Into the Wild - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Into the Wild Reviews

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Joshua Starnes
ComingSoon.net
March 27, 2011
Crafting his meditation on the men who answer the call of the wild, Sean Penn's adaptation is heavy on mood and ambiance but sadly lacking in depth, giving up on the wider comparisons to focus fully on McCandless, who may not be up to the scrutiny.
Full Review | Original Score: 6/10
Scott Nash
Three Movie Buffs
October 18, 2008
About the only good thing this movie can offer is some nice scenery, which I don't need to watch a movie over two-hours long to see.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/4
Rossiter Drake
San Francisco Examiner
April 10, 2008
A tale of life needlessly lost by a young man who realizes too late that reckless self-reliance is not necessarily the path to self-awareness. That he fails to realize this sooner is tragic; that the film celebrates the misunderstanding is bewildering.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Fernando F. Croce
CinePassion
August 27, 2009
The kind of insipid hero-worship that traps the subject in wax
James Rocchi
Cinematical
September 27, 2007
... As the credits roll at the close of Into the Wild, you don't feel like you've celebrated a life spent on the road less traveled; you feel like you've just witnessed a slow-motion suicide.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
September 16, 2007
Romanticization takes precedence over analysis in Into the Wild, Sean Penn's exasperating adaptation of John Krakauer's nonfiction bestseller.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
October 4, 2007
I am overwhelmed by the intensity of theme, and underwhelmed by the sophomoric content thereof, and so I end up in the middle, sort of whelm-neutral.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
September 27, 2007
Penn, in his zeal for the character, very simply misses the obvious: this is a spoiled brat who has become disillusioned with his parents.
Full Review | Original Score: 1/4
September 29, 2007
Penn hits too many of his thematic nails square on the head, never trusting that his audience is intelligent enough to get his message without all of that bold-facing and underlining.
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
November 8, 2007
The photography is of the sort you'd find in any half decent nature documentary, with cloying emphasis placed firmly (and sometimes clumsily) on the idea that our neglectful, selfish and not to mention rampantly capitalist ways are destroying the planet.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/6
Josh Rosenblatt
Austin Chronicle
October 19, 2007
I walked away from Into the Wild feeling that Penn was too in love with the idea of Christopher McCandless the free-spirited hero to excavate the soul of Christopher McCandless the lost man.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matt Pais
Metromix.com
September 27, 2007
If Penn weren't such an intimidating figure, studio execs probably would have turned the script back and asked for a do-over.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Gabriel Shanks
Modern Fabulousity
October 7, 2007
Contrary to the lessons we learned in Werner Herzog's Grizzly Man, large bears will not always eat irritating hippie man-children. Damn shame.
Full Review | Original Score: C
Susan Granger
www.susangranger.com
October 9, 2007
What's bizarre is how Penn idealizes and never questions this self-destructive, totally egocentric, romanticized adventurer.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/10
Top Critic
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
September 21, 2007
Overly romanticized.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Richard Schickel
TIME Magazine
September 27, 2007
I happen to think Sean Penn is one of our more admirable knotheads -- a fearless actor, a bold controversialist and, as he proved with The Pledge, a very strong director, capable of far subtler moral complexity than Into the Wild affords.
July 23, 2009
Thank goodness for Eric Gautier’s miracle of cinematography that floods the screen with spectacular moments of pristine beauty and long shots ...
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Andrea Gronvall
Chicago Reader
September 27, 2007
A murky screenplay leaves most of the humans ciphers, save for Hal Holbrook in an exquisitely calibrated performance as the avuncular desert retiree whose advice McCandless should have heeded.
Ron Wilkinson
Monsters and Critics
September 24, 2007
A near miss by director/screenwriter Penn when he mistakes a self-absorbed college student for a hero of the counter culture
| Original Score: 6/10
Top Critic
Sura Wood
Hollywood Reporter
August 31, 2007
While the material seems to warrant understated, direct storytelling...Penn opts for epic proportions and clutters his narrative with gimmicks.
Top Critic
Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
June 8, 2012

Sight and Sound
June 18, 2012
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