(1984)

Critic Reviews

70

Metascore

Based on 13 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Empire
A delightfully offbeat reminder of how inventive and witty blockbusters seemed when you were a kid.
91
In many ways, though, Gremlins is ingenious. Gizmo yanks at your heartstrings with both furry fists, then sits out a few scenes while suspense builds, then plunges back with more vim than ever. The small-town setting, right out of a gushy Frank Capra movie, manages to be timeless, nostalgic, and slightly ridiculous all at once.
88
A horror-comedy about cute little Christmas toy/pets who turn into murderous monsters wreaking havoc on a Norman Rockwellian town. There's a moral there someplace.
80
Gremlins has enough style and savvy to stand on its own as the summer's most original Hollywood picture.
80
Time Out London
A jangling, lunatic sugar rush of a movie, in love with everything it satirises and bursting at the seams with psychotic energy
80
A welcome reissue of the 1984 creature feature in which a Capra-esque idyll is besieged by ravening beasties.
75
Gremlins was hailed as another "E.T." It's not. It's in a different tradition. At the level of Serious Film Criticism, it's a meditation on the myths in our movies: Christmas, families, monsters, retail stores, movies, boogeymen. At the level of Pop Movie-going, it's a sophisticated, witty B movie, in which the monsters are devouring not only the defenseless town, but decades of defenseless clichés. But don't go if you still believe in Santa Claus.
70
What's confusing yet ultimately illuminating is the way his gremlins function as a free-floating metaphor, suggesting at separate junctures everything from teenagers to blacks to various Freudian suppressions.
50
Gremlins is far more interested in showing off its knowledge of movie lore and making random jokes than in providing consistent entertainment. Unfortunately, it's funniest when being most nasty.
40
The humans are little more than dress-extras for the mechanics.

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