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Based on 26 Reviews
critic reviews (10)
fan reviews ( 33 )
  • 75
    Peter Hartlaub San Francisco Chronicle

    Helm gets huge bonus points for noticing everything that's annoying about modern children's films and including none of those things in his movie. show more

  • 63
    Claudia Puig USA Today

    Writer/director Zach Helm, who wrote "Stranger Than Fiction," achieves bursts of charm and whimsy, but not quite enough magic to elicit a consistent sense of wonderment. show more

  • 50
    Carrie Rickey Philadelphia Inquirer

    In this G-rated movie the effects are gee-whiz, with live giraffes amid the stuffed animals and bouncy balls so manic that they could use some Ritalin. show more

  • 50
    Elizabeth Weitzman New York Daily News

    It's hard to escape the feeling that what Zach Helm's directorial debut really wants to be is "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory." But where Roald Dahl's story was brilliantly eccentric and respectfully unsentimental, Helm's is heavy with strained zaniness and hazy morality. show more

  • 50
    Sheri Linden The Hollywood Reporter

    For all its playful touches and neat-o nostalgia for nondigital entertainment, the whimsy feels forced. show more

  • 75
    Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times

    Hoffman has countless characters inside of him, and this is one of his nicest. show more

  • 75
    Michael Phillips Chicago Tribune

    Twenty or 30 minutes into Mr. Magorium’s Wonder Emporium the urge to flee may rise within you like an oceanic tide. But stick with it. The film is very sweet--in fact it represents the dawn of a new sport, Extreme Whimsy. show more

  • 63
    Ken Fox TV Guide

    This isn't your usual kiddie fare: Beneath the initial glare and blare is a quietly literate script by first-time writer-director Zach Helm that deals directly with big issues like believing in yourself and living on after a loved one passes away. But is it heavy? Not really. show more

  • 63
    Rick Groen The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

    Semi-wonderful at best. show more

  • 50
    Lou Lumenick New York Post

    There isn't anything terribly exciting or original on offer in the somewhat poky directing debut of screenwriter Zach Helm. show more

  • May 22, 2008 newyorklover96
    Report This User

    this movie stunk i cant stress this enought dont waste you money i am an 11 year old, my friend and i went to go see it and we were looking for exucuses to get outi give it 0 stars and btw DONT WASTE YOU TIME AND MONEY enchaned was good!

  • May 22, 2008 uncgmumom
    Report This User

    I'm not a movie critic. I'm a teacher, a school administrator, and a parent. Most importantly, I've been a child, which I'm not sure the professional movie critics who reviewed this movie EVER remember what it was like to be. Thank you, Mr. Helm, for creating such a wonderful experience, for my family, and countless others to enjoy together. I don't believe this film was created to be experienced through the eyes and senses of an adult, let alone a movie critic. It was meant to be experienced through those of a child, and those of us who can reach back in time and remember what it was like to believe that anything was possible if we just believed hard enough in something and had love and faith in it. So, if you are not willing to open your mind or are prepared to see it, experience it or understand it the way a child would, with all the WONDER and emotion that a child's imagination is capable of creating, then don't go and see it. You will be disappointed. I suggest taking a child, preferably your inner one, but any will do: your son, daughter, niece, nephew, grandchild, neighbor or friend. Better yet, take someone who needs something to believe in this holiday season.

  • May 22, 2008 jerwin123
    Report This User

    I'm 45 and took the kids. My 10-year-old daughter loved it, and even her 13-year-old brother thought it was great! He wouldn't even go back to the concession stand to get a free drink refill (comes with the large) because he didn't want to miss anything! I've found myself thinking about it since seeing it. I'm pretty sure it's in my top 5 favorites, and I'm a pretty harsh critic. It's the perfect family movie...the perfect date movie...heck, it's just about the perfect movie! Unlike its critics, it's HAPPY!!! GO SEE IT!!

  • May 22, 2008 psiloveyouhxx
    Report This User

    In 2005 my brother and his wife had our grandfather's clock restored and then gave it to me. Master Clock Maker, Greg Podgorski did a wonderful restoration and I enjoy its subtle "gong."\nIt sits on the fireplace mantle of our Lake Amistad home just north of Del Rio, Texas.

  • May 22, 2008 Dad's
    Report This User

    Please save your hard earned money and skip this BOMB!

  • May 22, 2008 chaconsix
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    I took my 4 children ages 2,3,5,and7. All of them LOVED it. And so did my husband and I. I will definitely buy it when it comes out. It made me ponder on my life...I definitely want to live in a way that I feel good about the time spent on this earth. I think this is what a family movie should be all about. It's about believeing in yourself, in others, and not being to BUSY to play, imagine, dream, and have FUN!!! GO SEE IT!!!

  • May 22, 2008 ilnd05
    Report This User

    I am getting sick of people putting the freaken ending to the movies on here! YOU ARE RUININ IT FOR PEOPLE! it is very inconsiderate of you

  • May 22, 2008 AMBRY2
    Report This User

    I am really sorry that I saw this movie. That's hard for me to say because I really like the actors. I left just thinking, what a great concept but horrible execution. One of my children said "What a sad movie" and the other said "why did you take us to see that mom". Save your money and go see Enchanted or August Rush....both really magical and heartwarming movies!

  • May 22, 2008 tedward549345
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    It was stupid boring and the only thing good about it is dustin hoffemen till he dies. over all dissapointing :(

  • May 22, 2008 andresbase
    Report This User

    This movie was great! And the characters was the best I've seen in a Christmas movie. It touched your life in so many ways and the love for the mother was touching. The heart breaker was the son leaving but when he returned home It was the true highlight of the movie.

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