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Drama . Adventure . Biography

A woman with a tragic past decides to start her new life by hiking for one thousand miles on the Pacific Crest Trail.

Actors: Cliff De Young , Brian Van Holt , Kevin Rankin , Gaby Hoffmann , W. Earl Brown , Michiel Huisman , Keene McRae , Thomas Sadoski , Laura Dern , Reese Witherspoon
Directors: Jean-Marc Vallée
Country: USA
Release: 2014-12-19
More Info:
  • Mike Scott

    There are other movies out this year that are more technically ambitious than Wild (I'm thinking "Birdman.") There are others that are wider-reaching in scope and sheer audacity (the 12-years-in-the-making "Boyhood"). But there aren't any others that offer the power and profundity of Wild. This movie is a gift. It's also a journey.

    New Orleans Times-Picayune Full Review
  • Rex Reed

    It’s one of the year’s most galvanizing cinematic experiences.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Tina Jordan

    Vallée has taken a contemplative book where, frankly, very little happens and transformed it into a gut-punching drama.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    Witherspoon does really uncompromising work here, playing Cheryl without any hesitancy or any fear or any ego. It's not a glamorous role, and she doesn't try to make Cheryl seem perfect, and she doesn't sand off this woman's rough edges.

    HitFix Full Review
  • A.O. Scott

    In its thrilling disregard for the conventions of commercial cinematic storytelling, Wild reveals what some of us have long suspected: that plot is the enemy of truth, and that images and emotions can carry meaning more effectively than neatly packaged scenes or carefully scripted character arcs.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Stephanie Zacharek

    Both the material and the setting seem to have shaken something loose in Witherspoon (who is also one of the movie's producers): She's moved further away from those uptight, humorless romantic-comedy cuties she played in the mid 2000s and more toward the breezy, blunt, self- determined characters of her early career.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • Connie Ogle

    Wild may sound like a film about redemption, but it’s more about learning to live with what you can’t control — and accepting what you can control, which is sometimes just as difficult.

    Miami Herald Full Review
  • Geoff Pevere

    It’s a movie in which you can feel the spirit of the material infusing the filmmaker both as an artist and as a human being, and what results is that thing that occurs when even the simplest of songs sends sparks to the soul.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
  • Richard Roeper

    As for Witherspoon, there’s not a shred of her America’s Sweetheart persona in this work. She strips naked, literally and otherwise, in a raw, brave performance.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Claudia Puig

    Translating solitary musings, raw despondency and personal enlightenment into arresting visuals is a substantial feat and novelist/screenwriter Nick Hornby was the perfect choice to convert the fascinating book into a lively script.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    As he did with “The Dallas Buyers’ Club,” director Jean-Marc Vallée covers this inner and outer journey with a minimum of fuss. The flashbacks and their revelations, filling in the puzzle, are sparingly doled out. The stunning scenery Cheryl hikes through is barely noticed.

    McClatchy-Tribune News Service Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    This is a performance without ego or modesty, for a character without self-respect, played by Witherspoon as unvarnished as any pampered movie star can be expected.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Jamie S. Rich

    The best stuff in Wild is the simplest. The movie is at its strongest when it's just Strayed out in the wilderness, seeing what there is to see and finding the strength to keep going. Witherspoon is excellent in the lead, delivering a contemplative performance and appearing comfortable with just being by herself.

    Portland Oregonian Full Review
  • Alonso Duralde

    For director Jean-Marc Vallée, the film's smarts and soulfulness give him a leap upward from “Dallas Buyers Club” that puts him head-to-head with Tate Taylor (“Get On Up”) as 2014's Most Improved Filmmaker. The other big surprise of Wild turns out to be Reese Witherspoon, going far from her usual comfort zone here.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • James Rocchi

    Heartfelt and haunting, sympathetic while still aware of the limits of sympathy, Wild incorporates beautiful direction, smart writing and brave acting. Full Review
  • Simon Kinnear

    Driven by a committed turn from Witherspoon, Jean-Marc Vallée confirms himself as the go-to director for triumph-over-adversity character studies.

    Total Film Full Review
  • Nev Pierce

    A quietly moving coming of age story that resists formula or easy redemption, driven by a strong, unvarnished performance from Witherspoon, who deserves huge credit as both star and producer.

    Empire Full Review
  • Bill Goodykoontz

    Witherspoon is an outstanding actress whose material doesn't always fit her talents. "Wild" meanders a bit, in its trips from present to past and back, but Witherspoon remains the constant, doing what sounds simple enough but proves so difficult: soldiering on.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • David Edelstein

    The soundtrack is extraordinary. Songs from the Shangri-Las, Simon & Garfunkel, Leonard Cohen, Portishead, and many others drift in and out, sometimes taken up by Strayed as she heads into the scrubby landscape toward a mountain a long way away. The fragmentation is remarkably fluid. The pieces are all of a piece.

    New York Magazine (Vulture) Full Review
  • Betsy Sharkey

    Though there are occasional stumbles along the 1,100-mile hike, the peaks in Wild make the journey more than worth it.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Henry Barnes

    Vallée, in collaboration with screenwriter Nick Hornby, gives the film its energy by pulling the narrative apart. They create a two-hour hallucinatory montage of the hike and Cheryl's back story that's wound together with the songs, phrases and poetry that she recited to herself as she walked.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Stephen Farber

    Vallee’s latest offering is alternately harrowing and heartbreaking, but laced with saving bursts of humor.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    While Wild will surely be praised in the coming months for having a strong, well-written, flesh-and-blood female at its center, it’s to the film’s credit that it wears this badge of honor with a lightness that in no way undermines its sincerity.

    Variety Full Review
  • Kimberley Jones

    Wild lands some hard punches, but it can’t sustain the impact. Some of that lies in its inherited arc: Strayed found some peace – the whole point of the trek – but arriving-at-peace is less provocative than the struggle, at least in a movie.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Steven Rea

    Something about the way the film has been assembled doesn't feel altogether organic.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    Where Wild disappoints is in the didactic, show-and-tell approach of Vallée’s direction and of the screenplay.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Joe Williams

    While the wilderness vistas are starkly beautiful, there’s no tangible sense of Strayed’s ultimate goal. (Why Oregon?) And the flashbacks, which include scenes of sexual misadventure and heroin use, are too brief to provide answers.

    St. Louis Post-Dispatch Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    While Cheryl's journey is interesting, it isn't as compelling as the one embarked upon by Christopher McCandless (Into the Wild). The most arresting aspect of Wild isn't Cheryl's perambulation along the 1000-mile long Pacific Crest Trail but the memories that percolate to the surface as flashbacks.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Peter Rainer

    Too much of Wild is broken up by flashbacks that tend to dissipate rather than enhance Strayed’s trek. At times she is swallowed up almost to the point of vanishing by the immensity of the vistas.

    Christian Science Monitor Full Review
  • Mick LaSalle

    Wild has so many things in its favor that it’s tempting to leave out the fact that it’s a movie about a hike that sometimes feels like being on a hike, a long one, without many changes of scenery. But the movie’s achievement is that it overcomes this.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Michael Phillips

    Like the Danny Boyle film version of "127 Hours," Wild is extremely nervous about boring its audience with its protagonist's aloneness. Still, Witherspoon and Dern are reason enough to see it.

    Chicago Tribune Full Review
  • Mike D'Angelo

    People tend to equate great acting with demonstrative emoting, but knowing when not to telegraph what a character is feeling is just as crucial. Sometimes, walking from point A to point Z — simply, without fuss — is all that’s required.

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Peter Travers

    Under the keen-eyed direction of Jean-Marc Vallée (Dallas Buyers Club), Wild emerges as an exciting, elemental adventure that takes you places you don't see coming.

    Rolling Stone Full Review
  • Lou Lumenick

    Laura Dern — only nine years older than Witherspoon’s fresh-faced 38 — could also net a Best Supporting Actress nod for her outstanding work as Cheryl’s spunky and nurturing mothe.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Susan Wloszczyna

    Witherspoon tries, even doing her first-ever nude scenes, to convince us she has hit the skids. Yet no matter how greasy her hair or how dead her eyes, I just can’t buy her as a self-destructive junkie. Full Review
  • Dana Stevens

    For most of Wild, we’re alone with Cheryl’s stark aloneness with herself. That’s a fine place to be.

    Slate Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    This screen adaptation of Cheryl Strayed’s autobiographical best-seller is burdened, out of fidelity to the book, with life lessons and unneeded explanations that it dispenses, like CliffsNotes, at every opportunity.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Scott Tobias

    Cheryl is a thoroughly realized, warts-and-all character, and the flashbacks contribute to that. But like their heroine, the filmmakers do some fumbling to get to their destination.

    The Dissolve Full Review
  • Eric Kohn

    Witherspoon excels as a committed figure battling through each rough day. So long as the action remains on the trail, Vallée stages an engaging survivalist tale that plays up the resolve on Witherspoon's face, complemented with the rich visuals of an expansive landscape.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Ann Hornaday

    Wild is an accomplished movie, and often a beautiful and moving one, but the woman at its center remains warily at arm’s length.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Chris Cabin

    Director Jean-Marc Vallée has created a film out of Cheryl Strayed's beloved 2012 memoir that never quite matches the blunt audacity of its simple title.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Andrew O'Hehir

    Wild the movie has a curiously unsticky and unmemorable quality, as if it had melted along the journey, a Sierra Nevada snowball in the Mojave Desert. It has the same nearly invisible flaws as “Dallas Buyers Club,” Vallée’s last agreeable pop-anthropology fable of fall and redemption, but writ larger: It’s just that little bit prepackaged, it stands off from us a little too far. It wants us to feel, but not to feel anything dangerous. Full Review
  • Joshua Rothkopf

    Unfortunately for us, Dern — only seen in flashback — isn’t the main character.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Elizabeth Weitzman

    You may admire Witherspoon’s solid performance, but you won’t forget you’re watching a star.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • David Denby

    The scenery, of course, could stop the heart of a mountain goat, and Wild has an admirable heroine, but the movie itself often feels literal-minded rather than poetic, busy rather than sublime, eager to communicate rather than easily splendid.

    The New Yorker Full Review
  • Rodrigo Perez

    Wild never really earns its hard-fought struggle for redemption and personal reinvention.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Simon Abrams

    This is a film noir that is, despite some jittery, Tony Scott-esque action sequences, so cool, that you will leave it begging for a sequel. Full Review
  • Martin Tsai

    Fans will be thrilled that the auteur hasn't missed a beat with Wild City, although he appears to be making the same concessions to the Chinese market as his contemporaries.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Nicolas Rapold

    The crisscrossing pursuers and pesky police suggest a watered-down version of the treacheries in “City on Fire.” But the cluttered, unfolding dynamism of Mr. Lam’s action scenes remains resilient when gunplay or knife fights are thrust into street life.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • G. Allen Johnson

    The car chases and other stunt work are excellent, although there could have been more action, and the downtime scenes of the characters plotting their next move or ruminating on money’s role in moral corruption are fine. But the bottom line is there’s nothing super original here.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
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