The Reviews Are In For 'Cats' And They're So, So, Bad

by Madison Vanderberg
Universal Pictures

The bizarre movie adaption of the musical Cats is being panned by the critics

As someone who ritualistically watched their VHS copy of the Broadway performance of Cats almost every weekend of my childhood, it brings me absolutely no joy to say this, but the reviews for the new movie musical Cats are bad. They’re so, so, bad. In theory, Cats should be great! Oscar-winner Tom Hooper directed it! Taylor Swift wrote an original song for the soundtrack! The great Jennifer Hudson sings in it! I mean, it’s truly a shame that it’s being panned by critics, but as one Boston Globe reviewer wrote, “My eyes are burning. Oh god, my eyes.”

Now that the embargo has lifted, Reddit compiled all the reviews, highlighting the worst pull quotes, which range from The Hollywood Reporter calling it “Cat-astrophic,” to The Playlist dramatically stating that “theater is dead.” Yikes.

The reviews ranged from critiques about the absolute madness of the production to confusion over the choice to sexualize the cats. Yes, really. Sexy cats. **shudders**.

“If you recoiled back then at the sight of British acting royalty with their faces stuck onto little furry bodies, or even just the jarring image of cats with human breasts, chances are you’ll still be covering your eyes and peering in a profoundly disturbed state through the gaps between your fingers at the finished film. At least until boredom sets in.” — The Hollywood Reporter

“Watching CATS is like stumbling upon an unholy and heretofore unknown genre of porn. Every time these horny fur demons tongue a milk bowl and start moaning I was certain the FBI would raid the theater.” — Kyle Buchanan, awards season columnist for The New York Times via Twitter.

“Tom Hooper’s direction to his actors for this semblance of a plot was to act it super horny. That doesn’t give Cats a raw sexual energy as much as it makes everything incredibly uncomfortable like when Rum Tum Tugger (Jason Derulo) is dumping milk into cats’ faces or Macavity just seems more nude than other cats even though technically all the cats are nude…Cats always feels like it’s two seconds away from turning into a furry orgy in a dumpster. That’s the energy you have to sit with for almost two hours.” — Collider.

“In fact, for a good while…it’s painful enough to make your heart race for everyone involved.” — The Wrap.

But wait! There was one somewhat positive review of the film in The Wrap‘s write-up.

“It does enchant a few times, thanks to the ease with which Jennifer Hudson (as downtrodden Grizabella), Judi Dench (as regal Old Deuteronomy) and Ian McKellen (as, who else, the Theater Cat) growl some feeling into the heaving, disorienting strangeness,” Robert Abele writes.

Like we said, somewhat positive.

Apologies all around if the family Christmas Day movie outing was supposed to involve seeing Cats.