“Boris Karloff['s] ... Frustrated Performance As The Monster Is At Once Recognizable, Touching, Unnerving, And Nuanced.”
A stirring grand-guignol type of picture, one that aroused so much excitement at the Mayfair yesterday that many in the audience laughed to cover their true feelings.
Mordaunt Hall - New York Times
One of the most deservedly famous and chilling horror films of all time.
Don Druker - Chicago Reader
Maximum of stimulating shock is there, but the thing is handled with subtle change of pace and shift of tempo that keeps attention absorbed to a high voltage climax.
Alfred Rushford Greason - Variety
As much as the later movies diluted the character of the Frankenstein creature, nothing could blunt the impact made by Karloff in the role of the most memorable movie monster of all time.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
[Whale] did it in the Grand Guignol manner, with as many queer sounds, dark corners, false faces and cellar stairs as could possibly be inserted.
- TIME Magazine
...a watchable yet consistently uneven horror flick that feels long even at 70 minutes...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
The film has a touching, almost childlike humanity that allowed audiences to actually identify with the monster.
Jeffrey M. Anderson - Combustible Celluloid
Classic monster movie still electrifies.
Teresa Talerico - Common Sense Media
Frankenstein is a horror film that turns (miraculously) into an existential tale of man's fear of abandonment
Dan Jardine - Slant Magazine
If it isn't the best American horror film of the 1930s, that's only because the extremely gifted director James Whale wasn't done with the franchise quite yet.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
The genius of all this beauty is that it truly is chillingly scary.
Cole Abaius - Film School Rejects
From the standpoint of the story, cast, direction and photography the picture is sure to rate with the greatest in picturedom.
- Boxoffice Magazine
Beautiful photography, a heartbreaking story, and iconic moments from beginnning to end. Absolutely unmissable.
Kim Newman - Empire Magazine
A masterpiece of vintage horror. Entertaining, creepy and stylish.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
Neil Cohen - Echo Magazine
Frankenstein's psychological inquiries remain both striking and potent, its morality-lined narrative brimming with existential hurdles on both ends of the scale.
Rob Humanick - Projection Booth
Stefan Birgir Stefansson - sbs.is
Now a classic part of scream culture.
Christopher Null - Filmcritic.com
The film is unique in Whale's work in that the horror is played absolutely straight, and it has a weird fairytale beauty not matched until Cocteau made La Belle et la Bete.
- Time Out
...crude but famously iconic version of Shelley's novel, which featured Karloff under 50 pounds of makeup, costume and platform boots the Spice Girls could only dream of.
Thomas Delapa - Boulder Weekly
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
The monster may seem campy today, but there are still occasional subtleties.
Leo Goldsmith - Not Coming to a Theater Near You
The high tide of Universal horror. Hail Karloff.
John Wirt - Advocate (Baton Rouge, LA)
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
Without question the film's defining moment comes from the actual revelation of the legendary monster itself.
Frank Wilkins - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Nell Minow - Movie Mom at Yahoo! Movies
Charming, spooky, and magical at once.
Jake Euker - Filmcritic.com
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
An essential classic.
Victoria Alexander - FilmsInReview.com
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Here Whale emerges in full flower%u2014the stage director in love with the theatrical and drunk on the possibilities of film.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
Jeffrey M. Anderson - San Francisco Examiner
This is the one that became the classic and best known Frankenstein picture.
Dennis Schwartz - Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Brian J. Arthurs - Beach Reporter (Southern California)
Genuine old-school horror movie excellence ... and the sequel is even better!
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Still a startling film about the borders between genius and madness, science and atrocity.
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
The classic and definitive monster/horror film.
Tim Dirks - Tim Dirks' The Greatest Films
This early sound chiller is still a great film of its genre.
- TV Guide's Movie Guide