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Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium Review

Movies.com Critics

4.5

Dave White Profile

… its heart is squarely in the right place … 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
    48

    out of 100

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

  • 0

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Owen Gleiberman

    Mr. Magorium, who is 243 years old (so are his jokes), is a cross between Willy Wonka and Geppetto, but Hoffman plays him with little more than a goofy dumb lisp, achieved by tucking his lower lip under his upper teeth, so that he looks just as rabbity-stoopid as he sounds.

    Read Full Review

  • 50

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Sheri Linden

    For all its playful touches and neat-o nostalgia for nondigital entertainment, the whimsy feels forced.

    Read Full Review

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Writer/director Zach Helm, who wrote "Stranger Than Fiction," achieves bursts of charm and whimsy, but not quite enough magic to elicit a consistent sense of wonderment.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    Hoffman has countless characters inside of him, and this is one of his nicest.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune Michael Phillips

    Twenty or 30 minutes into Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium the urge to flee may rise within you like an oceanic tide. But stick with it. The film is very sweet--in fact it represents the dawn of a new sport, Extreme Whimsy.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Mr. Magorium's Wonder Emporium reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 6+

Sweet magical tale will feed kids' toy cravings.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this sweet, family-friendly fantasy is brimming with product placement, though most of it's in context (you can't really make a movie about a magic toy store without toys...). Plus, the positive messages about friendship, trust, finding your potential, and believing in yourself overshadow most of the branding. There isn't any violence, but the store does throw a temper tantrum that sends toys flying after patrons (the red walls also fade to gray, and the toys lose their spark and color). A significant death, while presented in an idealized way to fit in with the tone of the film, is handled gently and poignantly; there are some sad scenes, but it's peaceful overall (though really young kids may need further explanation of how death really works). A young boy is looked at as a loner and has trouble making friends with other kids.

  • Families can talk about product placement and commercial tie-ins. Did your kids notice how many toys were featured in the movie? Why were some more obvious than others? Where else have your kids noticed ads and other marketing for this movie? Also, why do you think Eric felt that he was different than the other kids? Did your child relate to his character? Families can also use the movie as an opportunity to talk about death. What does it mean? How do you cope with it? Is dying always sad? Why or why not? How is it different in real life than the way it is in the movie?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Strong positive messages about believing in yourself and others, as well as working together and staying open to the possibility of "magic" in everyday life. A significant death is handled gently; there's some sadness, but overall the characters learn from it and become stronger.

What to watch for
  • violence false0

    Violence and scariness: In one chaotic scene, the store throws a temper tantrum -- toys are tossed from shelves, others fall or explode, some attack store patrons (one child is tied up, a woman ends up with a squid on her head, a dragon breathes fire, etc.). So there's some mild peril for a few moments, but nothing serious. Some bickering between characters.

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Not an issue

  • language false0

    Language: One use of "crap" and a few mild insults -- "insufferable fool," "ninny," etc. Henry is affectionately called "Mutant." Mr. Magorium uses a lot of big words, which many kids may not understand (of course, given how fast he talks, they may not really notice them, either).

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: The Wonder Emporium is brimming with toys of every size, shape, and color, and many are recognizable brands: Curious George, Easy Bake, Playmobil, Legos, Silly Putty, Lincoln Logs, Matchbox, Hot Wheels, Ugly Doll, Slinky, and more. Expect lots of retail tie-ins.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue

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