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March of the Penguins 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.

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    Watch them march to the very extremes of extremis, though, and it's easy to feel awe.

  • 80

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    A nature documentary that captures the ferocity and heroism of nature.

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  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Luc Jacquet's exquisitely shot eye-of-God study of a year in the lives of these distinctive birds is a nature film built with a feel for the epic and a love of operatic narrative.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    A cinematic experience that is dazzlingly different from anything currently in theaters, March of the Penguins captivates with its straightforward but powerful story of dogged determination, survival against harsh odds and sacrifice.

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  • 88

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    It's poignant to watch the chicks in their youth, fed by their parents, playing with their chums, the sun climbing higher every day, little suspecting what they're in for.

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  • See all March of the Penguins reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

THE penguin movie. A stunning, loving documentary.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that the documentary includes stunning but also occasionally disturbing imagery of penguins walking, mating, and dying. Morgan Freeman narrates as the penguins make their annual march from the Antarctic shore in Antarctica. Some penguins die along the way, others freeze during the long winter as they huddle to protect pregnant females and then eggs and babies, and still others are killed by predators.

  • Families can talk about the film's "humanizing" of the penguins, as it describes their sense of loss, fears, and aspirations. How does the movie make penguin pairs seem like romantic couples? How does the movie construct the penguins' sense of community or future? How might the penguins serve as documentary subjects even without such effort to anthropomorphize their feelings?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Penguins are very determined and face incredible odds to keep the life cycle going.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Sea lions attack penguins; egg cracks open, killing unborn penguin.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Penguins mate.

  • language false0

    Language: Not applicable

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not applicable

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not applicable