Matt Singer, ScreenCrush: It would be fitting if there were no words to describe The Emoji Movie; if the ephemeral experience of consuming this unique entertainment could only be summarized in a couple of small pictures dashed off in a text message. But, no, there are plenty of words that can describe The Emoji Movie. Here are a few of them: Unfunny. Saccharine. Nonsensical. Painful. And, of course, crappy. (If you prefer the poop emoji, that works too.)
Peter Sobczynski, RogerEbert.com: Now comes "The Emoji Movie," a film that dares to ask "What goes on in the magical worlds contained within our cell phones?," a notion that I do not think that anyone has ever pondered for any amount of time outside of those stuck in a focus group at Sony Animation. That is only the first of many problems with this film, a work so completely devoid of wit, style, intelligence or basic entertainment value that it makes that movie based on the Angry Birds app seem like a pure artistic statement by comparison.
Lindsey Bahr, The Associated Press: There are five stages of grief in preparing to watch "The Emoji Movie." The first is denial that this actually exists. The second is anger that now even storytelling has been reduced to those reductive blobs. The third is bargaining that, hey, they made "The Lego Movie" work against all odds so maybe some smart folks actually pulled this off. The fourth is depression that all movies ideas are just doomed to confuse "brands" for "ideas." And the fifth is acceptance that, yes, of course that's where we're headed so let's pull up a seat and make the most of it.