Movie reviews: What critics are saying about ‘Inside Out’
Movie reviews: What critics are saying about ‘Inside Out’


Critics absolutely love 'Inside Out,' and the film has a 98% rating on Rotten Tomatoes

MANILA, Philippines – The reviews for Inside Out are positively glowing, just like the emotion Joy in the film, who glows with a special light from within.  

The latest from Pixar is about Riley, a young girl who moves from Minnesota to San Francisco with her parents. The changes leave her and her personified emotions – Joy (Amy Poehler), Sadness (Phyllis Smith), Anger (Lewis Black), Fear (Bill Hader), and Disgust (Mindy Kaling) – reeling. 


The emotions, who live at Headquarters in Riley’s mind, struggle to cope with the move, and when a malfunction occurs at Headquarters, their leader Joy, together with Sadness, must traverse Riley’s vast mind to find their way back home. 

INSIDE OUT. Anger, Fear, Joy, Sadness and Disgust look out upon Riley's Islands of Personality. Photo courtesy of Disney-Pixar

The film premiered at Cannes Film Festival this year and hit theaters in the US last June.

With the movie, directed by Pete Docter (Monsters, Inc. and Up) and co-directed by Ronnie del Carmen, finally out in Philippine theaters August 19, let’s look back at what the critics abroad are saying about Inside Out: (READ: Meet Ronnie del Carmen, Pinoy co-director of Pixar hit ‘Inside Out’)

The Guardian

The Guardian’s Jonathan Romney has high praise for the movie, giving it 5 stars. He says that after Pixar’s collection of bland releases since 2009’s Up, the studio has finally come out with one of their best films. “Inside Out is in the top rank of Pixar productions with its combination of audacity, intelligence, wit and emotional rewards,” he writes. The movie certainly doesn’t fall short when it comes to visuals or running gags either. 

Romney says that the film “hits an elusive sweet spot in terms of appealing to children and adults alike.” He gives Riley’s long-lost imaginary friend as an example of what might be cute for kids, might be disturbing for adults. The movie’s overall message, he adds, “is delivered with less piety than you might imagine.”

INSIDE RILEY. Riley deals with changes, part and parcel of growing up. Photo courtesy of Disney-Pixar


Leigh Singer gives Inside Out a score of 9.5, calling it “wildly imaginative and emotionally effective.” One viewing, Leigh says, is not enough to appreciate the all the details of the world of Riley’s mind. This strange new world is completely reimagined by Pixar from scratch. 

Leigh also says that the movie’s humor and themes will appeal to adults as well as kids. The jokes in the movie make it “possibly the funniest Pixar script since Finding Nemo,” while Inside Out’s emotional themes will pull on the heartstrings of kids and grown-ups alike: “for the first time with Pixar, I felt the message just occasionally overwhelm the medium,” says Leigh.  

The New York Times

Inside Out is one of Pixar’s greatest visual achievements, according to AO Scott, right up there with Finding Nemo’s waterscape and Wall-E’s barren world. Inside Out‘s visual greatness, however, is “at once subtler and more impressive,” because of how abstract thoughts and concepts were given tangible and instantly recognizable representations. 

“Inside Out is an absolute delight — funny and charming, fast-moving and full of surprises,” writes AO. People of all ages will find something to relate to in the movie, as kids will find delight in the film, while older audiences will find themselves in tears – “Not of grief, but of gratitude and recognition.” 

YOU TOO, ANGER. Joy gathers the emotions in a group hug. Photo courtesy of Disney-Pixar

The Atlantic

The Atlantic‘s Christopher Orr starts his review by welcoming Pixar back from its dry-spell of uninspired work – he mentions Cars 2 and Monsters University among the Pixar movies that fell flat in recent years. Pixar’s losing streak, however, has been broken by Inside Out, he says – a film that is “at once achingly heartfelt and magnificently high-concept.”

Christopher praises the film highly for its wit, visuals, and storytelling. “This is Pixar once again at the top of its game, telling the kind of thoughtful, moving meta-story it’s hard to imagine being produced anywhere else,” he writes. 

AV Club

AV Club‘s community gives Inside Out an A, and AA Dowd agrees with the grade with his praise for the movie. It is, he says, the most conceptually daring film Pixar has come out with, given that it’s set inside Riley’s mind. In spite of the complexity of the world its set in though, the movie won’t leave the audience scratching their heads – “the film is mostly efficient, in that blessedly breezy Pixar way, at keeping the plot humming along.”

Inside Out isn’t Pixar’s greatest visual achievement, nor did it take full advantage of the gags it could have run, according to AA’s review. However, what it lacks in visuals and wit is made for in emotional truth: “People don’t just look to Pixar for wit and invention; they crave those little detonations of emotional truth, a hallmark of the studio’s output since Woody met Buzz two decades ago.” 

Will you be seeing Inside Out in theaters? Let us know in the comments below!

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