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

Pee-wee's Big Adventure Reviews

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½ April 25, 2017
In his directorial debut, Tim Burton takes the reigns of the big screen premiere of Paul Reubens' strange project and peculiar alternate persona, Pee-wee Herman. Burton, already a fan of the character when approached with the opporunity, embodies the perfect choice to complement Pee-wee's outlandish and ambiguous character play, the strange hum of a tone not quite firmly planted in a major or minor key. Is Pee-wee for children? Is Pee-wee for adults? Is Pee-wee something altogether undefinable? Much like the career of Tim Burton, there exists only one way to answer any of these questions: "Yes".

The character of Pee-wee, however, does not deliver justice to the efforts of Burton. With a voice both grating and unenjoyable, only the most immature of children find true joy in this outlandish anti-hero. Rife with jokes barely capable of being called jokes ("I know you are, but what am I?"), the script does not lend itself to a wide audience. All of the fun to be had here remains slapstick and shallow, saved only by Burton's radical, interesting visuals.

2.5 out of 5

-P.D. Penley
April 14, 2017
With the creative minds of Tim Burton & Paul Reubens combined you get a fun yet dark at times film. It's a very adventure filled and fun film for anyone that grew up with Pee Wee Herman or just likes good comedy
March 29, 2017
"I know you are but what am I?" A Tim Burton/Pee-wee classic.
½ March 22, 2017
Pee-Wee is funny and cool in this movie although he gets a little annoying at times. Very silly and lighthearted, with a good story.
March 8, 2017
This movie is really ridiculous. That being said, there is a bit of immature humor in it that occasionally got me to crack a smile or two. All in all though, it is not a great movie. It just sort of exists.
February 18, 2017
When it comes to Tim Burton movies, there aren't many of them that I would consider really great works or masterpieces, but Pee-Wee's Big Adventure, in its own way, is its own little masterpiece. The concept is so bizarre but the execution is brilliant. It takes what could have been cult material (even though it still is in its own way) and somehow made it accessible. It's one of those movies that you put on when you want to have a good time, and I never tire of how much fun I have when I watch it. Paul Reubens was turned into an eternal icon and has hardly shaken the persona, but I don't think he's ashamed of it either. And he shouldn't be. Pee-Wee Herman is one of the most beloved characters in the history of pop culture and, as a consequence, this movie became an absolute classic.
February 12, 2017
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure certainly has a lot to like about it. It has a good premise, funny writing, and great action sequences that will leave you wanting more. While the film is extremely sluggish at times, it all leads to an exciting climax and a satisfying (and hilarious) ending.
½ November 21, 2016
Tim's starting off with a bang.
½ September 27, 2016
The greatest of all Feel Good movies, classic characters like Francis, amazing Larry and of course Pee Wee. You will be cracking up the whole film.
September 18, 2016
Definitely a five star movie, this came out when I was 6 years old and watching years later it's still just as funny as it was back in the 80's. Consider it a comedy classic
September 10, 2016
There is something bizarrely charming about Pee-wee's Big Adventure. Maybe it's the quirky characters. Perhaps it's Tim Burton's creative storytelling. Or it could be Danny Elfman's unique score. No matter what it is, this movie appeals to both children and adults...unless you're annoyed by Pee-wee Herman, that is.
½ September 8, 2016
it's stupid funny and a old time classic.
Super Reviewer
September 3, 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
August 29, 2016
Awesome movie. The film draws a lot of nostalgia for fans of the show and delivers many laughs in the process, both through its smart jokes and it's wonderful performance from Reubens, as well as a great debut direction from Burton.
August 28, 2016
Almost walked out of movie theater in the first 5 minutes watching the early nonsense but fought through it. Really it's just a silly kid's movie.
August 8, 2016
Comedian Pee Wee Herman brings his unique comedy style to the big screen and the end result is a fresh, fun and inventive film. The score is wonderful and the characters are kooky and fun as well. The plot is simple as Pee Wee sets off on a cross country adventure to find his prized bicycle which has been stolen by Pee Wees nemesis.
½ August 8, 2016
Pee-Wee's Big Adventure is God's gift to man. Well, one of them.
July 6, 2016
"Can't you remember anything?" "I remember...the Alamo!" (Much rejoicing.) The sillier the better in this surreal, buoyant and fun Burton debut. Imagine I would like it even more if I grew up with it.
½ June 19, 2016
Not very special, but Paul Reuben's famous rant, "Shush! I'M TRYING TO USE THE PHONE!" Is just priceless! Not to forget the dialogue from the hells angels!
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