Critic Reviews



Based on 38 critic reviews provided by
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.
Staggeringly beautiful and immensely true, the best animated film of 2016 — one of the year’s best films of any kind, really.
Village Voice
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.
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.
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.
It’s not a flawless movie, but there’s real magic in it, and that’s more important, and no less rare, than perfection.
Slant Magazine
It offers a powerful metaphor for the manner in which we carry the memories of our departed inside ourselves.
The Film Stage
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.
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.
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.

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