Log in or sign up for Rotten Tomatoes

Trouble logging in?

By continuing, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes.

By creating an account, you agree to the Privacy Policy and the Terms and Policies , and to receive email from Rotten Tomatoes.

Email not verified

Let's keep in touch.

Stay up-to-date on all the latest Rotten Tomatoes news! Tap "Sign me up" below to receive our weekly newsletter with updates on movies, TV shows, Rotten Tomatoes podcast and more.

OK, got it!

Movies / TV

No results found.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Movies in theaters

Movies at home

Certified fresh picks

New TV Tonight

Most Popular TV on RT

Episodic Reviews

Certified fresh pick

Best and Worst

Marvel Movies Ranked Worst to Best by Tomatometer

Jurassic Park Movies Ranked By Tomatometer

Women’s History

Awards Tour

Everything We Know About The Super Mario Bros. Movie

How To Watch the 2023 Oscars

We want to hear what you have to say but need to verify your account. Just leave us a message here and we will work on getting you verified.

Please reference “Error Code 2121” when contacting customer service.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

2005, Kids & family/Fantasy, 1h 55m

What to know

Critics consensus.

Closer to the source material than 1971's Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is for people who like their Chocolate visually appealing and dark. Read critic reviews

You might also like

Where to watch, rate and review.

Super Reviewer

Rate this movie

Oof, that was Rotten.

Meh, it passed the time.

It’s good – I’d recommend it.

So Fresh: Absolute Must See!

What did you think of the movie? (optional)

You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

Step 2 of 2

How did you buy your ticket?

Let's get your review verified..

AMCTheatres.com or AMC App New

Cinemark Coming Soon

We won’t be able to verify your ticket today, but it’s great to know for the future.

Regal Coming Soon

Theater box office or somewhere else

By opting to have your ticket verified for this movie, you are allowing us to check the email address associated with your Rotten Tomatoes account against an email address associated with a Fandango ticket purchase for the same movie.

You're almost there! Just confirm how you got your ticket.

Charlie and the chocolate factory photos.

Cast & Crew

News & interviews for charlie and the chocolate factory, critic reviews for charlie and the chocolate factory, audience reviews for charlie and the chocolate factory.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Movie & TV guides

Most Anticipated 2023 Movies

TV Premiere Dates 2023

Best Horror Movies 2023

Best Movies 2023

Great Movies

Collections, tv/streaming, movie reviews, chaz's journal, contributors, 'chocolate' has creepy center.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Now streaming on:

Now this is strange. "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" succeeds in spite of Johnny Depp 's performance, which should have been the high point of the movie. Depp, an actor of considerable gifts, has never been afraid to take a chance, but this time he takes the wrong one. His Willy Wonka is an enigma in an otherwise mostly delightful movie from Tim Burton , where the visual invention is a wonderment.

The movie is correctly titled. Unlike " Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory " (1971), which depends on Gene Wilder's twinkling air of mystery, "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" is mostly about -- Charlie. Young Charlie Bucket ( Freddie Highmore ) is so plucky and likable, and comes from such an eccentric and marvelous household, that the wonders inside the chocolate factory are no more amusing than everyday life at the Bucket residence.

The Buckets live in a house that leans crazily in all directions, and seems to have been designed by Dr. Caligari along the lines of his cabinet. The family is very poor. Charlie sleeps in a garret that is open to the weather, and his four grandparents all sleep (and live, apparently) in the same bed, two at one end, two at the other. His mother (Helena Bonham Carter) maintains the serenity of the home, while his father ( Noah Taylor ) seeks employment. Grandpa Joe ( David Kelly ) remembers the happy decades when he and everyone else in the neighborhood worked in the chocolate factory.

Alas, 15 years before the story begins, Willy Wonka dismissed his employees and locked his factory gates. Yet the world still enjoys Wonka products; how does Willy produce them? One day, astonishingly, Wonka announces a contest: For the five lucky children who find golden tickets in their Wonka Bars, the long-locked factory gates will open, and Willy will personally escort them through the factory. A special surprise is promised for one of them. Of course Charlie wins one of the tickets, not without suspense.

This stretch of the film has a charm not unlike " Babe " or the undervalued " Babe: Pig in the City ." A metropolis is remade to the requirements of fantasy. Tim Burton is cheerfully inventive in imagining the city and the factory, and the film's production design, by Alex McDowell, is a wonder. David Kelly, as Grandpa Joe, is a lovable geezer who agrees to accompany Charlie to the factory; you may remember him racing off naked on a motorcycle in " Waking Ned Devine " (1998). And young Freddie Highmore, who was so good opposite Depp in " Finding Neverland ," is hopeful and brave and always convincing as Charlie.

The problem is that this time, he finds Neverland. Johnny Depp may deny that he had Michael Jackson in mind when he created the look and feel of Willy Wonka, but moviegoers trust their eyes, and when they see Willy opening the doors of the factory to welcome the five little winners, they will be relieved that the kids brought along adult guardians. Depp's Wonka -- his dandy's clothes, his unnaturally pale face, his makeup and lipstick, his hat, his manner -- reminds me inescapably of Jackson (and, oddly, in a certain use of the teeth, chin and bobbed hairstyle, of Carol Burnett ).

The problem is not simply that Willy Wonka looks like Michael Jackson; it's that in a creepy way we're not sure of his motives. The story of Willy and his factory has had disturbing undertones ever since it first appeared in Roald Dahl's 1964 book (also named after Charlie, not Willy). Nasty and frightening things happen to the children inside the factory in the book and both movies; perhaps Willy is using the tour to punish the behavior of little brats, while rewarding the good, poor and decent Charlie. (How does it happen that each of the other four winners illustrates a naughty childhood trait? Just Willy's good luck, I guess.)

We see the wondrous workings of the factory in the opening titles, a CGI assembly-line sequence that swoops like a roller-coaster. When the five kids and their adult guardians finally get inside, their first sight is a marvel of imagination: A sugary landscape of chocolate rivers, gumdrop trees and (no doubt) rock candy mountains. Behind his locked doors, Willy has created this fantastical playground for -- himself, apparently. As the tour continues, we learn the secret of his work force: He uses Oompa Loompas, earnest and dedicated workers all looking exactly the same and all played, through a digital miracle, by the vaguely ominous Deep Roy . We're reminded of Santa's identical helpers in " The Polar Express ."

It is essential to the story that the bad children be punished. Their sins are various; Veruca Salt ( Julia Winter ) is a spoiled brat; Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb) is a competitive perfectionist; Mike Teavee ( Jordan Fry ) approaches the world with the skills and tastes he has learned through video games, and Augustus Gloop ( Philip Wiegratz ) likes to make a little pig out of himself.

All of these children meet fates appropriate to their misdemeanors. I might be tempted to wonder if smaller children will find the movie too scary, but I know from long experience with the first film that kids for some reason instinctively know this is a cautionary tale, and that even when a character is suctioned up by a chocolate conduit, all is not lost.

Charlie and his grandfather join wide-eyed in the tour, and there are subplots, especially involving Violet Beauregarde, before the happy ending. What is especially delightful are the musical numbers involving the Oompa Loompas, who seem to have spent a lot of time studying Hollywood musicals. The kids, their adventures and the song and dance numbers are so entertaining that Depp's strange Willy Wonka is not fatal to the movie, although it's at right angles to it.

What was he thinking of? In "Pirates of the Caribbean" Depp was famously channeling Keith Richards , which may have primed us to look for possible inspirations for this performance. But leaving " Pirates " aside, can anyone look at Willy Wonka and not think of Michael Jackson? Consider the reclusive lifestyle, the fetishes of wardrobe and accessories, the elaborate playground built by an adult for the child inside. What's going on here? Bad luck that the movie comes out just as the Jackson trial has finally struggled to a conclusion.

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert

Roger Ebert was the film critic of the Chicago Sun-Times from 1967 until his death in 2013. In 1975, he won the Pulitzer Prize for distinguished criticism.

Now playing

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

She Is Love

Christy lemire.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Infinity Pool

Brian tallerico.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Sheila O'Malley

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Winnie-the-Pooh: Blood and Honey

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

A Little White Lie

Tomris laffly, film credits.

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie poster

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Rated PG for quirky situations, action and mild language

115 minutes

Johnny Depp as Willy Wonka

Freddie Highmore as Charlie Bucket

David Kelly as Grandpa Joe

Helena Bonham-Carter as Mrs. Bucket

Noah Taylor as Mr. Bucket

Missi Pyle as Mrs. Beauregarde

James Fox as Mr. Salt

Deep Roy as Oompa Loompa

Julia Winter as Veruca Salt

AnnaSophia Robb as Violet

Jordan Fry as Mike Teavee

Philip Wiegratz as Augustus Gloop

Christopher Lee as Dr. Wonka

Directed by

Based on the book by, latest blog posts.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

A Well-Executed Combination of Humor and Vulnerability and Emotion: Kaitlin Olson on Champions

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Malibu’s Most Wanted at 20: Black Culture as Food For All

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Tracy’s McMillan’s UnPrisoned Uses Humor to Tell Truth

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

The Power of Lashana Lynch

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005)

Awards | FAQ | User Ratings | External Reviews | Metacritic Reviews

Did You Know?

Photo & Video

Related Items

Related lists from IMDb users

list image

Recently Viewed

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Or browse by category:

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

The Best 22 Movies of 2022

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Common Sense Selections for family entertainment

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

8 Tips for Getting Kids Hooked on Books

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Growing Up Queer: Thoughtful Books About LGBTQ+ Youth

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Check out new Common Sense Selections for games

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Teachers: Find the best edtech tools for your classroom with in-depth expert reviews

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Parents' Guide to Podcasts

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

How Do I Protect My Young Child from Cyberbullying?

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Great Documentaries to Celebrate Women's History Month

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Watch the series

Charlie and the chocolate factory (2005).

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Poster Image

Common Sense says

Bright, spirited, and edgy version of Willy Wonka.

Parents say

Based on 55 reviews

Based on 173 reviews

Common Sense is a nonprofit organization. Your purchase helps us remain independent and ad-free.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Did we miss something on diversity?

Research shows a connection between kids' healthy self-esteem and positive portrayals in media. That's why we've added a new "Diverse Representations" section to our reviews that will be rolling out on an ongoing basis. You can help us help kids by suggesting a diversity update.

Suggest an Update

A lot or a little.

The parents' guide to what's in this movie.

What Parents Need to Know

Parents need to know that Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a colorful kids' adventure that -- like the book -- includes some intense scenes. Obnoxious children are ridiculed visually and in words by the Oompa Loompas and dispatched. One girl blows up into a giant blueberry, another boy is sucked into a tube, the other girl is attacked and pinned down by squirrels who proceed to throw her down a garbage chute. In one early scene, dolls burn up and their eyeballs pop out. The movie is much closer in dark tone to the book than its cinematic predecessor. Willy Wonka himself seems to disdain families.

Community Reviews

Age appropriate is the real question, regardless of my enjoyment or lack there of.

This title has:

Report this review

Am i the only one, what's the story.

In CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY, young Charlie Bucket ( Freddie Highmore ) wins a chance to tour Willy Wonka's ( Johnny Depp ) chocolate factory, with four other children, when he purchases a chocolate bar that has a "golden ticket" inside. The group of children and guardians tour the factory, where they will see the top-secret, magical processes by which Willy Wonka makes his delicious candy. Specifically, they see the Oompa Loompas (all played by a digitally multiplied and reduced Deep Roy ) make the candy and mete out judgments against misbehaving children.

Is It Any Good?

Portrayed in broad, cartoonish strokes, the kids' cruelties in the film serve as comedy, though they're not always funny, and each child-parent set reveals its dysfunction. Indeed, the non-Charlie children are so loathsome that their various "punishments" seem deserved. These are staged as song-and-dance numbers by the Oompa Loompas, modeled after scenes that some parents will recall from other venues, for instance, Esther Williams musicals, the Who's guitar-smashing rock shows, Hair , Psycho , 2001: A Space Odyssey , The Fly , and even Tim Burton and Depp's Edward Scissorhands , in Willy's flashbacks to his troubled relationship with his dentist father ( Christopher Lee ). There are some current-day references, some of which fail miserably (the Oprah appearance comes to mind), while others are merely annoying and serve to break the film's dreamlike power.

The film's strangeness is often fun, in particular Depp's white-faced makeup, frisky line readings (check his explanation: "Everything in this room is eatable; even I'm eatable, but that's called cannibalism and frowned on in most societies"), and weird affect. But the narrative rhythms are uneven, and Charlie, especially, is undeveloped, more an emblem of goodness than a full-on character. While the novel maintains a more or less steady focus through Charlie's perspective of all these crazy goings-on, the film is less coherent. It skips about to cover multiple storylines, including Willy's memories and the four bad children's separate exploits, all eventually pulled together by Charlie's good-boy summary of what matters most, his cozy family.

Talk to Your Kids About ...

Families can talk about the characters' relationships with their parents in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory . How do Willy's difficulties with his dentist father affect him as an adult? How does his fear of his father's disapproval lead him to rebel? How does Charlie's good relationship with his parents and grandparents allow him to feel self-confident, trusting, and generous?

How does the film compare Charlie (as the good child) with bad children (rich, spoiled, greedy, materialistic)? How does the movie show that selfish, silly parents produce selfish, silly children?

How does Charlie demonstrate curiosity and integrity in Charlie and the Chocolate Factory ? Why are these important character strengths ?

Movie Details

Our Editors Recommend

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory Poster Image

Willy Wonka and the Chocolate Factory

Pure, sweet imagination for both kids and adults.

Edward Scissorhands Poster Image

Edward Scissorhands

Dark yet sweet underdog tale for older kids.

The Nightmare Before Christmas Poster Image

The Nightmare Before Christmas

Tim Burton magic with just a touch of scariness.

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events Poster Image

Lemony Snicket's A Series of Unfortunate Events

Book's fans will enjoy, but too creepy for some.

For kids who love colorful characters

Character Strengths

Find more movies that help kids build character.

Kid looking through telescope

Themes & Topics

Browse titles with similar subject matter.

Cartoon magic wand on orange background

Common Sense Media's unbiased ratings are created by expert reviewers and aren't influenced by the product's creators or by any of our funders, affiliates, or partners.

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory - Movie Review

Zora Flatley

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

Charlie and The Chocolate Factory - Movie Review

This is yet another film that’s based on a Novel. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory is a film that has issues according to the opinions of some critics. In my opinion, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is not as good as the original movie but it’s dreamy, smart and tells a really interesting story.

Tim Burton made this film a little darker and creepier than you’d normally expect, but I feel like the darkness is what makes it very cool.

The film's many memorable characters were performed by stars like Johnny Depp (Willy Wonka), Helena Bonham (Mrs. Bucket), David Kelly (Grandpa Joe) and a few very talented kids, including Freddie Highmore (Charlie Bucket), Annasofia Rob (Violet), Jordan Fry (Mike), Philip Weigratz (Augustus)  and Julia Winter (Veruca).

The film starts with Willy Wonka having a competition where he placed golden tickets inside his famous chocolate bars for kids to find. Those who find them will be able to enter Willy’s humongous chocolate factory, which is every kid’s dream come true.

Charlie is a poor kid whose dad works at a toothpaste factory and comes home every night to give Charlie the ruined Toothpaste caps so he can build his very own chocolate factory at home -the kid is that obsessed with Willy Wonka!

Charlie’s Grandpa Joe, who in the film used to work in the factory a really long time ago, tells Charlie stories about the factory and wonders how it’s still operating even though nobody works there anymore because of Willy’s competitors stealing his recipes which only led to the factory becoming less important or special.

Anyway, the problem is, Charlie is so poor that he can’t afford to buy Willy’s chocolate, he only gets one on his birthday and so it would be very hard for him to win that competition and become of the few kids to visit the mysterious factory.

Once Wonka lets the word out that he’s picking only 5 children to go to the tour. The world goes mad. Parents who pamper their kids in a spoiling way end up buying supermarkets full of Chocolate bars, and children tend to get really greedy and weird. Charlie on the other hand only gets one bar -an early birthday gift.

The film shows us that those who won are actually the weirdest kids of all; one that won’t stop eating, an athlete that gets obsessed with being the best at anything and everything like chewing gum, a smartass gamer that says "retards" can figure out where the golden ticket is, and finally a girl that is so spoiled that she doesn’t understand what it means not to get what she wants.

Charlie doesn’t get a ticket from his birthday present but he miraculously gets another chocolate bar with a ticket in it!

Finally, the 5 kids go with their parents and Charlie with his Grandpa to the Factory. As the door opens a few candy dolls start a little show, which gets all creepy at the end but somehow still pleases Willie Wonka.

The film is filled with weird characters -small people who Wonka says he grabbed out of some planet or forest and they keep performing good but still creepy performances and lots of memorable songs.

The Factory turns out to be an absolute adventure with things to try and things you can’t try and each one of those kids gets messed up and lost somehow in the factory because of their greediness.

Willie Wonka keeps remembering his father who used to abuse him and prevent him from eating candy and chocolate so he went on to pursue his dream which was to make and eat all the candy in the world but did not get over his paternal issues.

The film is deep and complicated and this film has amazing production values and special effects. It ends on a good note, and while it’s not better than the original movie, it’s a remake that you will absolutely enjoy.

Related Reviews

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory by Roald Dahl

Charlie and the Chocolate F...

Roald Dahl has always been an author with a w...

Charlie and the Great Glass Elevator by Roald Dahl - Book Review

Charlie and the Great Glass...

After “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory”, Da...

Little Women - Movie Review

Little Women - Movie Review

For many millennials, it’s probably hard to b...

Johnny Depp

Johnny Depp

Early Life John Christopher Depp II, better...

Other Reviews

Most viewed, charlie and the chocolate f....

This is yet another film that’s based on a No...

American History X - Movie review

American History X - Movie...

Apart from the attraction of mainstream movie...

Made in Abyss - TV Series Review

Made in Abyss - TV Series R...

Introduction Made in Abyss was produced by K...

The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button - Movie review

The Curious Case Of Benjami...

The inspiration for this movie comes from a s...

How I Met Your Mother - Season 1 - Review

How I Met Your Mother - Sea...

For years we have seen the age-old cliché of...

Recently Viewed

Updated 1 year ago

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Content Caution

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

In Theaters

Home Release Date


Movie Review

Charlie, Violet, Veruca, Mike and Augustus get another big-screen chance to win a chocolate factory, 40-plus years after Roald Dahl created them for his book Charlie and the Chocolate Factory .

Of course, there’s no surprise in who comes up with the big prize in the end. It’s the kid with the soul. The kid with the heart. The kid with the four bedridden grandparents. It’s Charlie Bucket, the kid who only has enough money to buy one candy bar a year—on his birthday. Grandpa George tells him there’s no way he will ever find that fifth golden ticket, but Charlie and Grandpa Joe are irrepressible. And irrepressibility, at least in Roald Dahl stories, is always rewarded.

So Charlie and his bratty, impertinent, greedy, stuck-up comrades waltz into Willy Wonka’s chocolate factory. And in so doing their story lives on for a new generation of young fans who hopefully, after watching, will become slightly less bratty, less impertinent, less greedy and less stuck-up than they were before.

Positive Elements

Each child who enters Wonka’s secret world represents either good or bad character traits. Four are bad. One is good. All serve a positive purpose.

Violet Beauregarde: A gum-smacking, karate-kicking, win-at-all-costs kind of girl, Violet shows what can go wrong when “girl-power” isn’t tempered with self-control, empathy and old-fashioned manners.

Veruca Salt: She’s haughty, belligerent, demanding, selfish and greedy. Anything she sees that she fancies, she demands that her parents get for her. She’s not above “cheating” to win her passport to Wonka’s factory, and she’s eventually brought to ruin when she ignores the warnings of her father and blindly pursues the latest-greatest “thing”—in this case, a squirrel.

Mike Teavee: Mike’s a know-it-all “mumbler” who’s obsessed with violent video games. He’s disrespectful, disobedient and headstrong. The point that’s made after he shrinks into a miniature boy? Video games and television keep you small. Kids need to be stretched outside their comfort zones to become balanced grown-ups.

Augustus Gloop: With a last name like Gloop, is it any wonder that Augustus is a slob, a boob and a single-minded glutton? Sucked into a swirling vortex of chocolate while stuffing his face, we’re all reminded that temperance is a virtue to be sought after with a vengeance.

Charlie Bucket: He shares what little he has with others. He loves his family. He’s content. Yet he’s full of dreams and creativity. He’s the kid every mom wants and every dad should strive to mold. To demonstrate the boy’s generous spirit, he’s seen sharing his one birthday chocolate bar with his whole family.

All of the children are shown to have become who they are because of the influence and guidance of their parents. So the lessons here are not just for the wee ones, they’re for the rest of us, too. The Oompa-Loompas nail it when they sing after Veruca falls down the rubbish chute: “Who turned her into such a brat?/Who are the culprits?/Who did that?/The guilty ones (and this is sad), dear old Mom and loving Dad.” When Grandpa Joe sees Veruca and her father on TV, he says, “That man spoils his daughter, and no good ever comes from spoiling a child.”

[ Spoiler Warning ] A new Chocolate Factory ending goes out of its way to reinforce the value of family. Charlie is at first offered the factory only if he goes alone with Wonka, leaving behind his parents and grandparents. Charlie never hesitates, flatly refusing. He’s much too bonded to his parents and grandparents to contemplate deserting them, even though fame, fortune and mountains of chocolate are his reward if he chooses to do so. Convicted by the example of his new young friend, Wonka proceeds to reconcile with his own father (a dentist!).

Elsewhere, Grandma Georgina urges Charlie to believe that nothing is impossible. And she’s the one who tells him not to give up hope when four tickets have already been claimed. But she’s not the only one in the family devoted to encouragement. Several times kind, uplifting words are exchanged.

Spiritual Elements

Seen living in their native Loompaland, the Oompa-Loompas bow down to and worship cacao beans.

Sexual Content

Violet’s mother shows off her cleavage in several scenes and makes eyes at Wonka. When a huge stack of Wonka bars disappears in the rush to get a golden ticket, a department store mannequin, standing nearby, is left wearing only lingerie. Trapped momentarily inside the movie Psycho , the tiny Mike Teavee finds himself in the shower with Marion Crane (her bare legs are seen).

Violent Content

Four children are “dispatched” during the factory tour. Sometimes the manner of their demise is violent; other times their sizes and shapes are magically changed. (Very young viewers may find some of their fates disconcerting, but all four are seen alive and well before the credits roll.) Augustus falls into a river of chocolate and is sucked into a large, transparent pipe where he becomes stuck for a time. Veruca is swarmed by squirrels who drag her over to the garbage chute. (Her father is also pushed over the edge.) Violet swells up and becomes a giant blueberry-girl. Mike is shrunk down to the size of a man’s hand.

When we first meet Violet, she is sparring with adults, leveling them with karate kicks and punches. The camera watches over Mike’s shoulder as he plays a first-person shooter video game. While exploring Loompaland, Wonka uses his machete to hack a whangdoodle (a giant, flying bug-like creature) in half.

A cow is whipped by the Oompa-Loompas (so that it will generate whipped cream). Wonka accidentally cracks his head against his glass elevator a couple of times. The elevator crashes through the Buckets’ roof. Tiny Mike Teavee dodges a stabbing knife blade (while onscreen in Psycho ). Dolls burn up and melt during a production Wonka stages.

Crude or Profane Language

Words such as “poppycock” and “balderdash” are most typically used instead of profanity. “H—” is said. When Grandpa George exclaims that Mike Teavee is a “bratty b——,” Mom covers Charlie’s ears, blocking out the word (for moviegoers, too). Grandpa Joe exclaims, “Holy Buckets!” Infrequent name-calling includes the terms “idiot,” “jerk,” “loser,” “retard,” “porker” and “stupid.”

Drug and Alcohol Content

Veruca’s mom is glimpsed drinking a martini.

Other Negative Elements

After killing the whangdoodle, Wonka licks its blood from his machete to see if it tastes good. It doesn’t. Moments later, the Oompa-Loompa chief offers Wonka a bowl full of crushed caterpillars to eat. Wonka tells a cannibal joke.

Let the voting begin. Who makes better chocolate? Gene Wilder or Johnny Depp? Only time will tell for sure, of course, but it’s my guess that Mr. Wilder will live on as King Wonka, while history will force Depp to play second fiddle as Weird Wonka. The sheer androgyny evoked by his mannerisms, his hair, his makeup, his outrageously perfect teeth, and his Elton John-inspired glasses and getups scrapes on your nerves after a while. And the joke wears a bit thin about the third time he accuses those around him of being the weird ones.

Aside from a few missing story connections and director Tim Burton and Depp conspiring to turn Wonka into a wacko, though, the tone of the script owes more than a little to Wilder’s 1971 movie (minus all that sorrowful singing, thankfully). And it burrows deeper into the book and the stage play while it’s at it. An added bonus is that the special effects are super-cool, kid-friendly and positively hunger-inducing, and the Oompa-Loompas’ song-and-dance routines are a riot. All told, I’m sure author Roald Dahl, were he still with us, would be pleased. His playful morality tale is respected here, and the lessons he sought to teach arrive alive and kicking, with a scrumdidlyumptious bar of chocolate ever at the ready to help the medicine go down.

Logo for The Plugged In Show by Focus on the Family

Steven Isaac

Latest reviews.

Southern Gospel 2023 movie

Southern Gospel

Scream 6 2023 movie

The Magic Flute

Champions 2023 movie

Weekly Reviews Straight to your Inbox!

Logo for Plugged In by Focus on the Family


Get news & reviews in your inbox

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Dove Review

I am very, very surprised with Tim Burton and his wonderful new film “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory.” There haven’t been many Dove family-approved films that Tim Burton has produced, written or directed. The one that comes to mind that did receive the Dove Seal is “Big Fish.” Most of Burton’s films I find to be dark, morose and violent. “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is more quirky and fun than anything else. It is also a remake that I found much more enjoyable than the original. Burton had many opportunities to take the low road, but didn’t move in that direction.

I am more and more impressed with Johnny Depp’s versatile acting talents with every one of his films I see. I thought he was wonderful in “Finding Neverland” (2004), “Pirates of the Caribbean” (2003) and “What’s Eating Gilbert Grape” (1993). Depp has tremendous “deppth” as an actor. He can be crazy, quirky, and serious while not seeming the same in every film. He was so funny and crazy as Willy Wonka that I was captivated by his performance.

The Oompa Loompas are fun to watch and the special effects used with them are impressive. All in all, this film is very well done and extremely enjoyable.

Dove Rating Details

Man kills big flying bug with sword; singing puppets catch on fire; boy pushes Loompas down; child plays violent video game and yells out die, die, die; girl in karate class hits and kicks opponents; squirrels attack child and drag the child to a hole in the floor.

Woman has a drink.

Oompa Loompas worship cocoa beans.

More Information

Film information, dove content.

Faith Film Producer DeVon Franklin Steps in Front of the Camera for ‘Jesus Revolution’

Faith Film Producer DeVon Franklin Steps in Front of the Camera for ‘Jesus Revolution’

Cyrano: Love is a Verb

Cyrano: Love is a Verb

Redeeming Love: Grace Rising Up Out of the Dirt

Redeeming Love: Grace Rising Up Out of the Dirt

Filmmakers Highlight the Hope and Heroism in “Gigi and Nate”

Filmmakers Highlight the Hope and Heroism in “Gi...

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory


"virtue is its own reward".

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

What You Need To Know:

(BBB, CapCapCap, C, V, M) Very strong moral worldview with very strong pro-capitalist message that is pro-family, favors good parenting, rebukes bad habits in children, and warns against letting children watch too much television and playing violent video games; some redemptive elements; no foul language, but song twice says Willy Wonka is the “best darn guy who ever lived,” gosh darn is said a couple times, and double entendre joke is made about squirrels and the nuts they are trained to inspect; comical, slapstick violence includes a couple pratfalls, little girl karate chops three men and knocks them down (played for laughs), boy who can't swim falls into river of chocolate and struggles, pipe sucks boy from chocolate stream, squirrels throw two people down garbage chute, glass elevator crashes through glass ceiling and roof, character blows up like a blueberry, angry boy plays violent video game and yells, “Die! Die!” while shooting creatures, watching too much TV and playing violent video games has made boy too aggressive and he smashes a large candy egg with his feet in one scene, man in jungle kills giant flying wasp-like bug when it chases him, and mechanical dolls catch fire; no sex, but Willy Wonka mentions that chocolate releases endorphins that make people feel as if they’re in love and woman gives him a romantic facial expression; no nudity; no alcohol; no smoking; and, bad habits rebuked, some talk about luck, one rich father spoils his daughter, father won’t let young Willy Wonka have any candy and Willy runs away from home to become a chocolatier, but reconciliation eventually occurs.

More Detail:

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a wondrously quirky and, ultimately, heartwarming adaptation of the popular classic children’s book. It has a very strong pro-family message with many moral messages. It’s also a lot of fun.

In the story, based on Roald Dahl’s book, Charlie Buckets lives with his parents and grandparents in a poor, dilapidated shack on the edge of town. The shack is so small that his grandparents have to sleep in the same bed. His Grandpa Joe used to work at Willy Wonka’s large candy factory nearby, but Willy Wonka fired all of his workers when some of them stole some of his recipes and sold them to his three rivals. No one knows how Willy Wonka makes his candy now.

One day, Willy Wonka inserts five golden tickets into his Wonka chocolate bars. The tickets allow five special children, and one of their parents as chaperone, to take a tour of Willy Wonka’s factory. At the end of the day, one of the children will receive a special surprise, the best surprise of all.

Charlie and his family waits anxiously while the tickets are found. Charlie’s parents are so poor, however, that they can only afford one candy bar for their son. The bar has no golden ticket, and neither does the candy bar that Grandpa Joe buys for Charlie with his Grandpa’s meager savings. Charlie just happens to find some money on the street one day, and the candy bar he purchases for himself has the last of the five golden tickets.

Unlike Charlie, the four other winning children are mean and/or greedy. One by one, they get into trouble in Willy Wonka’s factory, and Willy Wonka’s big surprise falls within Charlie’s grasp.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY won’t stop people from fondly remembering the Gene Wilder version from 1971. For one thing, its songs are not as catchy and memorable as the Oompa Loompa song in the original movie or the famous Candyman song. The new movie has plenty of charms of its own, however, not the least of which is Johnny Depp’s performance as Willy Wonka the candy maker. Freddie Highmore also does an excellent job as young Charlie, as does David Kelly as Charlie’s Uncle Joe. Tim Burton, the director, lavishly films Willy Wonka’s magical factory with all the imagination it deserves. Best of all, Charlie’s family seems more heartwarming in the new film. The love they display toward Charlie and toward one another adds to the movie’s strong pro-family message.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY has many other positive moral lessons to impart.

For example, the character of Willy Wonka presents a strong capitalist role model, despite his quirky behavior. Willy Wonka cares deeply about the products he makes, and about serving the consumers who buy them, even though he could care less about their private lives. Wonka learns through the course of the movie that, if you don’t feel happy about the products you make, then you probably won’t make very good products. The story also teaches capitalism based on meritocracy. Only the very best and nicest child will receive Willy Wonka’s special surprise at the end of the tour.

Eventually, Charlie teaches Willy Wonka that having a loving family is more important than being rich and successful. The movie also rebukes bad habits like constantly chewing gum, extols good parenting skills and warns parents about letting their children watch too much television and play violent video games.

CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a deliciously delectable delight that will please many children of all ages.

Now more than ever we’re bombarded by darkness in media, movies, and TV. Movieguide® has fought back for almost 40 years, working within Hollywood to propel uplifting and positive content. We’re proud to say we’ve collaborated with some of the top industry players to influence and redeem entertainment for Jesus. Still, the most influential person in Hollywood is you. The viewer.

What you listen to, watch, and read has power. Movieguide® wants to give you the resources to empower the good and the beautiful. But we can’t do it alone. We need your support.

You can make a difference with as little as $7. It takes only a moment. If you can, consider supporting our ministry with a monthly gift. Thank you.

Movieguide® is a 501c3 and all donations are tax deductible.

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Enjoy articles like this? Sign up for our mailing list to receive the latest news, interviews, and movie reviews for families:

movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (United States, 2005)

If there is any living director who can do justice to the warped nature of Roald Dahl's "children's stories," it's Tim Burton. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory isn't the first time these two have "collaborated." Burton produced Henry Selick's animated James and the Giant Peach , but this time he's in the director's chair, with his favorite star in the camera's crosshairs. Although this movie is an adaptation of one of Dahl's best loved stories, Charlie and the Chocolate Factory feels like Burton through-and-through - from the bits and pieces cut from Edward Scissorhands to an ending that hearkens back to the theme of father/son affection from Big Fish .

Let me dispense with the obvious comparison immediately: this version is more faithful and substantive than Mel Stuart's foppish 1971 production, Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory . Somehow - probably because many of my generation saw this year-after-year on television during our youths - that overrated motion picture has become a classic. Dahl hated it, and it's no wonder why: the edgy became genial, Willy Wonky was transformed into a father figure, and the Oompa Loompas sang lame songs (okay, so one or two of those tunes are catchy). In making this movie, Burton shoulders aside Stuart's film and returns to the source material. The result is faithful enough to have earned the Dahl family's seal of approval.

As the movie opens, we learn that Willy Wonka (Johnny Depp), the famous candy-maker recluse, has hidden golden tickets inside the wrappers of five of the millions of Wonka candy bars sold around the world. Those lucky enough to find them will be treated to a tour of the Wonka candy facility - the largest chocolate factory in the world. Gradually, the winners are revealed. The first is Augustus Gloop (Philip Wiegratz), a pig of a boy who considers chocolate to be his primary food group. The second is Veruca Salt (Julia Winter), the most spoiled girl in England. Her pantywaist father (Edward Fox) denies her nothing. Winner #3 is Violet Beauregarde (Annasophia Robb), an overachiever who turns mundane activities into contests she must win. The fourth is Mike Teavee (Jordon Fry), a super-intelligent video game addict who thinks the world revolves around the television and electronics. Finally, winner #5 is Londoner Charlie Bucket (Freddie Highmore), a poor boy who uses his last money to buy the winning candy bar. Accompanied by his grandfather, Joe (David Kelly), he arrives at the Wonka factory at the appointed hour, ready to begin the tour.

The inside of Willy Wonka's factory is like a warped version of Disneyworld crossed with Oz. There are chocolate waterfalls and flying glass elevators. All of the work is done by the pint sized Oompa Loompas (all played by Deep Roy, who is replicated via CGI), who never once sing anything about "dippity-doo." However, they do sing… and dance. Their numbers vary from rock to Bollywood while using music by Danny Elfman and lyrics from Dahl's book. Whether you like them or hate them (and I fall into the former category), the songs don't last long, so this places Charlie and the Chocolate Factory into the category of a fractured fairy tale, not a musical. Still, there's plenty of satire and wit in these songs - most of which will go over the heads of children in the audience.

The film's message is a positive one - overindulgence and selfishness are bad things - but it is conveyed in a rather shocking manner as, one-by-one, Charlie's companions suffer cruel fates. All's well that end's well, I suppose, but there's a moment when it looks like Violet is going to become Tim Burton's answer to Monty Python's infamous Mr. Creosote. (She doesn't, of course, since this is a PG-rated movie.) Charlie and the Chocolate Factory is a family film, but it is off the beaten track. It's darker than Willy Wonka , and the gaudy set decoration and special effects are light years ahead of what they were 34 years ago.

Johnny Depp's portrayal of Wonka is creepy. This is the kind of man one wouldn't feel safe leaving a child alone with. Every once in a while, he says something unexpected. Consider, for example, his introduction to a chamber in his factory: "Everything in this room is edible. Even I'm edible. But that is called cannibalism, and it's frowned upon in most societies." Does Depp's Wonka recall Michael Jackson? Without question, and some of the mannerisms are so similar that it's impossible to believe it's a coincidence. Depp and Burton have said that the portrayal is based on Howard Hughes and Edward Scissorhands, and it's not hard to see those influences, as well. In fact, Burton pays explicit homage to his earlier movie in a scene in which Wonka is shown hefting a pair of large scissors to cut a ribbon.

Young Freddie Highmore acquits himself admirably as Charlie, and what he accomplishes here may help to dispel the memory of Peter Ostrum's hideous acting in the same role more than three decades ago. This is Highmore's second consecutive outing opposite Depp - the two appeared in Finding Neverland . The supporting cast is filled out nicely. Helena Bonham Carter (Burton's current off-screen leading lady) and Noah Taylor play Charlie's parents. And veteran Irish character actor David Kelly is Grandpa Joe. Kelly has enjoyed a long and fruitful career, with recent international screen roles in films like Waking Ned Devine and The Matchmaker , but he may be best-known as the infamous Mr. O'Reilly from John Cleese's Fawlty Towers .

The mixture of the gothic and the jaunty makes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a sometimes topsy-turvy experience. In terms of how it works, it's not unlike Little Shop of Horrors , the musical comedy about murder, mayhem, and a giant Venus Fly Trap. There's a dark side to that movie's fun, as well. (Both films feature a shot from inside a mouth as a dentist performs a procedure.) By adding a subplot about Willy and his father, Burton gives his lead character and the story an added emotional component. It's hard to say what fans of Willy Wonka & the Chocolate Factory will make of this movie - many of the basic elements are the same, but the "feel" is entirely different. Lovers of Dahl's book, however, will almost certainly appreciate what Burton has wrought.

Comments Add Comment

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

R oald Dahl's cheerful detestation of children - exceeded only by that of WC Fields - boils to the surface like nuts in a vat of molten goo in this highly enjoyable revival of his fantasy about the reclusive and, indeed, barking mad confectioner Willy Wonka.

Willy has taken it into his head to allow five lucky children a peek at the inside of his factory with its lakes and rivers and waterfalls of chocolate. Imagine eating all that! But Willy has his dark side and the most exquisitely horrible moment is when one of the little brats gets flushed down the factory's interestingly designed swirling garbage chute. Could this be the Hershey Highway to hell?

It is director Tim Burton's best film for years, miles better than the woeful Big Fish or Planet of the Apes. He cleverly serves up an authentic Dahlian gloop, mixing a dash of sentimentality with a quart of satirical grossout, to which generations of young readers have gleefully responded. I couldn't help remembering Ian Carmichael, in I'm All Right Jack, throwing up into a vat of chocolate mix after his tour of the sweet factory.

Burton gives everything a retro Day-Glo 1960s feel: Lucy in the Sky with Maltesers. The factory interiors are like sets for some forgotten, drug-influenced series of Ready Steady Go!; Wonka's servant race of factory-hands, the Oompa-Loompas, sing along to their own wackily celebratory choreography after each appalling child comes to his or her gruesome and well-deserved end. Alex McDowell's production design makes the Wonka factory, with its gaunt brickwork and smokeless towers, look a bit like the Thames Bankside power-station before it became Tate Modern, and the W-O-N-K-A lettering made me think he'd been inspired by the Granada Television building in Manchester.

Johnny Depp is terrific casting as Wonka, a dysfunctional dandy with a blunt topper covering a grown-out Beatles-mop haircut and a crushed velveteen jacket he appears to have bought at Lord John in Carnaby Street. As often as not, he wears weirdo sunglasses, like those 1960s black-and-white televisions resembling astronaut-helmets to be found atop white plastic stalks on shagpile carpets. He has dazzling dentures and his fastidious manner is a blend of Howard Hughes and a giggling, soft-spoken Michael Jackson. (There's also the tiniest hint of Mike Myers's Dr Evil wondering nervously if Mini-Me is "giving off that creepy Oompa-Loompa vibe".)

After decades of never allowing anyone near his palace of sticky enchantments, Willy decides to let a handful of kids inside, by lottery: five bars of his chocolate will have an inestimably valuable gold ticket inside. Of course, they are mostly horrible spoilt brats in dated stereotypes: a fat German, a couple of pushy Yanks and one stuck-up little Brit with a worrying look of the young Princess Elizabeth. And there's our hero, little Charlie Bucket, one of Britain's deserving poor, played by the young Freddie Highmore. This child actor's cherubic, tousled manner is a tiny bit sucrose for my taste, but nevertheless Charlie melts the hard candy of Willy's heart and unlocks the secret of his relationship with fierce Wonka Sr, robustly played by Christopher Lee.

We last saw Highmore and Depp together in that icky biopic of JM Barrie, the creator of Peter Pan. It's tempting to wonder if Burton has cheekily brought them together again simply in order to cover that terrible film with a well-deserved Technicolor yawn. Maybe. Or maybe it's just that he sees that their rapport works better when Depp doesn't have to be so silly and solemn.

This is quite a scary account of the Dahl story - though no scarier, arguably, than strict fidelity to the great man requires - and much darker than the 1971 Gene Wilder version. That was a U certificate, and this is PG, and it's not really for little kids, more tweenies and young teens, and even they may not grasp how complicated are the emotions of a grown man dedicated to offering children sweets. Johnny Depp's Willy Wonka is a very distant cousin to Robert Helpmann's lolly-brandishing Child Catcher, inserted into the film version of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang after Roald Dahl was brought in to work on the script.

Depp's Wonka is rather droll and tolerant, more like a bachelor uncle or wealthy godfather than anything else, desperate for some young spiritual heir to understand his world-view - but airily content to preside over beastly children getting an awful comeuppance. Charlie is the only one of the kids to grasp the importance of thrashing cows to get the proper whipped cream: we get a glimpse of this outrageously Incorrect process in one of his white-walled preparation rooms. The story as it unfolds is strangely unnerving and unsettling, a mood Burton assists with some zany movie pastiches.

"Candy doesn't have to have a point," says Wonka towards the end of the movie. The whole thing is a celebration of the supremely unproductive, irresponsible and nutrition-free pleasure of eating sweets: a pleasure we'll never again recapture completely as adults. "Chocolate has endorphins," Wonka slyly suggests to one of the shocked and disapproving parents, " ... the feeling of being in love." Of being in love with chocolate, that is. It's the heart of this glutinous, gluttonous, subversive tale.

Most viewed


  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie Review and Ratings by Kids

    movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory Movie Review and Ratings by Kids

    movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

  3. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (film)

    movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

  4. Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Movie at now.bestmoviehd.net

    movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

  5. Ranking Roald Dahl's Films: Where Does The BFG Fit?

    movie review charlie and the chocolate factory

  6. Watch Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Full Movie

    movie review charlie and the chocolate factory


  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory #BehindTheScenes 🎥🐿️ #shorts

  2. August Gloop "I eat more candy!"

  3. Book review

  4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  5. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

  6. Book review "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory "


  1. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    Critic Reviews for Charlie and the Chocolate Factory · If anything cramps Depp, and the film's sense of fun, it is the weight that is placed on reconciliation

  2. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory movie review (2005)

    Visually stunning, but I found it particularly joyless, serious and mostly forgettable. The part with the squirrels is probably my favorite. I

  3. Reviews: Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    This movie surprisingly has many comparisons to candy.It's sweet, delightful, and rich in taste.Johnny Depp also does a marvelous job as Willy Wonka himself.

  4. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory (2005) Movie Review

    Portrayed in broad, cartoonish strokes, the kids' cruelties in the film serve as comedy, though they're not always funny, and each child-parent set reveals its

  5. Charlie and The Chocolate Factory

    The film is deep and complicated and this film has amazing production values and special effects. It ends on a good note, and while it's not better than the

  6. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    So Charlie and his bratty, impertinent, greedy, stuck-up comrades waltz into Willy Wonka's chocolate factory. And in so doing their story lives on for a new

  7. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    “Charlie and the Chocolate Factory” is more quirky and fun than anything else. It is also a remake that I found much more enjoyable than the original. Burton


    CHARLIE AND THE CHOCOLATE FACTORY is a deliciously delectable delight that will please many children of all ages. Director Tim Burton lavishly films Willy

  9. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    The mixture of the gothic and the jaunty makes Charlie and the Chocolate Factory a sometimes topsy-turvy experience. In terms of how it works, it's not unlike

  10. Charlie and the Chocolate Factory

    It is director Tim Burton's best film for years, miles better than the woeful Big Fish or Planet of the Apes. He cleverly serves up an authentic