The Polar Express
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Directed by Robert Zemeckis and based on children's author Chris Van Allsburg's modern holiday classic of the same name, The Polar Express revolves around Billy (Hayden McFarland), who longs to believe in Santa Claus but finds it quite difficult to do so, what with his family's dogged insistence that all of it, from the North Pole, to the elves, to the man himself, is all just a myth. This all changes, however, on Christmas Eve, when a mysterious train visits Billy in the middle of the night, promising to take him and a group of other lucky children to the North Pole for a visit… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 56%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"People in Hollywood should never work with children or animals, W.C. Fields once said. Maybe that should be expanded to hyper-realistic computer-generated children and reindeer, too."
‑ David Germain, Associated Press
"At some point very early in the 3-D IMAX version of The Polar Express, technology trumps banality and you helplessly surrender to the shock and awe of this big, often thunderous movie."
‑ Richard Schickel, TIME Magazine
"They say it's better to travel than to arrive and that's definitely the case with the latest CG 'toon to pull into cinemas."
‑ , Total Film
"The best kids' holiday movie in years."
‑ Nell Minow, Common Sense Media
"Digital data produced by adult actors wearing special suits spring to life as both adult and kid characters in this dreamy, surreal adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's popular 29-page storybook."
‑ Mark Halverson, Sacramento News & Review
"As a spectacle, The Polar Express looks remarkable. As a film, however, it's the equivalent of an elaborately wrapped Christmas present containing a nice new pair of socks."
‑ Keith Phipps, AV Club
"Director Robert Zemeckis once again harnesses a new technology to an engaging fable in this digitally animated adaptation of Chris Van Allsburg's holiday tale."
‑ Andrea Gronvall, Chicago Reader
"Though heartfelt, the film tries too hard to dazzle and thrill rather than echo its own message: just believe."
‑ Leah Rozen, People Magazine
"Even when you look past the unnecessary dangers that the dehumanized child characters in "The Polar Express" experience, you're left with a hammered-home theme that says you must believe in a lie to be satisfied on a personal level."
‑ Cole Smithey,
"Nearly as much a movie advocating a belief in Santa Claus as a belief in the real existence of CGI animated characters, the film is at once mystifying and uninvolving."
‑ Prairie Miller, Long Island Press
"Tom Hanks (in a number of roles) and the other actors do a nice job of voicing their parts, but the waxy animated faces they've been given are off-putting."
‑ Bruce Diones, New Yorker
"A train wreck of mind-numbing proportions."
‑ Joe Morgenstern, Wall Street Journal
"Though the emotion feels contrived, that's nothing compared to the flashy set pieces and meticulous detail, which do more to flaunt the technology than move along the story."
‑ Sloan Freer, Radio Times
"Polar Express combines good storytelling with spectacular visuals."
‑ Urban Cinefile Critics, Urban Cinefile
"Cynics will sneeze in shock; children, young and old, will cuddle up and dream along."
‑ Ian Nathan, Empire Magazine
More reviews for The Polar Express on Rotten Tomatoes

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