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  • phubbs18 October 2014
    Warning: Spoilers
    The most expensive movie co-produced in South Korea...apparently, and Canada had their fingers involved too! So would this explain why the movie is so poor? This whole fiasco is based on an animated short which revolved around the main character Surly Squirrel (sounds like a crap Disney character).

    Park creatures are the focus of this animal based adventure, well park creatures and some woodland creatures it seems. So its kinda like 'Over the Hedge' but just nowhere near as good or funny. For some unknown reason the movie is set in 1959 although I had no clue to this whilst watching, I just thought it was the artistic style for quirkiness. All these little mammals live in or near a big tree within a park, winter is coming and they gotta collect nuts to survive. I kinda always thought that was a squirrel thing but in this movie raccoon's moles birds etc...All seem to want nuts too.

    Believe it or not that's pretty much the entire premise, creatures after nuts. The gimmick being after accidentally burning down the big tree whilst trying to nab nuts, Surly Squirrel is outcast into the city to survive as punishment. There he discovers a basement full of nuts but the basement is also the HQ for some bank robbers who are attempting their own heist. Hence the movie being called the Nut Job because it deals with a bank job and a similar job for the creatures trying to nab these nuts...such a clever play on the 'Italian Job' movie...oh geez...face in palms cringe time. Oh and I guess Surly Squirrel is caused this down to the fact he's miserable mean and selfish right? (*groan*).

    OK the movie looks good of course, I can't fault that but its hardly a surprise is it. Everything is animated beautifully and looks glossy. All the characters are well designed, they all look as they should (cartoony versions of animals) and the voice acting work is solid. The nameless raccoon character looks to have been designed around Liam Neeson's face as they both have similar facial expressions and a big conk which work well. Various other characters are as you'd expect with the stereotypical dumb clumsy characters, fat ugly characters, tough large characters and the one main attractive female character (attractive on an animal level).

    Most of these characters are all reasonable enough accept for Grayson Squirrel who is the park hero...but is actually very incompetent and cowardly (you're suppose to laugh now...this is the funny character). This guy is annoying and pretty pointless really, he serves no real purpose and could be easily hacked out of the movie. Naturally Brendan Fraser voices this highly annoying and pointless squirrel and we've seen this act before from Fraser.

    One problem with this movie is there are too many character I think, you're never really sure if you actually like any of them because most of them are so fundamentally unlikable and boring. Well that and incredibly cliched predictable and stereotypical of every animal animated movie ever! The plot is so utterly drab and it goes nowhere! they wanna steal nuts, OK so steal them, what's the big deal. The stupid thing is they're animals...they could probably grab nuts and all sorts from anywhere in a city and in the end they don't actually manage to get them anyway! Half of them got flushed away in the river and can you count wet soggy nuts a score? The actual bank heist sub-plot going on with the humans just seemed so redundant, who cares? I didn't. It didn't really bare any influence or relevance on the animal plot going on around their feet.

    Christ this movie was dull! I mean seriously I was getting up and doing other things. The plot is so slow, so dull, so unadventurous. The characters are so basic, so flat, so completely lifeless and cliched its painful, the fact the movie tries to be funny also sticks out like a sore thumb and bombs hard. Grayson Squirrel is clearly meant to be the pant-wettingly funny aspect of the movie and he sucks ass! whilst the main hero squirrel Surly is just depressing. Oh and Hollywood people...its kinda creepy animating these cutesy creatures with human expressions and body movements.

    What was that soundtrack about?! I'm guessing the use of horrendous 'Gangnam Style' track is down to the fact the movie was co-produced in South Korea. Was that really necessary? Oh and was it remotely necessary to have an animated PSY in the end credits doing that stupid dance with all the animals!! Good God that was terrible, switched that sh*t off quicker than you can say that song will date this movie badly in years to come.

  • Wirxaw5 April 2014
    A very positive movie, which, while borrowing heavily on Over the Hedge, is still a worthy standalone sight. Perhaps some characters are a bit naive or predictable... or outright annoying, but the whole composition is alright. The is movie is about crime, friendship and consequences... of both. It's beautifully animated, quality-voiced, has sufficient humor... and doesn't have revolting moments. Well, except for PSY, hehe.

    Overall it doesn't have the qualities of an outstanding animated picture. It doesn't have unique plot, or music or some spark... But it does it's best to entertain, and that is already a step up from an average animation. Perhaps a critic less obsessed with animals or cuteness would judge it for less, but compared to many other movies, it at least doesn't have that much bad in it to go below the rating of 5. Six, perhaps seven out of ten - is the reward for entertainment without anything groundbreaking.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Most of the three stars are devoted to the impressive animation found in the only redeeming quality of this children's film. The kids will overlook much of what is not going on but parents will notice that older kids will fidget around and become restless mid way through this mediocre film.

    All in all most children will accept it on it's own simple storyline terms. Much of the time I was wondering when the story was going to draw me in at least a bit to where I cared about the characters. One quality element in this movie was the relationship of two animals that bond and show kids that friendships are a "work in progress" in life and to not give up on a friend in spite of that friend's flaws. Well, parents, there's always Disney to appreciate. Go rent Bambi, Lady & the Tramp or (my favorite) Peter Pan.
  • The Nut Job looks fantastic. Try to ignore the trailer, and if possible, the inconsistent soundtrack, too. Pay attention to the subtle nod to the 50's, present in all the background details: The rooms, the cars, the human characters. It looks great. The attention to visual detail is spot on. So kudos to the people in charge of making this look the way it does.

    The story itself has promise: A nut heist that runs concurrently with a bank heist, the squirrel storyline paralleling the human one. As you can imagine, there are cheap jokes and nut puns a plenty, but at least the younger children in the theatre will be entertained. Any flaws present in the Nut Job have nothing to do with the way it looks. And if anything, that's what saves it.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    I do have to agree with one reviewer about the animation being what saves the movie, because it really does look good.

    As far as everything else goes, chances are this one won't veer too far from your expectations. Plenty of tired jokes abound, also some fart jokes which I found to be funny, but that's just because I'm really childish. Since this is a PG movie there really aren't that many nut puns, which was quite disappointing.

    As for the plot line, it's pretty much the usual clichéd family movie setup: Main character is really self-centered, main character goes out on his own to prove he doesn't need anybody (actually this time he gets kicked out but you get the idea), main villain plots evil scheme against main character's former friends, main character has a change of heart, main character reconciles with friends and saves the day.

    Despite these shortcomings, I actually kind of enjoyed this one, the animation was good, and some parts were kind of funny. What can I say? I have a soft spot for this stuff! I'm sure the younger children will love it, there were two kids in the theater I was in laughing their heads off.
  • Surly, an adjective and a name apparently, embarks on an adventure to obtain food for the approaching winter. He runs across some wacky characters and antics ensue. The Good: Art- The time spent on the animal and human designs was readily apparent throughout the film. I could pick out individual hairs in the animals' coats. I also liked that the artists paid attention to the animals' mouths. They were not just mere flaps of skin covering teeth, but it looked like the mouth region actually had some depth, that the lips were also 3D along with the rest of the animal. The humans had a distinct look and style about them that made me think of 2D cartoons. Big and imposing, shady and dangerous, cute and cuddly, the artwork certainly helped draw a person in. Ambition- The Nut Job tried to draw on several genres of film. It attempts to reshape these stories and form into a family friendly movie. I could spot a crime drama, a voyage of self discovery, a tale of redemption and rejoining society, just to name a few. The film also provided some rudimentary information about the animal species through dialogue, so it did have some educational moments. Whether or not the film succeeded in its ambitions will be covered in the not-so-good section. The Not-So-Good: Pacing- What a colossal mess. The Nut Job is a short 86 minutes and the film tried to show at least three different story arcs. The audience is not shown how the characters will respond to any event because the next event is following hot on the heels of its predecessor. Because of this, any connection or concern for the characters is lost in the fray of action and fart jokes...yes, I'll get there too. Characters- Unfortunately the pacing of the film allows the survival of only the most basic character types. Might as well forget about character development too. And learning. And change for the better. Comedy- I had hoped that the family film genre had grown past this, I really did. Situational and character-based comedy has made significant headway into the family films. Granted it may be a little silly to laugh at Mr. Potato-Head's parts stuck in a flour tortilla, but I found it to be incredibly funny. Or how about when a mermaid becomes a human and, as a result of misguiding information told to her in a previous scene, she puts a fork and a pipe to hilarious use at the dinner table. Fart jokes. Maybe with the compressed story arcs, the only form of comic relief could come from this. The Nut Job tried to meld several different genres and in so doing, did not execute any of them well. You've seen better representatives of the genres attempted here and I'd suggest seeing them instead. 4/10
  • 7.8 of 10. This has a lot of the 50s-70s style cartoon animal characters along with their seeming invincibility to any sort of explosion or accident. It comes, however, with excellent modern drawing, natural 3D art and animation to add to a distinct story of friends & sharing.

    At the base of this is a great, very simple to understand story for kids. Treasure your friends and share with them. It's more complex than that, involving theft both direct and indirect, and some devious political-like characters for adults to enjoy.

    The humor in the film alternates from kiddy and tween to puns and some more amusing adult idiosyncrasies and allusions. The soundtrack is extremely limited but works in the few places it's used.
  • Aside from a few gags here and there, The Nut Job is an empty movie that serves mainly as children's entertainment. The plot centers around an independent squirrel who, after being banished form his park, looks to earn back the trust of the animals by organizing an heist, hence securing the food supply (nuts) for the winter. Usually I like humor in an animated movie, yet I still crave a good story and interesting characters. In this film we mainly see straight forward roles for everyone, and some characters work only as comic relief. I don't mean to complain too much about a movie like this, since it is directed at kids, but like I said, one can only take so much of a lack of substance in a feature film. In a nutshell (no pun intended), The Nut Job succeeds in its premise, as it allows kids to have their fun at the movies. For a more mature viewer, the content is well voiced, but in the long run the result is quite forgettable.

    Rating: 6/10
  • smvorndran20 January 2014
    The animation was good, but otherwise, the movie was chaotic at best.

    The story line was horrible.

    There are two main squirrels, and they are animated so similar, you get confused what's happening between them.

    You can't even figure out the purpose of one squirrel.

    Kids movies usually have at least a few "Awww" moments.

    This didn't have anything.

    Should have jumped theaters and watched Frozen again.

    This is my first review I've left on here.

    I had to log on just to let people know how bad it was.
  • Before I begin berating this film, I would just like to preface that I would have considered it warranting of a 1 had it not been for the sufficing animation quality. This film is everything amiss about the cinema consolidated into one grotesque, insufferable mess. The pacing shows a stark lack of energy essential to this kind of film, which leaves the audience constantly expecting some kind of climax that the film never really manages to deliver, it's encumbered with purposeless characters and unexplained plot events (most notably a certain elderly character's antipathy for a dog whistle). In addition (as if everything previously mentioned weren't enough) the film has a completely incongruous scene in which the characters begin euphorically dancing to Gangnam Style, as well as a gimmicky, overdone dancing credits sequence involving the presence of a computer animated Psy for no explicable reason. Usually films tend to show a vestige of concern for subtlety when resorting to demographic pandering, though, this film just suffocates you with it.

    So, in short, unless you're searching for some ludovico technique material, avoid this film like the plague.
  • I saw this movie tonight with my two daughters. We were looking forward to seeing it as the trailers looked fairly entertaining. About 10 minutes in, my 4 year old say to me: "Daddy, why isn't this movie making us laugh?" Perfectly put! The movie makes a terrible attempt at humor (unless you think beavers farting is hilarious). There is no original humor in this movie. Every time a joke was made, my wife and I looked at each other and shook our head in utter disgust. The characters are lame and the plot is dumb. Save your money. This movie is not even worth a $1.29 redbox DVD rental, which I'm sure redbox will have in its inventory very soon. STAY AWAY! It was so terrible, we walked out in the middle when both of my daughters kept asking to go home. I wanted to ask the theater to provide a refund for being such a terrible movie, but felt too stupid to admit that I bought 4 tickets.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    After watching "The Nut Job," I couldn't help but wonder if, even though it is a kid's film, could kids really enjoy this movie? I acknowledge this wasn't meant to be a family film where adults and kids could laugh together like Disney, Pixar, Sony and DreamWorks makes but this film really feels like it is dragging at the bottom of the barrel to make something that is barely worth watching. First off, the humor in this film just feels like they hired people who have no concept of what comedy is and have never been around children in their lives and said, "Hey, write something a ten year old will laugh at," and all they could think of was fart jokes…and when that well was run dry, they just decided to not even bother with jokes anymore—or at least that is what I'm assuming because the end result was jokes that just weren't plain funny. Granted, they weren't groan inducing despite the fact they hired two awfully generic comics (Jeff Dunham and Gabriel Iglesias) to do voices but they just weren't humorous in the slightest. I would like to think kids are a little smarter than what this film throws at you and mislabels as jokes. Then there is the voice acting…while not bad, most of the casting just didn't fit the character. Katherine Heigl sounds bored as Andie and Liam Neeson just feels thrown in (his character doesn't even get a proper name, he's a raccoon and they call him Raccoon—such creativity!). While Will Arnett is a funny guy, his gruff voice just didn't fit with the little purple squirrel he was playing. Finally, it was clear Brendan Fraser was having a blast as his character but his enthusiasm just ends up amplifying the other members of the cast who are around to do nothing else but collect a paycheck. Finally, the story just doesn't have enough working for it to justify being a film that has a running time of over an hour. The story feels like it would have worked better as an animated short that airs before something far better produced, so the end product just feels like the producers are constantly padding out the running length and stretching every scene for every single second of footage they can get. It makes the entire film feel like you are being dragged through a story that should have been resolved easily at the start but the film went sentient and is now refusing to allow the conflict in the story to resolve. Overall, "The Nut Job" was fairly unimpressive and entirely forgettable. It really didn't even have anything working in its favor (and I won't even mention how the animation, by today's standards, just looks cheap). After watching it on DVD, the only thing that came to my mind was, "Do kids actually find this amusing?" and, "Why exactly is a sequel being made? It really made THAT much money?"
  • RNHunter10 February 2014
    While yes this is a cartoon, most cartoons that I have seen are clever and can appeal to audiences at many levels. While the movie Wizard of Oz was not a cartoon, it is an example of a Children's story that has many levels of interest and can get into even some deep philosophies as an adult. At a more common cartoon level, I find that often Disney and Pixar cartoons appeal to multiple age groups. This movie I felt was one dimensional. While it may appeal to some children, I found it to have little of interest, little subtlety that could keep the interest of the older audience. The theater we viewed it in was almost empty while other shows in the same movie house were packed. I also heard no applause or people expressing interest. Also one member that was supposed to go with us just refused to see the movie. I now see why. Now in fairness, this movie seems to have been done by South Korea and perhaps they lack experience in making these kinds of movies. South Korea has excelled however at several other fields including certainly electronics. Perhaps the first time any of us do something, it is not going to be great. But I suspect South Korea will learn as they have in other fields and I would not count them out of movie making in the future. My advice? Unless you have a youngster dying to see it, this is one to take a pass on.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    Quick fact: You've gotta be nuts to watch this! The sad fact is, that pun I said is funnier the the whole film itself.

    My review/ Wow just wow! You know what? No! Not just wow! There are several words to describe this atrocity. Too many even for a dictionary of bad words in every language! Let's start off with the story.It's about a purple squirrel thief named Surly who planned to steal nuts from a vending cart with his best friend buddy the rat. But their plan is ruined by one of the most annoying love interests in animation history, Andie the Orange squirrel. She is trying her best to find food for everyone in the park. Thanks to Andie being a burden, she caused Surly to accidentally make the cart ram into the park where they live. The nut cart bashed into the tree causing a massive explosion, and in the end destroyed all of their food for the winter. Everybody in the park blames Surly because of his infamous record. Dumb decision #1: We are only 13 minutes in the film. The audience barely knows the main protagonist, and his past. So nobody knows if we should either feel sorry for him, or scowl at him. The park's leader "Raccoon" votes to banish Surly from the park forever. Unanimously Surly was kicked out. Dumb decision #2 What about Andie's punishment. She caused 95 percent of that problem, and she is so post to be the honest type character. She ended up voting surly out instead of taking responsibility! Dumb decision #3 They tried to have a powerful emotional moment when surly was leaving. We are nearly 15 minute's in, that's way to early for sad scenes in a kid's film. That's one of this film's major problems, the pacing of the plot is so awful! After surly is banished he has discovered an entire building stuffed with nuts. The owner's of that building are planning onto rob the bank right next to them, by replacing the bags of cash, with bags of nuts. Surly gets the idea of taking all the nuts for himself with his loyal rat friend at his side. Dumb decision #4 While Surly is coming up with his plan, the sound track opa-gundamstyle plays?! What is a modern day song doing in a film set in the 1950s!? Eventually Andie stumbles on to surly's plan and tells him that the park will probably take him back if they steal the nuts together 50, 50 each. Surly sort of agrees on their deal. Dumb decision #5 If you haven't caught on yet, this film's should have been simple plot is actually complex, confusing, and very convoluted. There are way too many stories being told. We have a squirrel who's trying to find a life for himself. An orange squirrel who is having a tough time choosing the love of her park over her true affection towards Surly. And then there's the bank robbers. The boss apparently is trying to start a new life but also wants one last score. Second that's not all of the main characters who have stories. In total there's eight. A kid's film should have the maximum of four! At the final act of the film during the bank heist, the Raccoon is literally trying to murder Surly, because if the park animals see him as a hero, the raccoon will lose his leadership. I would have said that was a good plot twist if it wasn't for the fact that the film revealed his true intentions basically half in the movie! At the end of the film the bank robbers are arrested; the park animals obtain their winter supply, the raccoon and surly fall from a waterfall, and surly appears to be the only one who survived. Yeah!! Andie and buddy find him, when he wakes up Andie reveals her affections for him through a hug, and says that he can return to the park, but he refuses because through this whole thing he has learned that he can't stop being who he is on the inside, a thief. So now he will only still food for the park without anyone knowing, so everybody doesn't look up to him as hero, even though he has the potential to be one. Out of all the stories I have ever heard for a kids film THIS should have been the simplest plot in history, but no! The Nut job wants to confuse families and tick of people. The Nut Job is a ridiculous sad excuse for a kid's film. Any parent that takes their child to see this is clearly punishing them for doing something extremely naughty! Calling this a piece of nonsense would be an insult to every cuss word ever born. The Nut job is very colorful and is probably the best looking animation I've ever seen ...... if this was for straight to DVD. The animation is extremely low in quality. 2001's spirited away, one of the most creative and well received animated films of all time had a budget of 19 million. The Nut job's is 42.8 million. The film's sound track is wasted because the characters and story don't have good enough pacing. In the end the nut job had potential to be a descent direct to DVD kids film, but the writers, director and creator all failed to realize that.This movie is so messed up it has risen the bar on America's crappy animated films. Now review wise there possibly worse films such as "Chicken little, or Mars needs moms." But I truly do believe that there's no stupid kids film can and will tick off a kid more than this piece of crap. Story 0/10, Animation 2/10, Setting, 1/10 Characters 2/10, Humor 2/10, Moral 0/10, Anger!9.9/10. Over all score 1.3/10

    If you want fully want to understand this review, take the dare and watch the film for yourself.
  • I took my son because he wanted to see it- he liked it, probably because it was primary colored images moving on the screen. I was waiting for a re-hash of 'Over the Hedge', but it was not up to that standard. Surly the squirrel is banished from the park by raccoon-we never know why and that may have helped give me some feeling for his character. Also, right from the start, you can tell Raccoon is up to something. Catherine Heigl as Andie(?) the female squirrel sounded like she was phoning it in. Where I kind of expected a little romance, there wasn't even friendship. The bad guy humans weren't even very engaging, either. I am not making a bad joke if I say they were two dimensional characters. Absolutely no surprises here, and nothing to engage you either. Go back and see Frozen instead. Wait, gotta give some credit to the level of CGI animation-textures were incredible. And that Lana,WOW, some dish.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    The Nut Job may not be an epic masterpiece, but it's a load of fun! Featuring top-notch voice acting by Will Arnett (Arrested Development, Despicable Me, Up All Night, The Millers), Brendan Fraser (Encino Man, The Mummy, Furry Vengeance, Looney Tunes: Back In Action), Katherine Heigl (Grey's Anatomy), and Liam Neeson (The Chronicles Of Narnia), it's a fun-filled escape from the trials and tribulations of daily life! The animation is fantastic, and it even has a couple of heartwarming, tear-jerking moments as well. The Nut Job might not be in the same league as films from major CG studios like Pixar, DreamWorks, and Blue Sky, but it still holds up as a fantastic movie! Glad to hear there's a sequel already planned, and there's supposedly a T.V. series in the works (that may have been scrapped, but hopefully it's still in the works). Go see it, you will not regret it!
  • This movie is pretty cool. It is funny and has a good amount of action. It is really good and I think you would like it too.

    This movie is all about a squirrel named Surly who, at the beginning, fends for himself and only himself (with his friend Buddy) until his actions contribute to the burning of the large tree where all the squirrels live, along with what little food they have left. He is banished to the city and soon finds a shop full of nuts. He makes a deal with another squirrel named Andie that he would get half and they would get half. They run into a lot of obstacles such as mouse traps, rats, guns and people.

    The main characters in the movie are Surly (Will Arnett), King (Stephen Lang), Grayson (Brendan Fraser), Raccoon (Liam Neeson), Andie (Katherine Heigl) and Precious (Maya Rudolph). My favorite character in this movie is Precious because she is such a funny dog and helps Surly and loves him after a while. She is also really funny.

    My favorite part in the movie is when Surly and Buddy meets Precious because, as I said she is my favorite character, and she is so funny. She thinks she has to hate the squirrels because her owners don't want animals in their shop but she soon realizes she loves them. She starts showing them tricks likes fetching, playing dead, sitting and she thinks that her tail is amazing because it wiggles a lot. She says it has a mind of its own!

    I give this movie 5 out of 5 stars and recommend this movie for ages 4 to 10 because it is really suitable for a younger audience. I think younger kids will really love it.

    Reviewed by Anthony A, KIDS FIRST! Film Critic. For more reviews go to kidsfirst dot org.
  • Warning: Spoilers
    This movie can only have 2 stars because it's absolutely hilarious - (though not in a good way). The plot is confusing and convoluted, the characters unlikeable, and everything is just stupid. The only somewhat interesting or actually good storytelling is the gangster aspect, as the criminals in the story are kind of cool characters who are taking part in a pretty cool plan to rob a bank. Word of advice, replacing money bags with peanut bags - genius! It is a perfect so bad it's good movie. It's worse than something like "The Room," but you can watch it the same way. If you want to watch it with a group of friends, I recommend it. That's how I saw it and I loved the experience, even if the the thing genuinely sucked. If you want a good movie, especially if you're completely alone, forget about it. Don't waste time or money on this thing.
  • Last November, I discovered I have a potentially-fatal allergy to almonds and tree nuts, one that sent me to the hospital just minutes after ingesting one. For that reason, I didn't immediately seek out the new animated film The Nut Job right away because I felt it would either trigger my allergic reaction to almonds or bad films. All I say is if you're allergic to the latter, bring an EpiPen.

    Much like last year's animated effort Free Birds, The Nut Job is a third rate endeavor combining the ingredients of bright, vibrant, but unremarkable animation, a premise that exhausts itself despite running at only seventy-seven minutes, an unlikable lead character, charmless humor, and a heavily-emphasized but oh-so tireless moral. The film centers around Surly the Squirrel (voiced by Will Arnett), a pompous and selfish purple squirrel who has been ostracized by his immediate friends for being a thief, with his only real companion being Buddy the Rat (Robert Tinkler). With a shortage of nuts in the community, or at least to the access of these animals, the prime goal of the animal community is to find and store nuts of all kinds in order to see another day.

    However, when Surly's selfish antics get him kicked out of the park where him and his animal friends reside, Surly concocts a plan to steal a boatload of nuts from the newly-opened Maury's Nut Shop, which also happens to be the hangout spot for mobsters from around the area. Yet even with this drawback, Surly still wants to pursue the nut heist in order to obtain enough before Raccoon the Raccoon (Liam Neeson) interferes with his plans.

    The paradox of The Nut Job is despite the premise's main focus being a heist, something adults would likely be invested in, the film is a kids movie and, with its inclusion of childish humor, will likely please nobody. And even if The Nut Job holds a child over for one afternoon, what long term effects will the film have on them? What will they gain out of seeing it? A good moral, memorable characters, something substantial? These are questions a parent should contemplate before taking their child to see any film. One may say I'm over-analyzing this process and the film itself, but The Nut Job doesn't bear anything that will likely stimulate a kid's mind in any impacting way. Past generations and time have proved that good movies etch their impact into children, given the examples of Bambi, The Jungle Book, The Lion King, Toy Story, etc. With that in mind, I'd like to see if somebody who viewed The Nut Job and claimed it left a lasting impact on them.

    Now, make no mistake, I'm not saying animated films need to have an impact to be good. But in a world where Disney, Pixar, and DreamWorks have effectively raised the animated filmmaking bar several considerable notches, why settle for a film like Free Birds or The Nut Job? Why center on a film that has way too many characters where far too many serve as just rambunctious screen presences and where tired morals and ideas of a selfish cad learning the values of community and teamwork triumphs every time? It seems for every great animated film we get, like The LEGO Movie or Monsters University, we have to sit through about four awful ones just to even the score.

    The Nut Job, in summation, feels like several corporate executives banded together and spitballed ideas, quips, and characters they thought kids would like to see rather than thinking about what kids and adults actually want to see. From the barrage of toilet humor and silly puns, this feels like a blatant exercise in "studio filmmaking," where the respective studio (in this case Toonbox Entertainment) assumes all creative control, leaving the director (in this case Peter Lepeniotis) without much ability to direct. The inclusion of celebrity voices, including many in very minor roles, suggests this too. In a time where films are getting more and more expensive and subpar films like this are getting made, one needs to round up some loyalist friends and support the works of John Lasseter, Pete Docter, and Andrew Stanton, people who actually are thinking about what kids and adults want out of their animated films.

    Voiced by: Will Arnett, Robert Tinkler, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Liam Neeson, Katherine Heigl, and Maya Rudolph. Directed by: Peter Lepeniotis.
  • Yes, as most of the professional (and a few of the amateur) reviews pointed out, the political satire in THE NUT JOB is extremely heavy handed if you go in looking for it, and the "cuddly/comfort level" one initially expects when seeing furry creatures this well animated is lower than what we have come to expect from the Disney films which are usually the only ones which approach this level of polish - but when one looks at the actual PLOT these film makers have chosen to tell, a kid-friendly riff on the kind of film noir caper films where different gangs are fighting over access to the same crime scene and ultimately (contrary to a couple earlier reviewers who clearly didn't want a Korean helmed film to succeed) arrived at exactly the "aww," and "we CAN fix any problems" moment any film like this must build toward.

    No child over 10 will have any problems distinguishing between the various squirrel characters of varying hew, although an insistent naturalist might be pulling out their hair at the various species populating and co-operating in this "never-never-land" unidentified city park in a city living below a non-threatening dam which may or may not be destroyed by the end of the film (the illogic here - betraying the producers' lack of experience for all their technological finesse) is ultimately the film's greatest weakness - but will bother few of those the film is actually aimed at).

    The flaws ultimately fade while the adventure and the over-all successes linger in the memory - which is one reason I'm glad I waited a day to review this film. Probably best of all for parents who actually want to INVOLVE themselves in their children's viewing, the number of sophisticated "teachable moments" in this film are remarkable. Most family groups today will probably not be screening the semi-classic animated version of Orwell's ANIMAL FARM, but its essential points are made much more approachably with possibly greater sophistication (and better animation) here - and the opportunities to see and understand facing complicated issues and even having to change sides and seek forgiveness for errors has seldom been better presented.

    I suspect that this film - with initial notices focusing on the flaws (what COULD the releasing company have been thinking with the disco dancing Korean producer - who doesn't appear anywhere else in the film - joining the rest of the animated cast ALL through the final credit crawl testing the bias level of critics!? - It was APPARENTLY an attempted riff on a current pistachio...get it? NUT? commercial) will end its initial U.S. release rather deeply in the red, but when the DVD comes out, and in foreign release, this NUT JOB should do very nicely indeed. There's far more to like here than to "dis." If you watch TV *with* your kids rather than simply using it as a baby sitter, I think it's even highly recommended.

  • The animation was nice and very colorful, and the actors voicing there characters is well done, this movie was trying to be satire of heist films but from a squirrels point of view. It's not laugh out loud funny, but it is funny in spots. And the characters really are a joy to watch also. It's not quite Over The Hedge(2006), but all in all not terrible.

    Now the problem I had is that I feel that the movie could not decide if it wanted to be for kids or adults, unlike the Toy Story films which it was for both. But I felt The Nut Job could not make up it's mind. Some jokes are hit and miss for the kids. The filmmakers should have improved a little better with that, not a terrible animated film, but a great one either.
  • Will Arnett, Brendan Fraser, Gabriel Iglesias, Jeff Dunham, Maya Rudolph, Liam Neeson, Stephan Lang and Katherine Heigl provide some of the voices for "The Nut Job," an animated film that has, for its characters, an assortment of rodents and human mobsters, all fighting over a supply of nuts during a shortage.

    The little ones might be entranced by the bug-eyed critters and pretty colors (though I wouldn't count on it), but a weak, humorless and confused script, along with indifferent animation, makes it an uninteresting affair for viewers over the age of, say, seven-and-a-half.

    Even though the movie runs only 86 minutes, through some inverse law of physics, it seems to last an eternity.
  • westsideschl24 May 2014
    1. Character clichés - cute squirrel love interest, narcissistic squirrel, sidekick rat (goofy, but comes through at crucial moments), lots of animals working together to collect winter food. The usual bad rats and other animal baddies and bad humans as foils. Nothing creative in the animal/human expressions - bland and predictable. 2. Stereotypic storyline - outcast animal comes through in the end to save fellow animals from bad humans and bad animals. 3. Graphics were cheap - e.g. a 2D tree with no moving leaves; now extend that thought to all the background graphics for the whole movie. 4. Choosing name actors to do the voices using turns out to not work in animations. Voices didn't fit and sounded rehearsed. Dumbed down dialogue didn't help. Professional voice overs that bring unique life to an animation are better. 5. Some parts of the story made no sense weird e.g. the dog whistle and the Gangnam Style animation at the end (maybe payback to the Korean investors and animators).
  • Warning: Spoilers
    It's a children's movie. There's not much to expect from it. I wasn't too enthusiastic about going to see it, but I was pleasantly surprised. There wasn't much going on, the characters were a bit flat, and I was unimpressed by the lack of strong female characters, or just strong characters in general. I went to see "The Nut Job" with my younger brother and my parents. He enjoyed it, and for the rest of us there were mild laughs. The animation was, as stated by several other reviewers, something of a saving grace for the film, but even that was a little iffy at times. For content, it was okay. I didn't have high hopes and I wasn't disappointed. Really the only part of the film I approved of was the scene at the falls, when our lead Surly makes the decision to plummet with the villain as a sacrifice rather than endanger the rest of the ensemble. Overall it was just an okay film, nothing incredible, but also not as much of a letdown as I had thought it would be.
  • Despite the trailer looking absolutely dreadful, being an animation buff and seeing that it had some good actors in the vocal cast I still saw it anyway. It wasn't a complete disaster and there are worse animated films around, but The Nut Job was lacking in a lot of ways and from my point of view the weakest of the handful of animations seen so far. Which have been actually a solid handful with How to Train Your Dragon 2 and The Lego Movie being the best. The Nut Job does have some good things, the best thing being the animation which was great, very colourful and vibrant with a lot of admirable detail and the characters look cute(even if Buddy looks eerily looks like Remy from Ratatouille). The soundtrack is also bright and breezy, there were a few moments where I did chuckle and there are a few of the voice actors that acquitted themselves well. Maya Rudolph was a standout, she is very bubbly and really comes alive, Stephen Lang plays gruff really well and Liam Neeson while deserving far better is adequately menacing and shady. Jeff Dunham tries his best too, despite being saddled with some of the worst of the humour with that of the two groundhogs managing to be worst. Will Arnett however takes Surly's purposefully surly personality to extremes and is far too snarky and smug, despite his cute appearance Surly is a very unlikeable character. Katherine Heigl sounds to me too romantic-comedy-ish, not that she does it badly but it doesn't fit the character, too humdrum and cutesy. Brendan Fraser is a likable actor but he and his supposedly heroic character Grayson really grate, not like Fraser at all usually. The characters(forgetting the very uninspired names for a second) are too underdeveloped and shallow in personality to be likable(with Buddy and Maya being slight exceptions), a lot of them with character arcs that don't go anywhere. Despite Neeson's voice work Racoon is too underwritten to be believable as a villain and Surly is very difficult to root for. But it's the lazy writing that hurts The Nut Job, filled with conflicts that come across as hackneyed and things resolve too tediously at times. Despite the odd amusing moments, the jokes border on dumb rather than witty and are not funny, and the bathroom humour also borders on juvenile and distasteful. The story in terms of subplotting is busy but a lot of those subplots lack development and most like the romance are contrived, a case of too many ideas and themes not explored enough. It was already a flimsy premise and with the interminably stretched out pacing(the human mobsters scenes bring the film to a halt) and very derivative story-telling- you are constantly reminding yourself "where have I seen that before"- it feels even flimsier in execution. And to add further insult to injury, The Nut Job ends with a Gangnam Style sequence, which is one of the most annoying, repetitive and overplayed songs ever and definitely belongs on a list of "songs that you are already sick of after 5 hearings", in fact calling it a song is somewhat insulting. All in all, a mediocre animated film that has great animation but (very) lazy writing. 4/10 Bethany Cox
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