Beasts of the Southern Wild is sheer poetry on screen: an explosion of joy in the midst of startling squalor and one of the most visceral, original films to come along in a while.
- Christy Lemire, Associated Press, January 08, 2013
A dreamy but strikingly immediate and frayed-at-the-edges, child's-eye view of life on the margins of America.
- Dave Calhoun, Time Out, October 16, 2012
What is also extraordinary is that almost all the people we see are actors. So this is not a documentary but a moving enactment by people who are themselves moved.
- Stanley Kauffmann, The New Republic, June 17, 2013
A beautiful, strange tone poem about childhood and innocence.
- Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald, July 20, 2012
The atmosphere Zeitlin develops here is moist with promise and danger, and he moves back and forth between outright fable and pungent reality with an astounding sureness of vision for a first-time director.
- Tom Long, Detroit News, July 19, 2012
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" is a film to get lost in.
- Calvin Wilson, St. Louis Post-Dispatch, July 19, 2012
Beasts is film as natural mystery museum.
- Lisa Kennedy, Denver Post, July 13, 2012
Beasts of the Southern Wild marks one of the most auspicious American directorial debuts in years.
- Liam Lacey, Globe and Mail, July 13, 2012
"Beasts of the Southern Wild" stays with you long after you've watched it, like a vaguely troubling but beautiful dream.
- Moira MacDonald, Seattle Times, July 12, 2012
Beasts of the Southern Wild is like outsider art: patched together with found materials, conjured up by untrained artists (the actors), and evocative of a truly American attitude of eccentricity, boldness, transcendence.
- Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer, July 12, 2012
It hews to no aesthetic or political party line. It is simply life, seen through the kaleidoscope eyes of a brave, imaginative child.
- Colin Covert, Minneapolis Star Tribune, July 12, 2012
It's unlike any film you've seen.
- Bill Goodykoontz, Arizona Republic, July 12, 2012
It's as if you're looking out at new land you've never seen before, or an old one you haven't really paid attention to.
- Peter Howell, Toronto Star, July 12, 2012
A film that plays less like a grounded, human-scaled story than a dilettantish piece of cultural tourism.
- Ann Hornaday, Washington Post, July 06, 2012
Its fertility and its terror stem from the same truth: To the young mind, there is no sealed barrier cleaving reality from fantasy. Not yet. The wall hasn't been built.
- Amy Biancolli, San Francisco Chronicle, July 05, 2012
Here is why some of us love the movies: They let you see with brand new eyes.
- Ty Burr, Boston Globe, July 05, 2012
The filmmaker comes from a perspective of great empathy and considerable skill. But he's a pile driver as a dramatist.
- Michael Phillips, Chicago Tribune, July 05, 2012
This film is a remarkable creation, imagining a self-reliant community without the safety nets of the industrialized world.
- Roger Ebert, Chicago Sun-Times, July 05, 2012
[An] extraordinary southern gothic.
- J. R. Jones, Chicago Reader, July 03, 2012
In filmmaking, as in Hushpuppy's world, everything must fit together just right. And in "Beasts of the Southern Wild," everything does.
- Charlie McCollum, San Jose Mercury News, July 03, 2012