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Review: Moonrise Kingdom

Posted June 26, 2012 by in Comedy







Musical Score

Total Score

91/ 100

What We Thought

Actors: , , , , ,
Runtime: 94 Minutes
Available in 3D: No

What We Liked :

Fantastic Acting, Solid Direction, Trademark Wes Anderson

What We Disliked:

Trademark Wes Anderson
Bottom Line

Moonrise Kingdom is one of Wes Anderson’s best and one of the years best films.

by Max
Full Article

What kind of bird are you?

Moonrise Kingdom is the latest film from director Wes Anderson (Rushmore, The Royal Tenenbaums) and follows two lovelorn children during their escape from their realities.

Moonrise Kingdom is about 12-year-old Sam Shakusky (Jared Gilman) and 12-year-old Suzy Bishop (Kara Hayward). During a Khaki Scout field trip, Shakusky sneaks into the dressing room of some young women about to perform a play. He is immediately love struck from the peculiar and troubled Suzy Bishop. Her animal in the play, a crow, showcases how she is always the outcast. Shakusky feels the same way in his life and they begin a letter correspondence to escape their predicaments together.

Dear Suzy, walk four hundred yards due north from your house to the dirt path which has not got any name on it. Turn right and follow to the end. I will meet you in the meadow.

The story takes place on an island off of coastal New England during the 1960’s. The typical technology restraints expected in that era are present and add a bit to the proceedings. What would be a minor inconvenience finding two children on an island in the modern era, here it is a lot more complicated. Unfortunately for the inhabitants of New Penzance, a hurricane with the force none of them have ever experienced is coming.

While the children are trying to escape their own lives, the adults have problems all their own. Mrs. Bishop (Frances McDormand) is not a happily married woman. Living on this small island with the four children has taken a lot out of her life and her marriage. Mrs. Bishop enters an affair with the island deputy, Captain Sharp (Bruce Willis). It isn’t long after the disappearance of Suzy, that Mr. Bishop (Bill Murray) can see what has gone on. Khaki Scout Master Ward (Edward Norton) is trying to live up to excellence of his troop leader, but by being friendly with the kids instead of a parental figure he has lost control of his troop.

The children own this movie completely

With all the big name actors involved with the production of Moonrise Kingdom, its hard to believe the talent of the two leading children. Jared Gilman and Kara Hayward own this movie completely and everyone seems like really fancy window dressing. Their romance feels authentic and their adolescence, blunders, and impatience shines through. Wes Anderson asks a lot from the children in this movie, but they manage to captivate throughout.

Well known for his quirky and whimsical style, Wes Anderson has brought his signature to the small island of New Penzance and created an authentic representation of young love. If Wes Anderson’s style hasn’t impressed you thus far, don’t expect Moonrise Kingdom to change your mind. Some of the events captured on film are uncomfortable, but they never lose their realistic quality. The characters in Wes Anderson films live in a world outside of the norm and that’s for the best.

Moonrise Kingdom is one of Wes Anderson’s best and one of the year’s best films.

Add Moonrise Kingdom to the list of successful Wes Anderson films. The soundtrack for the film exceeds on multiple levels and just like the song, The Young Person’s Guide to the Orchestra, the sum of all the parts in Moonrise Kingdom make a tremendous achievement. Moonrise Kingdom is one of Wes Anderson’s best and one of the year’s best films.

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About the Author


Chief Editor of Impassionedcinema. A film enthusiast who studies and creates his own films. Criticizing movies is his favorite pass-time.



    Hey Max! Nice review.

    How can a film with Wes Anderson, Bruce Willis, Edward Norton, Bill Murray possibly go south? I'm not exactly sure when I will get a chance to watch this but I'm certain I will love it, as I have Anderson's previous work.

    I haven't been around much, and probably won't be at least for another month, but glad to see you're still working hard on your blog.


      Thanks for stopping by. I wasn't a huge fan of Anderson's previous films, but I did enjoy Bottle Rocket and Fantastic Mr. Fox. I probably would say this is my favorite out of the three. Hope to see you active around these parts again soon.


    Looking forward to seeing this one, it looks gorgeous and the story seems very sweet. The cast too seems wonderful, I can't wait to see Tilda Swinton in her new role.


      I know I didn't mention Tilda Swinton in my review, but she was good. She just had a really small part like Jason Schwartzman. It's a beautiful film and really has its own sense of place.


    Nice review, Max! I just caught Moonrise Kingdom last weekend, and it's my favorite movie of the year so far. I'm a Wes Anderson fan but can't say I've adored anything since the Royal Tennenbaums, so this was a great surprise. I agree with you that the kids steal the show. It was fun to see a lot of big-name actors like Harvey Keitel and Tilda Swinton stepping back in smaller roles.


      Color me surprised that you didn't care for Fantastic Mr. Fox. I love that movie. As for Moonrise Kingdom, I'm glad it lived up to expectations. It's seems for at least the last two years the Cannes film festival has selected great first night films.


    Good review, Max. I just saw this one a couple days ago and really enjoyed it as well. Definitely one of this year's early highlights.


    One of the better films of the year already. I wonder if this will slip into the Best Picture race?


      It depends how many films their are really. Tree of Life was the Cannes winner last year and it did slip into the race, but it was never really thought as a contender. Comedy isn't usually taken that seriously by the Academy, so who knows where this will land. Thanks for stopping in.

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