My rating: *
Short review? Read the book, skip the movie.
Long review? It's difficult to take a 32 page, 500 word book and turn it into a 101 minute movie. Of course, the movie felt like it was about 3 hours long . . .
This is my big beef with the movie. The main message, themes, parallelism, whatever, was so obtuse that it was almost hard to tell what they were supposed to be. And to have come from a children's book, I was surprised to discover that it was NOT a children's movie. It was kind of scary at parts, and had some scenes that would be confusing to a child. (Particularly the scene when Carol wakes all the wild things and Max up and talks about the sun going out and gets mad at Max.)
Then there was the fact that about 15 minutes after Max ended up with the Wild Things I was thinking "When is he going to go back?" I mean, in the book, Max is sent to bed without supper, goes off in his boat to the land of the Wild Things, becomes king, has fun, goes home and his dinner is still warm.
Here's what I thought was good. The Wild Things' costumes, which is to be expected because they were made by the Jim Henson Company. And . . . that was about it.
If you need a little Wild in your life, buy the book by Maurice Sendak.