2.7/10
35,215
1,762 user 228 critic

Cats (2019)

Trailer
1:39 | Trailer
A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

Director:

Tom Hooper

Writers:

Lee Hall (screenplay by), Tom Hooper (screenplay by) | 2 more credits »
Popularity
575 ( 135)
Bottom Rated Movies #25 | Nominated for 1 Golden Globe. Another 11 wins & 5 nominations. See more awards »

Videos

Photos

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Cast

Cast overview, first billed only:
Robbie Fairchild ... Munkustrap
Mette Towley ... Cassandra
Daniela Norman ... Demeter
Jaih Betote Jaih Betote ... Coricopat
Larry Bourgeois ... Plato
Laurent Bourgeois ... Socrates
Francesca Hayward ... Victoria
Jonadette Carpio ... Syllabub
Laurie Davidson ... Mr. Mistoffelees
Zizi Strallen Zizi Strallen ... Tantomile
Freya Rowley Freya Rowley ... Jellylorum
Idris Elba ... Macavity
Naoimh Morgan ... Rumpleteazer
Danny Collins ... Mungojerrie
Bluey Robinson ... Alonzo

The Cast of 'Cats' Play Our 'Cats Out of the Bag' Game

Francesca Hayward, Ian McKellen, Rebel Wilson, and the all-star cast of Cats let the cat out of the bag about their co-stars.

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Storyline

A tribe of cats called the Jellicles must decide yearly which one will ascend to the Heaviside Layer and come back to a new Jellicle life.

Plot Summary | Plot Synopsis

Taglines:

The most joyful event of the holiday season. See more »


Motion Picture Rating (MPAA)

Rated PG for some rude and suggestive humor | See all certifications »

Parents Guide:

View content advisory »
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Did You Know?

Trivia

One clip that features prominently in the trailer is Bombalurina (Taylor Swift) lounging in a lighted crescent moon sign, sprinkling powder from a can marked "catnip". This is a reference to a large sign depicting a lighted crescent moon with a cocaine spoon that hung in the infamous Studio 54 nightclub during the late 1970s and early 1980s. Catnip is a herb containing a compound that acts on the feline brain in a way that some veterinarians describe as analogous to the "high" that humans receive from recreational drugs like cocaine. See more »

Quotes

Bustopher Jones: [from trailer] Here we go!
See more »

Crazy Credits

The Universal Pictures, Working Title Films and Amblin Entertainment logos are seen at the beginning of the film itself, but never appear in the film's trailers/TV spots. See more »

Alternate Versions

An "completely finished" version, which improves the VFX, replaces the "Early Preview" version with the use of the Digital Cinema Package (DCP) that with downloaded onto a satellite server after the opening weekend, as demanded by Universal Studios International (UIP). Hard drives copies will be released at indie cinemas on Christmas Eve. See more »


Soundtracks

The Jellicle Ball
Written by Andrew Lloyd Webber
See more »

User Reviews

 
A disastrous show of pompous and inconsequential gibberish, garish visuals and tedious storytelling
21 December 2019 | by themadmoviemanSee all my reviews

I've got nothing against movie musicals, director Tom Hooper, or even anybody who's a part of making this film. But goodness me, Cats is an absolute monstrosity. Garish, non-sensical, boring and everything in between, it's a pompous and pointless musical that plays out with barely a redeeming feature, proving one of the most unbearable cinema experiences I've had in a very long time.

While I haven't been a big fan of Hooper's work in the past, particularly Les Misérables, Cats pales in comparison to anything the director has made before, failing on all levels in its pathetic attempts to provide even a semblance of fun, magical theatre, and instead staggering along through its repetitive and frankly tedious story on its way to a terrible ending that can't come soon enough.

There's nothing positive I have to say about this movie. Les Misérables, for all its faults, at least had a degree of spectacle, emotion and drama, whereas Cats is little more than an experiment gone wrong: a horrifying Frankenstein's monster that attempts to blend modern cinematic techniques with classic West End storytelling.

First, the visual effects are extremely offputting. Whether it's the uncanny CGI human/cat-like figures, the inconsistent and distracting scaling and sizing issues, or even the plasticky, garish look of the whole film, Cats is a really unpleasant spectacle. And for all of the technical expertise that clearly went into pulling it off, it all feels squandered on a misguided and painfully showy movie.

Next, Hooper's directing is jagged and meandering throughout. While the screenplay is hardly a work of art, Cats lacks even the slightest bit of show-stopping stage energy, symptomatic of direction that leaves the film wandering aimlessly right the way through.

Hooper's visual style is uninspiring and unimaginative, the musical and dance numbers are repetitive and dull, and even the biggest, best dramatic set-pieces are completely missing any sort of real presence, instead just fading into the movie's jarringly inconsistent structure.

The pacing is a massive problem throughout, as the film shirks the need for even a basic three-act structure in exchange for a horribly repetitive yet still inconsistent layout. Basically, for two hours, it goes like this: Dialogue, mini song, big musical number. Dialogue, mini song, big musical number. And repeat. Again and again and again.

In that, Cats proves so boring, so predictable, and clearly so without life that it's happy to just sit and move you from one musical number to the next. A great movie musical should organically blend song and dialogue, with each complementing the other with the goal of developing the story wherever possible.

Cats is so aimless and repetitive, that the pathetic excuse for a story barely seems to move at any point. Instead, it's just a vehicle for big West End musical numbers on the big screen, all built up to in jarring fashion that makes each song more awkward than the last.

That story, too, is almost unbearable throughout. I won't pass judgment on the original stage show, but in the case of this film, the plot is non-sensical, the characters uninteresting, the screenplay unfocused, and the emotion painfully superficial.

A little bit of fantasy is fine by me, but when a film is constantly repeating its fantasy mumbo-jumbo about cats being sent to heaven or something or other, it gives no incentive to keep watching, worsened by a total lack of character focus or even a consistent main lead.

Francesca Hayward plays the young, new cat to join the tribe, so you'd think that she would be the main focus for the story. However, the movie is so distracted by trying to cram in as many A-listers and side characters as possible that the whole thing feels like an endless meet-and-greet, still introducing new characters deep into the latter stages, and not even giving a second to let Hayward's cat take centre stage.

There's no story because it barely gets going. For what feels like an hour and a half, the film jumps between random characters' introductory musical numbers, and then, remembering it has to wrap things up in a two-hour window, abruptly shifts to tying up loose ends that were never really established in the first place.

As a result, despite the immense acting talent on display, none of the characters are memorable, and none play even a leading role for you to connect with at any point. Alongside Hayward, there's Robbie Fairchild and Laurie Davidson, both of whom seem to be on screen enough to warrant a leading role, but neither even gets the slightest bit of attention from the screenplay.

So, whenever their characters take any sort of role in the main plot, it comes across as sudden and out of left-field, a problem only caused because the movie spends so much time trying to entertain you with A-listers dressed as CGI cats. But even for all the Taylor Swift cameos in the world, it's surely not worth steamrolling simple character and narrative development.

In short, Cats is an absolute atrocity. From a director with an already wobbly track record in the musical genre, this film is an utter disaster, failing to capture any sense of spectacle or fun, and instead meandering and wandering through a non-sensical, boring and predictable story that's seemingly used mostly as a platform for some big West End musical numbers and A-list cameos.

There's nothing good to say about Cats, and unless you really want two hours of pain at the cinema, I suggest you stay as clear as possible.


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Frequently Asked Questions

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Details

Official Sites:

catsmovie | Official Facebook | See more »

Country:

UK | USA

Language:

English

Release Date:

20 December 2019 (USA) See more »

Also Known As:

Cats See more »

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Box Office

Budget:

$95,000,000 (estimated)

Opening Weekend USA:

$6,619,870, 22 December 2019

Gross USA:

$27,166,770

Cumulative Worldwide Gross:

$73,743,139
See more on IMDbPro »

Company Credits

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Technical Specs

Runtime:

Sound Mix:

Dolby Digital | Dolby Atmos

Color:

Color

Aspect Ratio:

2.39 : 1
See full technical specs »

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