Reviews - Bolt (2008)
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Bolt (2008)

Genres: Animation, Adventure, Comedy

Taglines: Real life's a total adventure!

Director: Byron Howard, Chris Williams

Writers: Dan Fogelman, Chris Williams, Byron Howard, Jared Stern, ...

Stars: John Travolta, Miley Cyrus, Susie Essman, Mark Walton, ...

Bolt, an American white shepherd, has lived his whole life on the set of his action TV show, where he believes he has superpowers. When separated from the studio by accident, he meets a female alley cat named Mittens and a hamster named Rhino. He's trying to find the way home, to the studio. Along the way, he learns that he doesn't have superpowers and that the show is not real.

100 | Robert Koehler

There's something both simple and sweet about Bolt, yet epic, that's entirely surprising.
Read More: Christian Science Monitor

91 | Lisa Schwarzbaum

Bolt breaks no great new stylistic ground -- and yet it's a sturdy beaut.
Read More: Entertainment Weekly

88 | Lawrence Toppman

Bolt has the magical quality of great animation, the ability to touch us without the hint of preachiness or manipulation.
Read More: Charlotte Observer

88 | Chris Kaltenbach

Bolt proves a refreshing throwback to the animated classics of yore.
Read More: Baltimore Sun

83 | Tasha Robinson

For the first time in years, it feels like Disney has done its namesake proud.
Read More: The A.V. Club

80 | A.O. Scott

What keeps Bolt fresh is an unaffected exuberance, a genuine sense of fun, that is expressed above all through obsessive attention to craft.
Read More: The New York Times

80 | David Edelstein

As Bolt, John Travolta is inspired: His voice still cracks like an adolescent’s, and he has the perfect dopey innocence.
Read More: New York Magazine (Vulture)

80 | Ella Taylor

Bolt carries two tales for the price of one, both handled by Disney veterans and first-time directors Chris Williams and Byron Howard with wit, grace, and the dazzling craftsmanship we've come to expect from the studio that's hitched its wagon to Pixar.
Read More: Village Voice

78 | Marc Savlov

This is a Disney film, so there's never any real question regarding Bolt and his friends' ultimate success or failure, but the writing team of Dan Fogelman (Cars) and co-director Williams (Mulan) have concocted one of the most witty and often hilarious Disney outings in years.
Read More: Austin Chronicle

75 | Carrie Rickey

While this charmer about a canine James Bond does not pack the emotional punch of "WALL-E," it's frisky fun to see the white shepherd get a new leash on life.
Read More: Philadelphia Inquirer

75 | Perry Seibert

This winning mix of exciting action, heart-tugging sentiment, and gentle character comedy makes Bolt yet another solid addition to Disney's history of family-friendly fare.
Read More: TV Guide Magazine

75 | Ruthe Stein

It's doubtful that audiences go to animated features to hear movie stars talk. They go because a film sounds like fun and something their kids and maybe they themselves might enjoy. Bolt is all that and more.
Read More: San Francisco Chronicle

75 | Wesley Morris

This stuff is clever, in the reflexively satirical, self-aware way that many animated films are. It's not until the dog is accidentally shipped off to New York City that the movie lets you in on an altogether more interesting idea: It doesn't want to be that cool.
Read More: Boston Globe

70 | Kenneth Turan

At the end of the day, Bolt is a sweet Disney family film.
Read More: Los Angeles Times

70 | Michael Rechtshaffen

There's a terrific tenderness in Travolta's performance, while Cyrus and company are similarly effective.
Read More: The Hollywood Reporter

70 | Todd McCarthy

Bears some telltale signs of Pixar's trademark smarts, but still looks like a mutt compared to the younger company's customary purebreds.
Read More: Variety

67 | Andy Spletzer

As the voice of Bolt, John Travolta does a fine job and Disney star Miley Cyrus is fine as well, but neither one can overcome the lack of personality in their scripted characters.
Read More: Seattle Post-Intelligencer

67 | M. E. Russell

Travolta does a nice job, but Bolt is of course the most boring, blandly cute character in the movie.
Read More: Portland Oregonian

63 | Claudia Puig

Bolt borrows amiably from a host of sources, including "The Incredible Journey," "Lilo and Stitch" and "Toy Story 2."
Read More: USA Today

63 | Rene Rodriguez

Has that formulaic, cookie-cutter feel typical of many Disney toons. The premise is inspired, but the follow-through is merely adequate.
Read More: Miami Herald

60 | Joe Neumaier

Though every frame is great to look at, Bolt's script - by the co-writers of "Mulan" and "Cars" - lacks the wit of its closest Pixar relative, "The Incredibles." Rhino and some goofy pigeons provide the few laughs once the tale goes cross-country.
Read More: New York Daily News

60 | Joe Morgenstern

Taken on its own terms, Bolt the movie certainly makes the cut.
Read More: Wall Street Journal

60 | Dan Kois

As sprightly and determined as its fuzzy, yappy lead, the new Disney animated film Bolt works hard to be all things to all people, with mixed results.
Read More: Washington Post

60 | Damon Wise

The unlikely superhero of this film is the hamster, who brings the funny amid a flurry of weaker gags. But Bolt still has charm -- it just won't hit with the adults the way the best animated films can.
Read More: Empire

50 | Stephanie Zacharek

Bolt is just too knowing; it keeps reminding us, loud and clear, of how culturally savvy it is.
Read More:

50 | Liam Lacey

Both original and good; the problem is the original parts aren't good and the good parts aren't original.
Read More: The Globe and Mail (Toronto)

50 | J.R. Jones

Adults won't find much to enjoy here, though the dog's high-octane action series serves as a perverse parody of Jerry Bruckheimer-style summer blockbusters.
Read More: Chicago Reader

50 | Lou Lumenick

Sporadically entertaining, occasionally quite funny.
Read More: New York Post

38 | Michael Phillips

It's a seriously withholding action comedy, stingy on the wit, charm, jokes, narrative satisfactions and animals with personalities sharp enough for the big screen, either in 2-D or 3-D.
Read More: Chicago Tribune