Where the Wild Things Are - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Where the Wild Things Are Reviews

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½ June 22, 2017
While I admire the film for being visually stunning and unique in its take on the beloved children's story, this version of a child growing up, made me sad and empty.
½ June 1, 2017
I'm not sure how Jonze managed to take such a wonderful, magical children's book and turn it into this overwhelmingly depressing anger-fest. An incredible disappointment.
May 21, 2017
Visually immersive, emotionally connected, and thankfully well-acted; this wildly imaginative, though perhaps depressing, picture book adaption is a solid entry in the history of child-and-monster films.
May 19, 2017
A movie for all ages. Nails the direction and playfulness of the atmospheric story from beginning to end. 5 out of 5.
½ May 4, 2017
Strange but unfulfilling. (First and only viewing - Fall 2009 in theaters)
May 2, 2017
The Movie overall was good, the dark gloomy atmosphere, The humming songs are creepy and sinister ,almost if they were trying to get the feeling of loneliness and fear across. I don't like how it doesn't show what they eat, and they show how he survived a year long journey on the ocean in a tiny boat. They do a excellent job of getting the emotions across to the viewer as well as how isolated they really are.
March 12, 2017
This film is not just visually great but amazingly acted showing a
troubled child and how they actually act. I must warn you though it
does deal with very dark subjects and much like a monster calls if you
want to watch this with your child you might need to plan on explaining
some iffy subject matter. It is a truly beautiful movie and i do
recommend you watching it. Is it perfect no but i give it a 5/5 because I love watching the film and that it deserves a lot more credit than people give it.
March 4, 2017
Walked away from the first viewing totally blown away and emotionally exhausted, and found the second viewing even more satisfying. Congrats Spike Jonze on 3 consecutive incredible films!
February 7, 2017
A very smart, emotional film that in my opinion is criminally underrated and deserves more attention and praise.
½ January 17, 2017
For me, as for many small children, the cruelty of schoolmates, bickering between me and my siblings, and feeling misunderstood by adults were all sources of hurt, frustration, and genuine heartache. I remember putting on my Superman cape, my Ninja Turtle bandana, or my Batman mask and retreating to the backyard or, mother forbid, climbing onto the roof of the house to escape into the recesses of my imagination. There, I could be whoever I wanted to be.

When real-life bullies exploited my physical weakness and avoidance of violence, there in the grass I was more powerful than a locomotive and faster than a speeding bullet. In my imagination I wouldn't need to fight; bullies respected my strength and backed down. If my loving parents ever showed exasperation at my limitless energy and rightfully attempted to place limits and rules, I'd pretend I could fly away, never to be held down. When older siblings, entering adolescence, balked at my immature playfulness, I dealt with the very real heartache and confusion by pretending I was a hero or a king. Then, I was adored, appreciated, and loved. I became someone who saved the day and earned the respect of those around me.

For that reason I, like millions of readers across the decades, identified so readily with Max, the protagonist in Maurice Sendak's classic children's book Where the Wild Things Are. Dressing like an animal to escape his home life, he imagines a land of creatures and monsters that make him their king. A brisk ten sentences in length, the book tapped into something primal in my childhood heart.

Spike Jonze's hour and 45 minute film version expands on Sendak's vision without straying from its essence, and like E.T. and The Goonies, addresses real-world stresses that effect children in a straightforward, matter-of-fact manner even as it interweaves them with its fantasy. In fact, the entire film is a wonderful hybrid of the real and the surreal, and rings true to the oft-forgotten emotional experience of childhood.

If this all sounds deep...it is. This is not a lighthearted kid's movie, and I wouldn't take young children to it. Not because it's inappropriate, because it isn't, but rather because adventure and fantasy are not used here to simply entertain. Rather, they purposefully and honestly dissect the broad spectrum of young feelings: fear, love, embarrassment, joy, loneliness, belonging, fun, rejection, and the sheer exhilaration of physical play. The film's Max learns, through his experiences, to make sense both of his own feelings as well as his mother's experience. He gains a taste of what it means to grow up and to be responsible for the welfare of others, and just how taxing (and rewarding) that can be. Ironically, while Max comes to comprehend adulthood, adult viewers are reminded of what it really means to be a child. While based on a book for young children, the film version seems more appropriate for adults and older kids looking to understand each other while being wowed by impressive fantasy.

And it is impressive. The artistry of this film is simply stunning. While many family movies rely too heavily on special effects, Where the Wild Things Are was wisely shot in real forests, with its young actor interacting with real Wild Things (which is to say, real-life actors in large animatronic suits as opposed to computer-generated beasts). While it is true that a giant fort and the Wild Things' faces are CGI, these visual effects are integrated seamlessly, giving the film has an organic quality. Wild Things approximates the blurry line between imagination and reality experienced by kids. The handheld (but not shaky) camerawork adds to the earthy realism, and some of the warm autumn colors captured during moments of sunrise and sunset are gorgeous to behold. The Wild Things themselves are always fun to look at, and the technical wizardry in their design deserves an Academy Award.

Young actor Max Records is movingly real; he never seems to be acting and never appears to be coached by a director). He simply conveys what it is to be a nine year-old. The vocal work for the Wild Things is top-notch, and despite the movie's often melancholy tone, there are moments of great humor and genuine wonder. Though Where The Wild Things Are ultimately has a good deal of warmth, heart, and soul, this is a bittersweet tale with profound themes whose sadder moments will likely alienate those just looking for a good time, as will the time it spends on introspection. Younger children, as well as those seeking pure entertainment, may find themselves bored and restless. For those up for the challenge, however, it is a fine family film that doesn't insult one's intelligence.
January 7, 2017
This movie won me over when one of the monsters lost a limb and was filled with sand!
December 30, 2016
Based on, or more accurately, "inspired by" the children's picture book of the same name, Spike Jonze's idea of "Where the Wild Things Are" is a lot like its titular characters - greatly intimidating, but also very warm and emotional deep down.
Super Reviewer
December 27, 2016
Spike Jonze's auteurish adaptation of Maurice Sendak's classic children's book is dark, visually haunting and more adult in tone than the original story, taking us on a melancholy journey into a kid's inner self where his wild things are.
December 1, 2016
This is a failure. The source material is so fascinating and should have been great as a film, but this should have been no longer than half an hour for the plot it had. Jonze did show the material accurately (children's retreats into their imagination to purge their wildness in order to learn to be civilized), but who knew children's imaginations were so boring and dragged out. Not me.
It was good, just was an hour + too long. Such a shame. Good effects though.
November 25, 2016
Where the Wild Things Are holds beautifully designed bleak images in a mesmerizing sleepy world, but the story is rather disturbing and vicious for a child's story that touches upon the inner demons children have inside them.
November 19, 2016
Now when I was about 5 I saw this movie and thought it was pretty bad but now that I have grown up I can realize that this is a masterpiece.
November 18, 2016
Saw this on 16/11/16
It's never too boring, but there's hardly any story in it nor can one find any satisfaction after watching it. The film's biggest drawback is that it fails to tell you why it exists, it seems to have no purpose.
November 12, 2016
This movie is very sad. Not for the faint hearted. Not suitable for pre bedtime viewing for the young at heart
½ October 2, 2016
Had potential but never fulfilled and left me bored.
½ September 24, 2016
Imaginative with incredible animations, but the film is actually rather dark for a children's movie...overall 2.5 Stars
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