Movie Reviews Where The Wild Things Are
Maurice Sendak's Where the Wild Things Are has been expanded from a nine-sentence, 37-page-long children's book filled mostly with his drawings ("the easiest prereview homework ever," Lisa Kennedy of the Denver Post remarked) to a full-length movie. And most -- but hardly all -- critics suggest that director Spike Jonze's transition enhances the enchantment of the original. Claudia Puig in USA Today calls it "a movie of surprising depth, poignancy and energy." Manohla Dargis of the New York Times describes it as an "intensely original and haunting movie." Joe Morgenstern in the Wall Street Journal says that Sendak's tale "has grown into a movie that feels vast in scope, yet remarkably intimate and tender." Joe Neumaier in the New York Daily News adds the descriptors "terrific, captivating." But Roger Ebert in the Chicago Sun-Times , while calling the creation of the fantastical characters in the movie "a considerable technical achievement," concludes that he movie feels song "and there were some stretches during which I was less than riveted." Lou Lumenick in the New York Post wonders "how kids will respond to a talky, neurosis-driven movie that's this light on action." Roger Moore of the Orlando Sentinel has no doubt about how they will respond. "As a children's film, it's a bore. And as a grand film enterprise, Where the Wild Things Are skirts the line between folly and fiasco," he writes. But in his review, Steven Rea in the Philadelphia Inquirer takes a position in the center, writing, "Unlike the book, the movie is no masterpiece, but it's a brave and oft-times transcendent endeavor." That's also the reaction of Mick LaSalle in the San Francisco Chronicle , who concludes "It would be wrong to get caught up in this movie's arresting fragments and ignore what seems plain, that Where the Wild Things Are is not a success -- that it's too cold, too dull, too documentary-like and too long. All the same, the good things in it are better than good, and those willing to sit for them -- and sift for them -- won't go unrewarded.