Many of us are familiar with Lyle, the friendly crocodile who lived with the Primm family in the house on East 88th Street, but we’ve certainly never seen him portrayed as we will when Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile hits theaters on October 7. Pop singer Shawn Mendes stars as the voice of the titular reptile. Based on that bit of casting, you can glean that this children’s story has been turned into a full-blown musical for the big screen, with original music from Benj Pasek and Justin Paul (The Greatest Showman, Dear Evan Hanson and La La Land). Critics have had the chance to screen the movie ahead of its release, so let’s see what they think.
Alongside Shawn Mendes’ pipes, the live-action stars of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile include Winslow Fegley, Oscar winner Javier Bardem, Constance Wu, Scoot McNairy and Stranger Things standout Brett Gelman. Let’s see what critics are saying, starting with CinemaBlend’s review of Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. Our own Sarah El-Mahmoud rates the movie 2 stars out of 5, saying that while Bardem delivers, the rest of the movie is “all melody and no pizzazz.” She says:
Robert Abele of The Wrap agrees with the above assessment about Javier Bardem being a standout in a movie that otherwise just feels like an attempt to cash in on Paddington’s success. The review says:
Jude Dry of IndieWire says this adaptation of a beloved children’s book proves that nothing is safe or sacred in Hollywood. The critic gives Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile a grade of B-, saying:
Chase Hutchinson of Collider grades the movie a C+, also noting that it lacks the magic needed to make a memorable or nostalgic experience:
Frank Scheck of THR, however, says kids are likely to enjoy the “undeniably adorable” crocodile, even if audiences are likely to forget the original music before they’ve even left the theater. He says:
While the critics don’t seem to think this movie meets the expectations set by similar nostalgia grabs like Paddington and other iconic children's movies, aspects including Shawn Mendes’ singing voice and Javier Bardem’s performance were positive takeaways from Lyle, Lyle, Crocodile. If you’d like to accompany the younger members of your family to this musical affair, you can do so starting Friday, October 7. Also be sure to check out our 2022 Movie Release Schedule to see what else is hitting theaters soon.
Mom of two and hard-core '90s kid. Unprovoked, will quote Friends in any situation. Thrives on New Orleans Saints football, The West Wing and taco trucks.
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