Cats Movie Gets A Mauling From Critics: ‘It Is Unbelievable That It Even Exists’

The claws are well and truly out.

Despite being one of the most hyped films of the year, the film adaption of Cats has failed to deliver – and then some, according to the world’s film critics at least.

Ahead of its release tomorrow, the big screen version of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s 1981 musical has been savaged by film critics.

Things weren’t looking too good when the trailer arrived in July, and we got our first look at the CGI human-cat hybrids, which were met with widespread dismay.

Since then, the finished product has become one of Hollywood’s most eagerly anticipated releases, as fans questioned whether Cats would live up – or down – to expectations.

Now, the reviews are in and even the combined star quality of Taylor Swift, James Corden, Idris Elba, Dame Judi Dench and Sir Ian McKellen has been unable to stop a wave of poor scores. Let’s just say the critics didn’t hold back...


“So, to confirm, it’s bad. It is a bad film and cannot be recommended. It is unbelievable that it even exists. Like a miserable, flea-bitten old tabby who should have been put down a long time ago, it’s hard to begrudge, at least.

“As they gaze at the greenscreen and sashay and crawl, it’s weird to behold them all gurning and acting. And why do so many resemble Darth Maul?”

“Judi Dench is sentimental casting, for she was due to star in the very first production before dropping out after snapping an Achilles tendon. She shouldn’t have accepted. Her appearance here, as a big old pantomime lion, is preposterous. You never stop thinking: doesn’t the great Judi Dench look daft, tricked out like that? She, like so many here, basically looks like she’s got a horribly advanced fungal problem.”

“Cats is destined to go down in glorious infamy. It’s one of those rare cinematic events that feels like a collective hallucination – improbable and entirely indescribable. What can you say when faced with Ian McKellen, CGI-ed into a cat-person body, gingerly licking milk out of a bowl? How do you react to Idris Elba throwing off his coat to reveal a set of rippling cat abs? What do you do when Taylor Swift starts shaking her cat boobs, while sprinkling catnip into an enraptured crowd? The big-screen adaptation of the musical Cats cannot be tamed. You strap in, you experience it, and then you live with the memories.”

“I’ve no idea why they’ve squandered on much money on the ‘digital fur technology’, as it still looks as if the cast are leaping around in makeup and furry costumes. At least the set designers seemed to have fun. Fans of musical theatre will possibly lap it up, though the kids in my preview screening were noticeably quiet throughout, and it left me feline embarrassed for all concerned.”

“At times, it was like watching a horror film. Rebel removes her skin. As baddie Macavity, a trilby-wearing Idris Elba (again mostly absent), reminded me of Freddie Kruger. Jennifer Hudson’s downtrodden glamour puss Grizabella has a hairy chest. It’s overwhelmingly weird.”

“The plot, essentially, could be written on a slip of blotter acid: A scampering throng of spandex-y, alley-stalking strays assemble in the late-night streets of London for a sort of tomcat talent show, deciding which among them they will ritually murder — sorry, “send to the Heaviside layer” — by dawn.”

“I could go on and must go on — yet how to explain the seemingly unexplainable, beginning with a narrative and language that borders on the gnomic? A doctoral thesis could be written on how this misfire sputtered into existence, though there’s nothing new about the movies’ energetic embrace of bad taste.”

”It is like a nesting doll of bad decisions buried within catastrophic ones.”

Cats is released in the UK on Friday 20 December. Read HuffPost’s verdict here.


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