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Overall Rating
3.29

Awesome: 25.28%
Worth A Look32.58%
Average: 9.55%
Pretty Bad: 10.67%
Total Crap: 21.91%

11 reviews, 112 user ratings


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How the Grinch Stole Christmas (2000)
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by Rob Gonsalves

"Pale pretender to Dr. Seuss' throne."
1 stars

You don't have to have a heart two sizes too small to recoil from the live-action version of 'How the Grinch Stole Christmas.'

What began life as a brief, elegant little work by the children's-book master Dr. Seuss -- and went on, nine years after its publication, to become a beloved Dr. Seuss/Chuck Jones TV perennial -- is now a jumbled mess, art-directed to within an inch of its life, a folly to put alongside previous Christmas turkeys like Hook and Santa Claus: The Movie. Not since Battlefield Earth (admittedly, a much worse film) have so much effort and design gone into something so ... tacky.

Boris Karloff narrated the 1966 cartoon, so it must have made sense to hire another movie boogeyman, Anthony Hopkins, to preside over the new film. Sounding remote and bored, Hopkins tells us about a place -- Whoville -- that exists inside a snowflake, and thanks to computer animation, we zoom right into that snowflake and into a panoramic view of Whoville in one unbroken shot, like a vision of smallness and largeness all at once. This should feel thrilling and magical, but, like so much else in the film, it's so slick and artificial that you respond to it as a jaded connoisseur of special effects. (It's also, of late, an overdone effect -- it's basically the kiddie-flick version of the opening shot of Fight Club.)

We skim over the Whos of Whoville; they include vibrant actors like Molly Shannon, Jeffrey Tambor, and Christine Baranski, smothered in pug-nose latex that throws their faces out of whack, like Jack Nicholson's fake shnoz in Hoffa. One of them, a little girl named Cindy Lou Who (Taylor Momsen), is uncomfortable with the rampant consumerism of Whoville and also can't understand why everyone in town is terrified of one figure -- a hermit living on a mountaintop on the outskirts of Whoville, called the Grinch, who hates Christmas, Whoville, and Who-manity in general. Given the obnoxiousness of the shopaholic Whos, I can't blame him.

Unless you've been living on a mountaintop yourself, you've heard that Jim Carrey plays the Grinch -- "a role he was born to play," we've been assured. I'm not so sure. Carrey gives it his all, and beneath Rick Baker's supple make-up he manages to project his personality. That's the problem. How the Grinch Stole Christmas unavoidably becomes a Jim Carrey vehicle, a cluttered stage upon which he can prance, pout, preen, and gnaw large holes through the scenery, inexhaustible and, finally, exhausting. He's an ingenious comic actor -- I thought he was robbed of an Oscar for Man on the Moon -- but Carrey, with the help of an overexplicit script by Jeffrey Price and Peter S. Seaman (Who Framed Roger Rabbit), gives the Grinch a neurotic, nobody-loves-me pathos that doesn't quite fit. The Grinch shouldn't have issues, for God's sake -- he's just the Grinch, a Seussian Scrooge who's just mean because ... well, as Seuss said, "No one quite knows the reason."

We find out the reason, all right; in flashbacks, we see poor little Grinch as a misfit child, ignored by the girl he loves. And Cindy Lou Who is certain the Grinch could learn to be kind if kindness were only shown to him. So we get an awkward sequence in which the Grinch is elected the town's Cheermeister, which, like most of the scenes, has no beginning or end; it just arrives, putters around, and peters out. (The new subplots tacked onto Seuss' original, far simpler tale add nothing but flab.) This is not director Ron Howard's finest hour; he seems so in awe of the elaborate sets and the elaborate stylings of his star that he hardly bothers to shape the scenes -- he must have figured Carrey and the set design would do his work for him.

Well, they did, and not to the movie's benefit. How the Grinch Stole Christmas is a garish rummage sale, in which Hollywood's great Tasmanian Devil Jim Carrey must suffer the ultimate indignity: not the painful latex, not the crude slapstick, but the plot that requires him to learn to feel. If he isn't careful he'll turn into Robin Williams, who has gotten in touch with his emotions in so many movies that his emotions should really slap a restraining order on him. Comedians used to want to play Hamlet; now they want to be therapists.

And the movie's moral (Christmas is about more than presents) would mean more if we didn't know that store shelves will be packed with 'Grinch' merchandise from now till December 26.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1735&reviewer=416
originally posted: 01/10/07 08:43:36
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User Comments

8/15/14 Mario is the Best The Cat in the Hat was WAY BETTER! This movie is not so good. 2 stars
12/16/10 Dr.Lao Typical Carrye movie, all mugging and glitz with no substance 2 stars
11/24/10 Jeff Wilder Jim Carrey does a good job. But the materialistic view of Christmas is somewhat depressing. 3 stars
8/25/09 Wreck-Gar I love this movie. The makeup effects are genius and Jim is a great grinch. 5 stars
1/14/09 Anonymous. i think the grinch was a little too...crazy. but it was okay. :P 3 stars
12/04/08 Shaun Wallner Hilarious Movie! 4 stars
5/18/08 PAUL SHORTT TERRIBLE 1 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega A really funny Jim Carrey/Ron howard caper/fairy tale. Better than 'The Cat in the Hat'. 4 stars
1/10/07 Dude very funny 4 stars
12/28/06 Anthony Feor This is disgraceful, who thought it could be this bad 1 stars
12/24/06 Tabitha Wow the Eggnog Drinkning contest in the film is like a Bad Porn Scene 1 stars
12/09/06 AceGrinch This is cool! I am a huge grinch fanatic and i love this movie! 5 stars
12/03/06 GrinchLoaf This movie ROCKS! Merry rockin grinchmas! 5 stars
11/21/06 ManGrinch Jim Carrey makes an AWESOME grinch! I wish i could be a green furry grinch. 5 stars
11/16/06 David Pollastrini the deleted scenes on th e dvd were better than the movie! 3 stars
8/10/06 Dragon The Artist Not bad for a realism rehash, very slightly over the top, but enjoyable. 4 stars
5/02/06 chris f enjoyable movie 4 stars
4/07/06 Comrade Flix If you dont like this, you are a poo poo head. 5 stars
3/28/06 Brian Meyer JIM'S PERFORMANCE MAKES IT A TRUE CHRISTMAS CLASSIC! 5 stars
1/03/06 Anthony Feor Ron Howards a loser, but the movie is fine 4 stars
11/25/05 Wolfie Great! Jim looks great in green! 5 stars
11/16/05 allie BY FAR THE FUNNIEST MOVIE I HAVE EVER SEEN! i know all the lines8) 5 stars
9/27/05 Carolyn Rathburn wonderful, my grandkids love this movie 5 stars
9/12/05 Bloodclot Were you people looking at the fucking SCREEN when this was playing?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?!?! 1 stars
8/28/05 Quigley i almost hated jim carrey for being in such an awful film. poor dr. seuss! 1 stars
8/12/05 ES Dr. Suess is rolling in his grave 1 stars
8/06/05 Zack Never cast Jim Carrey in an adaptation of a book! 1 stars
6/08/05 Valerie G. Kinda funny. 4 stars
4/18/05 Jeff Anderson Not as bad as I feared, but nothing really special. Visually overdone & murky, though. 3 stars
3/21/05 Danielle Sanderson wow!this film is 1 of the funniest films EVER! "your 8years old and you have a beard" ha ha 5 stars
2/24/05 DM Jim Carrey is hilarious. Christine Baranski needs way more roles. 4 stars
1/28/05 Jack Scallops You're a funny one, Mr. Carrey 4 stars
1/19/05 Keaton the Black Jackal What can I say? Jim Carrey's just awesome. 5 stars
11/02/04 courtney hussey this movie is my favorite movie, the best EVERRR.. 5 stars
9/04/04 T.B. Best remake ever made 4 stars
12/23/03 I Would Visual flair can't make up for this piece of shit. 2 stars
12/12/03 Jessica Jones This movie is the funniest thing i have seen in a long time 5 stars
12/10/03 re A GREAT FILM 5 stars
11/24/03 Samuel Better than 'The Cat in the Hat' Jim Carrey is better than Mike Myers too! 5 stars
4/18/03 Jon "Thumb the Toad" Lyrik It is an aggravating, infuriating mess. 1 stars
3/17/03 Peter I found this movie to be hilarious, and Jim Carrey was the perfect choice for the role! 5 stars
2/21/03 Mister Bigglesworth A 90 minute commercial for insipid toys. Suess's widow is very happy to market this shiite. 2 stars
1/19/03 Goofy Maxwell Doesn't matchup to the toon, but felt familiar enough. 4 stars
12/10/02 helmand it sucked 1 stars
12/03/02 Gazza E I can't believe Ron Howard could make something so bad!! 1 stars
10/11/02 pokeoutmyeyes appallingly bad, dull, unfunny, naseating 1 stars
6/28/02 Justin Great! 5 stars
5/15/02 Blake The only reason why I like this film is because Faith Hill sings Where are you Christmas. 5 stars
2/24/02 Chris K. Ron Howard is now blacklisted from being behind camera. Opie needs to get a new career! 1 stars
1/16/02 David A. Without Dr. Seuss's artwork, it just couldn't fly 2 stars
1/07/02 kevin hudson its a good movie 4 stars
11/25/01 Smoogles STINK STANK STUNK!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
11/24/01 THE MAN you got to lobve the big butt girls at the start mmmmmm 3 stars
11/23/01 Will Diamond Eh..... nope 2 stars
11/14/01 Zizzerzazzerzuzz Truly pathetic. Little Opie Cunningham screwed the pooch with this wet fart of a movie. 1 stars
9/17/01 Bri Little Cindy and young Grinch steal the movie. 5 stars
9/06/01 Goldhammer Vile piece of shit. Desecrates, rapes, and vomits on Seuss's beautiful tale. 1 stars
8/09/01 E-Funk Ron Howard ruined Christmas! Who the fuck does that bald bastard think he is? 1 stars
4/10/01 Gary Makeup was supurb. Good story line. It's an instant classic! 5 stars
3/26/01 C A Brown Although it departed from Seuss's original story, it was still amazingly funny! 5 stars
1/29/01 Nic I would rahter gag myself with a spoon multiple times than see this movie ever again! 1 stars
1/20/01 Ali Genova The movir is awesome. 5 stars
1/16/01 Nut Mind-numbing crap. A childhood treasure destroyed by a focus group. You like? You are dumb. 1 stars
1/11/01 The Grinch It made me want to put the popcorn bag over my head 2 stars
1/03/01 Collegebrat19 Great! I laughed the whole time. 5 stars
1/02/01 jack it was the best 5 stars
1/01/01 Jack the Ripper Everyone who made this movie should be ashamed. 1 stars
12/31/00 stephanie ok 5 stars
12/27/00 Turtle Jim Carrey proves his that he can definitely act here. Better than the cartoon! 5 stars
12/25/00 Damion Cain Will someone please kill Jim Carey? I'll pay you! 5 stars
12/24/00 Reverend Krule They ruined a classic!!!!!! 1 stars
12/24/00 Matthew Bartley Good kids flick. Carrey is hugely amusing but I wish Tim Burton had directed it 3 stars
12/21/00 fifu it was just what i guessed it would be like 2 stars
12/19/00 Julia So awful- made me want to vomit.Dr. Seuss is spinning in his grave in abject horror. 1 stars
12/17/00 Tom The movie is beautiful, that's all i'll say 5 stars
12/15/00 The-Fider Funny! cool, I love orign stories ^__^ The sets are INCREDIBLE! A cool film. 5 stars
12/14/00 Mr J M HARWOOD The The The GRINCH RULES 5 stars
12/12/00 PhilmPhreak W-E-A-K 2 stars
12/10/00 Denny Great theme attacks Christmas commercialism.Grinch is well developed character.GREAT! 5 stars
12/10/00 LauraMarie66@aol.com it was exactly what i expected, hysteria , coming from a actor like Jim Carey 5 stars
12/04/00 Tdis72 Not bad if you have kids to take and see! Otherwise, average! 3 stars
12/04/00 puckfreak See it with an open mind. 4 stars
12/03/00 prima sp vardhana the best film for child education 5 stars
12/03/00 maryj a waste of time & money 1 stars
12/02/00 RICK Fantastically entertaining... very funny... Nothing beats Dr. Suess 5 stars
11/30/00 ZuG Couldn't have done it w/o Jim, but he overacted and stepped out of character. 4 stars
11/28/00 Nessus Grinch not villan, epiphany at end of film just wasn't the same, Jim WAS the Grunch 3 stars
11/27/00 rdrdwine.manitoba Excellent! Brilliantly Done!Two Thumbs UP. Way up 5 stars
11/27/00 Ellen A wonderful film full of magic and some subtle adult humour. 5 stars
11/26/00 Suzie As good as you'll get with real people. Chrisine was hot, the girl was a real Cindy. 4 stars
11/26/00 Jenny-My-Fur this movie rocked my world to say the least, jim is incrdible! kick ass movie! 5 stars
11/26/00 hk It was nothing like the original story! 2 stars
11/23/00 ricky It would have been better than the original, but there were a some scenes that had no point 4 stars
11/22/00 Boy In The Designer Bubble Jim Carrey, Who? I stayed home. 2 stars
11/21/00 Jim Bob Who This movie totally stunk, I mean the Grinch looked like a large, furry, green turd! 1 stars
11/21/00 pooky love The Grinch should have stole some talent! 1 stars
11/21/00 The Bill Head This is what you get when you cross a gynecological deformity with a bleeding hemorrhoid!! 1 stars
11/21/00 Raquelle Excellent update to the classic, deals with new issues like prejudice and commercialism. 5 stars
11/21/00 JB The best argument against letting lesbians raise a green Who 1 stars
11/20/00 Fishie unbelieveable attention to every detail and jim carrey does a great job. 4 stars
11/20/00 The Bomb 69 the look was magnificent, the story was weak 3 stars
11/20/00 Seth the humor was ok 4 stars
11/20/00 Nick I hate Jim Carrey 1 stars
11/20/00 loser sucks 2 stars
11/20/00 Stuntman okay movie, great adaptation of the kid's book 3 stars
11/20/00 Trish Was a generally fun (though sometimes creepy) movie experience. 4 stars
11/19/00 Krystal Wish I could say better, but...this just never took off 2 stars
11/19/00 rogo742 Carrey totally over the top but that's how we love him. The sets and the costumes A+. 4 stars
11/19/00 ricky awsome 5 stars
11/19/00 me cool graphics!! 4 stars
11/18/00 natasha slow start, magical finish 4 stars
11/18/00 The Bill Head Carey, Backer, and the sets are wonderful..some parts represent a bleeding hemorroid,though 3 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  17-Nov-2000 (PG)

UK
  N/A

Australia
  30-Nov-2000 (PG)




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