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Overall Rating
4.53

Awesome78.95%
Worth A Look: 10.53%
Average: 0%
Pretty Bad: 5.26%
Total Crap: 5.26%

2 reviews, 7 user ratings


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Inside Out (2015)
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by Greg Ursic

"These feelings can’t stop fighting anymore"
5 stars

With a stable of films like Toy Story, The Incredibles and Finding Nemo it is little surprise that Pixar earned a reputation as the animation studio to beat which no doubt prompted Disney’s decision to drop off a truck load of cash and purchase them in 2006. Four more successful films followed, but they hit their first road bump with 2011’s Cars 2 a poorly received and reviewed sequel, followed by the paint by numbers Brave, and the yawn-worthy sequel Monsters University. People were rightly beginning to question whether Pixar still knew how to make an entertaining film. The answer is hell yeah!

It’s said that we’re slaves to our emotions; luckily for eleven year-old Riley (voiced by Kaitlyn Dias) it's Joy (Amy Poehler) the blue haired pixy in her brain box who's pulling the strings, or more appropriately, pushing all the right buttons. And things couldn't be better: Riley enjoys an idyllic life in rural Minnesota where she does well in school, excels at hockey, spends quality time with her bestie and has awesome, somewhat quirky parents who adore her.

Everything changes when dad packs up the family for his new job in San Francisco which means a new house, no hockey, a new school and no friends. Much to Joy's chagrin, her old tricks aren't working and Sadness (Phyllis Smith) is gumming up the works with new found powers that threaten Riley’s most cherished memories. The pair sets off to reset Riley, leaving Fear (Bill Hader), Anger (Lewis Black) and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) in control. What could possibly go wrong?

Writer/director Pete Docter, who helmed Monsters Inc. and Up, returns with Pixar’s most innovative piece yet: the concepts in Inside Out are revolutionary in scope and imagination (literally and figuratively). Docter creates a physical world in Riley's head to explain some pretty complex neurological and physiological models, yet amazingly makes it fun i.e. the crew who goes around vacuuming out long forgotten memories to make way for new ones. The collection of artfully constructed zones in Riley’s mind, – such as abstract thought and dream production, are not only wonderfully imaginative they are perfectly rendered with animation that is second to none. And yet there’s so much more than puffy scenery.

The cast is exceptional, creating multi-dimensional characters from raw emotions: Poehler's infectious enthusiasm buoys the group even when she realizes that she may no longer be running the show, and finds the perfect foil in Smith's soul crushing Debbie downer, who comes across as a saboteur at times. Lewis Black does what he does best, blowing his top at the slightest provocation, with Hader bringing up the terrified manic rear, while Kaling’s disgust is tailor made for a tween about to make the big step.

Featuring a tight, smartly written script, astonishing visuals, seamless pacing, faultless direction, excellent vocal casting, and a story that runs the emotional gamut, Inside Out is as sophisticated and deep as it is hilarious (guaranteed to amuse those from four to ninety-four). Pete Docter and the cast and crew at Pixar have just upped the bar, AND left it wide open for a sequel. And stick around for some great scenes in the credits.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=23732&reviewer=399
originally posted: 06/22/15 14:34:58
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Cannes Film Festival For more in the 2015 Cannes Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Seattle International Film Festival For more in the 2015 Seattle International Film Festival series, click here.
OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival For more in the 2015 Los Angeles Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/19/16 Dr. Lao As good as a movie version of "Herman's Head" could have been 4 stars
11/26/15 David H. Charming and very moving. 5 stars
10/05/15 G. Beautiful 5 stars
7/26/15 Elizabeth Too sentimental and "Joy" is so annoying. 2 stars
7/06/15 KingNeutron Not a dry eye in the theater. Richard Kind and Lewis Black NAILED IT 4 stars
6/29/15 PAUL SHORTT BEAUTIFULLY ANIMATED, INTELLIGENT AND MOVING 5 stars
6/25/15 Bob Dog My least favorite non-sequel Pixar movie - severely overrated! 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  19-Jun-2015 (PG)
  DVD: 10-Nov-2015

UK
  N/A

Australia
  19-Jun-2015
  DVD: 10-Nov-2015


Directed by
  Pete Docter

Written by
  Michael Arndt

Cast
  Amy Poehler
  Mindy Kaling
  Bill Hader
  John Ratzenberger
  Phyllis Smith
  Lewis Black



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