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Pee-Wee's Big Adventure brings Paul Reubens' famous character to the big screen intact, along with enough inspired silliness to dazzle children of all ages. Read critic reviews

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Movie Info

Pee-wee Herman (Paul Reubens), an eccentric child-like man, loves his red bicycle and will not sell it to his envious neighbor, Francis (Mark Holton). While Pee-wee visits his friend Dottie (Elizabeth Daily), the bike is stolen. Thinking his bike is at the Alamo, Pee-wee sets off on a trip, where he meets many remarkable people, including waitress Simone (Diane Salinger) and a motorcycle gang. Eventually, Pee-wee discovers that his bike is being used in a movie and tries to recover it.

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Critic Reviews for Pee-wee's Big Adventure

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (8) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (6)

Audience Reviews for Pee-wee's Big Adventure

  • Jan 07, 2021
    Pee-wee's Big Adventure is one of those films that will test your patience with the central character. Paul Reuben never managed to shake off the character and it remains his most recognised character after all these years. The film was a slight hit at the box office but the strength of the film lies in its craziness. Tim Burton was in his infancy as a filmmaker but he gives this film more creativity and showcases an early talent to create something unique. The first 10 minutes was a little rough as I had to get my head around the Pee-wee character but after that the film managed to settle into one of the cult gems from the era. I'm shocked I hadn't found this film earlier and it's a lost gem for collectors like myself. The plot allows the film to go any out there storyline and that's what makes this film great. 07/01/2021
    Brendan O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 03, 2016
    It's tough to enjoy something when every aspect of the film is strictly aimed at impressing children. Without heart, any sign of intelligence, or a cohesive plot, Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is one big dud. There's nothing here for people over 7 years old. I like Tim Burton a lot. He always brings such a unique vision and style into every film he directs or produces. In fact, Big Fish is one of my all-time favorite films. So when I decided to look back at his filmography in preparation for Miss Peregrine later this month, I was excited to sit down and watch what I hadn't already seen. Sadly, Pee-Wee is lacking all of the nuances that make his later work so special. It's easily one of his weakest films. Of course I was aware going in that Pee-Wee isn't for everyone. In fact, there aren't many Burton films that appeal to everyone, but there has to be some joy in watching a ridiculously silly comedy for 90 minutes right? Or perhaps a side character that will be more memorable than the mess that is Pee-Wee himself? Maybe even a nice message that doesn't totally undermine the unique style of Burton? If I'm being honest, there's nothing redeemable to this story. Pee-Wee apparently owns the world's most sought after bike and it's unfortunately stolen, so he must muster up the strength and devotion to find it, at whatever cost. It's a journey that could have been as good as the legendary trip Ed Bloom took in Big Fish. Or at least as funny as Beetlejuice. I was hoping it would at least poke fun at its insane premise and give us a good laugh or two, but it never hits the way it should. To put it bluntly, these are adults who are playing roles that should be played by kids. It honestly gets to unwatchable point when Pee-Wee constantly gets distracted by every person he meets and spends 15 minutes doing nothing efficient and progressing the story in the absolute slightest. Realistically, it doesn't bother me that this movie is awful. I'm not the intended audience, but nor is it for 99% of the public. I'm sorry Tim Burton, I love your work, but I cannot stand everything about Pee-Wee. -Adults acting like kids -In unwatchable ways -Meandering plot does nothing to benefit story -Absurd premise turns out to be worse than it sounds 21/100
    Thomas D Super Reviewer
  • Mar 20, 2016
    It's an enjoyable film that young children would probably like. I didn't think this film was that funny. It had some funny scenes, but it didn't make me laugh out loud. It was also kinda creepy and at some moments scary.
    Tarin P Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2015
    It's such an imaginative comedy and one that exists entirely in a realm of big, goofy, unapologetic fantasy. Ruebens' performance is utter perfection.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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