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Upon release in North America The Nutcracker in 3D was widely panned by critics. The film has managed a 0% "rotten", or 3.1/10 rating, on review aggregator Rotten Tomatoes based on 19 reviews. It achieved a 15 out of a 100 "overwhelming dislike" score on fellow aggregate Metacritic, with no positive reviews, one mixed review and ten negative reviews. Roger Ebert of the Chicago Sun-Times asked "From what dark night of the soul emerged the wretched idea for "The Nutcracker in 3D"?" Ebert went on to claim it as "One of those rare holiday movies that may send children screaming under their seats."Claudia Puig of USA Today accused the film of being "Contrived, convoluted, amateurish and tedious," and lampooned it for lacking any trace of ballet, unlike several versions of The Nutcracker in previous years. Entertainment Weekly reviewer Lisa Schwarzbaum was slightly less critical of The Nutcracker in 3D, awarding it a B+ and remarking "Attention, university film clubs: Here's your cult-ready midnight-movie programming.