From Up On Poppy Hill Reviews

Top Critic
Catherine Bray
Time Out
July 30, 2013
The gorgeous score and subtle visual craft save this entry in the Ghibli canon from mediocrity. But given what the studio is capable of, it's not everything fans will be hoping for.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Rene Rodriguez
Miami Herald
May 10, 2013
A departure for Studio Ghibli - an emotionally nuanced, nostalgic look at the past that is grounded in everyday reality but retains the humor and delight that are part of the studio's trademark.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Williams
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
April 18, 2013
Goro Miyazaki has a style that's both more painterly and more cinematic than the cartoonish norm, while his father's screenplay is a classic coming-of-age story that seems suited for a live-action remake.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Steven Rea
Philadelphia Inquirer
April 12, 2013
In the wisdom of this artfully rendered film, Umi and Shun - and the viewer - come to learn that the past and the future should go hand in hand, that the best way to move forward is to reflect, and respect, what came before.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
April 5, 2013
The story of a girl grappling with first love, the absence of her parents and the anxieties of an on-rushing future in 1963 Yokohama has all the earmarks of a Miyazaki classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ty Burr
Boston Globe
April 4, 2013
The film's perfectly fine, but it's not a patch on "Spirited Away," "My Neighbor Totoro," "Princess Mononoke," and other Studio Ghibli classics.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Chronicle
March 29, 2013
This is a gentle film, hand-drawn with irresistible colors, that exudes nostalgia in a lovely way.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
March 29, 2013
Although simpler and less mysterious than the great Hayao Miyazaki movies, the gently melancholic From Up on Poppy Hill is still a must see at a time when family entertainment is too often synonymous with blandness.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
March 28, 2013
Is there a Japanese word that combines "pretty," "demure" and "boring"?
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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John Anderson
Newsday
March 28, 2013
Both genuinely emotional and blithely engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
March 28, 2013
The film maintains an optimistic tone without succumbing to nostalgia, and as always with Studio Ghibli, the company Miyazaki cofounded in the 80s, the hand-drawn animation is gorgeous.
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Michael Sragow
Orange County Register
March 28, 2013
From Up On Poppy Hill is at once old-fashioned and innovative, an exquisite evocation of Yokohama in 1963 that dares to treat teenagers with both gravity and grace.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
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Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
March 28, 2013
Your kids may well fall in love with it, if you help them find it.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
March 28, 2013
The artistry is peaceful and comforting to the eyes but not especially stirring. Given the pictorial extremes that Studio Ghibli has gone to in the past, "Up on Poppy Hill" is weak tea.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
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Bruce Demara
Toronto Star
March 22, 2013
Likely to appeal to young audiences - especially teenagers - and possibly even to jaded adults, who may look back on their own first yearnings of puppy love with nostalgia and affection.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
March 21, 2013
A film about many things-so many that the magic of Studio Ghibli's past has been displaced by exposition and earnest discussion.
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Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
March 21, 2013
The screenplay deftly balances the characters' intimate concerns with the nation's historic growing pains, resulting in a story that's as engrossing as the visuals are breathtaking.
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Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
March 21, 2013
"From Up on Poppy Hill" is frankly stunning, as beautiful a hand-drawn animated feature as you are likely to see.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Farran Smith Nehme
New York Post
March 15, 2013
It's the sort of movie that can prompt daydreams about inhabiting its world of flowers and hills, passing ships and harbor lights, where there's no Internet and romance happens face to face.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
March 14, 2013
Its visual magic lies in painterly compositions of foliage, clouds, architecture and water, and its emotional impact comes from the way everyday life is washed in the colors of memory.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Top Critic
March 14, 2013
Those gorgeous, hand-drawn images bring lightness and grace to a story that might seem drab and pedestrian in the real world.
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Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
March 14, 2013
Even with no wood sprites, witches or spells, there's plenty of magic in this coming-of-age charmer.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
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Noel Murray
AV Club
March 14, 2013
While this story might've been just as engaging in live action, Miyazaki's animation does clear away the extraneous detail, re-creating the world of 50 years ago and instilling it with the poignancy of a family snapshot.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Zachary Wigon
Village Voice
March 12, 2013
Some third-act revelations may really test the scales of plausibility, but Poppy Hill ultimately is not about its story as much as the emotional states it probes.
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Sam Adams
Time Out
March 12, 2013
Shows a different side of the Japanese animation house, one that finds equal wonder in comparatively mundane affairs.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
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Kirk Honeycutt
Hollywood Reporter
March 11, 2013
Goro Miyazaki has made a sweetly old-fashioned anime with fine painterly compositions.
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Peter Debruge
Variety
October 4, 2011
The jury's still out on whether Goro Miyazaki can sustain his father's legacy as storyteller, though with its beautiful visuals and songs, Poppy Hill finds a deserving, if modest, place among its Studio Ghibli peers.