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Alice in Wonderland Review

Movies.com Critics

3.0

Dave White Profile

Alice in Empowerment Land. Read full review

2.5

Jen Yamato Profile

Down the rubbish hole. Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

Critics scores range from 0 to 100, with higher scores indicating more favorable reviews.

  • 3.0
    53

    out of 100

    Metascore®
    Mixed or average reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 40

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    The most surprising thing about Alice in Wonderland is its general lack of surprise.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    In the film's rather humdrum 3-D, the place doesn't dazzle — it droops.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    "Alice" plays better as an adult hallucination, which is how Burton rather brilliantly interprets it until a pointless third act flies off the rails.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    When it comes to 3-D visual splendors, give me Wonderland over Pandora any day.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    A fantastical romp that proves every bit as transporting as that movie about the blue people of Pandora, his "Alice" is more than just a gorgeous 3D sight to behold.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Alice in Wonderland reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

Pause for kids 10 & under

All-new 3-D Alice story is trippy and intense.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Tim Burton's Alice in Wonderland might be rated PG, but it's pretty intense and scary at times for younger kids, especially because it's in 3-D. This trippy adaptation -- in which Alice is a young adult -- includes some fantasy violence with scary monsters that attack people, a cruel Red Queen (Helena Bonham Carter) who frequently sentences people to death, and a climactic battle scene between sword-brandishing humans, animals, and beasts. Some parents might want to know that a caterpillar (played by Alan Rickman) smokes a hookah, but this is as Lewis Carroll depicted the character. The language includes taunting insults like "stupid," "imbecile," "idiot," "bloody," and the like, and the sexuality is limited to one kiss between a married man and another woman and some aggressive flirting.

  • Families can talk about Alice's nonconformist attitude. How does she buck cultural expecations? In what ways does her adventure in "Underland" change Alice?

  • What do you think about Mr. Kingsleigh, and later Alice's adage that "all the best people" are a bit "mad"? What do you think the Mad Hatter means that things are only impossible if you believe them to be?

  • The Red Queen is cruel but sad. What are some reasons she's so mean? Are there compelling reasons to be angry at her younger sister, the White Queen?

  • Those familiar with the Lewis Carroll books: Compare this version with the original source and other adaptations. Do you like this Alice as a much older heroine?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: The Red Queen's cruelty, jealousy, and insecurity end up costing her everything, proving that she's wrong when she asserts that it's "better to be feared than to be loved." Alice and her Underland friends are all loyal to each other and to the cause of overthrowing the evil Red Queen -- all are willing to make sacrifices to ensure that the Red Queen is defeated. Alice confirms the belief that to dream, to believe in the impossible, to believe in your own abilities and potential, is actually a very wise thing to do.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Alice, like all heroes, must learn to believe in herself to finally defeat the Jabberwocky and save Underland from the tyranny of the Red Queen. She's an excellent example to young girls, because she doesn't follow her sister and mother's advice to rely on her looks to land a high-class husband. Instead, she trusts her instincts and confronts her fears to emerge a powerful champion, a defeater of evil, a friend and ally to an entire world. And when she returns to regular London, she makes a decision that goes against cultural norms of her day, but that is ultimately much better for her future.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: The Red Queen is quite bloodthirsty and frequently sentences people to death, yelling "Off with their heads!" She makes comments like "I love morning execution, don't you?" and sends scary creatures to do her bidding. A scary dog-like creature called the Bandersnatch suddenly attacks, chasing and pouncing on the Tweedle twins. Since these sequences are in 3-D, they're especially intense. There's a moat filled with cut-off heads and potions filled with severed fingers. People are scratched and nearly killed, an executioner is shown about to lower the axe on someone, and in the end, a creature is decaptitated.

  • sex false1

    Sex: Alice catches her brother-in-law kissing a woman who's not his wife; Alice and Hamish dance, and he proposes to her. The Knave of Hearts pushes an overgrown Alice against a wall and says he likes her, because he likes "largeness." The Red Queen acts smitten with the Knave of Hearts.

  • language false1

    Language: Mild taunts and insults like "imbeciles," "idiots," "bloody" (in the British sense), "stupid," "big head," "lunatic," and "fat."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Absalom the smoking caterpillar does just that -- smoke a hookah -- in three different scenes. The Red Queen and her court seem to drink something that looks like wine at a meal.

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