The task of generating natural language descriptions from images has received a lot of attention in recent years. Consequently, it is becoming increasingly important to evaluate such image captioning approaches in an automatic manner. In this paper, we provide an in-depth evaluation of the existing image captioning metrics through a series of carefully designed experiments. Moreover, we explore the utilization of the recently proposed Word Mover’s Distance (WMD) document metric for the purpose of image captioning. Our findings outline the differences and/or similarities between metrics and their relative robustness by means of extensive correlation, accuracy and distraction based evaluations. Our results also demonstrate that WMD provides strong advantages over other metrics.