Skip navigation

Film reviews

Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Title: Charlie And The Chocolate Factory

Director: Tim Burton

Stars: Johnny Depp ; Freddie Highmore ; David Kelly ; Helena Bonham Carter

Reviewer: Matt Eccles

Rating (out of 10): 6


When Johnny Depp and Tim Burton join forces, as in such films as Edward Scissorhands, Ed Wood and Sleepy Hollow, the results tend to be near-universal acclaim. This big-grossing 2005 adaptation of Roald Dahl's classic children's fable continued to garner plaudits, and, to be sure, both are again on good form here.

The production design is arguably the best yet seen in a Burton film and Depp's performance is possibly his most idiosyncratic to date, playing Willie Wonka as a blithe, child-like oddball. This had some reviewers reading it as a satire of Michael Jackson, though Depp isn't recorded as listing that particular blithe, child-like oddball as an inspiration.

The supporting cast's performances are uniformly fine, Freddy Highmore in particular making for an engaging Charlie Bucket. So all the ingredients seem in place for a colourful, comic feast, yet somehow there seems to be something missing.

Perhaps it doesn't help that the film is a tad overlong and the frequent song-and-dance interludes jar after a while so, much like chocolate, it has too much fat. Further, the script, by Big Fish screenwriter John August, seems to run out of invention by the last third, hence, much unlike chocolate, it doesn't seem as sweet or as satisfying as it could have been. However, these reservations won't be an issue for the younger, less discerning types among us, who will almost undoubtedly lap up this movie with great deal of relish.

Buy Charlie And The Chocolate Factory from