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The Nutcracker in 3D Review Critics


Dave White Profile

More like an eye-gouger. Read full review

Other Critics provided by

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

  • 1.0

    out of 100

    Overwhelming dislike
    based on a weighted average of all
    critic review scores.

  • 25

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D? Who considered it even remotely a plausible idea for a movie?

    Read Full Review

  • 38

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    Who had the lamebrained idea for a post-apocalyptic 3-D Nutcracker that is lacking any trace of ballet?

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    Terry Gilliam-ish territory here, spiked with imagery from Holocaust nightmares and drug trips. Attention, university film clubs: Here's your cult-ready midnight-movie programming.

    Read Full Review

  • See all The Nutcracker in 3D reviews at

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 10+

Big-screen remake of ballet is too dark for little kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this version of the classic Nutcracker holiday tale bears only a passing resemblance to the famous ballet and story that inspired it. Viewers expecting the whimsy of the original may be downright confused, enraged and -- if they’re 8 and under -- frightened. Here, the Rat King is a Hitler-like villain with the desire to burn children’s toys and a combative relationship with a dysfunctional mother (she bites his ear out of anger). Other disturbing scenes include a drummer boy (who appears human) whose head is yanked off and tossed around. Soldiers are shown wielding machine guns, and one character smokes a cigar. And the 3-D presentation makes some of the scary parts even more intense.

  • Families can talk about how this movie compares to other versions of The Nutcracker. Is it scarier? Why? What audience do you think it's intended to appeal to?
  • What made Joseph forget what he was like as a young boy? Do you think parents sometimes act like they’ve never been kids? What's the message behind this storyline?
  • Does the Rat King seem scary or troubled?
  • What does the Nutcracker mean to Mary? Is he a figment of her imagination? Why did he appear?

The good stuff
  • message true3

    Messages: Many positive messages, including how grown-ups shouldn’t lose touch with their whimsical side just because “real life” has overtaken the magic of childhood. Also, that children and their ability to believe in the fantastic have much to teach adults. Plus, that toys are to be cherished and cared for, not trashed and treated as if they have no value.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Mary is feisty and will protect those she cares for; she also demands to be heard, which offers an example to children who may feel like they have no voice. Uncle Albert is joyful in demeanor. But the Rat King is petty and power-hungry. His mother is devious and uncaring, and even young Max shows off his naughty, destructive side (though he does gain an appreciation for his sister in the end).

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence: A man is shown whacking others with a shovel. Machine gun-bearing soldiers roam the streets. The Rat King enjoys taking photos of kids crying after their toys are confiscated and burned; he hangs the pictures on the wall. The Rat Queen bites her son’s ear. Soldiers kidnap the Rat King’s enemies, some of whom are children, and throw them in a cage. A boy likes to destroy toys. A character uses a man’s head to crack a walnut with force.

  • sex false0

    Sex: Not an issue

  • language false1

    Language: In one instance it sounds as if the Rat Queen says “whore.”

  • consumerism false0

    Consumerism: Not an issue

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false1

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: A talking monkey smokes a cigar.