Critics Consensus

Well-acted and fiendishly frightening with an emotionally affecting story at its core, It amplifies the horror in Stephen King's classic story without losing touch with its heart.



Total Count: 362


Audience Score

User Ratings: 66,382
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Movie Info

New Line Cinema's horror thriller "IT," directed by Andy Muschietti ("Mama"), is based on the hugely popular Stephen King novel of the same name, which has been terrifying readers for decades. When children begin to disappear in the town of Derry, Maine, a group of young kids are faced with their biggest fears when they square off against an evil clown named Pennywise, whose history of murder and violence dates back for centuries.


Jaeden Martell
as Bill Denbrough
Jeremy Ray Taylor
as Ben Hanscom
Sophia Lillis
as Beverly Marsh
Bill Skarsgård
as Pennywise
Finn Wolfhard
as Richie Tozier
Jack Dylan Grazer
as Eddie Kaspbrak
Wyatt Oleff
as Stanley Uris
Chosen Jacobs
as Mike Hanlon
Nicholas Hamilton
as Henry Bowers
Jake Sim
as Belch Huggins
Logan Thompson
as Victor Criss
Owen Teague
as Patrick Hockstetter
Stephen Bogaert
as Mr. Marsh
Stuart Hughes
as Officer Bowers
Geoffrey Pounsett
as Zach Denbrough
Pip Dwyer
as Sharon Denbrough
Molly Jane Atkinson
as Sona Kaspbrak
Steven Williams
as Leroy Hanlon
Elizabeth Saunders
as Mrs. Starret
Joe Bostick
as Mr. Keene
Ari Cohen
as Rabbi Uris
Anthony Ulc
as Joe the Butcher
Katie Lunman
as Betty Ripsom
Carter Musselman
as Headless Boy
Tatum Lee
as Judith
Martha Gibson
as Old Woman
Kasie Rayner
as Field Hockey Girl #1
Isabelle Nélisse
as Girl in Bathroom
Jocelyn Mattka
as Another Girl
Donald Tripe
as Old Man In Car
Liz Gordon
as Old Woman In Car
Paige Rosamond
as Dead Girl #1
Neil Crone
as Chief Borton
Sonia Gascon
as Mrs. Ripsom
Janet Porter
as Stanley's Mother
Memo Diaz Capt
as 4th Of July Clown
Roberto Campanella
as Organ Player Clown
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Critic Reviews for It

All Critics (362) | Top Critics (48) | Fresh (310) | Rotten (52)

Audience Reviews for It

  • Nov 07, 2018
    A film that needed some subtlety, but then again Iâ(TM)m not into modern horror so take whatever I say with a grain of salt (or ignore this review entirely). I wasnâ(TM)t wild about the canned moments to induce shock, the CGI, and the gratuitous violence, and wish some restraint had been exercised (but I know Iâ(TM)m in the minority, and what the hell did I expect?-) I did like the underlying symbolism of the evil that besets this town and these kids. Itâ(TM)s unleashed every 27 years, which I took to represent each new generation that comes along. Everyone has their demons while growing up, their fears, their nightmares. We see evil in the form of sadistic bullying, incestual rape, and in the apathy to kids who simply disappear â" all of which are real life things. Adults are rarely to be seen, and when they are, itâ(TM)s certainly not to bring order to the chaos. Itâ(TM)s clearly written through the lens of the adolescent and the hell of growing up. Standing up to oneâ(TM)s fears and sticking together is the only hope of overcoming them, and it felt like it echoed some of the themes of â~Stand By Meâ(TM) in that way. I think if it had been tightened up â" edited down, less haphazard, less jump scenes, shorter â" I think it would have been more powerful. I also wasnâ(TM)t a fan of the unabashed reference to a sequel at the end. If youâ(TM)re into the genre, Iâ(TM)m sure youâ(TM)ll like it better. Hey, Iâ(TM)m just a guy who thinks of the earlier â~Itâ(TM) movie â" and no, not the 1990 version of the same Stephen King story, the 1927 lighthearted film starring Clara Bow. :p
    Antonius B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2018
    Solid, well-made horror movie works because it covers all the necessary bases. First, the story is based on a bestselling Steven King novel about an evil clown who appears in sewers and other dark places. He represents trauma or pain, or perhaps exploits it, and targets children in a small Maine town. The acting is good, especially Skarsgard as Pennywise the "dancing clown." He's sinister, but in an effectively twisted way. Character depth is excellent too, and we care about what happens to these kids because of what they are going through, at home and together. The special effects and makeup are very good, and many scenes are scary AND fun. It is a long film, but it takes its time to create relationships between characters and subplots involving abusive parents, and town bullies. Overall, this is a fine, well-made horror movie that isn't necessarily the scariest movie ever, but it's creepy and fun, like a carnival dark ride.
    Mark H Super Reviewer
  • Aug 26, 2018
    Here we go, a movie that, at the time of its release, broke all sorts of box-office records. It is, unadjusted for inflation, it is the highest grossing horror film of all time and the fourth-highest grossing R-rated film of all time (three of which have come out since 2016, both Deadpool movies and this one). Both Deadpool movies are ahead of this as is the Matrix Reloaded, which is the other film in that list. It is also the most profitable horror movie of all time (this made $700 million world wide on a $35 million budget, so the returns on this were absolutely fucking bonkers) and, if Chapter Two is as successful as the original, it will probably be the most commercially successful horror franchise of all time. And this is with merchandising and DVD (and book) sales. Adaptations of Stephen King's books have always been known, for the most part, for not being of very good quality. Stand By Me and The Shawshank Redemption are both excellent, with Stand By Me being my personal favorite movie based on a King story (even if Shawshank is the overall better film). Carrie, Misery and The Shining also come to mind, though King himself wasn't satisfied with the latter. I liked Silver Bullet and find it underrated among King adaptations. But, again, there are plenty of adaptations that don't match up to the source material. Dreamcatcher, Children of the Corn, Maximum Overdrive, Thinner, Carrie (the 2002 and 2013 version), Cat's Eye, Sometimes They Come Back, Needful Things blah, blah, blah, blah. There's been plenty of bad years to be a Stephen King fan in relation to film adaptation of his works, but 2017 was not one of those years. In fact, from what I can say, it was a great year for fans of good King adaptations. Well, really, it was good September and October. Gerald's Game, a Netflix original movie, came out three weeks after this one and 1922 (another Netflix original) came out a month later on October 20th. All films, as I understand since I've only seen this one, have received very positive reviews. I feel that's a little bit unprecedented. It's not just three good King movies in a year, it's three good King movies in the span of SIX weeks. That's gotta be a record. Anyway, I have been looking forward to see this for a long time. I'll be honest, my only real knowledge of It comes from my aunt (who's a Stephen King nerd) and, I believe, considers it her favorite King book and seeing bits and pieces of the miniseries. I haven't read the book, though I do have it around and I mean to read it before Chapter Two. But, at over 1100 pages long, it's a daunting task to tackle. I got a few books, including King's own Needful Things and American Gods, I wanna read before I get to It. Having said that, I wanted to see this movie because all the cool kids were doing it and, given that my country was just a few days away from suffering its worst hurricane in history, a category FIVE hurricane, two weeks after already had ONE category five hurricane hit us, you could say that I was a bit indisposed at the time and it was quite a while before the local theaters opened again. So, as far as I can tell, It made literally no impact on the box office here. Regardless, it seemed more like an event and less than a horror movie. That's a strange feeling to have as a horror fan. While this is definitely a quality horror flick, I think people were more drawn to the experience of watching the film with a large group of people and all getting terrified at the same things at the same time. The only movie that I can recall having that, in my lifetime at least, was Paranormal Activity in 2007. The word of mouth for that movie was so strong that it became a sensation. And I feel like that that could be said for this movie as well. People, as much as they may have wanted to see the movie, wanted to experience the horror with a group of people. And, somehow, that was something that drove the movie's success. Again, however, the movie is quite good. But is it great, well, I guess we'll have to get into it, shall we? In many ways, and I may have seen this in the Honest Trailer for this movie, but this really is like a horror version of Stand By Me which, in the book Four Seasons (four short stories covering all being set in different seasons, duh) it's called The Body. And, as I mentioned, Stand By Me is my personal favorite King adaptation and I love the original story as well. The movie doesn't really delve that deeply into the horror at first. There's obviously bits and pieces here and there, where Pennywise uses the Losers' fears against them in order to terrify them, but I feel that the movie first attempts to establish the Losers Club before really going full-on with the horror. That's where the Stand By Me comparison comes into. Stand By Me doesn't have a horror bone in its body, it's a story about a group of friends traveling to see this dead body and the experiences they share together to get to that point, what they learn about each other and how that experience, for better or worse, changes their friendship forever. Of course, this movie differs in that every experience the Losers go through only drives them closer together. Obviously, there's moments when they go their separate ways before reuniting to fight back against Pennywise, but I feel like the friendship in this movie, as far as a long-term friendship, is stronger than the friendship in Stand By Me as in that movie/story, the group go their separate ways and they never really recover that. Though, by the same token, you could say that, eventually, this group will all go their separate ways when they graduate, and Beverly leaves by the end of the movie, so the group isn't exactly intact, but it's left in better shape than the friendships in Stand By Me. Another thing I liked is that, at least through Bev, Bill and Ben, the movie frames its story as a coming-of-age one. There's this interesting quote in the book that the director points to which says that being a kid is learning how to live and being an adult is learning how to die. And the movie plays with that in some ways, because these kids, at least very early on in their lives when they probably shouldn't have to, come face to face with their own mortality through Pennywise's continuous attempts to kill them. Or, at the very least, terrify the shit out of them. These kids have to learn to survive in a world where there are, seemingly, no adults to protect them. Bill's parents seemed to have distanced themselves from what happened to Georgie, while Bill refuses to let go, attempting to find where his brother may have, Beverly's father obviously abuses her sexually, this is heavily implied though. Eddie is a hypochondriac as a result of his overbearing mother. Mike's parents died when their house burned down. Henry, the bully, is physically abused by his father as well. Again, essentially, this is a movie about kids, who are left on their own, whether abandoned or abused by their parents in some way (both physical and emotional) learning to survive on their own, relying only on each other since they have no one else. And, at the same time, and this one is really interesting to me, Pennywise is also fighting for survival. Pennywise feeds on the fear kids have of him and, these are the director's own words, Pennywise feels the need to kill these children out of necessity. Not that he doesn't enjoy it, of course, but he feels he needs to in order to be alive in the children's imagination. Because, if they're not afraid of him, that takes all his power away. This isn't exactly a unique concept, as I feel one of the Elm Street movies played with this concept, but it's the whole idea of Pennywise doing what he needs in order for his own survival that's interesting. This isn't a topic that's explored in Elm Street in reference to Freddy. Freddy's just an asshole, right? Let's talk about Pennywise's actor, Bill Skarsgard, for a moment, shall we? Look, we all know that Tim Curry's performance as Pennywise in the It miniseries is iconic and, as great as Bill Skarsgard is in this movie, he can't do Tim Curry. Mr. Skarsgard admitted to this himself. At the same time, given that this movie was a feature-length film with far more of a budget than the original miniseries, I feel that this movie just does a better job of making Pennywise truly and utterly terrifying. Whether it be from his physical appearance, to the way Bill Skarsgard's interprets the character, I just feel that this version is bound to be more memorable than Curry's. And that's not to say that Skarsgard is better than Curry, cause he might not be, it's all a matter of taste, I just feel that, with CG, they can do more with the Pennywise character than they could have done before. I feel that the character of Pennywise, from the marketing material, made such an impression that people just wanted to see what he looked like and, again, I feel like that played part in why the movie was as successful as it was. When the kids first go to the abandoned house where the well is (where Pennywise lives down in the sewers) and you get your first REAL good look at Pennywise for a good length of time, this scene absolutely shines. Every scene with Pennywise himself is tremendous, it really is. And it's not that the lead characters themselves aren't likable or you don't want them to overcome this evil...entity masquerading as this evil clown, it's just that whenever Pennywise is on-screen, your attention is drawn to him completely and it's almost like you forget there are other people there. There's something magnetic that draws you to him and, really, maybe that's some sort of a flaw because, again, it's like there's nobody there BUT Pennywise. In fact, and I know I can't be the only one who felt this way, I feel like we should have seen even MORE of Pennywise. It just sort of surprises me when people who watched this movie watched it through their eyes because Pennywise was too creepy. Yes, his appearance is definitely that of a creepy fucking clown, but, again, there's something about him where you can't help but look at him. Then again, I'm not really scared of clowns and it's not like I shat my pants watching this movie (this isn't me being 'macho' or anything, but I never get scared with horror flicks), but I just know quality stuff when I see it. And Bill Skarsgard's presence as Pennywise is, quite literally, out of this world. The kids themselves are tremendous. Ben and Richie were my personal favorites, as far as characters went, but all of the kids do absolutely tremendous in this movie and I do believe the movie pays respect to these characters. Having said that, one of the biggest problem, if not the biggest, is the fact that outside of Ben, Bev, Bill and, maybe, Eddie, there's not much in the way of character development for the remaining members of the club. Eddie has his hypochondriac issues, to be sure, but the movie is mostly centered around Bill, Beverly and Ben. Richie is the comic relief, but there's no real depth to his character. And, honestly, they do absolutely nothing with either Mike and Stanley. They do explain Mike's fear as a result of his guilt for his parents being burned alive but, outside of that, there's nothing to the character. And Stanley, who's getting ready for his bar mitzvah, is scared of this creepy painting of this woman whose face is all messed up. But, once again, other than his fear, they do nothing with the character. And that's a shame. I know there's only so much time you have to develop characters, but I just wish they would have made me care as more for Mike, Stanley and Richie as real people as they did with the main three members of the club. The score is also top-notch, as are the visuals. There's a lot of things this movie does incredibly well. There's nothing about this movie that I could say that I hated but, at the same time, I don't feel comfortable calling this a great movie. Is it one King's best adaptations? With his track record, of course it is. I feel like it captures a great tone and atmosphere, Skarsgard's presence and strength as Pennywise is undeniable, there's some strong storytelling here regarding the kids learning to survive on their own as well as Pennywise, but some of the characters are a little lacking in personality and depth. The horror is damn good, if a bit straightforward and there's just something exciting and fun about watching this movie. But, at the same time, I still don't feel comfortable calling it a great movie. As I mentioned, there's some weak characters here and that's really what holds this movie back from getting a great score. Everything else, though, it delivers on and then some. Bring on Chapter Two and bring on more Pennywise. I'm really looking forward to that next year. This is one of those horror movies where, even if it might not be great, is gonna be remembered for a long time and for good reason. It's a quality movie throughout. The fact that I felt a few flaws kept it from being great is not gonna be enough to change that and I don't mean to do that. Because, to me, what this (and movies like Get Out and A Quiet Place) is show the film world that horror is a genre to be reckoned with and respected. Very good movie and a really damn easy recommendation.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Apr 29, 2018
    Well acted by young unknown actors and retold in a funny but very frightening manner and loyal to the macabre genius of Stephen King. Skaarsgard is great as Pennywise but I am still more fond of Tim Curry's portrayal. Very well shot and directed. A good scare for certain! 04-29-2018
    Christopher O Super Reviewer

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