Pee-wee's Big Adventure - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Pee-wee's Big Adventure Reviews

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Top Critic
Vincent Canby
New York Times
May 20, 2003
You have been warned.
Top Critic
Dave Kehr
Chicago Reader
February 9, 2010
Reubens always lets us feel superior to his creation, and when his character slips, as it does more than once in this first feature outing, his own condescension shows through.
David Parkinson
Radio Times
July 31, 2015
It's a bold attempt to do something dazzlingly original, although some of the gags are spectacularly unfunny and Pee-wee's nervous prattling can become irritating.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5

People Magazine
April 25, 2001
Herman is trying to turn attitudinizing into comic performance art. But in this case he hasn't developed his stand-up posture into a fleshed-out character.
Top Critic

TIME Magazine
February 9, 2010
Fair warning: this movie could induce terminal boredom in adults and rot the minds of the young.
Top Critic
Brian Case
Time Out
February 9, 2006
Fed by comic tributaries perhaps, but Pee-Wee Herman comes over as a delightful original.
Will Harris
Bullz-Eye.com
February 10, 2007
It might start off silly, but by the end, it's skewered tons of film clichés, offered our first glimpse at Tim Burton's cinematic vision, and, most crucially, made you laugh more times than you can count.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Michael Szymanski
International Press Academy
June 1, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Leo Goldsmith
Not Coming to a Theater Near You
January 25, 2011
But perhaps Pee-wee's appeal lies precisely in the slightly discomfiting uncertainty of his persona... insufferably giddy, occasionally malevolent, and completely indefatigable; demented, irritating, narcissistic -- and infectiously funny.
Scott Weinberg
eFilmCritic.com
July 25, 2002
| Original Score: 5/5
Beth Accomando
KPBS.org
July 8, 2008
The filmmakers create a zany and surreal world for Pee-wee yet it all seems perfectly natural and credible. Plus, it's all infused with a subdued yet rampant silliness that's enchanting.
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
August 27, 2012
Chiefly successful because of its commitment to an artistic ideal: make something that looks, talks, feels, and moves like a cartoon.
Full Review | Original Score: 7/10
Rebecca Murray
About.com
August 22, 2003
| Original Score: 4/5
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
May 21, 2006
Goofy, silly, and just plain funny.
| Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
August 30, 2004
Mostly the film is filled with bizarre jokes that only grow funnier as the film's cult appeal increases; it wears its 20 years well.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
November 1, 2014
Burton demonstrates his knack for building seemingly dynamic meta-worlds inside our own world, depicting Pee Wee's own journey as exciting, harrowing, and often times scary.
Top Critic
Variety Staff
Variety
February 9, 2010
Children should love the film and adults will be dismayed by the light brushstrokes with which Paul Reubens (one of three credited screenwriters, but star-billed under his stage name, Pee-wee Herman) suggests touches of Buster Keaton and Eddie Cantor.
Christopher Null
Filmcritic.com
June 25, 2005
Arguably Tim Burton's strangest film.
| Original Score: 4/5
Jeffrey Westhoff
Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
August 7, 2002
| Original Score: 5/5
Bob Bloom
Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
February 14, 2003
A little gem, odd, quirky and completely different; James Brolin as Pee Wee Herman is a blast.
| Original Score: 3/5
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