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Rango Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Not for the very youngo. Read full review

3.0

Grae Drake Profile

This chameleon stands out. 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
    75

    out of 100

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

  • 63

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    The result is an odd, occasionally engaging but often cacophonous mishmash.

    Read Full Review

  • 67

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Lisa Schwarzbaum

    The biggest strike against Rango, though - for both the movie and the hero - is that the lizard is so damn ugly.

    Read Full Review

  • 80

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    I've made a good case for seeing Rango, and why not; an eye feast is still a feast in this lean multiplex season. Be advised, though, of the film's peculiar deficits. The narrative isn't really dramatic, despite several send-up face-offs. It's more like a succession of picturesque notions that might have flowed from DreamWorks or Pixar while their story departments were out to lunch.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    Most exceptional is the visual style, which makes even the best animated 3D look like a poor cousin.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Rango reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 9+

Guns and deep thoughts make this best for older kids.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that this animated film starring Johnny Depp is as dramatic as it is comedic, and it deals with several mature themes that may go over kids' head. The main character experiences an identity crisis and ponders life's big questions -- like "who am I?," "where do I belong?," and "why am I here?" (to name just a few of Rango's existential issues). There's also stronger language (both "damn" and "hell" are said several times, as well as insults like "trollop," "tart," and "floozy") and notably more violence than in many animated kids' movies -- violent/scary scenes range from gun showdowns and a gallows outfitted with nooses to a frightening killer hawk and a sadistic snake that threatens beloved characters. A few characters are killed (or nearly killed), shot at, or crushed, and there's a fair bit of smoking by supporting characters. But there are also positive messages about living up to your potential, defending those who are defenseless, and the importance of authority figures who do what's in their community's best interest instead of their own.

  • Families can talk about the movie's message about becoming who you want to be. How does Rango change from a wannabe hero to the real thing? Would you consider him a role model?
  • There are some pretty heavy themes here. Do you think that makes it too grown-up for younger kids? Who do you think the movie's target audience is?
  • How does the violence in this movie compare to others you've seen? Does it have more or less impact? Why?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true0

    Educational value: The movie is intended to entertain rather than educate.

  • message true2

    Messages: The movie's messages are mostly philosophical, with the classic "good vs. evil" battle (common to Westerns) as one of the overwhelming themes. Rango's character development encourages viewers to think about who they are and what kind of individuals they want to be; the movie also makes you think about what it takes to become a hero and how lawmakers and politicians bear responsibility to protect their constituents.

  • rolemodels true2

    Role models: Beans is willing to stand up to the Mayor to fight for her family's farm. Rango overcomes his humiliation to defend the town of Dirt against corruption and ruin.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: Notably more violence than in many animated kids' movies, including a near triple hanging (three nooses hang on gallows) and many genre-specific kinds of violence: gun duels, shoot-outs, and more. In fact, characters all have guns, and most of the violence is at gunpoint, except for the very freaky looking rattlesnake, who threatens to squeeze characters to death (his rattle is a gun!). One character walks around with an arrow stuck in his eye (creepy image); another is suicidal. Characters are killed and shot at. A predatory hawk swoops down and picks up prey to swallow; she terrorizes the inhabitants of Dirt and is killed after a spectacular chase. Characters cross traffic dangerously.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Mild flirting -- first with a headless Barbie and then with Beans, whom Rango obviously falls in love with throughout the movie.

  • language false2

    Language: More language than many other animated kids' movies, including "damn," "hell," son of a ...," "tart," "floozy," "trollop," "loser," "I want to see you die," "pathetic," and the Spanish words "cojones" and "huevos" (both of which are included in Mariachi-style songs and are euphemisms for "balls").

  • consumerism false1

    Consumerism: There's a headless Barbie, but the name Barbie is never mentioned; also references to Clint Eastwood and his most famous Western character (The Man With No Name), as well as Pop Tarts.

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: Many instances of smoking by supporting characters. Also, much of the movie takes place in a saloon, where the animals drink "cactus juice," which is treated like alcohol.

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