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Bolt Review Critics


Dave White Profile

...funny and sweet Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 4.0

    out of 100

    Generally favorable reviews
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 60

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Taken on its own terms, Bolt the movie certainly makes the cut.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Bolt borrows amiably from a host of sources, including "The Incredible Journey," "Lilo and Stitch" and "Toy Story 2."

    Read Full Review

  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    There's a terrific tenderness in Travolta's performance, while Cyrus and company are similarly effective.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Bolt breaks no great new stylistic ground -- and yet it's a sturdy beaut.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Bolt reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Super-dog adventure is fun, age-appropriate for kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that kids are definitely going to want to see this animated adventure starring Miley Cyrus (well, her voice, anyway), even though it has nothing to do with Hannah Montana. There are some scenes of peril (explosions, hostage situations, evil cats) in the TV-show-within-a-movie, but after the first few action-packed minutes of the movie, it's made clear to the audience that it's all manufactured. There's also a  tense, potentially scary fire during the movie's climax. But most of the movie's content is age-appropriate for its intended audience.

  • Families can talk about what made kids want to see this movie -- was it the story or all of the advertising/marketing?
  • Do you prefer animated movies where the voices are done by celebrities? Why or why not? How is Miley Cyrus uniquely qualified to star in a movie about a celebrity who should be allowed to act normal?
  • What's the difference between reality and fiction? How was Bolt stuck in a fictional life? What does Penny think Bolt is missing by thinking he's actually a super dog? Why is Mittens skeptical about humans?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: The movie is intended to entertain, not educate. But kids may learn a bit about how Hollywood works.

  • message true4

    Messages: The movie has a sweetly positive messages about loyalty, determination, and teamwork. Characters who resist others' affection eventually learn to embrace it, and Bolt discovers that being loved is much more important than having super powers.

  • rolemodels true3

    Role models: Penny and Mittens are strong female characters, and Rhino is a courageous sidekick. Bolt is at first melancholy about not being a real super dog, but he overcomes his initial blues to find his true courage.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: The peril is mostly in the TV show within the movie. After an early sequence (which could be intense for younger or more sensitive kids) it's made clear that the violence is manufactured, since the audience (unlike Bolt) sees the crew setting off explosions, catching stuntmen, etc. In the "real" world, there are cartoonish pratfalls and slapsticky violence, but nothing too disturbing -- until a tense, scary fire during the movie's climax that puts a central character in danger.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: A couple of mild insults (like "stupid") among the animals.

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Featured brands include The New Yorker, Tiger Beat, U-Haul, The Tonight Show (but not with a recognizable host), and several Las Vegas hotels, like the Bellagio; New York, New York; Bally's; and Caesar's Palace.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue