Opening

39% The Other Woman Apr 25
—— Brick Mansions Apr 25
50% The Quiet Ones Apr 25
91% Locke Apr 25
76% The Machine Apr 25

Top Box Office

89% Captain America: The Winter Soldier $25.6M
50% Heaven Is for Real $22.5M
47% Rio 2 $22.2M
19% Transcendence $10.9M
9% A Haunted House 2 $8.8M
62% Draft Day $5.7M
40% Divergent $5.6M
71% Oculus $5.2M
77% Noah $5.0M
89% Bears $4.8M

Coming Soon

75% The Amazing Spider-Man 2 May 02
—— Walk Of Shame May 02
100% Neighbors May 09
—— Godzilla May 16
—— X-Men: Days of Future Past May 23

New Episodes Tonight

72% The 100: Season 1
97% The Americans: Season 2
100% Arrow: Season 2
—— Baby Daddy: Season 3
—— Hot in Cleveland: Season 5
100% Legit: Season 2
—— Melissa & Joey: Season 3
—— The Middle: Season 5
36% Mixology: Season 1
83% Modern Family: Season 5
—— The Soul Man: Season 3
—— Suburgatory: Season 3

Discuss Last Night's Shows

77% About a Boy: Season 1
—— Awkward: Season 4
—— Chicago Fire: Season 2
—— Faking It: Season 1
98% Fargo: Season 1
40% Glee: Season 5
36% Growing Up Fisher: Season 1
86% Marvel's Agents of S.H.I.E.L.D.: Season 1
80% The Mindy Project: Season 2
56% The Originals: Season 1
100% Supernatural: Season 9

Certified Fresh TV

77% About a Boy: Season 1
97% The Americans: Season 2
82% The Blacklist: Season 1
88% Brooklyn Nine-Nine: Season 1
98% Fargo: Season 1
98% Game of Thrones: Season 4
100% Hannibal: Season 2
86% Mad Men: Season 7
97% Orphan Black: Season 2
96% Silicon Valley: Season 1

Gremlins (1984)

tomatometer

84

Average Rating: 7.1/10
Reviews Counted: 57
Fresh: 48 | Rotten: 9

Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.

63

Average Rating: 5.9/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 5 | Rotten: 3

Whether you choose to see it as a statement on consumer culture or simply a special effects-heavy popcorn flick, Gremlins is a minor classic.

audience

77

liked it
Average Rating: 3.4/5
User Ratings: 447,560

My Rating

Movie Info

"Don't expose him to bright light. Don't ever get him wet. And don't ever, ever feed him after midnight." This sage advice is ignored midway through Gremlins, with devastating results. This comic Joe Dante effort is set in a Norman Rockwell-esque small town at Christmastime. Seeking a unique gift for his son an erstwhile inventor (Hoyt Axton) purchases a cute, fuzzy little "Mogwai" from a Chinatown shopkeeper's (Keye Luke) grandson (John Louie), who dispenses the above-mentioned warning before

Jun 22, 1999

Warner Bros. Pictures

Watch It Now

Cast

ADVERTISEMENT

Friend Ratings

No Friends? Inconceivable! Log in to see what your friends have to say.

All Critics (57) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (48) | Rotten (9) | DVD (28)

A wildly original roller-coaster ride of hilarious mischief.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A horror-comedy about cute little Christmas toy/pets who turn into murderous monsters wreaking havoc on a Norman Rockwellian town.

December 4, 2013 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The humans are little more than dress-extras for the mechanics.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Variety | Comment (1)
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

What's confusing yet ultimately illuminating is the way his gremlins function as a free-floating metaphor, suggesting at separate junctures everything from teenagers to blacks to various Freudian suppressions.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dante is perhaps the first filmmaker since Frank Tashlin to base his style on the formal free-for-all of animated cartoons; he is also utterly heartless.

November 27, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader | Comments (7)
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Dante gleefully sinks his teeth into the kind of fluffy, sugary, sickly small town fantasy beloved of his pal and sometime producer Spielberg.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Here's the season's most delicious and unexpected surprise. Despite the horror-flick title, Gremlins is a movie of wicked wit and startling invention, and it has a heart that's at least a match for the special effects.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: People Magazine
People Magazine

Think of A Christmas Carol visited by The Birds. Think of The Muppet Movie run amok. Imagine a berserk film editor splicing It's a Wonderful Life to Invasion of the Body Snatchers, with quoting from Snow White and a nod to The Texas Chainsaw Massacre.

December 6, 2013 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

This postmodern, endlessly referential, utterly ruthless film is an ingenious, delightfully scary fairytale horror flick ...

December 9, 2012 Full Review Source: Observer [UK]
Observer [UK]

Phoebe Cates's admirably straight-faced Christmas speech should be compulsory viewing during the festive season.

December 7, 2012 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Brilliantly potent social critique of Reagan-era fear-mongering and consumerism.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Little White Lies
Little White Lies

An enchanting yet savagely funny movie, Gremlins belongs alongside Ghostbusters as an enduring mainstream masterpiece from the summer of 1984. Just don't watch it after midnight.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Digital Spy
Digital Spy

The 1984 creature feature in which a Capra-esque idyll is besieged by ravening beasties.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: Daily Telegraph
Daily Telegraph

Director Joe Dante tells a simple story with anarchic spirit, rabid humour and painstaking puppetry to delightfully messy effect.

December 6, 2012 Full Review Source: The Skinny

A subversive parable on the dangers of irresponsible pet care that doubles as an antidote to small-town Americana and Yuletide sentimentality.

November 27, 2012 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

I don't find the movie the least bit scary or horrific anymore, but I do think it's entertaining.

July 6, 2012 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

Gremlins hosts the perfect blend of Capraesque Christmas spirit, humorously tainted by stinging horror and hilarious offbeat comedy.

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

It certainly displays a nasty streak, although that's not one of its problems.

May 8, 2012 Full Review Source: Creative Loafing
Creative Loafing

A comic horror movie classic.

January 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A wholesome Christmas family flick that veers over to the dark side.

September 24, 2010 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

There's a mischievous playfulness about Gremlins, and that's its most endearing quality, but I found it grating on me early on and soon turning to mean-spiritedness.

December 8, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis | Comment (1)
Movie Metropolis

See website for more details.

October 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Screen It! | Comment (1)
Screen It!

It appealed enormously to its target audience because it's just the kind of violence kids would like to get away with if they had no consciences nor fear of adults at all.

December 24, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

Audience Reviews for Gremlins

Probably one of the first horror comedies supposedly for all the family. Released back in 84 at a time when there was some incredibly stiff competition at the box office, namely 'Ghostbusters'. The film opens at Christmas in a typical small all American apple pie town blanketed under a layer of snow. My first thoughts when seeing this again was how similar this town square looked to the town square of Hill Valley in 'Back to the Future'.

Straight away you can't help but love the atmosphere this film is setting, the opening credits play out to Darlene Love's popular 1963 song 'Christmas', everything looks so cozy and charming as kids play in the snow. All this is of course after the more Spielbergian opening of how little 'Gizmo' gets discovered in Chinatown, a very 'Indiana-esque' look and feel about that whole sequence, you can tell its an Amblin production. Isn't that little Chinese boy wearing the same baseball hat as 'Short Round' from 'Temple of Doom'? or the same look perhaps?. Don't miss the Indiana Jones billboard nod at the start either.

I think the one thing that always stuck with me (and everyone else I'm sure) was the fact this film was actually pretty scary and dark. Considering it was a young persons film and advertised as just that it was edgy, I remember always hiding behind a cushion when watching this. The whole concept of little green monsters hiding under your bed or in the clothes cupboard is pretty terrifying for kids, its the stuff of bedtime legend, so this film really hit home in so many aspects at the time.

What still impresses today are the special effects, the cute lill Giz puppet is clearly just a puppet or advanced Muppet but geez it still looks good!. His huge round eyes, little snout, big floppy ears and that adorable little chirping voice of his. I don't think anyone can deny that little tune Giz whistles or hums is almost as iconic as the electronic sound from 'Close Encounters'...and downright lovable. But its the facial expressions we see on close ups that really impress me to this day, the way he rolls his eyes in loathing or looks frightened, the little guy still genuinely looks quite real.

'bright light! bright light!'

The same can also be said for the evil Gremlins and their reptilian appearance. These guys really do look scary and nasty, you know you wouldn't wanna get bitten by one of these guys. I also love how dated this film is, how un-PC it is. The Gremlins are clearly show smoking virtually all the time! drinking booze, getting drunk, smashing everything and even using lethal weapons including guns!. Can you imagine a kids film in this day and age showing stuff like that lol! this film could almost be seen as advocating yobbish behaviour and saying drinking, smoking and trashing property is fun. It really is quite the eye opener when you see some of the things these Gremlins get up to, you half expect to see them grunting away whilst mating on a table.

Never really understood how Mogwai seem to reproduce as they do, never explained. The idea is a bit silly really, just like the three rules. Water makes them reproduce, but why? how? from their back?? how do they drink or do they? surely this would be hard to avoid, plus wouldn't he be smelly and disgusting with all that fur?. They can't eat after midnight...that doesn't make much sense because that means he can never really eat doesn't it?. Oh and is Gizmo the only Mogwai left? you'd think there would be lots.

The film does has many levels or stages I think. The whole tranquil little snow capped town with all the townsfolk knowing each other does homage 'Its a Wonderful Life', they don't hide this though as its shown in the film. The grumpy and somewhat sadistic 'Mrs Deagle' is clearly a little homage to 'The Wizard of Oz' and the wicked witch character, she even says the same lines at one point. At some points the film is very humorous with silly Gremlin slapstick and tomfoolery, visual gags and overall light-hearted laughs that kids would enjoy. On the same note there are also many more points in the film where it does really get close to the bone. You get a quick hint of this early on when the professor gets killed or half eaten which is a tad unnerving.

The tone shifts from one end of the scale to the other quite dramatically, it can be a bit mind boggling. A good small example would be when the Gremlins are all in the bar drinking and smoking (its all good kids). There is much craziness going on which can be seen as light comedy but all of a sudden 'Stripe' whips out a gun and shoots a fellow Gremlin in the face!. This causes much laughter all round from the little critters but it does kinda get you thinking doesn't it, hey kids its fun to shoot people in the face haha no consequences accept for hilarity and drinks all round!.

The same could be said for the Gremlins attack on Peltzer's mum in the kitchen. I think this is the first really graphic attack sequence in the film, some quite nasty justice for the little terrors. The infamous microwave sequence, head in a blender, stabbed to death with a big knife and all rounded off with a decapitation into the fireplace!. The whole finale against Stripe is very dark too as this Gremlin is trying to kill 'Peltzer' is some pretty gruesome ways, no holding back here kids, chainsaw to the face!!.

I'm not even mentioned the depressing tale spoken by Cates character of why she hates Xmas, pretty bleak stuff right there. Then of course there's the excellent melting sequence of Stripe as he meets his demise right at the end. Much like the melting moments in 'Raiders of the Lost Ark' that bit always had me half looking back in the day, twas cool but scary, I guess that's why us kids liked it back then. The sound effects made that scene so much more disgusting with all the bubbling and squelching, loved the dogs reaction too, that dog really jumped on many occasion in the film hehe poor fella.

Its corny and cliche but they don't make kids films like this anymore. I guess that could be a good thing because kids these days are exposed to so much stuff, but I suppose you could argue they wouldn't find it scary because they are more immune. Back in the day times were simpler and we didn't have all the tech stuff you have now so films like this really blew your mind and I think we enjoyed them more because of it. I think films like this felt more special because they looked real and gave you something you wouldn't normally see, no internet or CGI back then kids.

I always did like Hoyt Axton's (loved his performance and character) last few words in this film...'Well, that's the story. So if your air conditioner goes on the fritz or your washing machine blows up or your video recorder conks out; before you call the repairman turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, 'cause you never can tell there just might be a gremlin in your house'. The thing is back then when you were a kid, you DID check in your clothes cupboard and under your bed before going to bed.
December 27, 2013
phubbs1

Super Reviewer

My foray into 80s Horror/Comedy education begins here. Gizmo is super cute, the explicit scenes of gremlin-cide are campy and hilarious, and I finally know the rules of Mogwai maintenance, as referenced in much pop culture nostalgia.

I didn't expect so much violence, nor did I expect the main characters to be adults. The movie could have felt more real this way, but it didn't, and I think that may be due to the flat villains. Mean Mrs. Deagle is so mean that it doesn't MEAN anything. She has no raison d'etre, and nor do the gremlins. They just cause trouble.
July 31, 2013
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

For such a serious tone to the film, with such an off-putting idea, "Gremlins" does everything right both in uniqueness and in style. I loved every minute of this film. It is a classic tale of a boy getting a present for Christmas, but this one is an unknown creature (cute and adorable) which becomes much more. Starting from a little pet, it becomes a town infestation. The quirky tone to the film, made by the odd musical score, is something I have never really heard before. A dark scene passes by and you are left wondering why they had uplifting and fun music playing over it. The direction is fantastic, the effects are creepy for it's time, and the film is just very well-made overall. "Gremlins" is fantastic entertainment!
March 28, 2013
KJ Proulx

Super Reviewer

A criative cult pop movie. Gremlins it's the schizophrenic personification of America fears with a touch of Steven Spielberg.
July 26, 2012
Lucas Martins

Super Reviewer

    1. Chinese Boy: Look Mister, there are some rules that you've got to follow.
    2. Billy: Yeah, what kind of rules?
    3. Chinese Boy: First of all, keep him out of the light, he hates bright light, especially sunlight, it'll kill him. Second, don't give him any water, not even to drink. But the most important rule, the rule you can never forget, no matter how much he cries, no matter how much he begs, never feed him after midnight.
    – Submitted by Typhon Q (18 months ago)
    1. Gizmo: Bye-bye, woof-woof!
    – Submitted by Samson V (22 months ago)
    1. Gizmo: Bye, Billy.
    – Submitted by Samson V (22 months ago)
    1. Gizmo: Ahh! Light bright! Light bright! Light bright!
    – Submitted by Nathan J (2 years ago)
    1. Rand Peltzer: So if your air conditioner goes on the fritz, or your washing machine blows up, or your video recorder conks out, before you call the repairman, turn on all the lights, check all the closets and cupboards, look under all the beds, 'cause you never can tell. There just might be a gremlin in your house.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
    1. Rand Peltzer: Rand Peltzer. Fantastic Ideas for a Fantastic World. I make the illogical logical.
    – Submitted by Dann M (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Gremlins on our Movie forum!

What's Hot On RT

Five Favorite Films
Five Favorite Films

Brick Mansions star RZA

WonderCon
WonderCon

175 cosplay pictures

24 Frames
24 Frames

Experiments Gone Wrong!

Summer Calendar
Summer Calendar

See the season's blockbusters

Game of Thrones
Game of Thrones

Read reviews for newest episode

Latest News on Gremlins

May 13, 2013:
Seth Grahame-Smith Reportedly Producing Gremlins Remake
From "Fantastic Four" to "Beetlejuice," Grahame-Smith is the guy studios turn to when it's time to...
December 22, 2011:
Is Gremlins 3 in the Works?
Maybe. Maybe not. Either way, Warner Bros. just renewed its hold on the domain name.
January 25, 2010:
Gremlins 3 in Development?
Details are scarce at this point, but according to MarketSaw's sources, another "Gremlins" sequel is...

Foreign Titles

  • Gremlins - Kleine Monster (DE)
  • Gremlins (UK)
Find us on:                 
Help | About | Jobs | Critics Submission | Press | API | Licensing | Mobile