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Wreck-It Ralph Review

Movies.com Critics

4.0

Dave White Profile

Digital love. 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
    72

    out of 100

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

  • 50

    out of 100

    Wall Street Journal Joe Morgenstern

    It's a lovely pretext for dazzling visuals, yet the production is diminished by the clumsiness of an 8-bit script.

    Read Full Review

  • 75

    out of 100

    Chicago Sun-Times Roger Ebert

    More than in most animated films, the art design and color palette of Wreck-It Ralph permit unlimited sets, costumes and rules, giving the movie tireless originality and different behavior in every different cyber word.

    Read Full Review

  • 83

    out of 100

    Entertainment Weekly Keith Staskiewicz

    There are more videogame cameos and winks than you can shake a Wiimote at - even the Konami Code, the gamer's paternoster, makes an appearance - but the real success of the film is its emotional core and the relationship between the two misfits.

    Read Full Review

  • 88

    out of 100

    USA Today Claudia Puig

    With Halloween bags still brimming, it's an ideal time for the inventive candy-colored fun and wicked humor that is Wreck-It Ralph.

    Read Full Review

  • 90

    out of 100

    The Hollywood Reporter

    With a mix of retro eye-candy for grown-ups and a thrilling, approachable storyline for the tykes, the film casts a wide and beguiling net.

    Read Full Review

  • See all Wreck-It Ralph reviews at Metacritic.com

For Families provided by Common Sense Media

OK for kids 7+

Game-themed movie mixes potty humor with strong messages.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Wreck-It Ralph brings video games to life in a way that will appeal to both kids and adults. The story is about a "bad guy" who deserts his classic arcade game to prove that he's not so bad after all, turning Disney's animated adventure into the tale of an underdog searching for a new identity. The movie is accurate in the way it presents popular games/game genres, so you can expect some action-packed scenes, especially in the parts of the movie that take place in a first-person shooter game (guns, aliens, etc.). Game characters can die, but it's only permanent if it happens outside their home game. In one scene presented comically, someone grabs a zombie's heart out of its chest. There's also a little bit of drinking and kissing -- and a fair amount of potty humor/language ("butt," "doody," etc.) -- amid the movie's deeper messages about identity, compassion, loyalty, and challenging the status quo.

  • Families can talk about how Wreck-It Ralph portrays video game violence. What's realistic? What's not? What are your family's values when it comes to violence in the media?
  • What are the movie's female characters like? Do they challenge stereotypes about girls and "girly" video games? How so?
  • Talk about the ways that Ralph and Vanellope are mistreated and misunderstood. What could other characters have done to be more inclusive and more accepting?

The good stuff
  • educationalvalue true1

    Educational value: Kids are introduced to tech terms and concepts like game code, consoles, and avatars.

  • message true4

    Messages: Characters learn to embrace the way they're programmed, rather than change themselves for others. Characters also discover the importance of walking a mile in someone else's shoes before judging them. Themes of inclusivity/exclusivity and selflessness/selfishness are woven throughout the story in many ways.

  • rolemodels true4

    Role models: Ralph's quest for peer approval turns into a journey about becoming proud of who he is and what he's able to contribute. He doesn't let his official "bad guy" status overshadow the qualities that make him good: He's kind, resourceful, and sticks up for the underdog. Despite her potty-mouth insults, Vanellope is a spunky, clever, and determined character. In a game that's stereotypically girly, she challenges the status quo. She finds a way to channel her "defectiveness" as a game "glitch" into something positive.

What to watch for
  • violence false3

    Violence and scariness: In one scene, a first-person shooter video game comes to life. Characters from this game (who are more realistic looking than some of the others) fire big guns at aliens, which end up invading other games. In a brief and comic-toned scene, a character impulsively grabs a zombie's heart out of his chest, but no real damage is done. In another flashback, a character is eaten by an alien bug. Calhoun and Ralph are the most aggressive characters; they occasionally punch others and destroy their surroundings. Cautionary tales about characters' deaths (if a character dies in a game outside of their own, they can't regenerate) and homelessness (games that are put out of order) may be upsetting to younger kids. One character does die, but it's in his own game, so he regenerates.

  • sex false1

    Sexy stuff: Two game characters fall in love and get married. They exchange a smooch, as well as a more passionate kiss in another scene. One iconic game character, a male wrestler, wears only his underwear. In one scene, Ralph disrobes an unconscious space commander to steal his suit.

  • language false2

    Language: Rude humor and frequent name-calling includes insults like "I hate you," "shut your chew hole," "brat," "pussy willows," "doody," and "numbskull." The song "Shut Up and Drive" by Rihanna plays during one scene. Other iffy language includes "frickishly" and "butt load."

  • consumerism false2

    Consumerism: Iconic video game characters -- like Pac-Man, Bowser, and Sonic the Hedgehog -- make cameo appearances. There are also many references to candy/cookie/sweets brands (Oreo, Devil Dogs, NesQuick, Laffy Taffy, Mentos, etc.).

  • drugsalcoholtobacco false2

    Drinking, drugs and smoking: In one scene, a game character pours himself a martini. Another scene takes place in a game called Tappers, in which characters drink root beer from beer mugs. Characters are also briefly seen drinking at a dance party.

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