Welcome To Marwen (2018)

PG-13 Running Time: 116 mins



  • The movie had a good pace and did not move too quickly.

  • Contained light comedy that was perfectly placed throughout the film.

  • Strong character development that kept the film enjoyable.


  • WARNING: There will be some graphic/intense content in the animation sequences.

  • Heavy on PTSD and mental illness that some might not find enjoyable.

  • Small plotholes that were hard to put together


Based on a true story, Welcome to Marwen (adapted from the acclaimed 2010 documentary, Marwencol), follows Mark Hogancamp (Steve Carell), a middle-aged man who suffered a brutal attack in a bar and barely survived. After falling into a coma for several days and undergoing intense, grueling rehabilitation, he resorts to creating a miraculous, intricate town.

His town, Marwencol, is set in World War II, and Mark creates scenarios where he can be heroic and live in the world as himself, free of judgment. Marwencol is also built as a tribute for some of the strongest women in his life, portrayed by actresses including Leslie Mann, Janelle Monáe, and Elsa González.

Directed by Robert Zemeckis (Forrest Gump, Polar Express), the film shows us both Mark in the real world, and several scenes where he relies on the dolls and the fantastical stories told in Marwencol, helping him find courage and strength day-by-day in the real world.

Fans of Steve Carell are going to love him in the role. He delivers an emotional and heartwarming performance about overcoming obstacles and finding the strength from within to embrace and accept the pains of life.

Zemeckis does a terrific job blending the animation of the dolls and town, with the transitions fluid and sensible. Held together with a strict attention to detail, Carell draws you in and allows you to live Mark’s moments alongside him. Zemeckis, who co-wrote the screenplay with Caroline Thompson (Edward Scissorhands, Corpse Bride) includes a few little Easter eggs and minor plot twists which keep you engaged and curious as to where the story is going next.

Though not Zemeckis’ best film, Mark is someone who you hope and root for when confronting uncomfortable anxiety and overpowering fear. At times, Zemeckis sees his concept work against him, with the film becoming occasionally convoluted and confusing in places, while Mark’s doll army of women, representing real women who have impacted his life, are left rather underwritten.

While Welcome to Marwen may seem like a film for families, the PG-13 rating is earned, with intense, graphic scenes of war depicted in the fantasy world, and an honest portrayal of Mark’s struggles with PTSD and his day-by-day coping with reality.

Overall, those interested in Welcome to Marwen are likely not going to be disappointed. Carell gives an outstanding performance as Mark Hogancamp, and Zemeckis’ film has enough light comedy, serious drama, and a heartwarming message to likely keep audiences coming through the holidays and into the new year.


Starring: Steve Carell, Leslie Mann, Diane Kruger, Elsa González, Janelle Monae, Merritt Wever, Gwendoline Christie, Leslie Zemeckis, Neil Jackson, Matt O’Leary, Falk Hentschel, Stefanie von Pfetten, Siobhan Williams.

Director: Robert Zemeckis
Written by: Robert Zemeckis, Caroline Thompson
Release Date: December 21, 2018
Universal Pictures