The Karate Kid exhibits warmth and friendly, predictable humor, its greatest assets.
Janet Maslin - New York Times
An exciting, sweet-tempered, heart-warming story with one of the most interesting friendships in a long time.
Roger Ebert - Chicago Sun-Times
It's primitive, predatory stuff.
Dave Kehr - Chicago Reader
Morita is simply terrific, bringing the appropriate authority and wisdom to the part.
Dean Essner - Variety
This film's art consists entirely of hiding the cynicism of its calculations under an agreeably modest and disarming manner.
Richard Schickel - TIME Magazine
Predictable yet satisfying...
David Nusair - Reel Film Reviews
Avildsen crafted an inspired movie with the perfect mix of 80's bravado and 70's artistic integrity.
Jordan Hiller - Bangitout.com
Irresistible wish fulfillment.
Josh Larsen - LarsenOnFilm
The Karate Kid brought something fresh to the table and proved exceptionally skilled at reaching its adolescent audience. [Blu-ray]
Peter Canavese - Groucho Reviews
Perhaps a touch on the corny side and undeniably broad, Kid is a ridiculously rewarding drama that puts pure sincerity to marvelous use, inflating a mild underdog story into an inspiring tale of education and developing friendship.
Brian Orndorf - DVDTalk.com
'80s classic is still fun for families with older tweens.
Sandie Angulo Chen - Common Sense Media
This is the kind of movie where you find yourself cheering even though you know you're being hoodwinked.
Dean Essner - TV Guide's Movie Guide
A surprise summer hit in the States, this is another film-making-by-numbers exercise in teenage wish-fulfilment.
Geoff Andrew - Time Out
Jake Euker - F5 (Wichita, KS)
Morita's work in The Karate Kid is iconographic.
Walter Chaw - Film Freak Central
While this may be as soppy and predictable as they come, it still reminds you why you used to enjoy '80s teen flicks so much in the first place.
Caroline Westbrook - Empire Magazine
Formulaic, manipulative, hokey — and thoroughly rousing… the film's sincerity and poignance have a way of steamrolling over gaps in plausibility and logic.
Steven D. Greydanus - Decent Films Guide
Chuck O'Leary - Fantastica Daily
Emanuel Levy - EmanuelLevy.Com
A teenage Rocky for the 1980s.
Kevin Carr - 7M Pictures
All hail the Crane Kick, liberator of self-doubting wimps over bullies, redeemer of lost causes, winner of Elisabeth Shue's heart.
Phil Villarreal - Arizona Daily Star
Greg Maki - Star-Democrat (Easton, MD)
Daniel M. Kimmel - Worcester Telegram & Gazette
A great underdog story, and you gotta love the flying crane.
Rob Thomas - Capital Times (Madison, WI)
Robert Roten - Laramie Movie Scope
Ryan Cracknell - Movie Views
Robin Clifford - Reeling Reviews
OK in itself, but guilty by association with its spawn.
Ken Hanke - Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)
James O'Ehley - Sci-Fi Movie Page
Carol Cling - Las Vegas Review-Journal
A terrific underdog story
Jon Niccum - Lawrence Journal-World
A legitimate crowd pleaser.
Gerry Shamray - Sun Newspapers of Cleveland
The Karate Kid belongs so irredemiably to its time that you can't feel anything other than affection toward it.
Richard Luck - Film4
Rumsey Taylor - Not Coming to a Theater Near You
The movie birthed three sequels and features the sweet relationship between Macchio and Morita.
Marjorie Baumgarten - Austin Chronicle
Wax on, wax off, wax nostalgic.
Luke Y. Thompson - New Times
A warm-heartened riff on the tried-and-true Rocky formula, and one of the better cinematic icons of the 1980s.
Rob Vaux - Flipside Movie Emporium
Jeffrey Westhoff - Northwest Herald (Crystal Lake, IL)
An OK underdog story that did not deserve any sequels.
Bob Bloom - Journal and Courier (Lafayette, IN)
Scott Weinberg - eFilmCritic.com
Tells the engaging story of a handyman at a housing complex who teaches martial arts to a boy yearning for mastery of self.
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat - Spirituality and Practice