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Kaub˘i Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira (Cowboy Bebop the Movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door) (2001)



Average Rating: 6.3/10
Reviews Counted: 70
Fresh: 45 | Rotten: 25

This may be strictly for anime junkies, but they'll find much to like about Cowboy Bebop's casual violence and cool dialogue.


Average Rating: 6.1/10
Critic Reviews: 22
Fresh: 12 | Rotten: 10

This may be strictly for anime junkies, but they'll find much to like about Cowboy Bebop's casual violence and cool dialogue.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.9/5
User Ratings: 51,659

My Rating

Movie Info

The popular animÚ series Cowboy Bebop gets its own feature-length film with the aptly named Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. Set in the late 21st century, it jumps into the series' story line just prior to its conclusion, with the bounty hunting crew of the interstellar craft Bebop chasing a hacker aboard a tanker into a major city on Mars. As crew member Faye Valentine closes in on the tanker, she witnesses its catastrophic explosion, which soon appears to be a viral terrorist attack as the death toll

Jun 24, 2003


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All Critics (73) | Top Critics (22) | Fresh (45) | Rotten (25) | DVD (16)

The film starts with a bang, but its characterisation comes with a whimper.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie, with room to gallop through nearly two hours and an R rating, often just kicks around in the stable.

June 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Denver Post
Denver Post
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Even those unfamiliar with the good ship Bebop will enjoy the high-intensity action and witty dialogue.

May 15, 2003
Arizona Republic
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Folks who go for this sort of thing will find it the sort of thing they go for. But the rest of us may find reason to scratch our heads and scratch again.

May 8, 2003 | Comment (1)
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Honors the affectless beauty of the original anime art and maintains the outlaw boppiness of the series concept.

April 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Helmer Shinichiro Watanabe's oversight of Bebop's more expansive visual canvas is impressive, bringing out details not previously seen in tale's small screen version.

April 15, 2003 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Color me impressed.

February 5, 2005 Full Review Source: JoBlo's Movie Emporium
JoBlo's Movie Emporium

Chock full of stylized exploding chopsocky for the veterans, yet quirky enough for the cautious newbie.

January 21, 2005 Full Review Source: Portland Mercury

Based on the popular Japanese animated TV series, it features many of the strengths and weaknesses of the genre.

January 14, 2004 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope | Comments (2)
Laramie Movie Scope

The strangely planet-bound James Bond plot unfolds just like you'd suspect, only slower.

October 8, 2003 Full Review Source:


July 18, 2003 Full Review Source:

The only problem for me was that the plot failed to grab the attention the way the visuals did: a very involved storyline about terrorists and a biological weapon went on at least a half-hour too long.

July 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Guardian [UK]
Guardian [UK]

"cowboy," no question; "bebop," another matter altogether.

July 8, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

The whole extravaganza could have made for a plucky 70 minutes, but it packs on an additional three-quarters of an hour of saw-toothed melodrama.

July 2, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix
Boston Phoenix

Cowboy Bebop fans will be slightly disappointed and newbies will be nonplussed as to the show's cult following.

June 25, 2003 Full Review Source: Sci-Fi Movie Page
Sci-Fi Movie Page

A brilliant feature-length anime that's good enough to deserve mention in the same breath as Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Spirited Away.

June 24, 2003 Full Review Source: BBC

A joyless hatchet job.

June 13, 2003 | Comment (1)
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The screenplay walks a tightrope, managing to stay amusing and lighthearted while handling hefty themes.

June 12, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

It's a mixture of the military/industrial complex paranoia of The X-Files, the deadpan style of Sam Spade and the wisdom of Confucius-lite.

June 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Des Moines Register
Des Moines Register

Even fans of the series may be disappointed.

June 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City | Comment (1)
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

[Nonfans] will be admitted to the clubhouse, but will not be made to feel welcome.

June 6, 2003 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

Cartoon or not, the world of 'Cowboy Bebop: The Movie' feels as convincingly 'lived-in' as any seen onscreen in ages...

June 2, 2003
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

It has the plot of an engaging, stylish action movie, but the pitiable soul of a second-rate philosophy major.

May 18, 2003 Full Review Source: PopMatters

A postmodern animated epic, laced with film-noir savvy.

May 16, 2003 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Audience Reviews for Kaub˘i Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira (Cowboy Bebop the Movie: Knockin' on Heaven's Door)

Embodies everything I loved about Cowboy Bebop. The chemistry of the crew, the Scifi elements, Spike's martial arts prowess and delicious animation while still retaining that slick bounty hunter feel.

Someday though I'll have to climb over that lame melodramatic mountain that seems present in all Anime. The main antagonist is such a quack, boohoo everyone died except me! I don't know about my past so I have to kill large amounts of people! Please.
June 2, 2011
Drake Tsui

Super Reviewer

"Well, that's a real shame. But, we're not cops and we're not from some charity organization. Sorry lady, we don't protect or serve. This is strictly business."

One word came to my mind after watching this. Unnecessary.

I have been putting off watching the Cowboy Bebop movie for several years now. I'm a huge fan of the show, but I had heard and read so many mixed or negative reviews of the movie online and from friends, that I was hesitant to see it. In the end, though, I figured that any Cowboy Bebop had to be somewhat worthwhile. That turned out to be partially true, but I still find myself disappointed.

To be blunt, the story was completely uninteresting. Each episode of the series was like a (good) mini-movie on its own, so I don't get why giving the creators more time to develop and tell this story, ended up producing something that wasn't nearly as engaging as any given one of the original episodes. It felt like the decision to make the movie came first, and very little effort was put into making a worthy plot to go along with it.

The new characters are uniformly dull, much of the soundtrack was poor (How did THAT happen? Where's the jazz?), and the film as a whole felt disjointed, at best. I tried as hard as o could to like it all, but the most positive description I can give for my experience is "meh".

I'll admit that it warmed my fanboy heart to see Spike, Faye, and the gang in action again. The animation was very good, and some of the action scenes were top notch. But without the great storytelling that we've all come to expect, I'd recommend this to only the most fervent Cowboy Bebop fan. You'd have much more fun in the same amount of time by just watching four of your favorite episodes from the original show.
July 7, 2010

Super Reviewer

I really enjoyed the series, great chemistry between the characters. Great humor.
This movie gives you a good idea on what to expect of the series n_n

Edo is probably my favorite character: She's crazy!!
May 16, 2009

Super Reviewer

The Japanese show once again how animes can not only be great series, but great movies as well. The Cowboy Bebop series is well written and so is this film.Although this movie is released a few years after the last episode it makes one wonder when this actually takes place in the Bebop universe. With the characters that are involved and some of the conversations that pop up, many may be inclined to believe that this takes place sometime in the middle of the series.Like many other animes, the story is fantastic. I guess it is easier to focus on the story when you don't have to worry about the acting. This film gives you everything that you remember from the series. The character interaction is good and so is the action. You get the usual gun-play, hand-to-hand combat, and ship chases. The final fight (hand-to-hand) at the end is phenomenal. Nicely choreographed and drawn. My only real gripe with this film is that the whole thing takes place on Mars. This isn't totally bad, but there are too little space sequences when compared to the series. Then again, this is only a two hour movie.Once again, Yoko Kanno and The Seatbelts deliver in the music department. You get the same jazzy feel as the series and this does wonders for this film. The same thing can be said about the voice work.Visually, this anime is top-notch. The landscapes and futuristic settings are portrayed well and Faye Valentine is still sexy as h***.You don't have to have seen the series to watch this film, but it will really help with the understanding of the characters. In any case, most of the people that watch this will be fans of the series.
March 23, 2008
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

    1. Electra Ovilo: Tell me what you're doing here...
    2. Spike Spiegel: Let's flip a coin. Heads I tell you, tails we go out on a date.
    – Submitted by Berta M (17 months ago)
    1. Spike Spiegel: Oh, great. A bored little army.
    – Submitted by Berta M (17 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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Foreign Titles

  • Cowboy Bebop (DE)
  • Cowboy Bebop (UK)
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