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Moonrise Kingdom (2012)


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 224
Fresh: 210
Rotten: 14

Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.

Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 49
Fresh: 48
Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Warm, whimsical, and poignant, the immaculately framed and beautifully acted Moonrise Kingdom presents writer/director Wes Anderson at his idiosyncratic best.


Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 132,928


Movie Info

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore -- and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances … More

PG-13 (for sexual content and smoking)
Directed By:
Written By:
Wes Anderson , Roman Coppola
In Theaters:
Oct 16, 2012
Box Office:
Focus Features - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Moonrise Kingdom

All Critics (225) | Top Critics (49) | Fresh (210) | Rotten (14) | DVD (3)

The film is frequently funny, always elegant (or mock-elegant), and something that would make Humbert Humbert laugh all the way to his asylum.

Full Review… | June 17, 2013
The New Republic
Top Critic

Most of Wes Anderson's previous pictures came from the head; Moonrise Kingdom is one from the heart.

Full Review… | June 21, 2012
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Anderson never loses his core themes - young love, the need to escape, the bind and bluster of family. His "Kingdom" may not be large, but it is perfectly appointed.

Full Review… | June 15, 2012
Detroit News
Top Critic

Phonies may complain that Anderson's island of misfit toys is a retreat from the real world, but for pure-hearted adventurers who share the secret map, "Moonrise Kingdom" is a joy that cannot be eclipsed.

Full Review… | June 8, 2012
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

Though undeniably smart and charming, "Moonrise Kingdom" loves itself the way the callow Holden Caulfield loves himself: unconditionally. Salinger understood the problem with that. Anderson may not.

Full Review… | June 8, 2012
Top Critic

"Moonrise Kingdom" takes place in a world where everything seems pleasantly faded, where people read crackly-covered library books rather than e-books, and where young people are allowed to be genuinely innocent.

Full Review… | June 7, 2012
Seattle Times
Top Critic

Endlessly subjective to the kids' fantasy of the world around them, a memory in mind compacted from impressions half-glimpsed, Anderson confects and even perfects a headlong heaven's-to-Etsy esthetic, in hothouse glory.

Full Review… | April 14, 2014

Anderson's woodsy thought process... elicits a thorough batch of the rainy summer daydreams where most grand childhood adventures and romances are so often had: in heads and hearts, if not in flesh.

Full Review… | August 3, 2013
Orlando Weekly

Wes Anderson remains trapped in the aquarium of his own imagination.

Full Review… | August 3, 2013

All the grounding you need comes from the performances of Hayward and Gilman as the young runaways. They seem to have internalized Anderson's wonky worldview completely.

Full Review… | August 3, 2013
National Post

It's Wes Anderson's dollhouse as a home for wayward boys. Turns out, it's a safe place for adults to hide as well.

Full Review… | June 23, 2013

Anderson delivers a magnificent blend of artistry, humor and emotional resonance.

Full Review… | May 24, 2013
The Patriot Ledger

To date my favorite Wes Anderson and I don't characterize myself as an Anderson fan.

Full Review… | March 21, 2013
Cinema Sight

It's doubtful this will win over any outright Anderson sceptics, but ... this is an exciting reaffirmation of talent.

Full Review… | March 4, 2013

Wes Anderson's darkest movie yet retains his whimsical sense of humour and Fantastic Mr Fox-styled absurdity.

Full Review… | March 4, 2013
Concrete Playground

One of the ten best films of 2012.

Full Review… | January 27, 2013
Rage Monthly

At its heart, Moonrise Kingdom is a sweet and surprising love story with a healthy twist of typically warped humour.

Full Review… | January 8, 2013
The Standard

The Houston native and University of Texas graduate beautifully blends humor and pathos to create what's bound to be one of the best movies of the year.

Full Review… | January 4, 2013
Austin American-Statesman

People who enjoy being immersed in his singular vision won't be disappointed at all.

Full Review… | January 4, 2013
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Anderson's manner becomes a second skin and essential to the script, making Moonrise Kingdom a most comfortable way to watch matters uncomfortable.

Full Review… | December 31, 2012

Easily among the best of [Anderson's] works, it's a technically marvelous film with spot-on performances, a gorgeously realized score, and impeccable production design.

Full Review… | December 28, 2012

In the summer of big, expensive superhero flicks, Moonrise Kingdom evokes awe, wonder and the magic of escapism in a much smaller and more precious way.

Full Review… | December 17, 2012

Another quirky comedy from Wes Anderson who is an acquired taste I have not acquired.

Full Review… | December 12, 2012

a farce of whimsical philosophical import

Full Review… | November 25, 2012
Killer Movie Reviews

It's like a picturesque, ride down a long countryside road in autumn bursting with wonderful imagery; richly developed characters complimented by an excellent score that quickly brings you into this small in scope, but big on brilliance effort.

Full Review… | November 24, 2012
Lyles' Movie Files

Audience Reviews for Moonrise Kingdom


After a second viewing: I think I was too ready to love this movie. Great cast, great style, and sweet story of young love, but there's also a "same old Wes Anderson" feeling to it; it's almost belaboured. Despite Bill Murray and Frances McDormand, you rarely laugh out loud, and it's almost played too straight: trying to be too sweet.

Anderson makes unique films, and I do like them all, but he may be getting stale. He hasn't blown me away since The Royal Tenenbaums. I have great expectations for The Grand Budapest Hotel, and in a way, I think he needs to knock that one out of the park in order to keep making the kinds of movies he wants to make. I'm starting to see a Tim Burton career parallel, in which he ends up only getting work from Disney. It wouldn't be the worst think in the world, but it would lead to compromises in his films' most valuable aspect: their aesthetic.

Daniel Perry

Super Reviewer


Probably my favorite film of the year (and what a good movie year it was!). Director Wes Anderson crafts a film that has a heart as big as its brain, creating a sweet story of adolescent love. It's Anderson's most delightfully quirky, toning down his usual sardonic but keeping the essence of an "Anderson" film. His shots seem compulsively symmetrical, the production design a matter of balance that feels quaint instead of off-putting. I want more tales of Suzy and Sam, but know I shouldn't get any- and that's the mark of a timeless film.

Jason Lalljee
Jason Lalljee

Super Reviewer

Wes Anderson, master of the aesthetically colorful, whimsical, sixties' tinged madness, outdoes even himself with a trope set in the very decade he draws from the most. Right down to the period clothing, sets, and a clickety typewriter to boot, this reeks of its time period, but at the same time it isn't mashed into your face. The setting for the film is much more magical and whimsical than it is cloaked in nostalgia. Set on an island that cannot be reached except by ferry and plane, making cars essentially useless, it has an otherness to it even while retaining the same base characteristics of Anderson's usual troupe of characters. Time period only lends interesting visuals, and doesn't ultimately define the characters. All characters are quirky, especially the troop that includes the lead character, Sam (Gilman), who are all instinctive about their natural environment, and testy about procedure, and yet are represented as normal kids rebutting the outsider. Even the troop leader, played by Edward Norton, thinks that Sam is an eccentric, and an oddity, so when Sam runs away to be with a girl who he has met once and wrote for a year, he is incensed, and yet begins to become thoughtful about the boy. The entire film follows the irregular course that these young lovers take, both odd to the outside world but much more mature than they're given credit for. Besides the love story there are the stories of the inhabitants of the island, including a police officer, the troop leader, and the family of the girl. Though the film is one of a tragic romance between young people, a great coming of age story, and of course a tale of an adventurous hero keeping the wolves at bay, it is also funny, sweet, and soft spoken. The young couple are really interesting, and in every scene they try to stay eternally bound and yet are kept apart by the obvious age issue. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward are very talented and yet are amateurs, so they keep the innocence of their age and yet bring forth the understanding of young, ambitious teenagers. The one point that irritates me is that the story of the family isn't well told, the characters are a bit flat, and the relationship between the mother and the policeman is the most boring aspect of the entire movie and yet is supposed to yield some untold insight into the lives of the island residents. It felt so pointless, except to show his willingness to look towards the future, and that's barely alluded to. This is another Anderson best, but compared to the detailed lives of his past characters, these only sometimes get the briefest of introductions.

Spencer S.

Super Reviewer

Delightful odd-wit and tasty artful cinematography flow through this nice little flick about young love. Probably Wes Anderson's most heart-warming tale yet.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

Moonrise Kingdom Quotes

I think you've still got lightning in you.
– Submitted by Cara H (8 months ago)
Mr. Bishop:
My daughter was abducted by one of these beige lunatics!
– Submitted by Rex A (11 months ago)
Was he a good dog?
Who's to say? But he didn't deserve to die.
– Submitted by Rex A (11 months ago)
Scout Master Ward:
How's that lanyard coming?
– Submitted by Mike W (12 months ago)
We're in love. We just want to be together. What's wrong with that?
– Submitted by Andrea M (14 months ago)
Damn us! It's none of our business. This troop has been very shabby to Field Mate Sam Shakusky. In fact, we've been a bunch of mean jerks! Why is he so unpopular? I admit, supposedly, he's emotionally disturbed, but he's also a disadvantaged orphan. How would you feel? Nickleby? Deluca? Lazy Eye? Gadge? He's a fellow Khaki Scout, and he needs our help. Are we man enough to give that, so part of his brain doesn't get removed out of him? They were prepared to die for each other out there.
Ok, ok. What do you need?
3 yards of chicken wire, some ripped up newspapers, and a bucket of wheat paste.
– Submitted by Adam H (16 months ago)

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