Beasts of the Southern Wild - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Beasts of the Southern Wild Reviews

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May 18, 2019

-(Seen on 5/18/19)
March 12, 2019
A seemingly pointless film about people fighting to remain living in squalor, constantly at risk of drowning from the next storm. The entire cast has a combined IQ of a 4th grader. It felt like a message film, but I could only guess as to what that message was, and I have a feeling it's not worth knowing. Dumb.

Rating: F
January 11, 2019
'Beasts of the Southern Wild' is an emotionally powerful journey through the eyes of a six-year-old girl. Childhood and innocence prevail, as we witness an amazing performance from Quvenzhane Wallis on screen.
December 26, 2018
This movie had me bawling through half of it.
December 16, 2018
Very evocative and felt like watching a dream. Timely and engaging.
November 12, 2018
This isn't a movie. it's a visual poem. highly cathartic and just beautiful
November 10, 2018
Magnificent, emotional about love and life in a world outside the world
October 1, 2018
Despite wonderful performances and a exuberant tone this movie possesses, the movie feels utterly pointless.
August 29, 2018
5/5. Beasts of the Southern Wild caught me complexity off guard. I didn't know what to expect and it blew me away. The performances are fantastic, the characters are engaging, the story is emotional, and it is just all around a fantastic movie.
August 21, 2018
Astonishing that critics and filmgoers have rallied behind this simple minded, post-Katrina fable. But these are probably the same ones who rallied behind bone headed movies like Sling Blade. Episodic, ugly and filmed almost entirely in headache inducing close-up this film lacks the gravitas that it ultimately strives for. Most of the reviews have compared it to Malick's 'The Tree Of Life". Was that supposed to be a compliment?
½ July 23, 2018
One of the most moving films I have seen in a long time. A snapshot of a community, as well as a state of mind, that will be foreign to many on the surface. The actors were able to create such raw, unbridled emotion which left me absolutely floored.
May 30, 2018
Beautiful and awesomely weird . I felt like the characters were my best friends by the end of the movie. Almost perfect if it weren't for the annoying music.
January 30, 2018
This is an unusual fantasy film which changed direction a couple of times. Interesting but not memorable. AAN AFI
½ November 8, 2017
Beasts of the southern wild stars young Quvenzhané Wallis in her debut role as 'Hushpuppy'. A 6 year old who lives with her father (Dwight Henry) in a place they call 'The Bathtub'. A place where the people love the land as much as they love each other. Unfortunately the land doesn't love them back when a hurricane heads their way.

This film is co-written and directed by Benh Zeitlin, a man with no real credits to his name making this his first full length feature film, and it's not a bad way to start off with it being nominated for two oscars respectively. However unfortunately despite all the charm this film clearly possesses, it was never enough to bring me in, I felt that this film dragged by the end and there are a few reasons why.

I never cared for any of the characters. Despite the brilliant performance by young Wallis as Hushpuppy, I never felt like a relationship was formed between her and the audience. Everything felt forced, and this was even worse for the other characters like her father, who is played fine by Henry. The whole way through the film was practically telling us how to feel and what to think about him, there was no breathing space to think for ourselves which is thanks to the screenplay written by Behn Zeitlin and Lucy Alibar. It meant the film quickly bored me, and there was no coming back from there.

The directing choices in the film also felt jarring for me. There was an abundance of shaky cam, if used properly this can be effective but it only succeeded in making me annoyed and dizzy. Despite this the cinematography by Ben Richardson is undoubtedly stunning, especially for it's little budget of $2m. However unfortunately this is never enough to drag me into a film and enjoying it throughout.

Overall I feel this is a film which will separate many people. You may love it, you may hate it. It wasn't nominated 2 oscars for nothing after all. However what the film was trying to tell or do never quite hit me. Resulting in a not so enjoyable viewing experience.
½ November 1, 2017
The acting is superb all around (especially Dwight Henry and Quvenzhane Wallis), and the story is very sad and depressing. But it nevertheless is engaging, unusual, and surprisingly artful. 7/10
September 27, 2017
The team behind Beasts of the Southern Wild has created a broken, battered and yet hauntingly brave world, where beauty is not guaranteed, but utterly worth fighting for, and you get to spend some time in this world.

In a nutshell

Six-year-old Hushpuppy lost her mom ages ago. Her dad is ailing. Her world, a forgotten Southern bayou, is a stark, dangerous place filled with fiercely flawed, but brave, individuals. When a storm disrupts her life, and the balance she so strongly believes in, these memorable individuals fall apart, stand strong, drink copious amounts of alcohol and fight for their lives.

Mood of the film

On one hand it is magical, almost mythical, and on the other hand it is terrifying. You expect the worst of people, and the worst possible outcome for Hushpuppy.

Best performances

Quvenzhané Wallis is utterly believable as the defiant, strong Hushpuppy. Watch out for the scene where she flexes her little muscles and shouts at her dad, "I'm the man!".

Standout scene

Hushpuppy's vulnerability is never more visible than when she dons a welding mask, lights the gas stove with a flamethrower and eventually burns down her house.


I could go digging around for some, but if I have to try that hard to find any negatives, then they're not worth noticing.

Is the film relevant today?

It touches on really important issues, such as how removed we are, in fact, from death, from nature and from reality. I was thinking throughout the film that this Northern Suburbs Joburger would not last five minutes in that world.

Does it cop out?

Nope. You know Hushpuppy's life forward is going to be tough and brutal, yet you leave the cinema with hope.


Dwight Henry (Wink) owned a bakery where the crew put up an audition notice. He was invited to audition. He got the role, but could not be reached, because he had moved his bakery to bigger premises. Two months went by before they found him. He declined the offer, as he was focusing on his bakery. However, every crew member rocked up at the bakery and pleaded with him. He accepted the role, but only on condition that they could rehearse during his midnight "baking hours"!
August 18, 2017
I have watched this movie at least 4 times and enjoyed it each time. The shaky filming bothered me when I saw it in the theater, but I like the effect at home on TV. It is a film that doesn't explain everything, so you need to think how to answer the questions it brings to mind. What are the beasts: people in the "Bathtub"? Or in the community that takes them from their home? Or the Aurochs?
Does Hushpuppy meet her mother?
Do the Aurochs represent Hushpuppy's fears that she needs to face?
The acting was wonderful, and the feelings of drama, resilience, love & hate, and community intertwine to make a memorable experience.
I bought the movie, so I will be watching it again.
½ July 5, 2017
The beginning was shaky, but I think it fit the more I watched. I think the metaphor with the beasts and the ice caps crashing down, kind of like her life, made me really think and I like a movie that makes me think.
June 18, 2017
Beasts of the Southem Wild é conceitual e realista mas, e o cinema? E a arte? Um agrupamento de cenas chocantes não é necessariamente um drama! Os roteirista Lucy Alibar e
Benh Zeitlin fizeram um cine-apelo barato para tentar integrar o primeiro escalão de Hollywood, conseguiram!
May 1, 2017
My favorite move of all time. The acting is amazing, the music is perfect, the raw nature as a community battles both capitalism and their primitive selves. There has been, in my opinion, no finer picture made.
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