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The Dark Crystal (1982)



Average Rating: 6.1/10
Reviews Counted: 31
Fresh: 22 | Rotten: 9

The Dark Crystal's narrative never quite lives up to the movie's visual splendor, but it remains an admirably inventive and uniquely intense entry in the Jim Henson canon.

No Score Yet...

Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 1 | Rotten: 1

The Dark Crystal's narrative never quite lives up to the movie's visual splendor, but it remains an admirably inventive and uniquely intense entry in the Jim Henson canon.



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Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 175,016

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Movie Info

Jim Henson ventures into Tolkien territory in his all-Muppet fantasy feature The Dark Crystal. The titular Crystal maintains equilibrium in a mythical kingdom. When the Crystal is broken, the evil Skeksis take over, killing off the good-guy Gelflings and enslaving everyone else. Two of the Gelflings have survived: Jen was raised by the all-knowing Mystics, while Kira grew up amongst the swamp-dwelling Podlings. Jen and Kira join forces to "heal" the precious Dark Crystal and restore order to

Oct 5, 1999

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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All Critics (37) | Top Critics (4) | Fresh (22) | Rotten (9) | DVD (28)

You have to love a fantasy whose greatest peril is the Bog of Eternal Stench.

July 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune | Comments (11)
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The screenplay by David Odell, based on a story by Mr. Henson, is without any narrative drive whatever. It's without charm as well as interest.

August 30, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times | Comments (4)
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A fantastic, but more intense Muppet adventure.

December 15, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A wonderfully invented world full of characters that transcend their puppet limitations thanks to the energy and creativity of the Jim Hansen and Frank Oz team of puppeteers and voice actors

May 23, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A distant, uninvolving experience … characters and emotions, even by the archetypal standards of high fantasy, never come to life, and the overarching mythology seems too self-consciously contrived.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide | Comments (3)
Decent Films Guide

An extraordinary, often mesmerizing achievement of design and performance that's held back by an underdeveloped script and a milquetoast leading character.

August 14, 2007
Groucho Reviews

Crystal is a miraculous rush of innovation and storytelling patience, and, in the last 25 years, the film has grown from a 1982 misfire, to a cult wonder, to a bona-fide classic that's timeless in stature and masterful in execution.

July 30, 2007 Full Review Source:

Points to the Henson team for trying to broaden the scope of their creatures -- and there's little denying that this particular flick still seems to hold up pretty darn well.

November 15, 2006 Full Review Source: DVD Clinic
DVD Clinic

Os personagens são bem realizados e animados, mas o roteiro, além de plagiar O Senhor dos Anéis, é burocrático e pouco envolvente.

January 8, 2006 | Comments (2)
Cinema em Cena

This ersatz Tolkien with puppets looks and plays like ersatz Tolkien with puppets.

October 12, 2005 Full Review Source: Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC) | Comment (1)
Mountain Xpress (Asheville, NC)

Comes off as an overblown puppet show.

June 3, 2004 | Comment (1)

Ponderous, yet unique and strangely charming.

May 22, 2004
Flipside Movie Emporium

A leap into the darker side of Jim Henson's imagination, a wonderful movie.

March 27, 2004
KFOR Channel 4 News

One of the most imaginative films I've ever seen, a fitting tribute to the brilliant career of the late master puppeteer, Jim Henson.

April 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Yeah, the puppets look neat; too bad the story's stupid and the voice-acting sucks.

October 18, 2002 | Comments (3)
New Times

One of Henson's shining moments in modern-day cinema

September 17, 2002

It's a story as old as time redone in books and films over and over again. But this one's got the one-of-a-kind Henson vision and style.

August 1, 2002 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Immerses us in a familiar yet utterly unique world that's deeper, wider and more vibrantly alive than any mere puppetry.

March 14, 2002
New Times

A bittersweet spectacle.

January 1, 2000
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for The Dark Crystal

A little creepy at first but adorable and triumphant at the end. Kira has wings! The lore of the evil Skeksis and the good Mystics being parts of a whole and the dangers of arrogance and corruption are powerful themes. I watched much of the hour-long making-of documentary too, and I've realized that I feel about Muppets the same way I feel about claymation and stop-motion animation: I understand and appreciate how much planning and work goes into them, but I get skeeved out by the looks of the finished products.
August 21, 2013

Super Reviewer

A complete disconnect from much of Henson's earlier work, "Dark Crystal" is darker, more mysterious, heartfelt, and mystical. It combines the movie magic of puppetry, which is one of the more nuanced art forms, and a magical story about the last of a race of people, hidden from a villainous race of vulture-like creatures. Jen, a "Gelfling", who looks like an elvish character, is the only humanistic character included in this film, which was completely without any human actors, the first of its kind. He is cared for by one of the masters, who is kidnapped, prompting Jen to go off into the torrid jungle settings of a world complete with a plethora of other creepy crawlies. Much of the film circles upon two stories: one is between Jen and Kira, another Gelfling who can communicate with animals, as they realize their role in an ancient prophecy surrounding a shard and the infamous Dark Crystal. The other surrounds the vulture-like society of Garthim, who destroyed the Gelfling race to keep the prophecy of the reunion of the crystal from happening. The Garthim scared the crap out of me as a child, and here they are as menacing and dark as the subject matter suggests. They are ostensibly creepy as they act like real and malicious animals, including engaging in duels, snapping at one another with their beaks, and tearing each other to bits at the behest of their leader. The sets are beautiful, airy affairs that are just as whimsical and spritely as Henson's later film "Labyrinth". The Gelflings speak with light voices and speak intermittently through their minds. Though it is darker than past Henson projects it is his seminal best and most interesting, much less ostentatious than Labryrinth, and more versatile than The Muppets.
December 31, 2012

Super Reviewer

This isn't the best film of 1982 (otherwise known as the year of the cult film, including the likes of "TRON", "The Thing", and none other than "The Dark Crystal"). Not even close. But it's still worth watching. This was the first major film that tried to sell it's entire world on puppetry alone (and one of the only at that) and it's worth seeing on those grounds. Jim Henson's team went insane with this one, and it shows. The creature designs are spectacular, weird, and brilliant all at once. It manages to form a fantasy world unlike any other (except for maybe Labyrinth, but considering that was designed by Brian Froud and directed by Jim Henson as well, this shouldn't come as a surprise). If you respect the profession of puppetry or practical effects in general, check this one out.
December 10, 2011
Jacob Ethington

Super Reviewer

more action-packed than "the Mothman Prophecies." more hilarious than "the Terminal." more innovative than "Righteous Kill." more tear-jerking than "Fight Club." more suspenseful than "Takers." more witty than "the Boondock Saints 2: All Saints Day." more terrifying than "Species." more blood-soaked than "Love Comes Softly." more influential than "Road Trip: Beer Pong." See this film!
December 5, 2011

Super Reviewer

    1. Aughra: Mouldy mildew, mother of mouthmuck, dangle and strangle and death.
    2. Slave Master: Oh how crude!
    – Submitted by David B (9 months ago)
    1. General: GARTHIM! ATTACK!
    – Submitted by Emil Å (17 months ago)
    1. Chamberlain: Trial by stone.
    2. General: TRIAL BY STONE!
    – Submitted by Emil Å (17 months ago)
    1. Historian: Hold her to you, for she is part of you, as we all are part of each other.
    – Submitted by ethan t (21 months ago)
    1. Jen: Oh, no. Right in the mud.
    – Submitted by Rodrigo S (22 months ago)
    1. Aughra: The angle of eternity.
    – Submitted by Rodrigo S (22 months ago)
View all quotes (7)

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Latest News on The Dark Crystal

March 29, 2010:
Dark Crystal Sequel Still Coming?
After more than 25 years, you might have given up hope of ever seeing a sequel to "The Dark...
August 7, 2009:
Brian Henson Promises Fraggle Rock Movie, Dark Crystal Sequel
Still holding out hope for a "Fraggle Rock" movie and a sequel to "The Dark Crystal"? According to...
February 1, 2006:
"Clone Wars" Creator to Tackle the "Dark Crystal"
According to Variety, filmmaker Genndy Tartakovsky, creator of the seriously popular "Clone...

Foreign Titles

  • Dark Crystal (FR)
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