Ultimately, the message of the film—that bad days are a part of life, and can actually help us appreciate the good ones—is a productive one for kids, even if it’s undermined by the relentless, corporate-mandated “happily ever after” optimism that is Disney’s specialty. Read more.

Keith Uhlich, Time Out New York

The movie’s admirable fleetness, however, doesn’t mitigate some of its narrative errors—Alexander’s opening voiceover suggests his family is totally oblivious to his role in their misery, which is disproved by a later scene—nor does it counteract an overall sense of slightness that prevents this from being a family-film classic. Read more.

Stephen Whitty, The Star-Ledger

Arteta is certainly a surprising choice. He’s done comedy before, but the adult comedy of discomfort. “The Good Girl” (with Jennifer Aniston having a fling with a teenager) and “Cedar Rapids” (with Ed Helms at a disastrous convention) were both his, and not the sort of edgy fare that usually wins a director an interview at Disney. But good for them. It’s Arteta’s ease with generating that slight sense of social awkwardness that makes “Alexander” a cut above the usual live-action family comedy. Read more.