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Nim's Island Review Critics


Dave White Profile

On par with Harriet the Spy. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 3.0

    out of 100

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

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    An entertaining, diverting adventure saga that offers excitement and a relatable heroine for children, and also will remind their parents of favorite classics from their own youth.

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  • 63

    out of 100

    ReelViews James Berardinelli

    There's nothing especially wrong with Nim's Island, but there's not a lot right about it either.

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  • 70

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter Kirk Honeycutt

    This family comedy adventure from Walden Media is likable in a scruffy way. Its characters, especially the youngest one, are engaging, and few adults are immune to childhood fantasies about secluded tropical isles.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly

    It's hard to imagine kids not enjoying the good-hearted, lovingly shot fantasy of it all, and Breslin is charming, though most viewers past puberty will likely yearn to be voted off the Island.

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  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Tribune

    For all its limitations, the film still looks terrific. Flawless CGI and forays into animation keep things visually lively, and Nim’s enviable life is likely to hook kids into the story early and keep them entranced.

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  • See all Nim's Island reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Book-based tropical adventure is good family fun.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this kid-friendly adventure movie has some intense moments of peril (particularly during two scary storms) but is ultimately a positive story with a great role model for tween girls (and boys!). The book-and-science-loving 11-year-old heroine is left alone on a tropical island by her father (her mother died when she was a baby, which is explained in the opening sequence) and has to fend for herself when he's delayed in getting back to her. She gets scared and upset and even hurts herself, all of which may bother some young and/or sensitive kids, but she's also resourceful and not afraid to ask for help.

  • Families can talk about whether this kind of movie is as entertaining as one with lots of special effects and/or animation. Kids: Which kind of adventure do you like better, and why? What makes Nim different from many other kid characters in movies and TV shows? Do you think she's a good role model? What about Alex Rover? What do Alex and Nim learn during the movie? What would you do in Nim's situation? Do you think it was right for her father to leave her alone on the island? Families who've read the book can compare and contrast the two. Which do you like better, and why?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Nim is a strong, independent, resourceful girl who loves reading, nature, and science -- in other words, she's a great tween role model. Alex overcomes a lifetime of fears to help Nim. In helping each other, they both learn how to "be the hero of your own life story." On the downside, Jack does leave Nim alone on the island, but neither of them anticipates what will happen, and he works tirelessly to get back to her. Australian tourists are presented as a loud, oblivious, selfish horde, which is used to justify Nim's attempts to trick and scare them.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Several intense storm sequences in which boats are capsized and/or destroyed and people are in danger. Sharks threaten Jack's boat. Jack is knocked out at one point, and Nim scrapes up her knee pretty badly (some blood is shown) falling down a mountainside. The volcano rumbles and spews steam and ash, putting Nim and some tourists at risk. Nim uses a machete for lots of her island tasks, and Alex's hero carries ammunition. Some of the fantasy sequences he's in include fights with swords and other weapons, as well as life-threatening peril, but it's not very scary. The opening credits explain that Nim's mom died when she was a baby (it's told via animation but is still sad).

  • sex false0

    Sexy stuff: Tourist beach scenes include some women in skimpy suits and/or showing cleavage.

  • language false0

    Language: Very mild. Words include "dang," "bloody," and "stupid."

  • consumerism false3

    Consumerism: Fairly obvious product placements for Purell hand sanitizer and Progresso soup. Other brands include Mac computers, Expedia, and National Geographic.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false0

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Not an issue