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Charlotte's Web Review

Movies.com Critics

5.0

Dave White Profile

… gentle, literate … Read full review

Other Critics provided by Metacritic.com

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

  • 4.0
    68

    out of 100

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

  • 100

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Michael Rechtshaffen

    The endearingly enduring 1952 E.B. White novel about friendship and salvation, has been turned into a beautifully rendered motion picture that's full of warmth, wit and wonder.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    Charlotte's Web has all the requisite elements that a family film needs to succeed and endure: humor, drama, pathos, and an emotionally satisfying ending.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Now, about the spider. Julia Roberts voices Charlotte in a way that suggests ... not much, I'm afraid. She may be a genuine movie star and can be a good actress, but her voice -- and what she does with it -- never has been one of her strengths.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Kids should enjoy the comic performances of the animals, and adults will appreciate the film's gentle poignancy, powerful enough to induce a lump in the throat.

    Read Full Review

  • 91

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    What hooks you from the start is Dakota Fanning's unfussy passion as Fern.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Charlotte's Web reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 5+

Enchanting take on a beloved children's classic.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the younger crowd will probably be very eager to see this one -- and for good reason. It's unusually respectful of its much-loved source (E.B. White's classic novel) and its young audience. While the movie does refer to the farmer's plan to kill Wilbur for Christmas dinner, the pivotal (and most potentially upsetting) moment is the death of a central character, which is followed by appropriate mourning and recovery by her barnyard friends. Some of the animal characters are initially unfriendly to a new arrival, and Templeton the rat scavenges objects and talks about being selfish and sneaky. Crows attack him, with their point-of-view shots suggesting the danger he's in. Although 5 is the ideal age for this movie, 4-year-olds should be fine, too, as long as they're able to handle the sad parts.

  • Families can talk about how the different characters learn to accept one another.
  • How do they come to see one another as friends, even though at firstthey're put off by their differences?
  • Why does Charlotte want to help Wilbur?
  • If you've read the book, how does the movie compare to what youimagined in your head?
  • Families can also discuss the importance of words and their role in the film. How are words important for communicating, even between species?How do they help shape our impressions of others?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Charlotte is determined and generous; WIlbur is courageous and, yes, "humble" and Fern is open to all her animal friends' very different sorts of beauty. Even "bad guy" Templeton has hidden depths.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Not an issue

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: Minor slapstick and sense of threat when crows chase rat; minor disturbance when rat's rotten egg explodes; allusions to Wilbur's imminent fate as Christmas dinner (use of the word "bacon" and ominous shots of the "cure house"); a central character dies (peacefully), and the others mourn their loss.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Charlotte gives birth (no mention of how she ended up having babies).

  • language false0

    Language: Not an issue

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue

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