The Karate Kid Reviews

  • 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

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