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Kubo and the Two Strings

9/10
Adventure . Animation . Family . Fantasy
 

In the epic fantasy, scruffy, kindhearted Kubo ekes out a humble living while devotedly caring for his mother in their sleepy shoreside village. It is a quiet existence – until a spirit from the past catches up with him to enforce an age-old vendetta. Suddenly on the run from gods and monsters, Kubo’s chance for survival rests on finding the magical suit of armor once worn by his fallen father, the greatest samurai the world has ever known. Summoning courage, Kubo embarks on a thrilling odyssey as he faces his family’s history, navigates the elements, and bravely fights for the earth and the stars.

 
Actors: Ralph Fiennes , Matthew McConaughey , Rooney Mara , Charlize Theron , Art Parkinson , Brenda Vaccaro , Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa , George Takei , Meyrick Murphy , Minae Noji
Directors: Travis Knight
Country: USA
Release: 2016-08-19
More Info:
  • Tirdad Derakhshani

    If you want to expose your children to a work of art with real soul, you could do a lot worse than Kubo and the Two Strings.

    Philadelphia Inquirer Full Review
  • Michael O'Sullivan

    "Kubo" is both extraordinarily original and extraordinarily complex.

    Washington Post Full Review
  • Bilge Ebiri

    From its opening image — of a distraught woman battling massive ocean waves on a moonlit night — to its surprisingly ambiguous final shot — of what, I won't say — Kubo and the Two Strings sears itself into your brain.

    Village Voice Full Review
  • David Ehrlich

    Staggeringly beautiful and immensely true, the best animated film of 2016 — one of the year’s best films of any kind, really.

    indieWIRE Full Review
  • Michael Rechtshaffen

    Representing a dazzling artistic leap forward for LAIKA, the stop-motion animation studio’s fourth feature — and first full-blown fantasy — is an eye-popping delight that deftly blends colorful folklore with gorgeous, origami-informed visuals to immersive effect.

    The Hollywood Reporter Full Review
  • Kimber Myers

    Kubo and the Two Strings feels like a miracle, evoking joy, surprise and wonder in its audience.

    The Playlist Full Review
  • Leah Greenblatt

    A visually stunning, richly imagined oasis in a sea of candy-colored safety, and one of the first truly original movies of the year so far.

    Entertainment Weekly Full Review
  • Justin Chang

    It recognizes that our most cherished legends are an endless source of consolation in times of suffering and loss, as well as a vital repository of cultural and generational memory. If that message sounds trite or familiar, it has rarely been driven home with this much conviction and intensity of feeling.

    Los Angeles Times Full Review
  • Kerry Lengel

    The story is captivating from the very first moments.

    Arizona Republic Full Review
  • Peter Debruge

    With such awe-inspiring artistry, designed so as to never distract from the material it serves, Kubo and the Two Strings stands as the sort of film that feels richer with each successive viewing, from the paper-folded Laika logo at the beginning (an early taste of the stunning origami sequences to follow) to the emotional resonance of its final shot.

    Variety Full Review
  • Josh Kupecki

    Visually inventive and offering up a complex view of family interaction, Kubo and the Two Strings is another feather in the cap for Laika, and a marvel to behold.

    Austin Chronicle Full Review
  • Brian Truitt

    It is definitely the summer for talking animals taking over the cinema, but Kubo manages to rise above the rest of its peers with a wondrous coming-of-age tale full of ancient soul.

    USA Today Full Review
  • Christy Lemire

    One of the most impressive elements of Kubo and the Two Strings — besides its dazzling stop-motion animation, its powerful performances and its transporting score — is the amount of credit it gives its audience, particularly its younger viewers.

    RogerEbert.com Full Review
  • Ty Burr

    The movie is genuinely creative, genuinely outside-the-box, and often genuinely scary; parents of toddlers and nightmare-prone children are herewith warned.

    Boston Globe Full Review
  • Moira Macdonald

    As Kubo warns, early on, don’t blink — you might miss something. Something that — and what a treat this is — you’ve never seen before.

    The Seattle Times Full Review
  • Roger Moore

    An imaginative, scary and wonderfully rendered stop-motion fright.

    Movie Nation Full Review
  • Jesse Hassenger

    This is Laika’s least droll, least ghoulish feature so far; the plotting is even more dreamlike than "Coraline."

    The A.V. Club Full Review
  • Sam Adams

    It’s not a flawless movie, but there’s real magic in it, and that’s more important, and no less rare, than perfection.

    TheWrap Full Review
  • Raakhee Mirchandani

    The tale is layered and lovely, although talk about the real self, eternity and death will stun the adults in the audience.

    New York Daily News Full Review
  • Jonathan Pile

    It’s a beautifully animated tale (keep your eyes on the way Kubo’s hair moves) that balances story with comedy and moments of effective (if light) horror.

    Empire Full Review
  • Jordan Raup

    Steeped in the mythology and fables of Japanese history, it’s another fantastical adventure from the studio with innovation and awe at every turn, despite a story that could benefit from having more specificity and focus.

    The Film Stage Full Review
  • Oleg Ivanov

    It offers a powerful metaphor for the manner in which we carry the memories of our departed inside ourselves.

    Slant Magazine Full Review
  • Bryan Bishop

    If only there was as much thought put into the characters as there was the visuals. For all of his convoluted backstory, Kubo is a remarkably unconflicted character, and barely faces a moment of internal turmoil throughout the entire film.

    The Verge Full Review
  • Steve Persall

    Kubo and the Two Strings is lovely to behold, if viewers manage to keep their eyes open. It's an animated doozy and drowser at once, an uncomfortable mix of Miyazaki-style imagination and generic dullness.

    Tampa Bay Times Full Review
  • Walter Addiego

    What Laika achieves is an effective mixture of hyper-real and hyper-stylized, a combination that keeps “Kubo” appealing to the eye for audiences of all ages. If the film’s plotting and dialogue had measured up, “Kubo” might have been a masterpiece.

    San Francisco Chronicle Full Review
  • Jordan Hoffman

    Little kids will be bored, as there are only a few scenes with any action, and of those, only one, featuring an enormous skeleton with swords sticking out of its skull, has any oomph.

    The Guardian Full Review
  • Drew McWeeny

    Kubo works because it is so direct, so honest about the emotional story it’s telling. Knight may have epic ambitions, but he keeps the stakes very personal.

    Hitfix Full Review
  • Glenn Kenny

    The action is gorgeously fluid, the idiosyncratic 3-D visual conceits (including floating eyeballs undersea) are startling, and the story and its metaphors resolve in unexpected and moving ways.

    The New York Times Full Review
  • Dominick Suzanne-Mayer

    A simple story told well can still be effective if the emotional resonance underneath it comes through. In Kubo, it absolutely does, thanks to the uniformly excellent voice performances.

    Consequence of Sound Full Review
  • Britt Hayes

    Displaying the mastery of visuals and storytelling of a more established veteran, Laika president Travis Knight has gone beyond merely crafting a confident directorial debut; he’s made the studio’s best film to date.

    ScreenCrush Full Review
  • James Berardinelli

    The best animated feature (at least thus far) of 2016.

    ReelViews Full Review
  • Tomris Laffly

    The film doesn’t quite cut loose to hit emotional high notes, but Regina Spektor’s velvety cover of “While My Guitar Gently Weeps” poignantly completes a sweet, generous film.

    Time Out New York Full Review
  • Joe Morgenstern

    The first and last things to be said in this limited space about Kubo and the Two Strings are that it’s a showcase for some of the most startlingly beautiful animation in recent — and not so recent — memory.

    Wall Street Journal Full Review
  • Oliver Jones

    The stunning visuals and beautifully conceived milieu distract the viewer from the fact that the quest structure of the story is McGuffin-like and the conclusion emotionally muddled.

    New York Observer Full Review
  • Sara Stewart

    Despite a traditional-seeming quest for a suit of armor and a sword, the film’s intrinsic message is all about the transformative powers of music and love. It’s a movie the whole family can rock out to.

    New York Post Full Review
  • Bill Zwecker

    I cannot stress enough how truly stunning the brilliant visuals are in this movie. Laika has again crafted a world that is such an original vision, one that will live on as a new classic in the world of animation.

    Chicago Sun-Times Full Review
  • Ellen Brait

    The characters feel underdeveloped, to the point where it’s sometimes difficult to remain invested in their triumphs and failures.

    The Globe and Mail (Toronto) Full Review
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