The Karate Kid is fun, and believable, on the most important level: It convinces us that Jaden Smith has what it takes to fight his way to the top.
Owen Gleiberman - Entertainment Weekly
Is this "Karate Kid" as good as the original? No, although it is better than the sequels. But why bother with nostalgia? It's probably good enough.
Manohla Dargis - New York Times
While faithful in spirit to the modest 1984 original, this bigger-budget remake occasionally goes too far in its aim to be more epic. But the chemistry between Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan grounds the movie, imbuing it with sincerity and poignance.
Claudia Puig - USA Today
The new Karate Kid brings fresh life and perspective to the classic tale of perseverance and cross-generational friendship, thanks to Harald Zwart's sensitive direction and two exceptionally appealing stars.
Ann Hornaday - Washington Post
At the end of The Karate Kid, the preview audience with whom I saw the film stood and cheered with the fervor of new converts. You could almost be forgiven for thinking it was 1984 all over again.
Ty Burr - Boston Globe
Smith can handle what the film throws at him, and he and Chan nail the life-lesson parts. Yet like the way Han kills a fly with a swatter instead of catching it with chopsticks, the film replaces finesse with hit-you-over-the-head might.
Elizabeth Weitzman - New York Daily News
Jaden is endearing in his own way, and the abstract notion of Jackie Chan in Pat Norita's role of the wise mentor almost obscures the reality of Mr. Chan's zonked performance, which simulates warm feelings toward the kid without risk of infectiousness.
Joe Morgenstern - Wall Street Journal
Chan and Smith could not be more likable, along with their cast of young Chinese actors, particularly Wenwen Han.
Nancy Churnin - Dallas Morning News
In a marketplace mad for 3D, it's good to see a dramatic adventure built for young audiences (and the rest of us) that achieves its depth the old-fashioned way, with characters struggling and maturing.
Lisa Kennedy - Denver Post
This year's Kid lacks the light-hearted buoyancy of the original; it's heavier with loss and a particularly vicious cruelty.
Kathleen Murphy - MSN Movies
The original was one of its year's best movies. The new one lacks the perfect freshness of that one; there aren't many surprises, as it follows the 1984 version almost point by point. But here is a lovely and well-made film that stands on its own feet.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
The title of the redux is a stretch, since Dre is the kung fu kid, not karate. Little matter. "Fight hard, earn respect, boys leave you alone," Chan's character advises, practicing his screenplay pitch.
Michael Phillips - Chicago Tribune
The plot takes forever to get rolling, and the movie is hamstrung by numerous tourism sequences (from the Forbidden City to the Great Wall) facilitated by the state-run China Film Group.
Andrea Gronvall - Chicago Reader
An appealing reboot of the 1984 inspirational that rethinks the American tale for the global age.
Carrie Rickey - Philadelphia Inquirer
The David-and-Goliath mismatch plays out as it must, but it's hard to shout approval for pint-sized lads clobbering each other.
Colin Covert - Minneapolis Star Tribune
The Karate Kid is precisely the sort of rousing, stand-up-and-cheer, feel-good entertainment movie audiences have been starved for this summer.
Tom Long - Detroit News
Karate Kid is a perfectly fine movie. Just an unnecessary one.
Bill Goodykoontz - Arizona Republic
It's a sign of that pic's dramatic durability that Kid manages to be as absorbing as it is, despite its nearly 2 1/2-hour running time.
Justin Chang - Variety
A popcorn picture that thinks it's The Last Emperor, The Karate Kid is about as likely to grab your youngster's attention as any other propaganda film made by the Chinese government.
Kyle Smith - New York Post
One thing Pat Morita brought to the original Karate Kid that the great martial arts clown Jackie Chan could never match -- surprise.
Roger Moore - Orlando Sentinel
The Karate Kid indulgently runs 2 hours, 20 minutes, at least a half hour more than it needs, while delivering less fun and inspiration than before.
Peter Howell - Toronto Star
The script follows the predictable path from humiliation to humility to a climactic showdown, complete with a deciding slow-motion kick.
Liam Lacey - Globe and Mail
It was resonant in the gung-ho '80s, and it's a notion every generation deserves to discover anew. Based on the young Smith's considerable wattage, this Kid may just surpass the original.
Mary Elizabeth Williams - Salon.com
It's as sweet-natured a movie as you could expect about a 12-year-old learning to beat the crap out of his schoolmates.
Dana Stevens - Slate
The problem with the film is that that story, hackneyed when it first made it to the screen in 1984, has grown only more tired over the past 26 years.
James Berardinelli - ReelViews
It's a measure of the times that the new version of The Karate Kid manages to be longer and bigger-budgeted than the original while having lesser impact.
Frank Scheck - Hollywood Reporter
It's just uncomfortable watching kids this age beat each other up to the point of serious injury; there's no one to root for in that.
Christy Lemire - Associated Press
For a movie whose outcome is never in doubt, the padding is punishing.
Peter Travers - Rolling Stone
Great visuals, good performances, a strong story--but it's far too long and not nearly as memorable as the original.
Richard Roeper - Richard Roeper.com
The Karate Kid is a kung fu kick of a film that hits more than it misses, with its fresh prince of Beijing in Jaden Smith, its scene-stealing grand master flash, Jackie Chan, and a shiny-happy China travelogue thrown in for good measure...
Betsy Sharkey - Los Angeles Times
A cliched and predictable script mixed with the miscasting of Jaden Smith make The Karate Kid a pretty dull film. Stick with the original.
Matt Joseph - We Got This Covered
This remake is fun, lighthearted and enormously entertaining. A great family film.
John Hanlon - Big Hollywood
The screenplay gives Dre way too many dumb things to say while needlessly stretching out the entire story into a film that runs overly-long at 132 minutes.
Jeff Beck - Examiner.com
At two hours plus the film is much too long (do we really need that many montages of seeing Smith train?), but it just manages to provide enough watchable entertainment to keep less demanding members of the audience happy.
Laurence Boyce - The Baltic Times
The story worked in 1984 and it works now.
Eric Goldman - IGN Movies
Zwart's adaptation pretty much fails across the board.
Gabe Leibowitz - Film and Felt
'The Karate Kid' overcame the remake curse.
Clay Cane - BET.com
Exploits a well known name in order to push an overwrought kids film that will not impress anyone over the age of twelve.
Felix Vasquez Jr. - Cinema Crazed
The Karate Kid 2010 is a thoughtful and professionally executed remake, retaining everything that really mattered about the original -- specifically the sincere relationship between the young protege and his mentor.
Simon Miraudo - Quickflix
So, part propaganda piece (will everyone in Detroit start packing?) and mostly predictable, warmed-over rehash, I'm guessing most young girl fans of Will Smith's son will find Jaden to be the cat's meow in his first starring role.
Elias Savada - Film Threat
If you're one of the cautious fans wary of the remake, do yourself a favor -- drop your reservations and give The Karate Kid a look.
R. L. Shaffer - IGN DVD
Un remake digno del clasico ochentero. Sorprenden las actuaciones de Jackie Chan y Jaden Smith; ademas de mostrar de forma contundente el problema de bullying tan actual en el mundo.
Luis Martinez - Cinenganos
full review at Movies for the Masses
Joseph Proimakis - Movies for the Masses
The result is a raucous little crowd-pleaser that'll entertain 6 to 60 and might even encourage a few of the more doughy audience members to get off that couch and lace up the ol' workout sneakers.
Frank Wilkins - Frank's Reel Reviews
Even though it's corny, unnecessary and far too long, this remake of the 1984 hit is surprisingly engaging.
Rich Cline - Shadows on the Wall
Thrilling action, well-timed humour and a strong moral heart help to justify the slightly overlong length of the movie.
Ben Rawson-Jones - Digital Spy
The script is a lumbering, ponderous thing.
Derek Malcolm - This is London
It's Chan's best performance in years and Smith is a likeable leading man.
Catherine Jones - Liverpool Echo
What should have been yet another unnecessary, not-as-good-as-the-original is actually miles, miles better.
David Edwards - Daily Mirror [UK]
On balance, this new version is probably a bit better than the original.
Robbie Collin - News of the World
This is a remake, pure and simple. And remakes need to be very, very good to justify their existence...
Rich Phippen - Sky Movies
Jaden Smith is the perfect mix of cockiness and vulnerability and, taking after his old man Will, the kid can deliver the funnies too.
Alex Zane - Sun Online
Still works on a basic level of cheering the hero and hissing the villain as the plucky Dre heads for a final showdown at a kung fu tournament.
Allan Hunter - Daily Express
There's life in this franchise yet.
Sukhdev Sandhu - Daily Telegraph
How Harald Zwart, the director, justified bulking the film up to 140 minutes defies understanding.
Anthony Quinn - Independent
Although the ever-reliable Chan's on hand to dispense hard-won wushu wisdom, Harold Zwart's awkward update brings little else to the ring.
Matt Glasby - Flicks.co.nz
There's only one area in which the film doesn't appear to be pandering to its perceived audience of impatient 10-year-olds, and that's its runtime.
Charlie Lyne - Ultra Culture
Enjoyable, if slightly overlong remake that won't trample anyone's fond memories of the original film, thanks to a strong script, impressive direction and superb performances from Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan.
Matthew Turner - ViewLondon
a respectful reimagining of 1984's The Karate Kid, if somewhat less respectful of the Chinese, and too long to keep the attention of the new audience that it courts.
Anton Bitel - Eye for Film
Just the awkward sight of a precocious, overly confident kid with limited natural ability and not enough technical skill being pushed front-and-centre to carry a movie he's not yet ready to carry.
Alistair Harkness - Scotsman
The action sequences, as expected with Chan, are amazing. These, along with a snappy pace, stunning locations and credible performances, counterbalance the film's overlong running time.
Karen Krizanovich - Radio Times
The film should be commended for updating the story so well, and for allowing a new generation (who may not be interested in the 1984 original, but might love Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan) to appreciate the timeless story.
Martin Roberts - Fan The Fire
Smith might be the focus, but while he's got the charisma and the moves, it's Chan who makes it punch above its weight. Nice scenery too.
James White - Empire Magazine
Wax on, nod off.
Anders Wotzke - Moviedex
While nobody's going to blame the failure of a major Hollywood movie on a pre-teen, there's no denying Smith's character could use a bit of a smack. Sulky, spoilt and frighteningly self-possessed, he's the picture of American arrogance.
Michael Soccio - Flicks.co.nz
An inspirational movie that has little inspiration to call its own.
Jeremy Heilman - MovieMartyr.com
The story's good intentions survive, largely because of Chan's way of tenderising his approach to martial arts with humour and humility.
Sandra Hall - Sydney Morning Herald
A two-and-a-half hour vanity vehicle for a smug showbiz kid yet to show signs of his executive producer dad's charisma. Wax pretty off.
Luke Goodsell - Empire Magazine Australasia
The new Karate Kid runs with the original's underdog structure, mixed with on-screen fights and words of wisdom, but major changes rip the heart out of what was a touching coming-of-age journey anyone could relate to.
Ben McEachen - Sunday Times (Australia)
The film becomes less interesting as the predictable climax approaches, and the acting isn't strong enough to redeem the tired material.
Jake Wilson - The Age (Australia)
The remake of The Karate Kid impresses with its craft and its patience.
Adam Nayman - eye WEEKLY
This new Karate Kid is, in the end, a winning update of a classic piece of Eighties' filmmaking, and that in itself is something of a coup.
Marc Savlov - Austin Chronicle
I enjoyed the heck out of Karate Kid, and if you like Chan, and can get over the fact that this is a remake of a childhood favorite, you should check it out.
Chris Bumbray - JoBlo's Movie Emporium
A worthless, utterly disposable remake...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
If the first Karate Kid was a coming of age tale, what does the new version, with its young protagonist, aspire to? Dre's a kung fu master before the onset of puberty, which is a reminder that kids really do grow up too fast today.
Craig Mathieson - sbs.com.au
Perhaps it lacks the simplicity that made the original such a compelling popcorn movie, but there's an ambition to the updated cross-cultural story that delivers some fascinating texture.
Jason Di Rosso - MovieTime, ABC Radio National
A decent family film that shows how cultural accuracy is optional, hanging with strange old men is fine and all of life's problems can be solved with a roundhouse kick to the head.
Marc Fennell - Triple j
A solid, entertaining and engrossing effort that is much, much better than it had any right to be.
Leigh Paatsch - Herald Sun (Australia)
What really makes this film feel fresh are the performances from Jackie Chan and new kid on the block, Jaden Smith. Will Smith and wife Jada Pinkett-Smith produced this film for their kiddie star and Jaden certainly doesn't let them down.
Karlie Jeffrey - FILMINK (Australia)
The original film was long at 126 minutes; this is egregiously long at 141 mins -- a ridiculous length for this kind of film.
David Stratton - At the Movies (Australia)
With twenty or thirty minutes cut out The Karate Kid could be a grade A piece of entertainment; at this lumbering length it's too logey to truly compete in the tournament.
Devin Faraci - CHUD
A kick-butt family drama with China and Chan as brilliant enhancements.
Bruce Bennett - Spectrum (St. George, Utah)
as warm and affirming as its predecessor, and the manner in which it stakes its own claim to the material is just enough to make it feel like something more than just opportunism
James Kendrick - Q Network Film Desk
It runs 140 minutes, and wears out its welcome
Andrew L. Urban - Urban Cinefile
The film does a nice job re-envisioning the '80s cult classic, thanks in large part to the new Kid, Jaden Smith.
Kit Bowen - The Movie Kit
Features the glaring, sore thumb, nobody-had-the-nerve-to-say-no performance of a boy who isn't ready to carry a movie.
Dave White - Movies.com
There's a new kid in town.
Charles Koplinski - Illinois Times
It's ridiculously long, it's paced as poorly as any movie this year, it's set in China for no apparent reason, and it's not, in fact, about karate at all
Stephen Silver - The Trend
Jaden Smith rules!!!
Bob Grimm - Reno News and Review
The Karate Kid remains a feel good story that works.
Lori Hoffman - Atlantic City Weekly
The latest "The Karate Kid" will probably work best for young audiences unaware of its predecessor - or of much of anything else for that matter.
Peter Rainer - Christian Science Monitor
...a surprisingly entertaining remake of the 1984 hit.
Daniel M. Kimmel - New England Movies Weekly
Smith Jr is really a natural. I don't think anyone's played a likable, wise-ass teen as well as this since Edward Furlong in Terminator 2.
It's incredibly perfunctory and lacks the remotest hint of sparkle; and that's actually enough to put it a bit ahead of the pack in this, the most grotesque movie summer in memory.
Tim Brayton - Antagony & Ecstasy
[Jaden] Smith is quite up to carrying a whole movie, especially with help from [Taraji P.] Henson and [Jackie] Chan ...
Jim Lane - Sacramento News & Review
...emblematic of some of Hollywood's worst impulses....better than you might expect.
Philip Martin - Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
A little slow in the middle but the ending has people standing up and clapping
Jackie K. Cooper - jackiekcooper.com
A powerful emotional kick, strong performances and pretty scenery overcome the overlong, overstuffed plot.
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Yes, the fight scenes are pretty cool. Sadly there's another 2 hours worth of film that isn't.
Michael A. Smith - Nolan's Pop Culture Review
The biggest cinematic sin committed here is the misnamed title (keeping karate instead of using the correct kung fu), but Jaden Smith (is) Will Smith's heir apparent.
Kevin A. Ranson - MovieCrypt.com
As far as remakes go, it's not the best out there, but it's definitely a worthy effort and a fine display of Chan and Smith's skills, both as dramatic actors and action ones. They're beyond impressive.
Christopher Smith - Bangor Daily News (Maine)
It's not as good as the 1984 version. I say that not just out of nostalgia, but because I think that that was a more satisfying drama.
A.O. Scott - At the Movies
Nearly as sweet-natured and triumphant as the original 1980s version, the new "The Karate Kid" is an enjoyable story that can be shared by families.
Linda Cook - Quad City Times (Davenport, IA)
A remake that won't crush your childhood memories, and it even improves on a few things.
Jeff Bayer - The Scorecard Review
Forget menacing fighters, Jaden Smith and Jackie Chan's biggest challenge is formula
Corey Hall - Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
Smith shows an overpowering commitment in the way his small wiry body is sculpted with training, the way he executes his kung fu with efficient skills, and the way he proves in every frame that he is a star
Andrea Chase - Killer Movie Reviews
Does the new version surpass its predecessor in any way? No. It takes the same story and feeds it back to us more or less intact, with only a few superficial alterations.
Rossiter Drake - San Francisco Examiner
Best movie this year and Jaden Smith is part of the reason.
Diana Saenger - ReviewExpress.com
A total crowd-pleaser, featuring a star-making turn by Jaden Smith.
Kevin N. Laforest - Montreal Film Journal
The saving grace of this remake is the inspired idea to set it in China, offering bountiful travelogue opportunities.
Pete Hammond - Back Stage
'The Karate Kid' is a visually appealing and highly engaging remake. Yay!
Betty Jo Tucker - ReelTalk Movie Reviews
It's not karate now, it's kung fu. Why not call it The Kung Fu Kid?
Gary Wolcott - Tri-City Herald
True, we did not need a Karate Kid remake. But this touching film stands on its own. The rare appeals-to-all-ages kind of movie.
Clint O'Connor - Cleveland Plain Dealer
There's a hollowness to this remake where its heart should be.
Ethan Alter - NYC Film Critic
The Karate Kid just won the award for surprise of the year. It's good.
Matthew Razak - Examiner.com
A constant fight of one kick forward, one kick backward when it comes to overall quality but it ends on the front foot and so barely works by virtue of leaving the audience with a smile on their face.
Brian Tallerico - Movie Retriever
- National Post
By now everyone knows the drill, but this new Karate Kid proves that the formula still has life.
Bill Clark - FromTheBalcony
The new Karate Kid changes the scenery - and targeted demographic - but it's still a thrill to see the bully take his medicine.
Christian Toto - What Would Toto Watch?
it is a pleasure to see the match of the dedicated, courageous young man and the wise teacher work as well for the performers as it does for the characters.
Nell Minow - Beliefnet
Overstays its welcome, lacks surprises and feels intermittently captivating thanks to Jaden Smith's charming, heartfelt and star-making performance.
Avi Offer - NYC Movie Guru
Manages to respectfully adapt and, in some spots, improve on an influential classic as it retells for another generation an inspirational story that's worth repeating.
Sean O'Connell - Hollywood News
Remake has new stars, new country, but same winning spirit.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
This new version perfectly captures the emotional beats of the first film. It is respectful to what came before it without making the mistake that that respect must automatically imply slavish imitation.
Brandon Fibbs - BrandonFibbs.com
While we all know Smith will face off against his attackers at the big match, his story never feels calculated or focus-grouped for maximum audience appeal. And when he does prove his worth, we cheer like it's the first time.
Amy Nicholson - Boxoffice Magazine
Rooting against The Karate Kid sequel is easier than rooting against an ex on a game show poised to win a yacht that will likely be christened, "(Your name) sucks."
Mike Ward - Richmond.com
This new version isn't terrible, but it's a worse film than the original in every sense. Every punch it throws is much weaker than what we saw in 1984.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
Quite possibly the crowd-pleasingest movie I've seen all year, The Karate Kid masterfully captures the charm and humanity of the 1984 original
Todd Gilchrist - Cinematical
Goodbye, Mr. Miyagi. Hello, Mr. Han. If you thought no one could possibly replace Ralph Macchio and Pat Morita in your hearts as the stars of the cherished underdog fable "The Karate Kid," think again, Unenlightened Ones.
James Verniere - Boston Herald
While not as good as the original, The Karate Kid should please an audience hungry for family-friendly fare.
Vic Holtreman - ScreenRant
Taken on its own terms, the remake succeeds as a slick, button-pushing crowd-pleaser, and is certain to engross kids who are near the age of the title character.
John Beifuss - Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
Dre learns most of his kung fu chops by taking his jacket on and off for days on end ... because nothing says intense martial arts training like slipping in and out of casual outerwear.
Kimberly Gadette - Indie Movies Online
At once supremely unnecessary and cheerfully crowd-pleasing.
Rob Vaux - Mania.com
In The Karate Kid, Mr. Han and Dre deserve each other, in a good way.
Cynthia Fuchs - PopMatters
While this remake is glossier, the original is better. Still, good stories usually get told more than once, and even on the second go around this one's a winner.
Carolyn Arends - Christianity Today
The Karate Kid is lacking originality that could have made it as powerful as the original.
Jolene Mendez - Entertainment Spectrum
It's way too long, and its slavish adherence to the original plot saps it of suspense, but - suprisingly - it's something of a kick, thanks to the charm of Chan and Smith.
Mike Scott - Times-Picayune
Youngsters will be fascinated and mesmerized by Dre's amazing transformative journey. You will leave the theater with a smile on your face and a...
Keith Cohen - Entertainment Spectrum
Is there a generation of 12-year-old girls out there yearning for a 12-year-old action-hunk to obsess about? If so, their prayers have been answered.
Kurt Loder - MTV
It's Smith who sells Dre's realization - the same revelation all children have one day, that they are not the center of the universe but only a young star learning to orbit
Steven Snyder - Techland
Formulaic but savvy reboot of the four-film series makes for a solid children's movie, bolstered by exotic locales and a genuinely talented young star.
Frank Lovece - Film Journal International
I'm shocked. It's good. It's pretty close to being really, really good (at 132 minutes, it's about a half hour too long).
Austin O'Connor - Examiner.com
Shockingly, The Karate Kid actually delivers a great story with great fight sequences and great heart. I found myself clapping and cheering at the end of the flick.
Kevin McCarthy - BDK Reviews
Pat Morita must be spinning in his grave right now faster than a dreidel on Hanukkah. And if Ralph Macchio were dead too, his body would surely be doing the same thing.
Adam Tobias - Watertown Daily Times
There's something unsettling, even creepy, about the kung-fu tournament...they fight like they're trying to emulate the violence of the more graphic martial-arts videogames.
Marshall Fine - Hollywood & Fine
There's also a lot of subtitled Chinese dialogue. Kids will have to read so it's educational too.
Fred Topel - Can Magazine
I wish they just called him Mr. Miyagi
Willie Waffle - WaffleMovies.com
Sometimes I think studio heads and producers have retreats where they just get high and laugh themselves silly thinking about how they can mess with us.
Jim Slotek - Jam! Movies
With its ancient buildings sitting right next to brand-new architectural wonders, Beijing provides a subtle echo of the relationship between brash Smith and reserved Chan, which evolves until it's not certain who is the teacher and who is the student.
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul) - St. Paul Pioneer Press
Jackie Chan, Oscar nominee? Not as farfetched as you might think.
Robert W. Butler - Kansas City Star
It's a kids' movie, aimed at kids and the people who buy their tickets. And on that level, it doesn't disappoint.
Stephen Whitty - Newark Star-Ledger
If the movie's overlong (and it is, by about 20 minutes), it's long for a reason: It gives Dre time to grow.
Amy Biancolli - San Francisco Chronicle
Like a kung-fu master poised on one leg, a movie must have balance -- between action and emotion, heart and head, fast and slow. This rebooted Kid wobbles, flails, and ultimately stumbles in a futile attempt to top the original.
Dezhda Gaubert - E! Online
There's no truth to the rumor that Will and Jada plan to next cast Jaden in a remake of Citizen Kane.
Matt Brunson - Creative Loafing
Daniel LaRusso and Mr. Miyagi earned their iconic status with a poignant friendship for the ages. I doubt very strongly in 25 years if kids today will be saying the same about Dre Parker and Mr. Han.
Erik Childress - eFilmCritic.com
The vastly increased production values might have destroyed the heart that made the modestly budgeted original so popular. Chan... gives the film the extra emotional power it needs to be a worthy tribute to its beloved predecessor.
Andy Klein - Brand X
What makes this Karate Kid frustrating is that the movie it ought to be is right there on the screen, but so are 20 minutes of extraneous fluff. Ignoring Mr. Miyagi's advice, the filmmakers let the story wax on and on.
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
Some remakes update or reimagine, others Americanize or radically subvert, but The Karate Kid goes about its business as if the 1984 original were somehow obliterated from the earth and the studio needed a reasonable facsimile for its vaults.
Scott Tobias - AV Club
It would have been an even better movie if they had waited a few years to make it ... That way, it wouldn't have been so sickening to see the slight child actor getting pummeled.
Matt Soergel - Florida Times-Union
Watching The Karate Kid's franchise reboot is a little like running into your old crush at a middle-school reunion: Warmly familiar and yet altered enough to warrant a second look.
Michelle Orange - Movieline
'Karate! Kung fu! Whatever!' says Mom. Exactly!... The important thing is that the cute little American kid will teach the Chinese ignoramuses a thing or two about their own culture. Stupid foreigners!
MaryAnn Johanson - Flick Filosopher
Let's pretend you never heard of the original Karate Kid and went into this one cold. How is the movie itself? Eh, fine.
Eric D. Snider - EricDSnider.com
The honorable reasons to remake a beloved movie include crowning a new star, spotlighting a new location or telling the story a new way. In the case of The Karate Kid, two out of three ain't bad.
Joe Williams - St. Louis Post-Dispatch
No one will call it a classic a quarter-century down the line, but this summer it's a pleasure -- old-fashioned, deliberate and unpretentious.
Eugene Novikov - Film Blather
At least with Macchio there was vulnerability, mischief, and angst. Smith looks like he boldly stepped out of a hip-hop video, making any rooting for the bullies to win not entirely uncalled for.
Brian Orndorf - BrianOrndorf.com
May not be competing at the same level as the original, but it respects the tradition, and if it doesn't really have anything new to say, it still says it in a reasonably engaging way.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
...the movie fails to recognize that our understanding of bullying has significantly changed since 1984.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
Despite my distaste for remakes in general, I was pleasantly surprised by this offering, and I haven't heard such an enthusiastic response from kids watching a movie in a long time (Parental Review also Available)
Jim Judy - Screen It!
The racial and geographical changes inevitably call into question why Dre is picked on in the first place ... and reinforces Asian stereotypes.
Matt Pais - Metromix.com
I cringed when I saw the 2:20 run time, but this is terrifically entertaining, full of fine performances and wonderful scenery.
Tony Medley - tonymedley.com
Move over Daniel-San -- there's a new kid in town. The Karate Kid is every bit an unabashed crowd-pleaser.
Thomas Leupp - Hollywood.com
Follows the route of respectful homage and rarely steps out on its own feet.
Mark Dujsik - Mark Reviews Movies
To its credit, Harald Zwart's update of the 1984 hit The Karate Kid, which transplants the post-Rocky template into China, doesn't leave you asking, "Why?"
Brett Michel - Boston Phoenix
Even at a wearisome 140 minutes, The Karate Kid maintains the same winning formula that made the original such a classic.
Jason Zingale - Bullz-Eye.com
For once, the term "reimagining" isn't an alibi for exploiting a familiar title; it's an apt description of how director Harald Zwart tweaks the original's strengths into something better.
Steve Persall - Tampa Bay Times
As far as needless reduxes go, this one's pretty good, if not capturing the quality of its predecessor then at least coming close enough to impress.
... the best English-language performance ever by Jackie Chan... makes it hard to argue with the idea that remakes can, indeed, wring fresh life out of almost anything.
Drew McWeeny - HitFix
So here's a pleasant surprise: The 2010 remake of The Karate Kid is charming, thoughtfully paced and even a bit emotionally involving, with what might be a movie-star turn by a movie star's son.
Mike Russell - Oregonian
Here is what a remake should be - a modern update with its own personality that nonetheless remains true to the core essentials of the original, even tweaking some of them.
Laura Clifford - Reeling Reviews
Surprisingly serious, showcasing the natural beauty of the shooting location, great martial arts, and good to great performances that tell a universal story.
Cole Abaius - Film School Rejects
While this 'Kid' should be engaging enough for those coming to the tale for the first time, it certainly won't efface memories of the original.
Frank Swietek - One Guy's Opinion
Fans of the original can rest assured: Macchio was, and will continue to be, the true karate kid.
Mack Bates - Milwaukee Journal Sentinel
The younger Smith exhibits a lot of the goofy qualities of his father, as well as his customary cockiness. However, he's got just enough of those traits to still be likable without becoming too cocky.
Jeff Vice - Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
I'm pretty sure these 12-year-olds could leave the entire cast of The Expendables in body bags.
Jen Yamato - Movies.com
lies somewhere between a success and cinematic blasphemy
Bill Gibron - Filmcritic.com
As revivals go, this one is well-above-average by dint of its intelligent reappraisal of major elements in the first movie.
Tom Keogh - Seattle Times
While it doesn't match the heart and fortuitous chemistry of Morita and Ralph Macchio, the pleasant truth is that Smith and Chan are pretty good together in a reimagining that honors and expands on the original story.
Gary Thompson - Philadelphia Daily News
Laziness permeates every moment of director Harald Zwart's new version of The Karate Kid.
Tim Grierson - The Simon
A grim, plodding, overlong affair, following the basic outline of the 1984 original without updating it in any meaningful way.
Josh Bell - Las Vegas Weekly
A beat-for-beat remake of the 1984 underdog story and almost as effective a crowd-pleaser.
William Goss - Orlando Weekly
The Smiths aim for bigger box-office numbers by offering a secondhand fantasy that replaces academic hard work with the superficial amusement of martial arts self-defense.
Armond White - New York Press
A well-done and emotionally affecting remake of the popular 1984 film about a boy whose life is transformed by learning kung fu from a master teacher.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice
Given the dreck we've seen this summer, it's nice to be reminded of the virtues of clean storytelling and cultural curiosity.
Joshua Rothkopf - Time Out
While far too long, it's, nevertheless, wise, poignant and satisfying, delivering a timeless message across the generations and decades.
Susan Granger - SSG Syndicate
The main problem is that this version doesn't come from the heart, but rather from what can be gleaned and exploited. It's a classic example of too much and not enough.
Cole Smithey - ColeSmithey.com
This new Karate Kid bluffs its way through the motions and never manages to invest a shred of conviction in its banal paint-by-numbers stock plot.
Simon Abrams - Slant Magazine
Like the 1984 film, this version is formualic and pedictable, but and it lacks the warmth and vulnerability that Ralph Macchio generated in playing a screen hero that was new back then, even thouh Jaden Smith has charm.
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
There is the impression, deadly to the sense of fun, that the talent here actually thought they were remaking a classic.
Nick Pinkerton - City Pages, Minneapolis/St. Paul
The good news is it may lead the young and dumb to the original 1984 film, one of the finest pieces of cinema ever constructed.
Phil Villarreal - OK! Magazine
There are worse things than marveling at beautiful cinematography and excellent fight choreography, and witnessing the acting rebirth of Jackie Chan.
Katey Rich - CinemaBlend.com