(2009)

Critic Reviews

80

Metascore

Based on 38 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
A remarkable feat of imagination, a magical tale with a genuinely sinister edge.
100
This thrilling stop-motion animated adventure is a high point in Selick's career of creating handcrafted wonderlands of beauty blended with deep, disconcerting creepiness.
100
What a shrewd achievement for writer-director Henry Selick ("The Nightmare Before Christmas"), to have made a movie that everyone will acclaim as beautiful, when perhaps the most beautiful thing about it is the sheer ugliness of it all.
100
Thankfully, Coraline is appropriately dark, and like its inspiration, is only a children's movie by the thinnest of margins.
100
Selick's fantastical adaptation of Neil Gaiman's novel will be too dazzlingly rich for many; it'll be like "caviare to the general," as Hamlet said of a complex play enacted for a public with lazy minds.
90
The Hollywood Reporter
This is a marvelous family story, tapping into all sorts of childhood dreams and nightmares involving Mommy, monsters and heroic youngsters. Selick's imaginative sets and puppets are in perfect pitch with Gaiman's fantasy.
88
A macabre mystery for children and a cautionary tale for their folks, Coraline is a yarn - twisty, knotty, taut - about a perennially bored girl whose parents are too preoccupied with work to pay her much mind.
85
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 handmade figures, handmade milkshakes, handmade blades of grass, each one moving utterly persuasively as he and his animators tweak it, frame by frame.
75
OK, sensitive tykes may be scared shitless. But those who tough it out with this twisted, trippy adventure in impure imagination will only be the better for it.
70
An extraordinary achievement that nevertheless falls short of its full potential, Coraline is absolutely worth seeing, for older children and adults alike. But the connection will be entirely through your eyes; if you want it to touch your heart, you'll have to go to the book on which it's based.
63
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.
50
Coraline is distinguished, if you can call it that, by a creepiness so deep as to seem perverse, and the film finally succumbs to terminal deficits in dramatic energy, narrative coherence and plain old heart.

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