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Beasts of the Southern Wild Review Critics


Dave White Profile

Drowned childhood. Read full review


Grae Drake Profile

Fractured fairy tales. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 5.0

    out of 100

    Universal acclaim
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 100

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The movie is small, local, and idiosyncratic. Then again, it's also a thing of beauty and originality - and for that, sustained huzzahs are in order.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    There's no trace of calculation, only artistic ambitions and hopes that have come to fruition in the year's finest film thus far.

    Read Full Review

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Todd McCarthy

    It's very much an art piece, to be sure, but it feels like a genuine one that, while meditated, speaks fluently and truly for the place, people and culture it so indelibly depicts.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    It's unlikely there will be a film as visually stunning or poetic this year - or perhaps any year - to rival Beasts of the Southern Wild.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Beasts of the Southern Wild reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 14+

Devastatingly moving drama has harsh truths, whimsy, wisdom.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Beasts of the Southern Wild is a heart-wrenching fable that's so unique that it's hard to classify. It's a drama about an alcoholic father who means well but has few tools to convey his love to his spitfire 6-year-old daughter. It's a celebration of quirky friendships and the power of the imagination. It's an indictment of the deep divide that separates the rich and the poor. And much more. Expect some swearing; kids and adults both say the word "p---y." There's also lots of drinking, brutal depictions of abject poverty, an adult striking a child, and discussion about the death of a parent.

  • Families can talk about how Beasts of the Southern Wild depicts drinking. Are there realistic consequences?
  • What is the movie saying about fathers and their daughters and the ties that bind them? Is Wink a flawed father?
  • Parents, talk to your kids about Hurricane Katrina: Who suffered most in the end? How does this movie reference the social issues that the hurricane brought to light?
  • How does Hushpuppy cope with the difficulties in her life? Is she aware of them? How does she compare to other movie girls?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Steely resolve and courage can see you through the toughest of times, but you still need the love and warmth of family.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Hushpuppy is strong and brave and very precocious for her age. For a 6-year-old, she has a very wise outlook on serious matters, including death. She doesn't let anything keep her down, and she believes in her power and ability. Her father is deeply flawed and sometimes hurtful, but he loves her fiercely.

What to watch for
  • violence false2

    Violence: A character slaps his child once to discipline her, and she hits him back; he also taunts her to toughen her up. A child starts a fire. Three men blow up a dam.

  • sex false1

    Sex: A father discusses the night of his child's conception (but not in a lewd way). Kids dance in a brothel.

  • language false3

    Language: A couple of uses of "s--t" and "p---y," plus "ass," "damn," "hell," "crap," and "goddamn."

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false4

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Lots of drinking, including off-label hooch, beer, wine, vodka, and other hard liquor. A man shares his liquor with his very young daughter.