Into the Wild
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Into the Wild is writer/director Sean Penn's adaptation of the popular book by Jon Krakauer, a nonfiction account of the post-collegiate wanderings of a young Virginia man, who divorces himself from his friends, family, and possessions in search of a greater spiritual knowledge and communion with nature. Upon his 1990 graduation from Emory University in Atlanta, Christopher McCandless (Emile Hirsch) walks away from a loving if dysfunctional family and sends his nearly 25,000-dollar life savings to Oxfam International. Instead of the normal life his parents planned for him, Chris… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 82%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"As [Hirsch] struggles with the elements, his increasing frailty and the cinematography's increasing grandeur mesh in a way that's at once iconic and wrenching."
‑ Bob Mondello,
"The movie tries its hardest to celebrate the impetuousness of its hero and the exhilaration of his accomplishments. Mostly, though, it just reminds you of the severity of his mistakes."
‑ Rene Rodriguez, Miami Herald
"Every once in awhile, a movie will come outta nowhere and blow your socks off."
‑ JimmyO, JoBlo's Movie Emporium
"Even in its harrowing final moments, it reaches a spiritually transcendent pinnacle - the idea of ending one long, strange trip and plummeting into an even-greater unknown with both fear and elation. A stirring American drama of comfort and conflict."
‑ Nick Rogers,
"Penn's film displays a deep and abiding love for America, set against a critique of the uglier aspects that exist alongside all that the beauty."
‑ Ian Buckwalter, DCist
"The photography is of the sort you'd find in any half decent nature documentary, with cloying emphasis placed firmly (and sometimes clumsily) on the idea that our neglectful, selfish and not to mention rampantly capitalist ways are destroying the planet."
‑ David Jenkins, Time Out
"Without diminishing the deep transcendentalist yearnings of its young hero, Into the Wild builds to a climax of profound human connectedness, profound human pain."
‑ Amy Biancolli, Houston Chronicle
"Crafting his meditation on the men who answer the call of the wild, Sean Penn's adaptation is heavy on mood and ambiance but sadly lacking in depth, giving up on the wider comparisons to focus fully on McCandless, who may not be up to the scrutiny."
‑ Joshua Starnes,
"An uplifting and enriching cautionary tale about one man's spiritual adventure on the road and in the wilderness."
‑ Matthew Pejkovic, Matt's Movie Reviews
"The kind of insipid hero-worship that traps the subject in wax"
‑ Fernando F. Croce, CinePassion
"Hirsch, who carries the film on his increasingly emaciated shoulders, performs heroically, but there's an edge missing."
‑ David Ansen, Newsweek
"Into the Wild takes your heart and shakes it, offering inspiration, exasperation and blunt realization in a true story of one young man's dream and nightmare."
‑ Tom Long, Detroit News
"It's a bit heavy-handed, but ultimately a rewarding watch."
‑ Jeff Otto,
"Even Penn's more indulgent flourishes seem to enhance the film's keen feeling."
‑ Tim Robey, Sight and Sound
"Thank goodness for Eric Gautier’s miracle of cinematography that floods the screen with spectacular moments of pristine beauty and long shots ..."
‑ S. James Wegg, JWR
More reviews for Into The Wild on Rotten Tomatoes

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