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Overall Rating
3.59

Awesome: 23.11%
Worth A Look37.33%
Average: 22.67%
Pretty Bad: 9.33%
Total Crap: 7.56%

15 reviews, 135 user ratings


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Charlie and the Chocolate Factory
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by EricDSnider

"It would be a swell factory indeed, if Mr. Wonka weren't so off-putting."
4 stars

There is so much lunacy in "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" that reaction shots seem to comprise half the film: Willy Wonka reacting to the loathsome children, Grandpa Joe reacting to Willy Wonka's wonkiness, Violet Beauregarde's mother reaction to her daughter's ferocious competitiveness, and so on. What's going on is pretty weird, and that fact is not lost on any of the characters.

It seems a perfect fit to have Tim Burton direct Johnny Depp in an adaptation of Roald Dahl's novel; like Kenneth Branaugh and Shakespeare, they go hand-in-hand. Certainly Burton's fondness for telling darkly comic stories and Depp's knack for playing off-kilter recluses are useful here.

Willy Wonka, as you surely know, is the enigmatic genius whose massive factory produces the world's most popular candy even though no one is ever seen entering or leaving the building. He has issued an invitation, though, to let five children and one parent or guardian each tour his factory, led by him personally. These invitations are issued randomly in the form of Golden Tickets hidden under the wrapper of five Wonka chocolate bars. All the world wants those Golden Tickets.

The lucky winners are soon revealed: Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz), a waxy-faced, obese German boy whose porcine mother lets him live on a diet of chocolate; Veruca Salt (Julia Winter), spoiled rich girl whose Daddy buys her everything (I love the brief glimpse of her exasperated mother sucking down a martini); Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb), champion gum-chewer and all-around trophy-winner, whose mother (Missi Pyle), in a pink jogging suit that matches her own, has the plastic face of a former Miss America; and Mike Teavee (Jordan Fry), ordinary American kid who watches TV all day, and who, in this update, loves video games, too.

At last there is our hero, humble Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), who lives with his impoverished parents and all four grandparents in a dilapidated shack on the outskirts of what appears to be London. The grandparents are confined to bed, and notice "bed" is singular; Dad (Noah Taylor) works at a toothpaste factory; Mom (Helena Bonham Carter) keeps house, what little there is to keep, and makes cabbage soup for dinner. They are very happy, but very poor. When good-hearted Charlie finds the last Golden Ticket, he suggests selling it rather than using it, since they could probably get good money for it and heaven knows they need money.

But the family refuses, and Charlie chooses his Grandpa Joe (David Kelly) -- who dances a merry jig indeed when Charlie shows him the ticket -- to accompany him to the factory. There they meet the other winners, their parents, and of course Mr. Wonka. With a pageboy haircut, pale skin, nervous giggle, and a general uneasiness around other humans, Wonka is like a more sarcastic and less pedophilic version of Michael Jackson. But then, with his abrupt changes in conversation, seemingly haphazard approach to his factory, and random usage of out-moded slang, he could also be a more low-key version of the Genie in "Aladdin." Depp has taken the blithe character depicted in the book and inflated him to full Deppth, as quirky, funny and unapproachable a character as he has ever played.

The film is a marvel of production design, from the impossibly tilted Bucket home to all the wonders of the Wonka factory. Of course Burton has never allowed his production designers (Alex McDowell in this case) to skimp, and his technical advisers got a workout, too: All of the Oompa-Loompas (the tiny race of people who work in Wonka's factory) are played by one guy, Deep Roy, duplicated dozens of times, as necessary, to create the illusion of an entire population. Why do that instead of using multiple actors? You'd have to ask Burton, but I suspect the answer is, "Because it's more fun this way."

Freddie Highmore, previously seen with Depp in "Finding Neverland," is a compelling little actor, with intelligent, expressive eyes and a face that absolutely radiates joy when his character is happy. You can see why Depp was so impressed with him after "Neverland" that he recommended him to Burton.

What's missing from the whole thing, just slightly, is warmth. This is not a very personable movie. An attempt has been made by screenwriter John August to give Willy Wonka a backstory, but it doesn't soothe the sting of his often hilarious disdain for children and their parents. You laugh at it, sure, but only from a distance. You never think, "Gee, I'd like to go there," or "Hey, that Willy Wonka seems like a fun guy to hang out with." Seeing Willy Wonka -- a candymaker, beloved by all children -- behave so off-puttingly is sort of like finding out Dr. Seuss hated kids or that Santa Claus considers his job drudgery. You want there to be an underlying kindliness, and this Wonka doesn't have it.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=12582&reviewer=247
originally posted: 07/15/05 16:55:07
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User Comments

1/29/17 stephen a giant pos 1 stars
6/22/15 David Hollingsworth gives remakes a bad name 2 stars
1/02/15 Catherine H zzzzz ... worthless remake, stick to Wilder version 1 stars
12/24/13 Michelle O any excuse for Depp to don COPIOUS amounts of makeup= he's no Wilder! 3 stars
9/08/11 Robin Awful adaptation that bastardizes the book while wrapping itself in a flag of faithfulness 1 stars
7/15/11 art an Adequate remake of the 1971 classic. 3 stars
6/06/11 Jeff Wilder Good for what it is. The Gene Wilder one is still the best though. 4 stars
1/30/11 Linda J A great remake of Willy Wonka. But then, what movie isn't great with Johnny Depp? 5 stars
7/01/09 orion Good for kids but overall farily blah 2 stars
6/06/09 Pokejedservo Not bad but I admit I too preferred the first film. 3 stars
3/27/09 Stevo Um... why, in England, are people paying in American dollars? 1 stars
1/13/09 Anonymous. another freakish performance by depp :D 4 stars
8/15/08 Shaun Wallner Depp is so funny!! 5 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT FINE ART DIRECTION, NICE SPECIAL EFFECTS, GOOD PERFORMANCES AND OVERALL A DECENT FILM 3 stars
5/11/08 drydock54321 why does johnny depp always play such strange dark characters 4 stars
4/24/08 art A GRIM REHASH OF THE 1971 VERISON 3 stars
2/17/08 SamanthaP the 1st time it was creepy and the 2nd time i loved it! sooo funny! 4 stars
6/09/07 Danielle Ophelia Lets the sugar speak for itself and concentrates on the tale's underlying menace. 4 stars
6/05/07 katy great filim 4 stars
5/04/07 johnnyfog The first one sucked ass, and so does this one. Why do people like either? 2 stars
4/18/07 Stevo UK ''Willy Wanker and the sack of shit''. Is that a better title? 1 stars
4/02/07 jo sing it boring for some part 4 stars
3/17/07 cleofus jones can't stand the songs..but love burton//depp//movie 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Burton is the Willy Wonka of Hollywood. 4 stars
12/05/06 Stanley Thai A feast for the eyes, this film is filled with great sets and visuals! Great film! 4 stars
11/09/06 becky very good the chocolate was so yummy 5 stars
9/04/06 David Pollastrini Darker than original. 4 stars
9/01/06 kate tasker it sucked 1 stars
7/26/06 Mrs. Robinson sorry, but it just cant compare to the old one 1 stars
7/18/06 David Cohen Who would have thought Burton and Depp could make an unappealing combo 3 stars
7/06/06 Tom Groholski Sticks closely to the book and entertaining 4 stars
6/14/06 Poopsy Fartworthy I love the new Charlie and the chocolate Fcatory film! 5 stars
5/15/06 Diane P love johnny depp but unfortunately for me this remake didn't compare to the first. 3 stars
5/01/06 dinesh kumar Dahl, Depp and Burton, all my favorites and what an amazing movie. 5 stars
4/27/06 lala depp looked freay, hated the songs, but it was ok but the original was WAY WAY better 3 stars
4/16/06 JoJo betta than da original, but I agree w/ emily, he looked like Michael Jackson. 2 stars
4/03/06 Quigley better the 2nd time. Johnny Depp was great, and the look of the movie is visually stunning 5 stars
3/24/06 jesika wtf? total ripoff of the original- i almost shot someone after i cn this pos movie 1 stars
3/21/06 Rebecca I loved the movie, it's great for kids and enjoyable for everyone. 5 stars
3/18/06 Elizabeth An entertaining movie but it can't beat the original. 3 stars
3/13/06 Roderick Cromar Too short. Songs irritating rather than entertaining. 2 stars
2/05/06 Shawn Gadberry Interesting, different, but the original is the better movie by FAR! 3 stars
2/04/06 Michele why do people like this story? 2 stars
1/30/06 the laughing man Not better than the original, but it is a more faithful adapation of Dahl's classic. 4 stars
1/20/06 emily thought Depp looked like a creepy version of Michael Jackson, but overall it was very good 4 stars
1/18/06 MrsVoorheesBabyBoy Just when you thought Johnny Depp couldn't get any gayer 3 stars
1/17/06 terry Liked johnny depp - didnt like the movie over all - I was disappointed with this movie 3 stars
1/16/06 Alexis Edgy, dark and closer to the original story than the Wilder version. Depp is wonderful. 4 stars
1/13/06 sammy BIG PIECE OF UGLY, BORING CRAP 1 stars
1/10/06 Indrid Cold Depp tries to command the screen a la Jim Carrey, but he just isn't that great of an actor. 4 stars
12/24/05 Quigley the movie has great acting and incredible visuals, computer and set design. hail, Burton! 4 stars
12/24/05 S Gray Freddie Highmore is excellent but this movie was garbage. 1 stars
12/22/05 Ethan M. A classical film remade, but Depp could not live up to the standards of Wilder. 3 stars
12/22/05 tina mateer first won was better,yet this was good and did you see all the chocolate? heaven 4 stars
12/19/05 Bree Can't be compared to original. So dont! Excellent film. Good fun. Very close to the book! 5 stars
12/05/05 Sean D. Sheridan Not as good as original with Gene Wilder!! The Oompa-Loompas in current movie disappoint! 3 stars
12/05/05 stickman Silly movie, avoid it. 3 stars
12/03/05 Jennifer S. Very enjoyable remake of a classic. 4 stars
12/02/05 George Depp was great as usual,but I hated this remake. 2 stars
11/27/05 ods Funny and weird 5 stars
11/25/05 Idiot_for_LMP pass on this film. ruined a great classic 2 stars
11/24/05 BoyInTheDesignerBubble Deep Roy should have won best supporting actor. 3 stars
11/13/05 Del Pretty crappy remake of an all-time classic, the oompa-loompas just sucked ass 1 stars
11/13/05 Quigley johnny depp looks gay and pale, but his performance was as superb as the set design and CG 4 stars
11/11/05 Steve A great disappointment. Both from Burton and Depp 2 stars
11/10/05 natalie one of the best movies that tim burton has directed and johnny depp was awsome in it 5 stars
11/01/05 missjie86 Endearing, annoying, creepy and bizarre, but a Depp portrayal is always interesting. 4 stars
10/14/05 BoB A bit wierd and strange- but its meant 2 b, right? 3 stars
10/08/05 brittany boring and had no differences than the original movie 1 stars
9/22/05 Sugar Depp's performance, outstanding. Elfman's music, inpiring. Overall movie, I am in awe of. 5 stars
9/05/05 Green Gremlin Makes the original version look like an episode of "HR Puf'stuff" !!! 5 stars
9/05/05 Daryl Walker This flim was very funny at times. Johnny Depp was fantastic and it was just a fun time. 5 stars
9/03/05 littlefishy pretty good (not!) suked shit.......... 2 stars
9/02/05 Danielle I thought it was funny and I like the charecters in the movie 5 stars
9/01/05 WWW.FALLOUTWEAR.TRIPOD.COM/ great skate t-shirts and funny t-shirts. 5 stars
8/28/05 LittlePenguin FUCKING BLOWS, AND BURTON/ DEPP ARE MY ALL TIME FAVES, SORRY 1 stars
8/28/05 Tom Burns I loved this movie. Johnny Depp is hilarious. 5 stars
8/26/05 Nick Better then the original. REAL lessons to learn here. 5 stars
8/25/05 Eden Suffers from crap musical numbers and a tacked-on back story 3 stars
8/18/05 Littlepurch Not a patch on the original but still great.Music was great, kids were funny. Depp just ok. 4 stars
8/15/05 Snickerdoodle Really good, Johnny Depp is a riot and the songs are catchy 5 stars
8/13/05 Lynn Taylor cracking film loved it so much went bk to see it. Johnny depp is just brill 5 stars
8/10/05 bigfish reviewed by a cultural moron 1 stars
8/09/05 joy best movie ever! 5 stars
8/09/05 jada ok family movie 3 stars
8/08/05 joeysquids the original rrules-this is the best "remake" of all time 5 stars
8/07/05 tammi i is worth taking the family out 4 stars
8/06/05 ellziopscilly super! 5 stars
8/06/05 G Rosenberg Inventive, non-pandering fun 5 stars
8/06/05 Zack A million times better than the SHITTY Mel Stuart film from 1971! 5 stars
8/05/05 ron abrams just okay. looked great. not wild about deep. 3 stars
8/04/05 Christian The original was darker, and the "musical' features were just horrible. Still, enjoyable. 4 stars
8/04/05 Me Better than the original! 5 stars
8/02/05 C Vega More Loyal to the Book than Gene Wilders version and Perhaps dare I say it..... even better 5 stars
8/02/05 Wolfwhisper I seen it 4 times, Johnny Depp put a new edge on Willy Wonka! 5 stars
8/01/05 michaelb14 Depp was great as usual but Wilder still has the #1 in my book 4 stars
8/01/05 Beth Kerrick Good for kids; it wasn't as sinister as the original and obviously had better effects. 4 stars
8/01/05 R maybe sometimes taking liberties with a story is okay.. 2 stars
7/31/05 Matt Weak on nearly every single level. A failure for Burton and Depp. 2 stars
7/30/05 PK Charlie and the Chocolate Fatory proves what a genious Gene Wilder was in Willie Wonka... 3 stars
7/29/05 StuBot Burton lays a fools' golden egg. This movie, like his other recent attempts, fall far short 2 stars
7/29/05 sbpat21 very funny and exhilarating (***** 1/2 stars ) 5 stars
7/27/05 pym excellent movie, great adaptation of Dahl's book, very fine acting . I'll see it again 5 stars
7/27/05 John Our kids loved the movie!! 4 stars
7/27/05 Mike Olson Somewhat tedious. 2 stars
7/27/05 Mahogany Dear Hollywood, Stop remaking movies and just let them rest in peace! PLEASE!! 1 stars
7/26/05 Ty Spiceland Great movie, one of the best I've seen this summer 5 stars
7/25/05 Farrah I love Tim Burton films and Johnny Depp. This film was great and I can't wait to buy th DVD 5 stars
7/23/05 sully oompa loompa creepy,creepy,creepy,creepy, creepy 4 stars
7/23/05 Dan Just doesn't capture the essence of the original. 2 stars
7/22/05 Lily TERRIBLE TERRIBLE ACTING 3 stars
7/22/05 Kankasaur if you're a teenager with headgear, this entire movie will make you want to kill yourself 5 stars
7/22/05 WilderFan71 Will not be remebered for decades! Depp's "Wonka" = "WackoJacko" 1 stars
7/22/05 Artic i loved this movie, but i love any movie with johnny depp in it 5 stars
7/22/05 TROGDOR the entire movie made me want to fucking kill myself 1 stars
7/22/05 RockyS Depp's performance is perfectly smart and creepy 4 stars
7/22/05 Nessus More fun than I thought it would be, fantastic visuals, quirky 5 stars
7/21/05 Ken Great update (the original is one of my all-time favorites). Depp is perfectly creepy. 5 stars
7/21/05 William Vollmer not quite as good as '71 version 4 stars
7/20/05 Danny Burton-esque through and through, but missing the "magic" or the '71 film adaptation. 4 stars
7/20/05 Ole Man Bourbon Lots of good stuff 4 stars
7/19/05 orpament weirdly enjoyable except for the oompah loompahs 4 stars
7/19/05 jcjs easily as wow as the original, better even...Depp great, clever, fun, wonderful 5 stars
7/19/05 SmackDown Depp was terrible as Wonka, Jim Carry please! It felt rushed out, painfull to watch. Sorry! 3 stars
7/19/05 darkone silly makes no real sense 3 stars
7/18/05 Rick Burton creates a GREAT world...however, justifying Willy's candy obsession...odd 4 stars
7/18/05 Jeff Wilder Great film with a weak ending 4 stars
7/18/05 Charlie Not as good as the original. Watch Big Fish, directed by Burton as well, and is better. 3 stars
7/18/05 Nicole Creepier/darker feel than the 70's version and slightly altered story 4 stars
7/17/05 cpbjr extremely interesting. lagged in parts, with some poor execution. 4 stars
7/17/05 ReboValence This is how the last adaptation of the book should have gone. 5 stars
7/16/05 KingNeutron 3 1/2 *s; good in-jokes and music. Depp's Wonka doesnt compare to Wilder tho 3 stars
7/16/05 Jim The Movie Freak The boat ride was scarier in the original. Oompa Loompa songs lame! Still very entertainin 3 stars
7/16/05 Titus Soo o . . . cool. 5 stars
7/15/05 Body odor. Finally a guy in makeup,who has a kid styled home, that doesn't molest children. Brillant. 5 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  15-Jul-2005 (PG)
  DVD: 08-Nov-2005

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Sep-2005




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