13+ Artemis Fowl Reviews – Strong Disney+ Stench

Artemis Fowl ⭐️½

Click the title above to read my review. I think it hits the low, er, high points.

You’ve probably heard by now that this straight to Disney+ film with $125 million budget is a stinker. Get yourself over to competing streaming service Netflix and watch Spike Lee’s insightful Da 5 Bloods instead, but if you really want to read why this movie sucks, stay with me.

Yes, Branagh and/or folks at Disney were potentially gun-shy about making a movie about a pint-sized villain who maliciously kidnaps a fairy to get fairy gold and restore his family fortune. We can debate the wisdom of that possibility, and how the choice to make Artemis into a more conventional Y.A. fantasy hero (including regular clothes, a traditional physicality and a mostly healthy relationship with his father) negated the very thing that made the Artemis Fowl I.P. worthwhile.

‘Artemis Fowl’: Hollywood Keeps Making The Same Franchise-Killing Mistake

Ouch. First, the good reviewer warning.

… you’ve been warned, SPOILERS ahead …

The story is almost impossible to follow, the characters unlikable, the acting attrocious


But … the book series is good

I can’t vouch for the books because I haven’t read them, but have read plenty of people praising how great they are. And readers of this well-thought of series seem even more distressed about this movie adaptation.

Wouldn’t be the first, and sadly not last, time that good books are translated poorly.

Oh, that budget, that pesky, bloated budget

Whenever I see a terrible movie squandering a $100+ million budget, I think of all the amazing movies that have been done through history for a couple million or less dollars. Seriously, dozens of great films could be made for the same amount of money spent on Artemis Fowl (see: $100+ Million Movie Budgets Are Stupid)

Josh Gad is a bright spot, that should say enough

I’m not in the hate on Josh Gad actor club, but when he’s a positive as narrator of any film, that reinforces the narrative of those who do dislike his performances. Gad’s problem is he seems to be a one-dimensional actor with a really harsh, whiny voice. It grates on your nerves just hearing this guy talk. Here, however, his narration — somehow, some way — inexplicably works.

Remember Cats, yeah, then this?!?!, fire your agent Judi Dench

It’s official, I don’t want to see Judi Dench in another film any time soon as anything other than, well, Judi Dench.

Judi Dench is a great actress, but she’s been seduced by two foul scripts in the last year, both dressing her up as non-human characters. That abortive mess Cats and now, this. Judi, dear, time for a new agent if s/he recommended either of these garbage films.

Films like these will continue the unfair belief that streaming films can’t be as good as theatrical releases

Perhaps the worst part of this supports the notion that a movie that goes straight to streaming must by default be inferior. It’s the same diss on TV films being lesser quality than theatrical releases. There are plenty of awful theatrical releases and had there been no pandemic this film would have bombed very badly in theaters.

There have been some amazing, outstanding movies released directly on streaming within the last year. This isn’t one of them, unfortunately.

Reviews by Others

Enough of why I didn’t care for it, what do others think of Artemis Fowl?


  1. BecFlix Film Reviews: “…it’s story line is interesting enough for a quiet Sunday afternoon movie. It’s easy enough, and suitable for family viewing. It doesn’t make a huge impact, and probably isn’t a film that you would tell everyone to see. It’s easy going television, but doesn’t feel like something big hitting.”

Not Recommended

  1. Clay Bones (1/5): “For a film that seeps mythical potential, you’re left wondering where the magic is. A couple of decades in the film draft room, and an audacious budget which surpasses the $120mil mark, you find yourself scratching your head due to what little they have to show for it.”
  2. Drew’s Movie Reviews: “…was OK. I can’t convince myself to say this is a bad film but it’s close. Even with a non-existent story, mediocre visuals, and pacing issues abound, I must admit that I had at least a little bit of fun. Not enough to revisit it again but enough to call it mediocre at best.”
  3. Fast Film Reviews / Mark Hobin (1/5): “I couldn’t decipher it.  For the uninitiated (that would include me) Artemis Fowl is an impenetrable hodgepodge.”
  4. Film Planet (0/5): “…is one of the worst Disney live action films to have been released In some time (which is saying a lot given the live action remakes), being that it is an unfinished mess of a film with a cobbled together weak story, bad acting and characters that range from annoying, to bland to unlikable. There is nothing close to redeemable about this film.”
  5. Griff’s Picks: “Bland, incoherent and half-baked in just about every element, Artemis Fowl is ultimately a charmless, glossy and empty chore of weightless world-building.”
  6. Jeremy Greer: “They left the movie open for a sequel that it’s clearly not going to get, which just leaves you feeling even more unsatisfied by the end. I like what they were trying to do here, but they just didn’t make it work. If you want to follow this story, I’d suggest you just read the books.”
  7. Jordan Woodson’s Reviews: “Overall, this was a complete disaster of a movie and there is no way the books are anywhere near the quality of this or else they wouldn’t be as popular and beloved as they seem to be.”
  8. Keith & The movies (1.5/5): “Aside from the blandest storytelling and the most cookie-cutter characters, the dialogue is mind-numbing.”
  9. leebutler / Movie Meister Reviews (1/5): “This is pathetic even by Disney standards, and considering this was something I looked forward to after the trilogy of awful remakes from last year… I just can’t have nice things, can I?”
  10. Maz / The Nerds Uncanny (Grade: D): “Doing season instead of a 93-minute film would also have made all the information that’s thrown at us easier to digest. As is, “Artemis Fowl” is a chopped up mess that wastes an entertaining premise and an eccentric array of characters.”
  11. Moshfish Reviews: “a bad movie. It would have needed some real work to be great, but there is no reason it could not have been at least ‘good’. But as it stands, it just gets added to the pile alongside EragonPercy JacksonAvatar: The Last Airbender and Dragonball Evolution, among many more, in the garbage pile.”
  12. Rattan Mutti / thedisinsider.com: “A film that didn’t do justice to its source material, its cast, or the fans of the material. It all adds up to what is truly a disappointment.”
  13. thehipsterllama / A Fistful of Film: “…there’s the me now, three days after having seen it, tasked with the herculean effort of writing about the piece of shit, and then there’s the me who, once they get started talking about the movie, has it all come flooding back to them like Vietnam flashbacks.”
  14. The Movie Giant: “…is an awful experience of unbearable length.”
  15. The Review Roundtable Reviews (0.5/5): “is one of the worst films I’ve had to sit through in my life. At 95 minutes, it feels like it’s over 2 hours. The only redeeming factor to this movie is if you watch it with a couple of drinks in your system like I did. And watch it with friends. You’ll likely have a great time picking it apart like we did.”
  16. The Super Powered Fancast: “Ultimately, Artemis Fowl fails as a movie because it takes too much of its runtime trying to setup a series.”
  17. Thoughts On Current Film / Joel Alexander (Grade: F): “This movie alone made me question the seven dollars I give Disney Plus every month; why support a company that releases constant drivel like this? Artemis Fowl is the true product of 2020, a soulless mess that gets progressively worse the longer it lasts.”
  18. Wizard Dojo: “Here’s a movie telling us that there’s a whole other world beneath the Earth, but almost all the action takes place at one building. Artemis Fowl kind of reminds me of Glass in that regard, a movie begging to stretch its legs but is shackled to one confined space.”

Linked above and wondering what would be the cool thing to do next? Commenting once in awhile is always good (I like reader and other blogger interaction). If you have the trackback/pingback come to your site then just approve it because after people read your review then they can come here and follow links and read someone else’s review. What comes around goes around and sharing is the ultimate “thank you!” on the internet.

Did I miss your review? Use the comments to tell me about your movie-related/review blog and I’ll follow. I like following movie-related blogs and pull quoting from my reading list as well as other new blogs shared, liked and discovered.

Happy movie watching!

4 thoughts on “13+ Artemis Fowl Reviews – Strong Disney+ Stench

  1. Two quick points:

    Thanks for the warning about this turkey. I have not read the source books, but we do have Disney+, so I might have checked it out inadvertently. Not my cinematic cup of tea, I’m afraid.

    The other point is that I agree with you that made-for-TV (or direct-to-streaming) movies don’t get much respect. I’ve seen my share of bad ones in…well, over 50 years of TV watching. But there are some really good ones, as well. “Duel,” “Trilogy of Terror,” “Raid on Entebbe,” and – of course – “The Day After.”

    Good write-up, Todd!

    Liked by 1 person

    1. Thanks. Yes, many good made for TV movies and some great TV series made from book adaptations. This one probably would have done better as a series on Disney+. Trying to shoehorn too much story into a 90 minute movie isn’t advised.

      Liked by 1 person

      1. Can you imagine cramming “Band of Brothers” into a 90-minute movie?

        That’s why the original notion of adapting Stephen King’s 11/22/63 into a feature film was a “No-Go” for King, even though he worked hard with the late Jonathan Demme to attempt it. You can’t stuff the narrative of such a richly detailed novel into a two or even three-hour theatrical film. You would have had to do what would be later done with “It,” and even then that two-films, one-novel approach has its issues.

        The Hulu miniseries was the way to go with that time-travel story. It still has to condense the story (a lot), but 11.22.63 still captures the spirit of the novel. (And that is what adaptations are supposed to do. Literature is its own thing; movies are another thing. That’s the first thing we screenwriters learn when the topic of adaptation comes up.)

        So, in brief… a miniseries would have been the better approach!

        Liked by 1 person

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