Coraline 2009

Critics score:
90 / 100

Reviews provided by RottenTomatoes

Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune: Would the 8-year-old me have fallen for Coraline? Maybe not. Like my own 8-year-old, at that age I was more into comedy than anything designed to give me the comic willies. But the adult me is a big fan. Read more

Kenneth Turan, Los Angeles Times: Coraline is a remarkable feat of imagination, a magical tale with a genuinely sinister edge. Read more

David Edelstein, New York Magazine/Vulture: [Director] Selick has a great fantasy filmmaker's artistry, but he lacks that overflowing Geppetto-esque love that brings puppets to life. In Coraline, he's woozy with his own lyricism. Read more

Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal: A a children's entertainment that's much too scary for little kids (ugly insects provide a pervasive visual motif) and too lifeless to enchant older audiences. Read more

Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times: Children who like being scared will get a kick out of this wildly creative movie; adults needn't have a child in tow to enjoy it, too. Read more

Tasha Robinson, AV Club: Nothing short of magical. Read more

Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic: Tales of alternate worlds are always fascinating when done right, and Coraline fits that description. Read more

Ty Burr, Boston Globe: If you have a 10-and-up who's drawn to alt-comics, smart books, dark clothing, and general pop culture subversion, the movie will be his or her Wonderland. Read more

J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader: The problem is Gaiman's story, which keeps accumulating otherworldly mythology but doesn't establish a clear line of action in the home stretch. Read more

Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle: It is a sumptuous visual feast and a perfectly enchanting story. Read more

Tom Charity, Coraline never stops taking artistic risks. I hope there's a brave enough audience out there willing to take the plunge. Read more

Peter Rainer, Christian Science Monitor: Neil Gaiman's hugely popular 2002 children's horror novel Coraline has been given the animated 3-D treatment but you may want to keep the toddlers away from this one. Read more

Tom Maurstad, Dallas Morning News: Parents may need to give a reassuring squeeze now and then, but Coraline is the best kind of children's entertainment -- smartly told and deeply felt. Read more

Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post: The writer-director and his gifted animators impress with stop-motion detail. Yet Coraline is short on delight Read more

Tom Long, Detroit News: Spooky, stunning and savvy, Coraline is one of those kids movies that makes you wonder if all the kids are going to walk out of the theater with hair scared white and eyeballs frozen in awe. Read more

Lisa Schwarzbaum, Entertainment Weekly: This thrilling stop-motion animated adventure is a high point in [Henry] Selick's career of creating handcrafted wonderlands of beauty blended with deep, disconcerting creepiness. Read more

Christy Lemire, Associated Press: Coraline, the first stop-motion animated film to be conceived and shot in 3-D, is visually dazzling, as you'd expect -- but strangely joyless. Read more

Amy Nicholson, I.E. Weekly: Sure, there's no subtext about saving the planet, but for 2009, Pixar's got to play catch-up. Read more

Scott Foundas, L.A. Weekly: A consistent splendor to behold. Read more

Randy Myers, San Jose Mercury News: All involved in this production deserve praise for turning Coraline into a triumph of storytelling and cinematic technology. Whether you're young, middle-age or older, you'll adore it. Read more

Rafer Guzman, Newsday: A work of wondrous animation with engaging characters, charming dialogue and more than a few intense moments. Read more

David Denby, New Yorker: A gift to imagination. Read more

Bob Mondello, Selick puts his real faith not in the gimmickry that Coraline's audiences will think they've shown up for, but in the stronger virtues that they'd likely view as old-fashioned: character, and story, and so on. Read more

Elizabeth Weitzman, New York Daily News: An extraordinary achievement that nevertheless falls short of its full potential, Coraline is absolutely worth seeing, for older children and adults alike. Read more

V.A. Musetto, New York Post: This is perhaps the most effective 3-D movie I have ever seen, with a sophisticated, involving story that will appeal to many adults. Read more

A.O. Scott, New York Times: Coraline lingers in an atmosphere that is creepy, wonderfully strange and full of feeling. Read more

Roger Moore, Orlando Sentinel: For all the polished electrons of the latest works from Pixar, Blue Sky or DreamWorks, Selick and Co. show that stop-motion animation still looks, moves and feels like nothing at all the computer animator's terrabytes can mimic. Read more

Carrie Rickey, Philadelphia Inquirer: Is it premature to assign it classic status? Read more

James Berardinelli, ReelViews: Employing stop-motion animation that renders human beings with the distinctive characteristics evident in both The Nightmare Before Christmas and James and the Giant Peach, Selick finds the perfect look to bring Gaiman's vision to life. Read more

Richard Roeper, Richard Well-crafted and effectively creepy. Read more

Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times: I admire the film mostly because it is good to look at. Read more

Peter Travers, Rolling Stone: It's not just the 3-D glasses that add an extra dimension to the horror and hilarity of Coraline. Read more

Stephanie Zacharek, Nearly everything in Coraline has been painstakingly handmade. Read more

Mick LaSalle, San Francisco Chronicle: What a rich, strange vision it is. Read more

Dana Stevens, Slate: Like Coraline in the doppelganger world, we swoon over all the neat stuff without ever making ourselves at home. Read more

Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune: A labor of love in every frame. Read more

Jennie Punter, Globe and Mail: Although fairytale, art and cinema references abound, Coraline is thoroughly and excitingly original -- and quite possibly the best 3-D movie ever made. Read more

Peter Howell, Toronto Star: This animated screen rendering of Neil Gaiman's masterful children's horror fantasy is so full of life and texture, it's almost gilding the lily to add the third dimension to it. Read more

Richard Corliss, TIME Magazine: [The] chilly visual vocabulary, along with a narrative that too often detours into ingenious irrelevancies, makes Coraline an object to be admired, but not embraced. Read more

Tom Huddlestone, Time Out: This dark edge will be the biggest test of the film as a commercial prospect: it may be too terrifying for the target audience. But for braver kids - and parents - this is a thrilling, even challenging ride. Read more

Claudia Puig, USA Today: Coraline is a plucky heroine, and director Selig's imagination is indisputable. But the story falters in parts, and its dark tone could be off-putting for children. Read more

Justin Chang, Variety: Eerily inhabiting the netherworld where a young girl's wildest dreams become her cruelest nightmares, Coraline is a dark delight. Read more

Desson Thomson, Washington Post: For all its visual delights, Coraline remains more an engaging spectacle than a connective drama. Read more