Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Review

Well Halloween was fun and for my first reviews after Halloween I going in a completely different direction than horror films. This surprisingly funny and weird comedy film is strangely warm with a brilliant all-star cast. I think the film is very unique in that I haven’t seen anything quite like it before but some of the aspects can be found in other films (run a ways etc.). I think this films main strengths come from its acting and impressive directing which is the best combination in any film. The cast are very good and I loved that the children actually have the ability to act, you’d be surprised how many kid actors are just terrible but in this they are fantastic. Oh and it’s got Bruce Willis, Edward Norton and Bill Freaking Murray! How is it not going to be great? This is the island of New Penzance. Sixteen miles long…forested with old growth pine and maple…crisscrossed by shallow tidal creeks…Chickchaw territory.

Set on an island off the coast of New England in the summer of 1965, Moonrise Kingdom tells the story of two twelve-year-olds who fall in love, make a secret pact, and run away together into the wilderness. As various authorities try to hunt them down, a violent storm is brewing off-shore — and the peaceful island community is turned upside down in more ways than anyone can handle. Bruce Willis plays the local sheriff. Edward Norton is a Khaki Scout troop leader. Bill Murray and Frances McDormand portray the young girl’s parents. The cast also includes Tilda Swinton, Jason Schwartzman, and Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward as the boy and girl.

Tim’s Film Reviews Recommended.

Story: 100%       Acting: 100%      Visuals: 90%      Dialogue: 95%

Humour/Warmth: 100%      Style/Sound: 90%      Characters: 90%

Total: 93%

To start off let’s talk about the acting. The acting was truly excellent; no complaints which I am very happy about because I remember thinking that if one damn kid screwed up this film I would flip, however they didn’t so well done. The main two Sam and Suzy who ran away together where fantastic, probably the best child actors I have seen in a film this year. My favourite adult of the cast would be Edward Norton as the extremely committed Scout Master Randy Ward. He played that role so well he completely fooled me into thinking he was the character. But to be honest I loved everyone in this film, the adults and the kids. Bruce Willis playing a role he wouldn’t normally play and does it so well, other roles that make the main story make sense is all of the parents and siblings. The Relationship that is shown between Sam Suzy is fantastic and so sweet, I am not normally into that kind of story but these two were so weird that they sucked me into the story. Mr Bishop: “What am I looking at here? Mrs Bishop: “He does watercolors  a few Landscapes, but mostly nudes”. Oh I nearly pissed myself when I heard that.

So let’s talk about the visuals. The Visual are great as the island is a great setting for this kind of film, it can be easily changed to look like the 60’s and has a great set of woods for classic scouting. There are wonderful beaches and a funny scene when he is fully dressed up in his uniform paddling down a stream in a small canoe which just made me laugh. I am not very good at reviewing stuff like this but I will say that the film is very good and I think there is something very sweet about the story and the characters so everyone should go watch it because you won’t regret it.

Must Watch Trailer:

The best reviews I have found would be these “The performances from Hayward and Gilman, as runaways, are at the heart of the film, and they manage to seem both innocent and powerful.” Jenny McCartney. There were certain strengths about their character in that they were more confident and proud than their parents or guardians. Also “Wes Anderson’s mind must be an exciting place for a story idea to be born.” Roger Ebert. Yeah he was clearly on some kind of trip when he came up with this, haha the tree house bit. Lastly “Like many holiday locations, you wouldn’t want to live there, but a mini-break from the norm can be a real tonic.” Robbie Collin. I totally agree, the island would be real fun but living might make me as crazy as some of the islanders. My favourite scene would have to be when the whole troop help Sam and Suzy to get away and the story just becomes faster and faster which is really fun to watch these kids try and get away from the adults.

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About Tim The Film Guy

Very opinionated about films!

35 responses to “Moonrise Kingdom (2012) Review”

  1. Franz Patrick says :

    I liked some parts of the movie. I thought it was imaginative visually and some of the comedy worked. But I only give it a marginal recommendation. The denouements in the second half did not match the level of promise of the first half, specifically, the importance of Willis’ and McDomand’s relationship. Also, there too many characters for the sake of being quirky. Cliche.

    Anderson, though I like that he has a unique vision, needs to venture outside the box.


  2. Nic says :

    I love films that are just slightly weird. Not enough that it defines the movie, but enough that it sticks with you and makes the movie great.

    The only harsh negative reviews I’ve seen were some people complaining about the sexiness between Sam and Suzy, which I think that says more about their own problems than the film.


  3. AndyWatchesMovies says :

    God, I love this movie. Need to watch the blu-ray


  4. wordschat says :

    As I said in my an numerous reviews this is still my pick for the best movie of the year so far. The young girl and boy are great and the real scout troup are better than any casting call for kids. Edward Norton, Wiilis and Francis McDormand round out a cast of sweet quirky characters you gotta love. Haven’t been reading writing lately as been visiting my mother in hospital. Had a major scare. Not out of the woods yet and thinking good thoughts daily.


  5. ckckred says :

    Glad you loved it too. It’s one of the best films of the year in my opinion.


  6. CMrok93 says :

    Nice review Tim. It is probably, without a doubt, Anderson’s best movie in a decade and I just hope that he can keep it up considering everything he does here works perfectly and doesn’t seem to showy, like many of his other stuff does.


  7. pgcooper1939 says :

    Great review. I love this film, one of the year’s best.


  8. keith7198 says :

    Good stuff! This is one of my favorite films of the year!


  9. Natalie Stendall says :

    One of my favourite films from this year. Love Wes Anderson! The colours, the style, the soundtrack are all amazing. Bruce Willis really surprised me in this one too.


  10. Nostra says :

    Great review. Personally quite liked this movie too, it was fun/innocent and just “weird” enough to remain enjoyable (if that makes sense)


  11. Shrey Khetarpal says :

    Fantastic film!


  12. Ripley Connor says :

    I love Anderson’s Rushmore! Have you seen it?


  13. The Focused Filmographer says :

    Hooray!!! so glad you enjoyed this one. me too. and the child actors were truly great. Nice review here Tim. I bought it as soon as it released on Blu-ray.


  14. Shrey Khetarpal says :

    I was thinking of watching this movie and your post came up… I read the first para and now will watch and read the rest of it 🙂


  15. le0pard13 says :

    One of my, and my kids’, favorites from the summer season. Fine review.


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  1. Tim’s Top Ten Films of 2012 « Tim's Film Reviews - January 1, 2013

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