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Overall Rating
1.51

Awesome: 4.38%
Worth A Look: 3.75%
Average: 6.25%
Pretty Bad: 9.38%
Total Crap76.25%

7 reviews, 118 user ratings


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Cat in the Hat, The
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by Collin Souter

"Wait, it gets creepier..."
1 stars

“The Cat In the Hat”—and its titular characters’ likeness—has the (un)fortunate timing of being released the same week as Michael Jackson’s mug shot. The similarities between these two circus sideshows are eerie. Both could permanently scar the delicate psyches of children across the globe in the same way Pennywise from “It” or Benigni’s “Pinocchio” have done in the past. Compare the pictures of Jacko and The Cat by covering the cat’s hat and his lower jaw. Pay close attention to the eyes, the whiteness of the skin, the jet- black hair and the fact that both characters love to play with children. Imagine the Cat wearing lipstick. Now, ask yourself: Do I really want to leave my kids alone with this guy?

No. No, you don’t. You must exorcise your will against this sort of celluloid molestation. “The Cat In the Hat” is a creepy, vulgar and headache-inducing bastardization of the Dr. Seuss classic and should be shelved immediately in case parents decide to sue the studios for child endangerment. Believe me, the studios will need more than “it’s only 82 minutes” for their defense. But, like the parents who left their kids alone with The Gloved One, the parents who take their kids to this movie are not completely blameless, especially when they have kinder, gentler, smarter choices like “Looney Tunes,” “Elf” or “Brother Bear” to choose from.

Of course, because of the unparalleled marketing blitz behind this litterbox bottom feeder, parents will succumb to the weekly popularity contest by choosing hype over substance, a turd over catnip. Once they have the kids settled into their seats and have popped the Aleve pill, parents will notice about 10 minutes in that their kids have become victims. As my fellow colleague Erik Childress asked me while the movie tortured us: “Are we just lucky that we got to grow up with Spielberg and Dante?” Can today’s children really “grow up” with this kind of movie?

Not when it’s as crass as this. “The Cat In the Hat” was made with the kind of cynicism that screams out, “Hey, kids are morons. Let’s make a movie for them and release it during the holidays when they are at their greediest!” Of course, it’s not entirely aimed at children. Mike Myers, who plays The Cat under gobs of make-up (similar to Jim Carry in “The Grinch”), has a following of teenagers and Gen-Xers alike. The cheerful colors of the set invite the children in, while Myers’ shtick of self-aware irony is used to entertain the adults.

But there’s no movie here. “The Cat In the Hat” feels like a desperate exorcise in reading the Seuss book to children, but reading it veeeeeeerrrrrrryyyyyyy, veeeeeeeerrrrrrrryyyyyyy sloooooooooooowwwwwwwwlllyyyyyyyyyy, so as to fill up their time as much as possible without really giving them anything. The story, if you remember, is about a Mom (played in the movie by Kelly Preston) who leaves her two kids alone in the house and a mischievous cat who entertains them and makes a mess of things. That’s fine for a 15-20 minute short, but forcing in sub-plots involving the Mom’s tyrannical, obsessive-compulsive boss (Sean Hayes) and a villainous neighbor/love interest (Alec Baldwin) who wants to send the Mom’s kids to military school completely casts the movie adrift from the mainland of Seuss’ sensibilities, charm and wit. It’s padding for padding’s sake and laced with piss/fart/vomit jokes.

The actors hired for the job don’t make the chore of watching this movie easier to accomplish. The daughter, Sally, is played by that vacant Stepford child, Dakota Fanning, whose character is supposed to be Little Miss Perfect. Something tells me there’s not a lot of “acting” going on here. The boy, Conrad, is played by Spencer Breslin, who clearly suffers from Over-Coached Child Actor Syndrome. Kelly Preston shows up, says her lines and cashes the check, all while wondering how on earth Scientology will her guide her through this ordeal. And Alec Baldwin embarrasses himself in a way we haven’t seen since “Thomas The Tank Engine” (I bet he thought we would have forgotten that by now). Myers is Myers, and it gets pretty tired after the first five minutes.

The poor guy hired to direct this is none other than the brilliant production designer Bo Welch, who is responsible for bringing many fantastic worlds to life (the “Batman” movies, “Joe Versus the Volcano,” “A Little Princess,” among countless others). He would seem to be a logical choice in breathing visual life into a Seuss adaptation and the movie looks appropriately colorful and minimal in detail. It’s Welch’s debut as a director, but he has been given such a dismal canvas of screenwriters, actors and overhead to work from that it seems to overwhelm any talent he might have in the coveted director’s chair. It’s a loud, frantic mess of a movie that delivers nothing in the way of emotion or morality.

Granted, I gave “The Grinch” a pass, because I am the most forgiving Jim Carrey fan in the world and at the time I saw it, I walked out a very pleased Jim Carrey fan. I’m sure if I watched the movie again, it wouldn’t hold up. “The Cat in the Hat” has little to nothing going for it. Like a new Michael Jackson album, it is mass-produced, over-marketed and caters to nobody in particular. Just as Bad and just as Dangerous, but not nearly Thrilling or Invincible. Just a lot of empty noise that doesn’t deserve to fly Off The Walls once it comes out on video. Again, parents, look at The Cat, then at Michael. Once you see the Man In the Mirror, you and yours kids should just Beat It.

link directly to this review at https://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=8346&reviewer=233
originally posted: 11/24/03 08:41:11
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User Comments

1/10/16 C.J. Really bad. 1 stars
10/16/15 Zeke Brown Worst audience insulting piece of crap I've ever had the displeasure to witness. 1 stars
3/09/15 Jared SHIT from beginning to end 1 stars
12/24/14 I Know More Than You Really really crap. And I have a high crap tolerance. 1 stars
8/11/14 Mario is the Best Awesome!! One of the best movies I've ever seen! Not joking. 5 stars
3/11/14 Dalen the Crusader Alvin and the Chipmunks is better than this, AND I HATE THAT MOVIE TOO! 1 stars
2/01/14 Xwdlhqjz The signature bank mark connected why this hasn't been handled after i called in the day be 4 stars
10/14/13 Twilight Sparkle THIS MOVIE IS TERRIBLE! 1 stars
4/24/13 nathaniel multiple adult jokes 1 stars
4/23/12 Noah Eckenrode Total Fucking Shit! 1 stars
9/05/11 Lizzie This film was so bad, the other film, Shark Tale, laughed at its ass! 1 stars
8/25/11 TWD You're not just wrong, you're stupid! 5 stars
8/05/11 max you inner child will be violated,HARD and WITHOU MERCY 1 stars
2/04/11 Danni cat in the hate is purely amazing. 5 stars
4/15/10 Tim C Appalling, just appalling. Seriously, "S.H.I.T." as an acronym for the Cat's car? Painful. 1 stars
5/30/09 Muse They should of kept it as a book...Purely discusting. 1 stars
12/04/08 Rac Ew. This was SUPPOSSED to be a KIDS movie. Cursing, sex jokes! What were they thinking? 1 stars
11/01/08 Shaun Wallner This movie was stupid! 1 stars
9/15/08 Ashley the movie should not be for children. 2 stars
7/02/08 jointz Hey Souter, we get it, you hate MJ! Now why not focus on your actual film review? 1 stars
5/15/08 PAUL SHORTT POORLY MADE MOVIE FOR CHILDREN, FULL OF CRASS, BODILY-FUNCTION HUMOUR AND BAD ONE-LINERS 1 stars
6/11/07 Sugarfoot A bad idea made into a a very bad movie. 1 stars
5/20/07 Faye Good Lord, this is one of the worst movies I've ever seen. 1 stars
4/04/07 David Pollastrini Stick with the book! 2 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Cat has a some screws loose, but makes good fun for kiddies. 3 stars
11/30/06 Stanley Thai Although not appropriate to kids, this is an insanley funny film. 4 stars
10/01/06 Ryan_A Day-glo hell. Geisel is spinning. 1 stars
9/20/06 SkyBabey12 Okie EXCUSE ME? ! Cat In The Hat is a great movie ! i am 19 years old and Enjoy'd this movi 1 stars
7/19/06 Joanie bad as Battlefield 1 stars
7/11/06 David Cohen I am only glad Dr. Suess did not live to see this 1 stars
5/06/06 Cuenzie Wunzie N-n-n-not as crappy as you think . worth while 4 stars
12/28/05 Jeff Anderson Pure tripe, joyless, annoying & Myers goes WAY overboard. A disaster of all disasters!!!!!! 1 stars
12/10/05 The Grinch Mike Myers phones it in. Not THAT bad, but pretty unnecessary 3 stars
10/20/05 PAG Terrible kids movie. Unwatchable. 1 stars
7/19/05 Brandy Harrington No no no no no no no no no no no no non no no no no no no no no no no. 1 stars
5/25/05 Jake It's So bad that's it's fun to watch. 2 stars
5/24/05 peter worst ever EVER arrch 1 stars
5/18/05 Cindy Lovell at least my son liked it 3 stars
5/15/05 Graeme I thought this movie was pretty funny; Alec Baldwin was a humourous villain. 3 stars
4/23/05 Heather Tarlecky I thought it was worth seeing 4 stars
4/15/05 craig varney smells like a soiled cat box 1 stars
4/05/05 kalamazoo Dr. Suess is turning in his grave. 1 stars
3/28/05 Zelemont WOW. ridiculously awful movie.... 1 stars
3/24/05 Holly Dawson very ho-hum. took forever to end! 2 stars
3/24/05 Colleen Goldrick cute for the kiddies 3 stars
3/23/05 Sharon Sharen not a adult movie to any degree, kid didnt like either 1 stars
3/16/05 tatum Myers made me laugh just enough 3 stars
3/10/05 Steph wierd... 3 stars
2/23/05 Colleen Goldrick Kids will love it, adults oh well 3 stars
2/05/05 Susan Chamberlain It was worth watching to know not to watch it again 2 stars
1/30/05 MARION BURGESS WHAT WAS THE POINT OF THIS FILM? 2 stars
1/29/05 terri shaw Austin Powers in a cat suit, yuck!! To much induendo for a kids movie and to lame for adul 1 stars
1/16/05 Jeff Anderson THE ABSOLUTE PITS!!! I can't express my outright disgust for this film enough. D.O.A. 1 stars
12/12/04 AlbieOne Torture,,,,,pure Torture. 1 stars
11/17/04 psycho black dwarf Myers' voice is Linda Richmond meets Charles Nelson Riley w/ hairballs...blech! 1 stars
9/21/04 Zee this film was amazing 5 stars
8/23/04 Bruce Lamb very depressing 1 stars
8/06/04 ELI Jeeeeeeeeez. I didn't know a movie could suck THAT bad 1 stars
7/22/04 Moblar Review kicks ass, movie sucks balls. 1 stars
7/20/04 Valerie White What a dissapointment! 1 stars
7/20/04 N. Christopher Bell It offends me that his dialogue was written to sound "Jewish". What, didn't ebonics work? 1 stars
7/06/04 Spiderfan720 Man, the funniest thing they could come up with was "almost cuss". NO HUMOR HERE!!! 1 stars
7/06/04 tyger,tyger how many ways can a movie suck, this has'em all 1 stars
7/06/04 Talonsoft This could be the worst movie ever made 1 stars
5/31/04 Troy Kuprash Laughed Hard At Times, Other Times I Cried 3 stars
5/17/04 jayden dr suess is a fucken asshole and a dickhead 1 stars
5/17/04 intelligent single woman Shame on you Mike Myers and Kelly Preston---totally vile and fucking retarded! 1 stars
5/01/04 susan lee book ruled, dr seuss probably turning in grave 1 stars
4/27/04 4x4 Wife walked out after 20 min. 8 year old begged to leave after 30. Ruined a good nap. 1 stars
4/24/04 Terry H Inane, lascivious and completely unnecessary! Mike butchered this one. 1 stars
4/18/04 American Slasher Goddess Even worse then I imagined. 1 stars
4/15/04 Jeff MacIver Pathetic. Even worse than the excremental Grinch remake. 1 stars
4/14/04 barry mcmullen my little brother asked me to explain rather rude jokes my other brother was laughing at 1 stars
4/11/04 Wildcarde1 even my 3 year old was offended just really really bad 1 stars
4/08/04 i strongly dislike the cat in the hat fuck u producers! wat kind of fucking assholes r u, goddamn it? 1 stars
4/08/04 el yo sharta The book was better! No sharting again! what is wrong with hollywood? 2 stars
3/28/04 emily excellent best film i have seen,its realy funny and percy! 5 stars
3/27/04 Brian Horn Kids loved it. Not sure they get the dialogue, but the antics & effects keep them watching 4 stars
3/22/04 David Bakker Very funny for Canadians who get real humour. 5 stars
3/08/04 movieguy a great film for kids 5 stars
3/07/04 fug i want my 75 mins of life back 1 stars
3/05/04 matthew all involved in this junk should burn in hell 1 stars
2/23/04 Naturezrevenge Disturbing. 1 stars
1/18/04 matt n fliss a pile of festering poo 1 stars
1/14/04 Blythe Guvenen Yuck! The money used making this movie could have been put towards breast cancer research! 1 stars
1/13/04 MelissaNYC Only parents who truly hate their children take them to watch this shit feast. 1 stars
12/31/03 throwup181 Sucks dick 1 stars
12/27/03 Edler Mike Myers sucks major ass. His career is ober!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 1 stars
12/26/03 Vanilla Ice People need to quit doggin' me so much and focus their anger on this piece of crap... 1 stars
12/21/03 Jennifer Jones totally inappropriate for any child; Not even close to the book 1 stars
12/14/03 movieman This movie is bullshit. Bullshit. BULLSHIT! 1 stars
12/10/03 i dislike the cat in the hat i think they should have sat 2 stars
12/09/03 Dana Carvey I can't fucking believe it! Someone finally made a worse film than my Master of Disguise! 1 stars
12/06/03 Bob Cratchet This films sucks ass. Please don't bother paying to see it. DO NOT take small children!!! 1 stars
12/05/03 Jacque Disgusting....sexual overtones...creepy 1 stars
12/03/03 paul williams Worst movie I have ever seen in my entire life..........run away! Shame on you hollywood 1 stars
12/02/03 (anonymous) yuck! this movie was beyond awful 1 stars
12/02/03 Chris I was so disappointed. Families run away. The sets though were cool but see The Grinch. 2 stars
12/02/03 kawaii50 There was a bit to much Austin Powers coming out of that cat! 3 stars
12/02/03 Matt Norris It's supposed to be campy and over the top. That's what makes it funny 4 stars
12/01/03 Mark A disgusting abomination! 1 stars
12/01/03 critic jim carry would have been much better 1 stars
11/30/03 john an insult to the audience 1 stars
11/29/03 Jack the Dagger worst movie ever 1 stars
11/28/03 Mike A testament to the breakdown of modern civilization. 1 stars
11/28/03 Donald Hyperactive does not mean "funny". Chaotic and boring. 1 stars
11/27/03 Chance Terrible. They should be ashamed. No more Suess movies 1 stars
11/27/03 Lord Jiggy haven't seen the movie, but Collin's review rocked! 1 stars
11/27/03 Dave Where will you be when your laxative kicks in... 1 stars
11/27/03 me a bad film 1 stars
11/25/03 Eric S. Who shat in the hat? 1 stars
11/25/03 KingNeutron Wow, ScottW - stop holding back, tell us what you REALLY think! ;-) 1 stars
11/25/03 Alfred Richard I have known DETERGENTS that have left a better film than this piece of cowflop. 1 stars
11/25/03 the lol man mike Myers should hang, period. 1 stars
11/24/03 Rose Kaleski Not ment for children 1 stars
11/23/03 horndog and you thought the Grinch was as bad as it could get.....fool!! 1 stars
11/22/03 Jack the Dagger worst movie I have seen all year. Embarassing..Mike Myers should hang his head in shame 1 stars
11/22/03 Brian wow, i was actually expecting something good... 1 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  21-Nov-2003 (PG)
  DVD: 16-Mar-2004

UK
  N/A

Australia
  01-Apr-2004


Directed by
  Bo Welch

Written by
  Alec Berg
  Jeff Schaffer
  Dave Mandel

Cast
  Mike Myers
  Spencer Breslin
  Dakota Fanning
  Alec Baldwin
  Kelly Preston
  Sean Hayes



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