The Polar Express

The Polar Express
The Polar Express
  • G
  • 1h 40m
  • 2004
Rotten56%
Common Sense Media Iconage 6+
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Late on Christmas Eve, after the town has gone to sleep, a boy boards the mysterious train that waits for him--The Polar Express. When the boy arrives at the North Pole, Santa Claus offers him any gift he desires. The boy asks only for a bell from the harness of Santa's reindeer. But on the way home, the bell is lost. Christmas morning, the boy finds the bell under the Christmas tree, and when he shakes it, the bell makes the most beautiful sound he's ever heard. His mother admires the bell, but she laments that it is broken ... for, you see, only a true believer can hear the sound of the bell.

Rotten Tomatoes® Score

TOMATOMETER®
Rotten56%
Critics Consensus: Though the movie is visually stunning overall, the animation for the human characters isn't lifelike enough, and the story is padded.
Reviews
Guardian
Peter Bradshaw
Rotten

The schmaltz content gets higher and higher, as if administered through a drip feed, until by the...

June 25, 2017
New Yorker
Bruce Diones
Rotten

Tom Hanks (in a number of roles) and the other actors do a nice job of voicing their parts, but th...

June 22, 2017
More on Rotten Tomatoes

Common Sense Media

Common Sense Media Iconage 6+
Common Sense Says
Book-based treat is full of adventure and positive messages.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that, like the book that inspired it, the The Polar Express has wonderful messages about the importance of believing, the value of friendship, respect for leadership and courage, and the beauty of being kind to others. But it's also an adventure, with lots of roller-coaster thrills and some scary characters that might be too intense and frightening for the youngest kids. The Express roars, speeds, and skids on its perilous journey to the North Pole. Sometimes out of control, sometimes racing against dangers and obstacles in its path, it's the center of a tale that's suspenseful throughout. The child heroes are frequently in danger -- from falls, getting lost, being left alone on a careening train, and navigating dark, shadowy places facing characters who may wish them harm. Also worth noting: The story focuses on a boy who doubts whether or not there is a Santa. (According to the movie, yessiree -- but the boy's initial uncertainty could spark questions in some kids.)

A Lot or A Little?

The parents’ guide to what’s in this movie.
Educational Value
Details
Positive Messages
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Positive Role Models
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Violence & Scariness
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Sexy Stuff
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Language
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More on Common Sense Media

Additional Info

  • Genre:Family
  • Release Date:November 10, 2004
  • Languages:English
  • Captions:English
  • Audio Format:
    5.1
Resolution, color and audio quality may vary based on your device, browser and internet connection.Learn More

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