Directed by Rob Letterman and Conrad Vernon
A 50-foot woman helps fight alien invaders.
For all its “bells and whistles, whiz and bang,” Monsters vs. Aliens feels surprisingly flat, said Ann Hornaday in The Washington Post. The film—the first from DreamWorks that was written and conceived in 3-D—tells the story of Susan Murphy (voiced by Reese Witherspoon), who turns into a giantess after being hit by a meteorite. She soon joins other government-sponsored monsters to battle aliens invading Earth. Despite its obvious efforts, the DreamWorks animators have created a film that’s a “visual feast” but also a “narrative famine,” said Joe Morgenstern in The Wall Street Journal. While the other big animation studio, Pixar, emphasizes storytelling and the “pleasures of characterization,” as seen in last year’s Wall-E, DreamWorks “favors raffish scripts, celebrity voices, jokey topical references, and animation that grabs attention.” Monsters vs. Aliens isn’t nearly as “ambitious” as Wall-E, said Stephanie Zacharek in Salon.com. Instead it tries to be everything to every audience—a wild ride and a clever sendup of ’50s sci-fi favorites. But ultimately the film is “mild, harmless entertainment in every way.”