A nice turn from Mr. T keeps the grade (barely) above C level.
Chris Nashawaty - Entertainment Weekly
If the filmmakers opt to make only light statements about junk food, obesity and solid waste, they at least leave the audience sated on a single serving of inspired lunacy.
Daniel M. Gold - New York Times
A veritable buffet of the bland and the bizarre, the sweet and the sour, and all tastes are catered for along the way.
Xan Brooks - Guardian [UK]
Directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have written an engaging and comically absurd story with subtle messages, more sophisticated than what usually is offered in animated fare.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
It's not especially filling, but it leaves a pleasant aftertaste.
Joanna Weiss - Boston Globe
So what could be better than an endless supply of jellybeans and ice cream? Only a multiplex permanently stocked with smart, sweetly silly family films like this one.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
It takes an iron stomach to watch this stuff and not feel nauseated.
Amy Biancolli - Houston Chronicle
But it's fun, it has some good messages and what kid won't enjoy seeing pancakes flatten a roof and an ice-cream blizzard that you can eat while you play in it? Especially when it's presented in colorful 3-D splendor?
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
... a well-intentioned children's film that has the unfortunate effect of making food, all food, seem utterly revolting. It's the gastronomical version of 'Scared Straight!' 3-D.
Mary F. Pols - MSN Movies
It seemed to me the mountains of fudge, ice cream and pancakes overshot the mark and looked silly, and the airborne food cast a pall over the city, but by golly those kids are plucky.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
This film wasn't made for you, or me. It was made for dangerously easily distracted 9-year-olds. And at least the never-enough aesthetic extends to its sheer, Augustus Gloop volume of sight gags.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
Determined to have their cake and eat it too, writer-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller first invite us to revel in ice cream mountains and nacho cheese fountains, then clobber us with ham-handed nutritional moralism.
Cliff Doerksen - Chicago Reader
This computer-animated 3D extravaganza is the ultimate food fight, capitalizing on the universal compulsion to play with your food. But like any good food fight, it offers short-lived entertainment.
Kathie Smith - Minneapolis Star Tribune
Food has never been funnier than it is in the spirited, animated family film Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Eye-popping and mouth-watering in one, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs spins a 30-page children's book into a 90-minute all-you-can-laugh buffet.
Peter Debruge - Variety
The animated movie greatly expands on the kids' book on which it's based in a clever and engaging first half. But the second half leaves a foul aftertaste. Slapdash action scenes play against dreary warnings to fear wealth and beauty.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
A delicious farce and a backhanded slap at America the Obese, it may be the funniest animated film of the year.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
Hungry for some good old family-friendly entertainment? Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs should fit the bill of fare.
Bruce Demara - Toronto Star
No comedy should come bogged down with so many Important Life Lessons.
Stephen Cole - Globe and Mail
Second-string animated movie makes it to the finish line.
Stephen Farber - Hollywood Reporter
The test for a decent family film is whether the kids want to watch it again, and both of mine were ready for a rerun the very next day.
James Plath - Movie Metropolis
Grownups will enjoy the witty dialog and zippy script, especially when it makes playful nods to big sci-fi popcorn romps like Twister, The Day After Tomorrow, Armageddon and Star Wars.
Neil Pond - American Profile
Mark Kermode - BBC Radio Five Live
The humour in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is often anarchic, wicked, random and very funny. This is a fun film with a lot of spirit.
Thomas Caldwell - Cinema Autopsy
Visually imaginative and ethically rich, the apocalypse has never been as tasty as served in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs.
Matthew Pejkovic - Matt's Movie Reviews
Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs might not be as charming or heartfelt as anything from Pixar film, but bar Up, it's the best animated film of the year so far.
Sam Bathe - Fan The Fire
Spaghetti has never been more terrifying, Gummi bears more menacing, nor the pleasures and perils of exploring the frontiers of science more vivid
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
It occurs to me that the pace and tone of the comedy is actually pretty sophisticated -- perhaps too much so for its supposed intended audience.
Jeffrey Chen - Window to the Movies
It's rare for a family film to deliver the goods with both story and visuals, but this insanely fun and fast-paced flick doesn't skimp on either.
Dean Essner - V Music
If Pixar are the modern equivalent of the sweet artistry of Walt Disney's best, then Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is the slightly-skewy offspring of Chuck Jones and his Warner Bros. cartoons.
Simon Foster - sbs.com.au
This 3D cartoon based on the popular children's book is sweet and fun -- not to mention a little trippy.
Paul Byrnes - Sydney Morning Herald
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs is visually inventive and exuberant, and has some neat running gags. But its characterisations are a little disappointing.
Philippa Hawker - The Age (Australia)
It all can be swallowed very easily, with the likeable characters, including the policeman Earl (Mr T), ensuring that the adventure serves up a tasty conclusion.
Des Partridge - Courier Mail (Australia)
The superb thing about Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is that it never once shies away from its ludicrous premise.
Dean Essner - Unknown2
The story outlined here is engagingly ridiculous, and the visual opportunities suggested by the book and expanded by the screenplay look stunning when seen in 3-D.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
Writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller have expanded a 30-page children's book by Judi and Ron Barrett into a 3D animated feature which boasts intricate design and goofy humour.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
Humorous, fun and sometimes downright odd family flick, that doesn't address some of its thematic implications.
Annette Basile - FILMINK (Australia)
The concept might not be as high as alien invasion or mouthy mammoths, nor the art on the level of Pixar or Miyazaki or Selick, but in terms of sheer fun, this is the one to beat in '09.
Michael Adams - Empire Magazine Australasia
This slick, computer-animated family flick, in eye-popping digital 3D, not only matches the visual excesses of Roland Emmerich's 2012, but is also much more successful in paying homage to the disaster genre through the use of humour and wit.
Gavin Bond - Sunday Times (Australia)
What's this? A deliciously witty, wildly imaginative and visually spectacular 3D animated film that's not by Pixar studios!? How did this happen?
Anders Wotzke - Cut Print Review
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
A seriously delicious and imaginative concept takes flight in this whimsical animated film where food, glorious food rains from the heavens and reminds us to believe in yourself and accept who you are.
Louise Keller - Urban Cinefile
Almost relentlessly energetic and loony, bursting with random sight gags and subtle, whip-smart comedy.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
An original and highly recommended outing for animation fans. Dads can even take their kids...
James O'Ehley - fantastiqueZINE
Philip French - Observer [UK]
(N)oodles of good, goofy, family-friendly fun.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
After UP set a standard for character development, CLOUDY WITH A CHANCE OF MEATBALLS falls short.
Mark R. Leeper - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Where Pixar would have made a nutritious main course out of the character issues in Lord and Miller's script, "Meatballs" skips them in favor of dessert.
Sean O'Connell - Charlotte Weekly
One of the year's better animated movies.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
This film is uneven, but it has enough effective humor, good characters and nice 3D animation to make an entertaining movie.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
When I dismiss many children's movies as being insipid and low-brow, I mean they actually insult their young audiences. Not this one.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
funny and at times wonderfully weird, and even has a few meaningful things to say
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
... enjoyable kid stuff ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
...parents are advised to flip a coin, with the loser having to take the youngsters to go see it
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Silly and surprisingly funny, Meatballs is light on its feet and quick-witted, with a bonus self-awareness that most family flicks confuse with irony.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
I'm a sucker for a good kids' flick and Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs really delivers the goods.
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
When in movie history has the girl ever revealed her true self and become more attractive to the hero by putting on spectacles and pulling back her hair?
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
A fun film but not a funny one. It needed more big laughs to keep the children entertained.
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
Could be interpreted as a commentary on the potential perils of genetically engineered 'Frankenfood,' but this unpretentious movie doesn't sweat the message.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
The fantastic journey stems from the kids' housebound daydreaming - dinner time is inescapable, after all.
Matthew Sorrento - Film Threat
An amusing kidflick that entertains while serving up enlightening food-for-thought.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
Dine on the 3-D if you can. Unlike most three-dimensional productions, the 3-D here enhances the story and the excellent animation but doesn't overwhelm them.
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
Wonderfully inspired - will probably be anathema only to vegetarians.
Richard Knight - Windy City Times
It's not only a super cute adventure, perfectly appropriate for kids of all ages, but the vocal talent is a bountiful buffet, to say the least.
Staci Layne Wilson - Buzzine Magazine
One of those equal-opportunity exercises that provides as much merriment for adults as for kids.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
It flits swiftly between easy-but-funny sight gags involving giant food, send-ups of disaster-film cliches, and endearing characters brought vividly to life by a pleasing visual style, plus funny vocal performances.
Keith Phipps - AV Club
It's unlike any animated feature you're going to see this year or any other. It's way out there in terms of concept and story, but in a good way.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
...co-directors Phil Lord and Chris Miller crreate a world that scarcely resembles anything that could or would happen, and manages to be all the more exciting because of it.
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
It is harmless, entertaining fun for under-12s, and a worthy follow-up to Surf's Up from Sony Pictures Animation. It's not challenging Pixar just yet, or even Warner Brothers, but at least it's heading in the right direction.
Christopher Tookey - Daily Mail [UK]
Lord & Miller have found a way to make smart film about our culture of excess without losing the massive pancakes, swimming pools of nacho cheese and tornados of pasta.
Dan Fienberg - HitFix
Bright, silly and a good shout to entertain the whole family.
Helen OHara - Empire Magazine
A mouth-wateringly magnificent comedy that's as good as any toon made in the last five years.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
The film continues in meal-monsoon mode for 90 minutes with scant variation.
Nigel Andrews - Financial Times
While 'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' would probably still be entertaining in a conventional 2D format, the story is a natural for 3D.
Dan Lybarger - eFilmCritic.com
It's rare to find an animated film that hasn't come out of Pixar's talented hands which contains so much to gush over, but Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs is something you won't regret sinking your teeth into.
Jayne Nelson - SFX Magazine
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is one of the funniest films of the year - a hugely enjoyable, superbly written and brilliantly animated comedy that'll send you out of the cinema grinning from ear to ear.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
Leonard Maltin - Leonard Maltin's Picks
Meatballs is not just a great family film - it's a great film full stop, and would even work as a date movie.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
A very funny slice of CGI whimsy with a perfect voice cast, interesting visual aesthetic, and even a heartwarming message that doesn't feel pounded down your throat like a hot-dog eating contest.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
It's not The Incredibles, but it has a solid gag ratio and good animation (the spaghetti tornado is spectacular).
Robert Hanks - Independent
No matter what you want from this movie you're pretty much guaranteed to get it.
Dave White - Movies.com
Easily Sony's best [animated film] since Monster House.
Mike McCahill - Scotsman
This is a sweet morsel that's good for your health. Fight the power and tuck in.
Dean Essner - This is London
As a hyperbolic expose of unnatural obesity and environmental destruction, in many ways this serves as an unacknowledged prequel to the post-apocalyptic nightmare envisaged in Wall-E. Chew (and choke) on that!
Anton Bitel - Little White Lies
...pure fun, start to finish. Fun. Laughing-my-ass-off, it's-raining-steak-and-gumballs, I-want-Steve-the-monkey-for-my-very-own fun. There was no huge life lesson, unless you count "diving into a giant gumball hill and eating it all makes you barf". Yeah
Jenna Busch - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
Cloudy With A Chance of Meatballs serves up a riot of colour, absurdity and fun.
Dean Essner - Sun Online
It has a certain amount of imagination and humor, but it seems as if none of this grew organically; every time the movie allows a home-grown, funny little moment, that information is then gathered up and used later on as a plot device.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Dean Essner - Bullz-Eye.com
What an unexpected treat this turns out to be - as messy and riotous as a kindergarten food- fight, with teacher tied up in the corner.
Tim Robey - Daily Telegraph
Writer/directors Christopher Miller and Phil Lord have fashioned a state of the art kids' movie primed with old-fashioned values.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
By the end even kids suffering ADDs will be overwhelmed as Flint and the gang take on a gloriously surreal buffet of predatory giant chickens and psychopathic jelly babies. Weird but very wonderful.
Tim Evans - Sky Movies
It's nice that the film brings some real-world crunch to the story - ethnic characters whose presence make a social point ... and a clear message about the downside of a society where food is overabundant.
Bob Mondello - NPR
'Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs' may not scale the artistic heights of a 'Finding Nemo' or 'Wall-E', but it's the most satisfying and original non-Pixar CG animated movie to hit screens in a while.
Tom Huddlestone - Time Out
Dean Essner - National Post
Dean Essner - Irish Times
Once you get past the ridiculous title and bombardment of moral messages, this is definitely worth a watch. Be warned though - you'll exit the cinema feeling surprisingly full and not wanting to touch spaghetti or hamburgers for a very long time!
Lara Martin - Digital Spy
Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs lacks the charm of some other recent offerings in this genre, but it has enough grown-up gags to keep the adults amused and their children will laugh themselves silly.
Toby Young - Times [UK]
Even amidst the corny-copia of fast, faster, fastest food falling from the skies, the filmmakers cook up some serious food for thought -- but served on the side, just as we like it.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
Meatballs, steaks, spaghetti, ice cream and candy are falling from the sky. You just described my version of heaven.
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Any movie that has gummi bears fighting to the death will immediately win anyone over. The best animated movie since since Wall-E and easily the best of 2009.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
This is a fresh and clever film, with both wit and heart, a family delight, more fun than a hailstorm of jellybeans followed by pizza flurries.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
The simple plot is as overextended as a compulsive eater's waistline - but any movie bold enough to warn popcorn-munching filmgoers about obesity has to be applauded. Hell, they might not even finish the bucket...
Neil Smith - Total Film
Cloudy takes the basic premise of the book to insane extremes, like a Roland Emmerich movie with self-awareness and a finely tuned sense of humor.
David Medsker - Bullz-Eye.com
It's a veritable moral smorgasbord. Not.
Liz Braun - Jam! Movies
While the mutated food on display isn't always appetizing, the animation is a veritable feast for the eyes.
John P. McCarthy - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is a thoroughly delightful and hilarious 3-D animated comedy that'll definitely get you craving giant pancakes, gummi bears and yes, said meat.
Kit Bowen - The Movie Kit
Age-apropriate 3-D food adventure doesn't fully satisfy.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
Writer-directors Phil Lord and Christopher Miller, whose television credits include CBS' How I Met Your Mother, pack each scene with jokes big and small, and the voice cast shines...
Rafer Guzman - Newsday
I loved, loved, loved this movie! Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs is easily the best non-Pixar animated film to come out in our post-Pixar world.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
[T]reat[s] the charming nonsense of food falling from the sky like weather with exactly the sort of bouyant nimbleness it deserves...
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
While the increasingly surreal weather activity could be jarring for some small children, the movie is solid family entertainment all the way -- even while incorporating Public Enemy's still-incendiary anthem "Fight the Power" in its soundtrack.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
What's missing is charm. The book had tons of it, while the movie buries it beneath an avalanche of movement and busy design.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
One of the most visually creative movies of the year. The film combines a pinch of morality with a healthy dose of humor to produce a movie that's entertaining for everyone.
Charles Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
A magnificently executed comic fantasy. After watching a parade of hamburger hail, ice cream snowball fights, and Jell-O kingdoms, the film is sure to leave viewers starving upon exit. Armageddon never looked so delicious.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
It's not just clever writing, but the kind of ballsy, caricature-pushing animation that the Warner Bros. shorts mastered decades ago. Chuck Jones would probably be proud.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com
If you ever thought a marshmallow might make a fine crispy torch, or you've wondered what it would be like to luxuriate in a Jell-O palace, or you've imagined a "snow day" with ice-cream snowballs, you'll find kindred spirits here.
John Hartl - Seattle Times
A funny, lip-smacking 3D adventure that looks good enough to eat and isn't afraid to tickle your brainy bits too.
Catherine Bray - Film4
The psychedelic-era Beatles would have loved this film.
Rene Rodriguez - Miami Herald
Lord and Miller know how to play with their food -- they have a hunger for the whimsical detail
Amy Nicholson - I.E. Weekly
It's raining big food and big laughs in Cloudy with a Chance of Meatballs, a hysterically funny and wildly clever new 'toon that could just turn out to be the most purely entertaining and inventive animated comedy of the year.
Pete Hammond - Boxoffice Magazine
Throughout, the terrible script and garish, pointlessly 3-D visuals distract -- why do all the women, among them Flint's weather-girl crush (Anna Faris), look anorectic?
Alicia Potter - Boston Phoenix
This colourful animated feature underscores its fantastical story with some intriguingly serious issues. But it never gets preachy, and a stream of warped humour will keep adults chuckling all the way through.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Doesn't soar like Up, but it stays afloat long enough to remain a pleasant family treat.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Bright (although that brightness is quite diminished if you see it in 3-D), cheery, and at times flat-out hilarious.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
All told, this is spirited play, with unlabored lessons about good citizenship and the power of pluck that slide down as easily as the ice cream snowdrifts that blanket Swallow Falls.
Kimberley Jones - Austin Chronicle
Terrific use of 3D, beautiful size perspective, a stunning rendering of the ocean and witty character design make it an eyeful, while the script delights with puns, sight gags and pop culture nudge-winks.
Laura Clifford - rec.arts.movies.reviews
Rollicking, hilarious and whiplash smart, Cloudy With a Chance of Meatballs is a sweet, sugar-hyper blast that captures the heart, if not the gentle style of the beloved children's book.
Diva Velez - TheDivaReview.com
The 3-D effects are wonderful, full of witty sight gags that play out both center-screen and on the periphery, while immensely appealing secondary characters round off a film that plays as well for adults as kids.
Ernest Hardy - L.A. Weekly
Cloudy sets another high watermark for recent animation movies.
N.V. Cooper - E! Online
Natasha Vargas-Cooper - E! Online
It is often not the case that genuine originality shines through in studio filmmaking, but that feat has been more than achieved here.
Dustin Putman - DustinPutman.com
A film that has nothing more on its mind than making viewers laugh for 90 minutes before sending them back out into the streets sporting goofy grins on their faces
Peter Sobczynski - eFilmCritic.com
one of the best non-Pixar animated titles ever.
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
Parental Content Review
Jim Judy - Screen It!
An exuberant feast of 3-D visual delights.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Delightfully witty, feature-length adaptation of the popular children's book doesn't have the emotional heft to take its place among the great animated classics, but when it rains it soars.
Joe Lozito - Big Picture Big Sound
Now a 3D animated film, adapted to the screen by Phil Lord and Chris Miller, Cloudy looks to work similar magic on a new generation.
Adam Keleman - Slant Magazine
It may not have the heart or subtle artistry of Up, but then again, Pixar's 3-D outing didn't feature a mustache-tearing monkey, a manchild encased in a giant cooked chicken, or a beefy, bounding cop voiced by Mr. T.
Nick Schager - Time Out New York
Feast your eyes: This delectable animated feature, based on the famed children's book, crackles with cleverness, dry wit, kinetic slapstick and absurd humor for all ages%u2014and offers possibly the most dimensional 3D yet.
Frank Lovece - Film Journal International
Overstuffed with enough sight gags to delight children while throwing in healthy dollops of wordplay and absurdist humor to keep their adult chaperones entertained as well.
Alonso Duralde - MSNBC
his sense of unpredictability, coupled with some breathlessly paced and visually stunning action scenes, makes this the animated success of 2009... at least until Up opens next month.
Tom Huddleston - Time Out