he can finish assembling Edward, though, leaving the young man with a freakish appearance accentuated by the scissor blades he has instead of hands. Loving suburban saleswoman Peg (Dianne Wiest) discovers Edward and takes him home, where he falls for Peg's teen daughter (Winona Ryder). However, despite his kindness and artistic talent, Edward's hands make him an outcast.

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Critic Reviews for Edward Scissorhands

All Critics (60) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (54) | Rotten (6)

  • Burton's modern fairytale has an almost palpably personal feel: it is told gently, subtly and with infinite sympathy for an outsider who charms the locals but then inadvertently arouses their baser instincts.

    December 17, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • An original movie, though not Tim Burton's best.

    June 17, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A delightful and delicate comic fable.

    May 8, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It remains curiously hollow.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Quote not available.

    June 26, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Mr. Burton invests awe-inspiring ingenuity into the process of reinventing something very small.

    May 20, 2003 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Burton's modern fairytale has an almost palpably personal feel: it is told gently, subtly and with infinite sympathy for an outsider who charms the locals but then inadvertently arouses their baser instincts.

    December 17, 2014 | Rating: 5/5 | Full Review…
  • An original movie, though not Tim Burton's best.

    June 17, 2008 | Full Review…
  • A delightful and delicate comic fable.

    May 8, 2008 | Full Review…
  • It remains curiously hollow.

    January 26, 2006 | Full Review…
  • Long a courageous actor, Depp inhabits a character that by all accounts should have been a freak or caricature.

    September 7, 2020 | Rating: 3.5/4.0 | Full Review…
  • One-of-a-kind fairytale for adults from director Tim Burton.

    April 15, 2020 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Edward Scissorhands

  • Mar 31, 2013
    Not being an especially big Tim Burton fan, I went in to Edward Scissorhands with some apprehension. I was surprised, however, to find quite a strong film, that has all of the strengths of Burton's subsequent works, but without any of the blatant weaknesses. He uses Scissorhands as a vehicle for his imaginative ability, having a brilliant visual sense, but does not lose sight of the story and its characters. By keeping the focus on the characters, the film maintains a strong heart, which keeps the film grounded and engaging. The visuals and magical elements complement the story rather than propel it. It's first and foremost about a central theme, that of the nature of love and the outsiders who need it, and never loses this fact. Burton's visuals and world building accentuates this story, having world building that creates a universe that is fantastical, to be sure, but one that also feels strangely real and grounded. The viewer is never detached from what is happening. Add to this the awesome performances from all around, especially from Depp and Alan Arkin, who bring charm, charisma, and humor to the film, with an especially deep and likable performance by Depp. Smart, amazingly well realized, funny, and relentlessly enjoyable, its surely Burton's greatest work. 4.5/5 Stars
    Jeffrey M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 19, 2012
    I knew what to expect from "Edward Scissorhands" before having even watched it as I've never been a fan of Tim Burton's quirky gothic style, but strangely enough, even though it does have that typical Burton visual flair, it's surprisingly sweet and not as dark as I expected it to be. Granted, it's not an impressive work and is severely weak in several aspects, there are things about that are worth mentioning, such as its unique look, bizarre central character and satirical messages that remain relevant to this day. Because of these notable aspects, "Edward Scissorhands" is worth watching, but sadly, there's not much more to it than that.
    Stephen E Super Reviewer
  • Aug 19, 2012
    Brings many laughs and also touches the soul. The start of many great collaborations. Tim Burton's films are bizarre, yes, but they are full of heart (most of them, at least). I love the setting, with all the different colored houses full of weird neighbors. It's interesting to see Edward interact with everyone. A classic in its own right.
    Eric S Super Reviewer
  • Aug 03, 2012
    Here is the purest and most eloquent expression of Tim Burton's reoccurring 'outsider' theme to date. I could do without the reflective framing device (mainly due to the frankly unsettling old version of Kim, both in terms of acting and make up), but the film succeeds hugely as a tender modern fairytale. Danny Elfman's heartbreaking score also deserves a special mention.
    Louis R Super Reviewer

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