• Turtles All the Way Down
    earns the highest critical score for any John Green adaptation on Rotten Tomatoes.
  • Critics praised the movie for its authentic OCD portrayal, a delightful coming-of-age story, and a standout performance by Isabela Merced.
  • Some critics noted tonal imbalance with the love story and mystery.

Max’s Turtles All the Way Down earns the highest critical Rotten Tomatoes score of any TV show or film adapted from John Green’s books. The new movie is based on Green’s 2017 novel of the same name, which follows Aza Holmes (Isabela Merced), a 16-year-old struggling to navigate high school and relationships while living with obsessive-compulsive disorder (OCD). The novel is often considered one of Green’s best works, given how it raises awareness of mental health disorders with its authentic depiction of anxiety and OCD. Hence, many readers wondered how the film adaptation would compare to the acclaimed novel.

According to Rotten Tomatoes, Turtles All the Way Down is currently standing at a solid 93% critics score based on 15 reviews and 97% audience score based on over 100 reviews. Given the low number of critical reviews, the rating may change, but for now, the movie boasts the highest critical and audience score of any Green adaptation. However, the Looking for Alaska TV series is right on its heels with a 92% critics and audience score.

See below for the Rotten Tomatoes scores of all of Green’s adaptations.

John Green Adaptations

RT Critics Score

RT Audience Score

Turtles All the Way Down (2024)



Looking for Alaska (2019)



Dil Bechara (2020)



The Fault in Our Stars (2014)



Let It Snow (2019)



Paper Towns (2015)



What Are Critics Saying About Turtles All the Way Down?

Still, on the whole, audiences and critics agree that

Turtles All the Way Down

is a worthy Green adaptation and gets the most important aspects of its story right.

While many reviews acknowledge Turtles All the Way Down is not perfect, it’s garnering praise for many of the same reasons the book did. The primary praise comes from the movie’s respectful and poignant depiction of OCD. Green has opened up about struggling with OCD for the majority of his life and how he found his teenage experience with it “terrifying” at times. Utilizing his own experiences in Holmes’ story makes it all the more believable and hopeful as she treads the difficult path to learning that she can have a fulfilling life despite her struggles.

Hence, the Max adaptation didn’t lose the authenticity of the book’s OCD portrayal. The movie has also earned praise for capturing the essence of the coming-of-age drama as it explores Holmes’ evolution and the highs and lows of high school life. Meanwhile, Merced’s performance as Holmes has also been singled out as a standout. Even though critics have labeled it a good coming-of-age movie, they also mention that the film could’ve gone a bit deeper into other story aspects.


Turtles All The Way Down Cast & Character Guide

Based on the novel of the same name by John Green, Turtles All the Way Down is Max’s latest young adult romantic drama starring Isabel Merced.

Some reviewers felt the movie’s love story and underlying mystery added some tonal imbalance. The primary relationship between Holmes and Davis (Felix Mallard) wasn’t developed as well as it was in the book. Also, although the book’s central plot revolved around a mystery, that element felt more like an afterthought. Still, on the whole, audiences and critics agree that Turtles All the Way Down is a worthy Green adaptation and gets the most important aspects of its story right.

Source: Rotten Tomatoes

Watch Turtles All The Way Down On Max

turtles all the way down poster

Turtles All The Way Down

It’s not easy being Aza, but she’s trying… trying to be a good daughter, a good friend, and a good student, all while navigating an endless barrage of invasive, obsessive thoughts that she cannot control. When she reconnects with Davis, her childhood crush, Aza is confronted with fundamental questions about her potential for love, happiness, friendship, and hope.

Hannah Marks

Release Date
May 2, 2024

Warner Bros. Pictures , New Line Cinema , Temple Hill Entertainment


Isabela Merced , Cree Cicchino , Felix Mallard , Judy Reyes

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