...Fanning gives a capable performance, and Mr. Konchalovsky and his camera and special-effects crews put a few arresting images on screen...
—Mike Hale New York Times
Time or money spent on this charmless mishmash will be sorely wasted.
—Claudia Puig USA Today
Younger kids will likely find the pervasive rat business either nightmarish or a turn-off, while parents might wish they'd just stayed home and played Tchaikovsky's gorgeous music for their children...
—Gary Goldstein Los Angeles Times
Parents faced with overexcited children on Christmas Eve now have the perfect way to get them to sleep: The Nutcracker in 3D, a stagnant adaptation of the iconic ballet that, in a bizarre twist, operates as a fantasyland Third Reich-inspired musical.
—Nick Schager Slant Magazine
From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for The Nutcracker in 3D? Who considered it even remotely a plausible idea for a movie?
—Roger Ebert Chicago Sun-Times
Audience bewilderment could turn to anger, given the dire contrast between the story's seasonal associations and what [director] Konchalovsky has fashioned from it, which is assuredly not "Merry Christmas."
—John Anderson Variety
. At worst, it's a joke, an exercise in treacly bad taste, a $90 million pain in the retinas.
—Tasha Robinson Onion AV Club
...a spectacularly misconceived, bloated and incredibly ugly fantasy epic...
—Lou Lumenick New York Post
The wildest thing about this movie is its faith that what kids (and parents) really want for Christmas is a Nutcracker version of the Final Solution.
—J. Hoberman Village Voice