Critics Consensus

Laden with schmaltz and largely bereft of evident narrative purpose, North represents an early major disappointment from previously sure-handed director Rob Reiner.



Total Count: 35


Audience Score

User Ratings: 13,561
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Movie Info

A young boy demands a divorce from his neglectful parents and is granted approval -- but only if he can find suitable replacements within two months. He then sets off on a quest around the world in search of the perfect family in this parable-like comedy.

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Jon Lovitz
as Arthur Belt
Alan Arkin
as Judge Buckle
Abe Vigoda
as Grandpa
Jason Alexander
as North's Dad
Keone Young
as Governor Ho
Lauren Tom
as Mrs. Ho
Graham Greene (II)
as Alaskan Dad
Kathy Bates
as Alaskan Mom
Bruce Willis
as Narrator
Ben Stein
as Curator
Kelly McGillis
as Amish Mom
Faith Ford
as Donna Nelson
John Ritter
as Ward Nelson
Marc Shaiman
as Piano Player
Peg Shirley
as Teacher
Donavon Dietz
as Assistant Coach
Teddy Bergman
as Teammate
Joran Corneal
as Teammate
Joshua Kaplan
as Teammate
James F. Dean
as Dad Smith
Nancy Nichols
as Mom Jones
Ryan O'Neill
as Andy Wilson
Kim Delgado
as Dad Johnson
Tony T. Johnson
as Steve Johnson
Carmela Rappazzo
as Receptionist
Jordan Jacobson
as Vice President
Chad Allen
as Texas Dancer
Rafale Yermazyan
as Austrian Dancer
Mitchell Group
as Dad Wilson
Pamela Harley
as Reporter
Glenn Kubota
as Reporter
Matthew Arkin
as Reporter
Marc Coppola
as Reporter
Colette Bryce
as Reporter
Alan Rachins
as Defense Attorney
Abbe Levin
as Operator
Sarah Martineck
as Kid in Airport
Helen Hanft
as Operator
Carol Honda
as Operator
Peggy Gormley
as Operator
Lillias White
as Operator
Mark Meismer
as Texas Dancer
Bryan Anthony
as Texas Dancer
James Harkness
as Texas Dancer
Brett Heine
as Texas Dancer
Chad E. Allen
as Texas Dancer
Lydia E. Merritt
as Texas Dancer
Kelly Shenefiel
as Texas Dancer
Danielle Jeffery
as Texas Dancer
Carmit Bachar
as Texas Dancer
Krista Buonaro
as Texas Dancer
Kelly Cooper
as Texas Dancer
Stefanie Roos
as Texas Dancer
Jenifer Strovas
as Texas Dancer
Sebastian La Cause
as Texas Dancer
Jenifer Panton
as Betty Lou
Gil Janklowicz
as Man on Beach
Maud Winchester
as Stewart's Mom
Fritz Sperberg
as Stewart's Dad
Brynn Hartman
as Waitress
Larry B. Williams
as Alaskan Pilot
Monty Bass
as Eskimo
Eva Larson
as Eskimo
Marla Frees
as DC Reporter
Robert Rigamonti
as DC Reporter
Jay Black
as Amish Pilot
Rosalind Chao
as Chinese Mom
George Cheung
as Chinese Barber
Ayo Adejugbe
as African Dad
Darwyn Carson
as African Mom
Lucy Lin
as Female Newscaster
Scarlett Johansson
as Laura Nelson
Jesse Zeigler
as Bud Nelson
Audrey Klebahn
as Secretary
Philip Levy
as Panhandler
Dan Grimaldi
as Hot Dog Vendor
Wendel Josepher
as Ticket Agent
Adam Zweibel
as Kid in Aiport
Matthew Horn
as Kid in Aiport
Sarah Martinek
as Kid in Aiport
Brian Levinson
as Kid in Aiport
D.L. Shroder
as Federal Express Agent
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Critic Reviews for North

All Critics (35) | Top Critics (13) | Fresh (5) | Rotten (30)

  • Have you ever seen a rich Texan before? How about a Hawaiian who lives near a beautiful beach?

    Aug 16, 2017 | Rating: 0/4 | Full Review…
  • The amalgams of TV stereotypes that satirize foreign and regional cultures are embarrassing.

    Jul 9, 2013
  • It's a prime example of what can happen when hip, slightly cynical establishment filmmakers try to make a deeply sentimental movie.

    Jun 5, 2013 | Rating: 2/4 | Full Review…
  • How could director Rob Reiner, whose touch for what pleases a mass audience is usually unfailing, have strayed this far?

    Jun 5, 2013 | Rating: 1/5 | Full Review…
  • The intrinsic failure of Alan Zweibel and Andrew Scheinman's script is that it tips its hand from the start.

    Mar 26, 2009

    Leonard Klady

    Top Critic
  • Reiner is undecided just how fantastically he should treat this ludicrous plotline. Added to which there's a dire musical number, a silly thriller subplot, and much maudlin didacticism from narrator Willis in various guardian angel (dis)guises. Misery.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    Geoff Andrew

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for North

  • Aug 27, 2011
    Every director suffers from one very bad film throughout his career in the case of Rob Reiner, that film is North. I remember watching this film when I was younger, and not liking it at all. I got the idea of the film back then, but now over fifteen years after this film was released, this film has absolutely no merit in entertainment. One thing that's shocking is that the film has a very good cast, but not even that can save this shameful film from disaster. The reason the film is bad, is the films premise. A boy divorces himself from his parents to find better parents. Hell, parents aren't supposed to be cool, they're the authority figure, and though most are very strict in many respects, a lot of them compensate by being fair. Hell I was brought up with that. I think that this film spits in the face of parents, and not only that, it insults the viewers intellect, and tries to say that their parents aren't worth a damn. This film isn't Rob Reiner's brightest career move, and that's a great shame because he's made some classics over the course of his career. This is the worst possible family film that you can possibly watch. I was a kid when this film came out, and I remember how bad this was. A good cast is wasted on such a terrible film, it's a great shame, because there's some impressive names attached to this piece of trash.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2011
    I love Elijah Wood. In fact, he is one of my favorite actors. His performances in "The Good Son", "Happy Feet" and "The Lord of the Rings Trilogy" were all spectacular. I also like Alan Arkin. He's not one of my favorites, but I like him. He did a pretty good job in every movie I've seen him in apart from "The Santa Clause 3: The Escape Clause". So when I heard of this movie, I thought it might actually be pretty good. Until I read Chicago Sun-Times critic Roger Ebert's review. Quote: "I hated this movie. Hated hated hated hated hated this movie. Hated it. Hated every simpering stupid vacant audience-insulting moment of it. Hated the sensibility that thought anyone would like it. Hated the implied insult to the audience by its belief that anyone would be entertained by it."-Roger Ebert. He. Was too. Nice. First of all, this movies acting is down right awful. Elijah Wood, who plays North, does a downright awful job. It's probably one of the hardest thing's I've ever had to say in a review, but it is truly awful. Wood overacts and underacts, playing one of the most uninteresting and annoying characters I've ever seen. However, he was hardly the worst thing about the movie. That would be Matthew McCurley as Winchell, an evil 10 year old CEO with a diabolical plan to kill North. He shows about as much emotion as Matthew Broderick in Inspector Gadget and is about as menacing as "Turl" from "Battlefield Earth". I've seen more energetic acting from the Olsen Twins on "Full House". This movie can also be extremely racist and stereotypical at times. For example, there is one VERY controversial scene in which North is visiting an Eskimo family, who banishes their grandfather to death because he can no longer help the tribe. It sounds like a really emotional scene, but if you see the movie, it was definitely intended to be a joke. #1: Eskimos only did that in times of FAMINE and when they did, it was a very heartbreaking and emotional scene. #2: To joke about something like that is incredibly insensitive, especially considering this is a kids film. Speaking of jokes, this film is the farthest thing from funny there is. There is not ONE funny joke in this movie. Most of the time, they;re not even trying. It's like they read the script without any jokes, and then thought of a joke in like 2 seconds without looking it over. When they ARE trying, they try to hard, and the audience is confused over how it's supposed to be funny. This movie also has absolutely no logic. Kids can;t just divorce their parents. Divorce is a very long and complicated process. It takes months, and North probably would have been caught by then. Also, this movie makes parents look really bad. Parent's are the authority figures, they're out to protect you, they;re not just uncool and mean jerks. Basically, the lesson of this movie is "Parents suck, and treat them with as little respect as possible" This movie may be one of the absolute worst of the 90's. It's definitely in the top 10. No child should have to go through this kind of punishment. I'd rather watch "The Gameplan" and I absolutely HATED "The Gameplan".
    Marc L Super Reviewer
  • May 27, 2011
    Criative story, bad film. It's not so terrible like say, but still a crap. Rob Reiner's Unmasterpiece.
    Lucas M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 16, 2010
    What do you get with a film that's so bad that Siskel and Ebert named it the worst movie they've ever seen in the time they've worked on their show. THAT is saying something, so that obviously can spell doom for this movie. Even though it has a pretty notable cast, there is not much that will help this movie redeem itself. North (Elijah Wood) is a child prodigy is who loved by all except his mom and dad (played by, I'm not kidding here, Jason Alexander and Julia Louis-Dreyfus from Seinfeld). North is eventually convinced to divorce from his parents, but must now look for a new family. So North travels the world, from Texas to Hawaii, in search of a new family. My biggest problem with this movie isn't the fact that the humor is really dry and the cultures North meets don't represent what they really are, the biggest thing I see is what Bruce Willis, who plays the film's narrator, is forced to do in this movie. He has to wear a freakin bunny suit and say he's the Easter Bunny. One of the best action stars of all time is forced to do that? WOW!! And yes, the humor is pretty dry. I don't think many people have laughed at this movie. Even though this film has some big names, Bruce Willis, Dan Aykroyd, and two of the main actors from Seinfeld (as I've said), this film really has nothing helping it. Roger Ebert and Gene Siskel were right. This movie is bad. This is really surprising, considering that Elijah Wood and Rob Reiner have done better films (Wood especially).
    Sean N Super Reviewer

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