Review: WELCOME TO MARWEN Is Sweet But Shallow


WELCOME TO MARWEN is a very sweet story with a powerful message, but it's too shallow to truly deliver its full potential.

Welcome To Marwen hits theaters this weekend, and it’s a very sweet, heartwarming story, but also one that needed to dig deeper.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis and based on a true story, it’s the story of Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), the victim of a brutal hate crime. After the beating leaves him with PTSD and no memory of his former life, Mark turns to his own form of therapy. He creates a fictional village in his yard – the titular Marwen – and lives out a life with dolls, photographing them and turning them into an art installation. The film follows Mark as he deals with his trauma, and shows “how artistic imagination can restore the human spirit.”

This is an incredibly moving story. There are a ton of important messages that can be gleaned from it. It’s about the healing powers of art, and the need for a support system. It’s a celebration of strong women. Perhaps most importantly, it’s about embracing and loving who you are.

Steve Carell will move you to tears as Mark. He builds such a strong connection with the audience, and truly makes you feel for the character after only knowing him a few minutes. When Mark suffers, you suffer. Carell is hands down the strongest part of this film. Also very impressive is the depiction of Marwen. The animators do a tremendous job bringing the dolls to life, while still having a lot of fun with the fact that this is a fantasy world and they can do whatever they want.

However, with all that said, Welcome to Marwen needed to dig deeper. It sets up all of these important themes and messages, but none of them are fully fleshed out. The audience is told a lot of things, but rarely shown. As a result, certain plot points and relationships don’t make a lot of sense. Some of the lessons don’t land. When the “villain” of Marwen is finally revealed, it doesn’t seem to fit. The audience is never really shown the destructive nature of this villain in Mark’s real life; again, we’re only told.

Had Zemeckis developed these ideas more, the messages and lessons he set up would have delivered a much stronger punch.

Unfortunately, Carell’s performance is not enough to save Welcome to Marwen. Lack of depth will leave audiences wanting more from what could have been a powerful film.


Star Trek: Discovery – The Vulcan Hello (Sneak Peek 1)

In the series premiere, while patrolling Federation space, the U.S.S. Shenzhou encounters an object of unknown origin, putting First Officer Michael Burnham (Sonequa Martin-Green) to her greatest test yet.

We Are Who We Are: Meet the Characters | Fraser, Sarah, and Maggie | HBO

Jack Dylan Grazer, Chloë Sevigny, and Alice Braga introduce you to the characters they play in the new series from Luca Guadagnino. #HBO #WeAreWhoWeAre #JackDylanGrazer #ChloëSevigny #AliceBraga Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: From Luca Guadagnino, the director of Call Me By Your Name, We Are Who We Are follows a group of teens growing…

The Women of Justice League | HBO Max

The women of the Justice League are here to save the day. Villains better watch out! Keep up with these powerful ladies on HBO Max! Subscribe: Be the first to know more: HBO Max: Like HBO Max on Facebook: Follow HBO Max on Twitter: Follow HBO Max on Instagram: About…

Michelle Buteau: Welcome To Buteaupia | Netflix Standup Comedy Special | Trailer

Michelle Buteau, the scene stealing queen of Netflix, delivers the night out we all need right now in her uproariously funny new special, Welcome to Buteaupia. Letting loose with a goblet of frosé in hand, she delivers a dynamic hour of comedy that delves into parenthood, cultural difference, and the overlooked value of short men.…

Barry Jenkins and Lulu Wang, Presented by Tanqueray No. Ten Gin

Filmmakers Barry Jenkins (Moonlight) and Lulu Wang (The Farewell) share what's helped them to find success in their careers and discuss their shared love for animal onesies. Watch more from Bottomless Brunch at Colman's! Subscribe to The Walking Dead on YouTube: #AMC #ColmanDomingo #BottomlessBrunchAtColmans FEAR THE WALKING DEAD: Like Fear the Walking Dead…

AJ Mendez – The Latinx List • All Accents Welcome

AJ Mendez sits down with her husband Phillip Brooks for a conversation about Latin Heritage Month and representation in TV and film. ABOUT THE LATINX LIST The Black List has teamed with Hulu for the 2020 Latinx List, which focuses one-hour and half-hour original pilots written by at least one Latinx writer and featuring a…

New This Month: September • Now Streaming on Hulu

Check out the biggest titles dropping in September on Hulu. Originals - 0:31 Movies - 0:55 Television - 1:17 SUBSCRIBE TO HULU’S YOUTUBE CHANNEL Click the link to subscribe to our channel for the latest shows & updates: START YOUR FREE TRIAL FOLLOW US ON SOCIAL Instagram: Hulu on Twitter: Facebook:…

Real Sports with Bryant Gumbel: Dark Reality of MMA (Promo) | HBO

It’s the dark, ugly reality of MMA. Fighters seeking an advantage cut drastic amounts of weight days before a bout, putting their lives at risk. Real Sports is all-new Tuesday, September 22 at 10PM on HBO and HBO Max. #HBO #RealSports Subscribe to HBO on YouTube: Real Sports is television’s most-honored sports journalism program,…
Anthony Composto
Editor-in-Chief for Monkeys Fighting Robots. A lifelong fan of Spider-Man and the Mets, Anthony loves an underdog story. He earned his B.A. in English because of his love for words, and his MBA because of his need for cash. He considers comics to be The Great American Art Form, and loves horror movies, indie dramas, action/thrillers, and everything in between.


Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here