Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Poster

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An ambitious film which for the most part delivers spectacularly
sneakydude18 May 2012
Saw this just now in a small indie cinema in Heidelberg, Germany and I have to say, it was a romp. In my humble opinion this film manages to be both Wes Anderson's funniest picture so far and his most melancholic. The utter uncompromising stylishness of his other work is also present here, perhaps even heightened, but in contrast to The Life Aquatic (and to a certain degree The Darjeeling Limited), the emphasis here is firmly on plot. The brave and often odd visuals never overwhelm the story and the audience never feels like they are not quite in on the joke, like in The Life Aquatic. The tone does tend to become a bit erratic, especially in the last third of the film when Anderson seems to want to pack so much into every frame that the film becomes a bit cartoonish at times (hence the not-perfect score from me). All in all, though, the plot is very balanced and the pacing is great. The two young leads are superb and the brave move by Anderson to place unknown actors front and centre pays off beautifully. The rest of the cast is on paper even more star-studded than The Royal Tenenbaums and yet Anderson never steers into unnecessary character development just to accommodate his stars. A touch here and a touch there are more than enough to paint a picture of a group of people who are eerily similar in their dissatisfaction with their lives and yet react quite differently to the two young lovers' dash (literally) for happiness. In conclusion, a must-see for Anderson fans and highly recommended for everyone else.
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Moonrise Kingdom will leave you dreamy and smiling, with a hint of melancholy
emilson-117 May 2012
Let's try to understand the miracle I have just witnessed. Director Wes Anderson is 12 years old, has just experienced his first love while at Summer camp, and immediately rushed to a camera to tell us, his pen pals, the story. A slightly embellished story which follows the perfect scenarios we would draw at night in our beds at this age. It has all the tiny details, the sense of adventure and the freshness of youth. How someone 43 years old in real life could do this movie is beyond me. The drawback of this miracle for the viewer is that such a jump back into the kind of idealized feelings you had in your early teens leaves you with quite some melancholy when you leave the cinema.

It could be that some people do not connect to the movie and just see it as "adorable" or "cute" and nothing more. But I suppose most people will feel connected, notably because the movie has this straight-to-the-point attitude in both the technique and the story-telling; the story is read to you, not force-fed with dramatic music and whatnot. Just like one of the characters who reads bedtime stories to the others.

You might complain about the lack of character development for some of the big names in this film (Norton, Willis, Murray - McDormand less so as she gets more detailed screen time than the others) but I suppose this is wanted: kids will see hints of the issues adults are facing, but can't understand them fully. And remember this is a movie shot by 12-year old Wes Anderson.
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Innocent, beautiful and brilliant fun
BJBatimdb31 May 2012
Despite the dreadful title, Moonrise Kingdom is simply wonderful.

Since his flying start with Bottle Rocket and the triumph of Rushmore, I felt that Wes Anderson had rather tottered off a true path. The Royal Tenenbaums was hit and miss, The Darjeeling Limited was too twee, and The Life Aquatic was simply AWFUL. I take against ANY film that wastes Bill Murray.

Moonrise Kingdom doesn't repeat that error. Despite covering ground Anderson's already visited to an extent in Rushmore, MK looks at a teenage crush with fresh eyes, and surrounds it with a fantastic cast of oddballs and misfits. Unlike his films where the characters are irritatingly quirky for the sake of it, these oddballs seem organic to their strange island home. Star among them is Ed Norton as Scout Master Ward, who looks as if he's having the time of his life in shorts and woggles, in charge of a troop described as 'beige lunatics'.

Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand and Bill Murray all play their parts but never feel as though they're elbowing for the spotlight, which keeps the mood kind, befitting the hearts of all involved in the search for runaway scout, Sam, and his pen-pal, Suzy.

Visually, it's a feast of saturated colour and fabulous design, but - as with the best of Wes Anderson - the devil's always in the detail. The laughs come from minutely observed accessories (keep an eye on the scouts' badges!) and from throwaway truths. And the soundtrack is a great mix of wistful Western and classical pieces. Definitely buyable.

Anderson flirts with surrealism, but never gets Burtonesque, controlling his story with a firmer hand and to better effect. His situations might be bizarre, but the people in them are always painfully, wonderfully human. It's also a rare film - one you could watch with your grandmother or your grandchildren, with only a couple of moments where young eyes would have to be covered, and no real violence or swearing.

There is an overwhelming feeling of innocence and good will throughout.

I loved it from the opening frames, and it only got better from there.
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Possibly Anderson's best film in terms of style.
hipstercritic4 June 2012
The year is 1965 and a remote North Eastern coastal community is plunged into confusion when it discovers that two kids have run away. Sam, a discontented Khaki Scout, and Suzy, a put-upon older sister and forgotten daughter, abscond into the forest to escape their dissatisfying existences. The responsible adults – Sam's Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) and Suzy's parents (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand) – and the entire town set out on a frenzied search, which gets wild when the largest storm in recorded history touches down and puts everyone's life into question. What ensues is a battle between youth and age, hope and disillusionment, faith and cynicism.

In terms of story and character, Wes Anderson's previous films, especially The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited, are superior. Even in the most compelling relationship in the film between Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis) and Sam doesn't embody Anderson's ability to take his characters into deep emotional places of hurt and healing without melodrama. However, the newest addition to the Anderson canon is a cinematic experience.

Moonrise Kingdom's story, co-written with Roman Coppola, takes a definite backseat to style, as Anderson saturates the entire film with a "Norman Rockwell-type of Americana". Stylistically, it may be Anderson's most masterful work, as the costumes, sets, and settings transport the viewer to an alternate universe, a place of wonder and adventure. The soundtrack is especially effective, as it recalls a time when things were simpler: Hank Williams was on the radio, and children listened to records instead of playing video games. However, Anderson isn't content with reminiscing about the year 1965. He takes this nostalgia and twists it, infusing the film with a twinge of sadness through the reality of life's disappointments. He doesn't reject the Rockwellian view of America, but argues that it doesn't tell the whole story.

Moonrise Kingdom is that place of beauty and passion that we all have been in at least once in our lives – the one place on earth where we believe that anything is possible. It has since been lost, but it persists in our memories in moments of nostalgia.
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Anderson's finest yet?
generalmaz25 May 2012
In the past, Anderson has whirled us from melancholy dreamscapes set deep below the Pacific to tales of inter-generation betrayals in the name of love, from doomed romances in Paris hotels to deliriously bizarre animal revolutions in the English countryside. But for all the retro-stylings his films so proudly wear, Moonrise Kingdom is Anderson's first period piece - a tender love story set in the sepia-soaked sixties of Anderson's youth that have worked their influence into every one of his movies. It is fitting that this film is his most childlike - not in any way any simpler than his other films (as anyone with an accurate memory of childhood will remember all it's complexities; the way each trivial thing became a nest of thorns), but an accurate and deeply heartfelt depiction of childhood. It is not aiming to be as crushingly dramatic as Life Aquatic or as deeply tragic as Hotel Chevalier, because that wouldn't be appropriate for the story it's trying to tell. Instead, while still bearing Anderson's still surprising streak of black humour (some acts of violence really catch you off-guard; then again, children are violent so hats off Wes), it is largely concerned with the dramas and tragedies of youth. Yes, it is less ambitious than say The Life Aquatic but it also has none of the flaws that that film does (and believe me, I am a massive Steve Zissou fan). Instead, it is perfectly executed, wonderfully acted poignant beauty, with fantastic performances across the board (especially from newcomers Gilman and Hayward). This, while not his most ambitious, is certainly Anderson's most perfect work so far. You owe it to yourself to see this movie.
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Not my sort of film - apologies to the masses
bowmanblue14 May 2014
I feel terrible writing this review. I've checked out other people's and have come to the conclusion they must see things I don't. The majority of reviews give Moonrise Kingdom 4-5 stars. Maybe I need to watch it again.

In short, I found it boring. Although that's not to say I didn't appreciate much about it. First of all it certainly has a style of its own. The way every shot has been filmed almost puts it in the 'arthouse' category (or at least over much of contemporary Hollywood's output). It is indeed beautiful to watch. Plus the music is perfectly fitting at recreating the innocent era of childhood in the sixties. The cast too deserve a special mention for gathering such a talented group of actors together for a story of grown ups on an island tracking down two starcrossed teenage lovers who have run away together.

So, despite all that positive, I still found it boring.

I like to think I don't only watch films with car crashes, giant monsters and Michael Bay. Quirky is good. Quirky, well-filmed and with a great cast is even better. I just found the story the biggest let down. Simply boring.

So, apologies to all those who loved it. I really wanted to be with you on this. Maybe I'll watch it again in a few years and wonder why I wrote this?
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Might be my favourite Wes Anderson film
davidgkimberley27 May 2012
The thing that I enjoy most about Wes Anderson films is that they each feel like a great adventure and in this sense I think Moonrise Kingdom is his best yet. It tells that tale of Sam, an orphan on scout camp, and Suzy, a misunderstood girl, as they run away together. At first I found the two actors playing the kids to be kind of limp but after a few minutes I warmed to them and I actually think they were both pretty good overall, particularly Jared Gilman who plays Sam and even more so knowing that it's the first acting he's ever done. The rest of the cast are all pursuing or helping them in some way and there a couple of sub-plots with the island's policeman (played by Bruce Willis) and the parents of Suzy (Bill Murray and Frances McDormand).

I thought that the rest of the cast was great. In fairness I am a bit biased because I love Bill Murray, Edward Norton, Bruce Willis and Frances McDormand but even so I have to say that they were all really good, especially Edward Norton who plays the scout master, and Bill Murray. There are also a couple of minor roles for Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keital and Tilda Swinton who were also a lot of fun. Everyone in the cast fits into their role really well which is obviously exactly what you want, but not only is that the case for the main roles but also for the less important ones, like the scout troupe (especially Sam's 'enemy'), Suzy's three brothers or the oddball narrator.

Cinematography wise I didn't think this movie was particularly spectacular, especially in comparison to other Wes Anderson movies like 'The Life Aquatic' or 'The Royal Tenenbaums'. There were a couple of shots that were cool though, some really long zoom outs (which sounds clichéd but it worked) and the doll house type ones that I love and think are awesome.

I wouldn't expect to wet your pants laughing at any moment in 'Moonrise Kingdom' but it is funny. There are a couple of laugh out loud moments and as a whole the jokes are pretty sharp and intelligently done. The reason I like the humour in this movie is that it's a part of the ambiance and feel of it, it won't make you crack up but it will make you have a smile on your face for pretty much the whole thing and leave you feeling strangely happy.

That kind of ambiance is really why the movie is so good, and is possibly Wes Anderson's best movie. The whole story is this fantastic blend of reality and child-like dreaming and it's wonderful. At times I felt kind of nostalgic and sad that I'm not a kid anymore. On the other hand it feels like a tribute to those myths and dreams of being a child and it works so well. This is the kind of film that I feel I could watch over and over again, each time spotting something new but also feeling good and enjoying the overall purpose.

Definitely go and see it!
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Sweet, beautiful, and funny
erica-hirschfeld3 June 2012
I loved this movie! One of Wes Anderson's best - up there with Rushmore and Fantastic Mr Fox. Top reasons to see this movie:

The love story between the quirky dark characters was so sweet. The casting for the 2 lead kids was spot on! You can take kids to this movie. They won't get all of the subtle humor but you will. The music and the film setting. The quirkiness of the filming, scenes, and narrator. Everyone in short pants... classic! Bruce Willis is actually good in it. Beautifully shot. You leave the theater with a smile on your face and a tear in your eye. Best movie so far this year.

Anyone who said they did't like it, doesn't get Wes Anderson. If you like his movies, you will love Moonrise Kingdom!
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Highly recommended
rio19728 May 2012
If you've been following Mr. Anderson's relatively short career, you'll find more of the same here: a film that is full of quirkiness, which I find to be parables of the troubles we encounter in life. I came to this film without any expectations, having read nothing about it in the news so I was pleasantly surprised that the main protagonists are a couple of tweens. Any fears of mine finding a sappy or saccharine story were vanquished and replaced with wonderment following the journey of the two main characters. Both actors didn't seem to have formal training but this didn't stop them from serving the story well. It is down to the genius of Mr. Anderson capturing their human performances which are nothing less than beautiful.

I can't recommend this film highly enough!
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Wes Anderson's best? It could well be.
tgooderson26 May 2012
It's 1965 and pre teen pen pals, Sam (Jared Gilman) and Suzy (Kara Heywood) agree to run away from home and meet up a year after meeting for the first time. While the two of them head off into the wilderness of Suzy's twelve mile long home island a search party that includes Island Policeman Bruce Willis, Scout leader Edward Norton, Suzy's parents Bill Murray and Frances McDormand and Sam's fellow Scouts set about trying to hunt the eloping children down in the days preceding a huge storm. I should say from the outset that I am a huge Wes Anderson fan and have absolutely loved all of his films with the exception of Fantastic Mr Fox so I went in expecting great things. My expectations were matched and even perhaps exceeded. I loved this film. Anderson sets up Suzy's home life in a fantastic opening sequence which features some exquisite tracking shots through the family home. Before anything is said it is already obvious to the audience that Suzy is a loner who longs for something bigger, something more. Her parents do not get on and are never even seen in the same room, let alone talking to each other. She has three younger brothers who appear to get along very well. Her house is large and well furnished, indicating wealth if not happiness. All of this is established in one long sequence of beautiful camera movements which last no longer than a couple of minutes. Sam's life with his Scout troupe is shown in a similar manner although it soon becomes apparent that he has already escaped in search of his love, Suzy. One of the things I love about all of Anderson's films is that you could turn on the TV at pretty much any moment during any of his films and within a few moments be sure that you are watching a Wes Anderson film. His style is very distinctive and it's all over his latest work. The shots are framed to perfection and each camera movement feels measured but not forced. There is a vague pastel and brown tint to everything which matches the film's period setting. Everything from the sets to the characters also feels slightly off centre and as though they inhabit the same world as The Royal Tenenbaums and The Darjeeling Limited. Anderson not only creates his own world for each film but his films feel somehow connected and as though they too inhabit the same slightly odd world. The plot is absolutely delightful and sweet. It's such a touching and loving story which also feels like a love letter to the children's adventure books of which Suzy reads throughout the film. Though they read these books, the children long for an adventure of their own and have finally embarked on one. The characters are equally enchanting. Sam and Suzy are somehow both old beyond their years but also very much still children. They have obvious intelligence and wisdom but convey it through a child's eyes. They are on the cusp of adulthood but somewhere in between. The acting of Hayward and Gilman is superb and again both feel both older than they are but also very child like. They are great. The adult characters are also great without exception. Bruce Willis is a sad and lonely cop who patrols a quiet island and although he has his faults is very kind and caring. Edward Norton is an exemplary leader who also has a big heart while Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, both lawyers, talk to each other using mostly legal language and although are not really in love with each other, care a lot for their children and want the best for them. There are also small cameos from Jason Schwartzman, Harvey Keitel and Tilda Swinton, all three of which were welcome and provided something. The adult cast on the whole was fantastic. The score goes perfectly with the on screen action and features a mixture of militaristic marching music, classical and 60s pop. They somehow all work together and help to push the story on to it's frenetic final act. This is a film with a big heart, lovely story and plenty of laughs. Although I only just saw it I already can't wait to see it again. It's everything you'd expect from a Wes Anderson film but as well as being unusual, wacky and nice to look at also has a sweet story about adolescence, growing up and first love.
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I "get" Wes Anderson but still think it's a poor film!
adrianw-1621 November 2012
I was genuinely looking forward to seeing this, especially as I hadn't previously seen a Wes Anderson film, which appeared a major gap in my experience. I have to say that I found it the most dull, unengaging film I have seen for some time, but I acknowledge the difficulty of being critical of a film that so many consider exceptionally good. It's interesting, though, to see that there are a relatively small number of comments here that articulate the same reservations that I had.

In case I was missing something fundamental, I have since read up on Anderson's career and approach and I can see that he has his own distinctive trademark. But is that really such a positive thing? Some of the greatest directors manage to put their own stamp on a film by using their expertise to draw you in (and thereby make you forget who the director is) rather than via an obsessive need to make practically every frame indicative of their style. OK, Anderson likes (e.g.) particular colours and very precise compositions within the frame - and perhaps his fans enjoy spotting such elements - but why should that increase the enjoyment of the viewer? I was intrigued by the potential of the story but I felt all the dramatic potential was lost due to it being secondary to Anderson's quirky and unreal world. E.g. Why does it enhance the film for the characters to display so little emotion and never smile? Why is there a need for distorting lenses?

I'm amazed that so many consider the film romantic. Even considering that the kids are supposed to be somewhat disturbed, it's notable that they display so little affection for each other, even when saying "I love you" with absolutely no warmth. Like others here, I was also uneasy about a film (especially a comedy) having scenes with two 12 year olds in their underwear kissing, with the girl inviting the boy to touch her breasts and commenting on his erection. I wonder if all those praising the film for being "cute" and for its depiction of "innocence" would be equally relaxed about their children of similar ages (if they have them) having a similar relationship? Doesn't this send the wrong message to adults watching? Those emphasising the "innocence" also seem to have overlooked the boy using a fish hook to pierce the girl's ears, the other boy that was stabbed and the dog that was killed, or is all that OK because it's 'A Wes Anderson Film' and the fans are in on the joke?

I accept that this review will have no impact on the fans that love the film, but I'm still inclined to assume that so many like Anderson's style - and the unreal world he creates - that they are prepared to gloss over the lack of substance. But if you haven't seen the film yet and intend to do so, I would urge you to genuinely watch it with an open mind and not be swept along into thinking that if you don't like an Anderson film, you lack an appreciation for subtlety and 'indie' cinema. You may instead have noticed the unlikeable characters, the irritatingly theatrical staging, the not particularly funny in-jokes, etc, etc.
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Not funny
treeline124 December 2012
Warning: Spoilers
Two 12-year olds meet one summer and fall in love. He's a troubled orphan staying at scout camp and she feels misunderstood by her big family. They run away together.

This is a typical Wes Anderson movie; if you like his other movies, you'll like this one, too. I found it boring, poorly written, and a wannabe-cool movie. All the actors speak in a monotone and wear a poker face in the movie; no one ever smiles or looks real. The kids who play the main characters never sound spontaneous and aren't likable. They try to be like Christina Ricci in "The Addams Family," except she was funny and they're not. The adult cast includes many top actors, but even they can't pull it off; they look and sound like they're reading the script for the first time.

The humor is (too) dry, the characters are devoid of personality, and the action is absurd. I know this is what Wes Anderson was going for, but I didn't care for it.
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Contrived Pretentious Lifeless Style over Substance
MovieMan197527 June 2012
Moonrise Kingdom is charming, quirky, cute, affable, well-composed, sentimental, nostalgic and pragmatic; and I HATED IT. When it comes to Wes Anderson films, there are three guarantees: children will act like adults, girls will carry around suitcases, and parents will not understand - Moonrise Kingdom cashes in on the Anderson promises with much aplomb. If you have never seen a Wes Anderson film you might find Moonrise Kingdom to be magical and unique. If you have seen Bottle Rocket, Rushmore, The Royal Tennenbaums, Life Aquatic, and Darjeeling Limited, you will find Moonrise Kingdom to be a tired regurgitation of a one-trick-pony director who will forever try to recreate the popular and artistic success of The Royal Tennenbaums, his truly benchmark work. Anderson is a very creative artist, who freely steals from French New Wave and Italian Neo-surrealism, to craft highly choreographed and visually intricate films that specifically show the audience exactly what Anderson likes and how he likes to show these things; he is an artist who works exclusively in a personal space and so far hasn't compromised his personal artistic vision. And there is also the rub! Anderson is incapable of working outside his space; where he once filmed "outside the box"...he now is trapped in this box and ironically appears no longer able to think outside that box - he is a hostage of the aesthetics and style that define him. A tale set in the 1965 about two pre-teens who fall in love and escape into a boy-scout fantasy of an adventure, Moonrise Kingdom, while displaying the very artistic template that made him a favorite of cinematophiles, is also incredibly lifeless, pretentious, contrived and frankly, poorly written. A stand-out cast featuring Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Bruce Willis, and Frances McDormand are wasted on underwritten cardboard cutout characters that are weighed down by hackneyed clichés and insipid dialog. I do give kudos to the main two leads - the children - they give the film its only signs of life; Kara Hayward would not look out of place in a Goddard or Fellini piece. While the story is mainly about unhappiness, disenfranchisement, and the ubiquitousness of love vs. duty, it also provides no real substance regarding these themes, meandering along until its trite conclusion. Moonrise Kingdom is a film that suffers the failure of style over substance - in so much as Wes Anderson's signature moves such as tracking from perfectly composed room to perfectly composed room, are now too obvious and no longer meld in the wholeness of the cinematic aesthetic, but instead point out, too glaringly, that you are watching a Wes Anderson film. There is a difference between suddenly seeing a Stanley Kubrick image and saying "oh yeah, this must be a Kubrick film" to watching a Wes Anderson film and throughout the entire film you are drubbed to oblivion with the fact that you are watching a Wes Anderson film. Within 10 minutes of the opening, I was tired of seeing what I was watching - it was so contrived and such a shameless display of idiosyncrasy that the film became a quest to find something new and fresh in it, and unfortunately there is none to be found. With a script that is full of humor but none of it funny, full of quirky characters but none of them interesting, and full of pretty visuals that add nothing to the story, Moonrise Kingdom seems like the death knell of the prototypical Wes Anderson film. But I doubt this will ever stop him - I applaud his artistic integrity and refusal to compromise with mainstream Hollywood, but ultimately he is becoming Quentin Tarantino - a one-note carnivalist forever trying to recreate the success of his early work (Reservoir Dogs is still by far Tarantino's best work and all subsequent films are the recyclage of Pulp Fiction, the film where QT blew his entire artistic wad, just like Anderson did with The Tennenbaums) by insisting on a personal style that is adored by many but offers nothing new to the medium through which the artist tries to communicate. Like Bill Murray's character, when told to stop feeling sorry for himself, I ask... "why?"
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Sorry but it sucks...Why is it rated so highly ?
ddddishaaaa11 September 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I know making movie in general is a long tedious process and no offense to maker. I appreciate all the hard work it might have gone through.This movie is not mainstream,clearly aimed at oldies Westerners living in a small place and were Scout goers who enjoy being melancholic.Somebody who would love to run away when they were boring kid. I think rating is too high of 8 without any reason. Some funny bits but you have to be dumb,quirky and boring to watch it. Movie didn't make me think or connect with me even though I tried very hard.It is no way that great that it has to go to Oscars.Story too simple and humor too quirky. I can not believe the cast got ready to do this film especially Bruce Willis.The movie does capture the awkwardness of child growing to teenager but characters lacked emotions or major transformation.Maybe sometimes it is good to have simple quirky story but sorry not for me.
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Boring and uncomfortable
kawdog19 July 2012
Warning: Spoilers
The movie starts out with a semi-omniscient character, who really fulfills no role other than to mark off the beginning and end of the film. He sets the mood--a fictional New Englandish island camp where a group of boys wearing Boy Scout-like uniforms cavort with their buffoonish adult leader. Everything here is overacted, farcical, and--if you ask me--pointless. We don't care a whit about the characters. It's a series of diorama shots to pose characters in implausible situations, with the coup de grace consisting of the boy and girl, who for obscure reasons abscond into a the wilderness of this island, to wander pointlessly towards a cove with some vaguely Indian-lore connection, where they then--needlessly in my opinion--undress to their underwear, despite being barely, if at all, into puberty, and engage in "French" kissing. The camera lingers more than a bit too long on the girl here. My date gasped in shock next to me, and one sensed a squirming throughout the mass of theatergoers. Don't see this movie. Save your money. Go for a walk to your own nearest lake, stream, or beach.
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Good Cinematography, Boring Movie
Cy-schmid15 July 2012
This film is wonderfully shot, and the use of color is intriguing. However there is a distinct lack of substance and likable characters.

Seriously Coulda used a dose of Owen Wilson...Everyone Except the 2 main characters and Edward Norton are just agonizing to watch. And I like Murray, Willis, Swinton, AND McDormand, a lot. Murray was just not good, and the others lackluster, although Tilda Swinton was more or less her usual self. The dialogue was at times amusing but the direction was lacking.

There is a whole lot of droll monotone soliloquies and quirkiness just for the sake of quirkiness. You knew what was going to happen and yet it took forever and a day to unfold. It's like Wes Anderson took the worst parts of Tenenbaums, Darjeeling, and Fantastic Mr. Fox and decided they were the best, and deserved their own movie. In a word, boring. In a sentence, wait for rental or skip entirely.
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Fabulous Escapist Enteratinment
brunowangtaiwan9 July 2012
There's no live-action director whose movies are more like animated films than Wes Anderson. It's quite fitting that he ventured into stop- motion with "The Fantastic Mr. Fox", because the line between that and his live work is thinner than it seems. And never has that been more true than with his new effort, "Moonrise Kingdom".

Without a doubt, this movie has struck a nerve - in it's limited-release opening weekend, it broke the all-time record for per-screen average at the box office (albeit on only five screens). Even now it's only on 16 screens, but averaged a massive $54,000 per screen. By any measure, this film is a hit. I loved Anderson's breakthrough film "Rushmore", but I've been somewhat indifferent to most of what he's done since. "Moonrise" is very successful at delivering what Wes Anderson delivers - an absurd, surreal experience - a little precious, maybe - but often quite funny and always interesting to look at. If he's your cup of tea, I think you'll like this one - it might be his strongest movie since "Rushmore".Moonrise-Kingdom-007

Briefly, it's the story of 12 year-old "Khaki Scout" Sam (Jared Gilman) an orphan in New England in 1965, an "emotionally disturbed" kid whose foster parents have decided "not to invite him back". At a church performance of Benjamin Britten's "Noah's Flood" he meets 12 year-old Suzy (Kara Hayward), likewise troubled - estranged from her parents (Bill Murray, Frances McDormand) and sporting a violent streak, she lived for her binoculars, kitten and stolen library books. She and Sam hatch a plan to run away together as a hurricane bears down on tiny New Penzance Island, where she lives and his scout troop is holding their summer jamboree. This sets the town in a desperate search for them, including the affable police chief (Bruce Willis) and the well-meaning scoutmaster (Edward Norton).

You should know what to expect here - lots of self-conscious Anderson charm and interesting visual tricks. The movie is a kind of moving storybook, with lots of 360 pans, narrow-field shots as if seen through Suzy's binoculars, and pastel lighting. As all Anderson's films are, it's a love letter to childhood and to social misfits. The adults are mostly well-meaning but hopelessly lost in relating to the kids. Childhood isn't romanticized so much as fetishized - Sam and Suzy are hilariously frank with each other, including on the subject of sex ("It feels hard." "Does it bother you?") and Sam's fellow scouts can be cruel, but also hold a reserve of "Us vs. Them" loyalty. Authority is despised (the social services lady refers to herself as "Social Services") and only interested in destroying Sam's uniqueness and forcing him to conform.

Obviously, Anderson isn't going for reality any more than The Brothers Grimm were - but he is trying to shed some light on childhood using fantastical means. And he largely succeeds, thanks in part to Gilman and Hayward's straightforward charm. I suspect that many of the folks paying to see this movie don't realize that they're the ones Anderson is making fun of, but that's part of the fun in watching an Anderson film. Bruno Wang says: This is escapist entertainment, and how much you care to read meaning into it is entirely up to you.
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Cloyingly annoying. Pretentious high-brow crap w/ wasted talent.
robertodonati-127 August 2012
From the first scene I knew this movie was going to bugggg me. But as an avid movie goer and fan of many of its stars I decided to stay stayed. The ONLY reason I'm glad I stayed is out of duty to my fellow movie going friends, who like me HATE movies where children speak with ridiculously stilted, staged, and fake adult dialogue. Yes, I get it that this movie is stylized but the dialogue and the way these kids speak is so unbelievable and annoying that it completely takes you out of the moment. And the story itself is completely mediocre - fellow movie goers - the emperor has NO CLOTHES. Really. It's even worse than Darjeeling Express. In that one at least there was hope that it could get better. Here's an analogy for what I thought it was like to sit through this film. Say you can't stand eggplant. And you get invited to someone's house to dinner. You've heard from other friends that the host is an excellent cook. So you look forward to this dinner. You arrive, you sit down at the dinner table and the first course arrives. It's an eggplant appetizer. You eat it because you're a good guest. As you're chewing you realize that every other course that will follow will be an eggplant dish. Eggplant soup, eggplant parmesan, eggplant salad, and eggplant ice-cream. There's NO WAY getting around it. One of the worst meals of all time. Plus, the memory of how awful the meal was lingers for a longgggg time. Yuck.
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A waste of $10
armitage923-429-5677921 July 2012
I went to this movie on the recommendation of my 23 year old daughter. It was disappointing, to say the least. I don't know why she thought we would like this movie!

First, a positive. Great cinematography, pretty colors, and nice scenery. The look and feel of the movie is quite pleasant. But for me, that's not enough.

I found the story-line quite predictable. I also found the characters to be flat and mostly unlikeable.

The acting is amateurish. The only two who gave great performances were Frances McDormand and the actor who played Scoutmaster Ward. Even Bill Murry and Bruce Willis were not at their best in this film. The child actors were dull and disingenuous. The plot moved slowly causing me to yawn frequently. I think I giggled slightly at one part, so I don't understand some of the reviews that say it is funny.

It is sad, definitely melancholy as many have mentioned, and simply dull. Oh well. At least I got to go out on a date with my husband.
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Dull as dishwater
sostevokk24 September 2012
I was so let down by this movie.I had been really looking forward to this and had been harping on to my wife about it for weeks.When we got to see it she actually fell asleep watching it, to be fair i really don't blame her it has to be one of the most boring movies i have watched in quite some time.

I really liked the soundtrack and the way the era was captured in many scenes but besides that the whole film was a massive let down.I was really excited by the cast and reviews were really good i don't think i was wrong to have high expectations but i never imagined i would be so disappointed.I watched it again a second time to try and give it a chance, big mistake it was still just as terrible the second time around i could not find any humour in a film described as a comedy.

The two children are painful.Two mentally disturbed kids who fall in love, to be honest they don't even seem like they even remotely like each other let alone have developed a sense of love.

Major let down.
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Let's get quirky!
estreet-eva28 November 2012
So let's get some quirky actors - Bill Murray, Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Frances McDormand, etc. - and put them in a quirky situation with boy scouts on a small island and then have a quirky narrator kind of tell us what's going to happen even though narrators usually tell us what did happen. Wouldn't that be totally quirky! In the quirkly named "Moonrise Kingdom" Wes Anderson tries to pull the "New Girl" television show's audience out of cute apartments and out to the flicks. There they find that the film presents some interesting dialog and plot turns as well as some decent performances particularly by the child actors. However, these charms are wrapped in circumstances somewhat over- engineered to be offbeat. The feeling of being manipulated limits the audience from fully enjoying the film although given the story can't fully sustain interest over its full length limits how much there is to enjoy. Also limiting the enjoyment are some highly uncomfortable scenes involving a twelve year old character being felt up in her underwear. People who find this discomforting (and everyone should feel uncomfortable with it) should avoid the film. In short, if M. Night Shayamalan didn't exist, Anderson would have an argument for being rated modern U.S. cinema's most overrated director.
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One of the worst movies I've seen in a long time
cynthiacher-128 June 2012
Warning: Spoilers
I went into this movie with high expectations; I assumed it would be charming, humorous, engaging. All those talented actors in it: Bill Murray, Frances McDormand, Ed Norton, Bruce Willis, Tilda Swinton, Harvey Keitel...surely this must be a quirky, enjoyable movie. But oh my God, it was terrible (the person I saw the movie with thought so too).

The dialogue was witless and dull and hard to understand because all the characters speak in low monotones. They all seem quite depressed and dulled. There was not one single likable, interesting character in the film, with the possible exception of Ed Norton's besieged scoutmaster. Even the children are unlikeable, especially the two 12 year olds "in love." Suzie and Sam are not what you'd call a sympathetic pair of protagonists; they're both, as the film makes clear, very mentally disturbed children and are so remorseless, expressionless and lacking in affect as to appear nearly sociopathic. It doesn't seem like their relationship is based on anything resembling "love"; love brings happiness and contentment and even when they're together they seem listless and depressed and rarely even smile. Maybe they're drawn to each other simply because they are both such strange, damaged children. The scene where they tentatively engage in sex play is supposed to be amusing I suppose. But I found it cringe-worthy; these two are still CHILDREN and to watch them french kiss and hear that the boy got "hard" is grotesque, not funny.

The other children in the film don't come across much better; they all have the curiously flat, toneless voices that seem more suited to a jaded adult than a child (the children in this movie ALL seem more like adults than children) and none of them exhibits much in the way of personality, except for the "bad" (he might as well have "THE BAD KID stamped on his forehead) scout that gets seriously injured (he's stabbed near the kidney) by Suzie. The heroine of the film stabs another child with a pair of scissors...what a sweet girl! And then there are the things that make no sense at all. Why does Suzy immediately want an odd, unprepossessing boy that she doesn't know at at all to write to her? How did the bicycle get up in the tree? Why do the scouts, who previously had no liking for Sam at all, abruptly feel compassion for him (just because he's an orphan? these scouts don't strike me as a particularly sensitive and filled with empathy bunch) and band together to help him run away with Suzie again? How can Sam get struck by lightning and pop up with no ill effects at all? How is it possible that Sam, Suzie and Captain Sharp all survive intact after the church steeple they are on is completely demolished? Why is it so easy for Sam and Suzie to continue to see each other; all Sam does is sneak in and out of a window with the help of his now foster father (why does Sharp suddenly want to be a foster parent to a disturbed child?) Captain Sharp? Wouldn't Suzie's parents be very vigilant about her not having any more contact with Sam? It all makes no sense.

I thought about walking out on this movie, which is something I rarely do. I wish I had; this movie made me literally SICK! I left the theater with a pounding headache and a queasy stomach. Really, it was THAT bad.

Some people adore this film. All I have to say is that people who like this movie must like bad movies. Because this one really stinks.
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It's hard to explain why chewing plastic is not tasty
mrlurid19848 October 2012
Warning: Spoilers
It just isn't. The plastic may look pretty, colorful and in sepia. The plastic may try to appeal by looking cute and quirky. It even may try to sell you with hints of lolita-eqsue scenes, but at the end of the day it is still plastic.

The plot is boring and predictable. The characters are completely 2D. I don't know why A- listers decided to participate in this snooze fest. It's hard to relate to any of the characters. The girl is your typical angsty teenager, the boy has some drama added to his character through heavy-handed "he is an orphan and his foster parents don't want him" twist that is half-assed at best. The movie never explains why everyone hates/hated him and why his foster parents don't want him.

It reminds me of one of those stories your grandma tries to tell you, about the "back in the days", when there was hay and she walked to school for an hour each way.

It is colorful boring plastic that no matter how hard you chew stays plastic and no matter how hard you try, you can never explain, why you don't like it. But the explanation is simple - it's tasteless blah plastic and so is this movie. I guess the only audience for it is some nostalgic 60- 70 year-olds that were in the scouts.

90 minutes of my life wasted.
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Annoyingly quirky and pretentious
lornloxor29 August 2013
I just can't fathom why this movie is getting such good reviews. Most likely the first and last Wes Anderson movie I'm seeing. There's nothing genuine or charming in this film. There's just this forced intentional quirkiness to this film that I can't stand. It just tries too hard to be quirky and cute and ends up feeling pretentious. The line between quirky and annoying can be very thin indeed and for me this movie crossed it by a mile.

The film is partly categorized as a comedy but I didn't even get a slight chuckle during the entire film. Was I supposed to? Everything's delivered deadpan and I didn't buy the dialogue between Sam and Suzy at all. Deadpan humor is good and all but you can't have everyone doing it for the whole movie. Also, I didn't like this whole idea of kids delivering adult dialogue and ended up disliking the protagonists a lot. They didn't feel like kids in the slightest so how is this whole first love between kids angle going to work here then? They're just flat and emotionally detached. All of the characters are essentially missing a human core.

I also didn't buy the love story between Sam and Suzy and that makes everything else pointless. I'm supposed to think they're in love but it didn't even seem like they liked each other. Didn't care for the rest of the characters either despite there being some serious talent behind them. If there had been at least one or two there who I liked somewhat I wouldn't give this one star. Visually it was kind of interesting but without a good story and characters, what does it matter?
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Pretentious, artsy-fartsy, boring BS
squanjaili11 December 2012
I hated 'Bottle Rocket', hated 'Rushmore', hated 'The Royal Tennenbaums'. Surprise! I hated Moonrise Kingdom. Why do I keep watching Wes Anderson's movies? Because I keep hearing/reading all this great stuff about 'em. Bottle Rocket was the highly touted first Anderson film, so I watched that. I didn't get it. Rushmore got all these great reviews, and I didn't connect that it was made by the same guy that made Bottle Rocket, so that time I got tricked. Stinko. The praise for The Royal Tennenbaums was so over the top that I thought there must be something wrong with me for hating the two previous films, so I watched it and wanted to kill myself by the halfway point. I successfully avoided his next few films and then I got tricked again 'cause I didn't know Moonrise Kingdom was a Wes Anderson movie until the FIRST TWO MINUTES when it was unmistakable. "OH NO, NOT AGAIN" I thought. I don't understand why anyone likes this boring crap with 'quirky' dialog delivered in a monotone, long shots of nothing (someone's front yard with no one in the frame for a full minute, for example) and plots and situations with no basis in reality (but not in a good way). Of course, I despised 'Lost In Translation' and 'Safety Not Guaranteed' too. But I am an un-hip philistine and clearly I'll never develop the cultural palate to appreciate Wes Anderson's 'craft'. Watching this movie is torture. If you want to be entertained, avoid it like the plague. No more Wes Anderson for me. Ever again.
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