Into the Wild Reviews

  • Into the Wild will haunt anyone willing to take the trip.

    Owen Gleiberman — Entertainment Weekly

  • There is plenty of sorrow to be found in Into the Wild But though the film's structure may be tragic, its spirit is anything but.

    A.O. Scott — New York Times

  • There is food for thought and food for every kind of feeling in Sean Penn's outstanding film.

    Peter Bradshaw — Guardian [UK]

  • Captivating and multifaceted. Written and directed by Sean Penn, the film is a haunting and moving experience, highlighted by evocative original music by Eddie Vedder.

    Claudia Puig — USA Today

  • Sean Penn sings a powerful and poetic hymn to America with "Into the Wild," his sweeping, sensitive and deeply affecting adaptation of Jon Krakauer's best-selling book.

    Ann Hornaday — Washington Post

  • Sequences are gorgeously filmed by cinematographer Eric Gautier, and they're heady with the joy of discovery -- they make you want to hit the road into the magnificent landscape we forget is out there.

    Ty Burr — Boston Globe

  • (Into the Wild movie review at Wall Street Journal)

    Joe Morgenstern — Wall Street Journal

  • Without diminishing the deep transcendentalist yearnings of its young hero, Into the Wild builds to a climax of profound human connectedness, profound human pain.

    Amy Biancolli — Houston Chronicle

  • It is we who are made a little more complete for wrestling with, and watching, Penn's film.

    Lisa Kennedy — Denver Post

  • Into the Wild is all over the place and ultimately, I think, wrongheaded in its attack. But [Director Sean] Penn gives it the good old college try -- or perhaps I should say, the good old society-dropout try.

    David Edelstein — New York Magazine

  • Sean Penn's Into the Wild is certainly visual -- it's entirely too visual, to the point of being cheaply lyrical.

    David Denby — New Yorker

  • Sean Penn's spellbinding film adaptation of this book stays close to the source.

    Roger Ebert — Chicago Sun-Times

  • If Into the Wild falls short of giving McCandless an indelible cinematic life, the film gets under your skin anyway. It doesn't feel improvised, exactly, but it does feel inhabited.

    Michael Phillips — Chicago Tribune

  • A murky screenplay leaves most of the humans ciphers, save for Hal Holbrook in an exquisitely calibrated performance as the avuncular desert retiree whose advice McCandless should have heeded.

    Andrea Gronvall — Chicago Reader

  • As actor and director, Penn long has been drawn to the existential and elemental. Life and death. Remorse and revenge. All these themes converge -- symphonically -- in Into the Wild, his most fully realized work as a director.

    Carrie Rickey — Philadelphia Inquirer

  • The film, I am convinced, is unforgettable.

    Colin Covert — Minneapolis Star Tribune

  • Into the Wild takes your heart and shakes it, offering inspiration, exasperation and blunt realization in a true story of one young man's dream and nightmare.

    Tom Long — Detroit News

  • though it's easy to dismiss McCandless' hippified musings and near-suicidal choices as the misguided actions of a kid who read Walden a little too closely in college, Penn's film aims for something more, a deeper telling of a tale of yearning and escape.

    Bill Goodykoontz — Arizona Republic

  • Sean Penn delivers a compelling, ambitious work that will satisfy most admirers of the book.

    Dennis Harvey — Variety

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