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Labyrinth (1986)

tomatometer

66

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Reviews Counted: 38
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 13

While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.

50

Average Rating: 6.2/10
Critic Reviews: 6
Fresh: 3 | Rotten: 3

While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.

audience

86

liked it
Average Rating: 3.8/5
User Ratings: 370,636

My Rating

Movie Info

Fifteen-year-old Sarah resents her baby brother Toby and secretly wishes that he will just disappear. Her wish comes true when goblins kidnap the boy. Feeling responsible and guilty about his abduction, she sets forth to retrieve him, and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. To rescue her brother, she must sneak into the castle of the Goblin King, which is in the center of a fantastical labyrinth. But, the task is easier said than done, for the maze is filled with strange creatures and

Oct 12, 1999

Sony Pictures Home Entertainment

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November 4, 2011:
Five Favorite Films with Kevin Clash
The subject of Constance Marks' acclaimed documentary Being Elmo: A Puppeteer's Journey, Kevin Clash...

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All Critics (42) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (25) | Rotten (13) | DVD (32)

An innovative mix of sophisticated puppetry and special effects, Labyrinth has all the components of classic myth.

August 9, 2007 Full Review Source: Philadelphia Inquirer
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfortunately, this contemporary (at least, for the era) fairy tale, directed and co-written by Muppets creator Jim Henson, never sets a timely tone beyond the 1980s. It remains disappointingly tethered to yesteryear.

August 2, 2007 Full Review Source: Washington Post | Comments (4)
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Henson's imagination is boundless. But his movie has no pep. It's a dream in neutral.

June 29, 2007 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A real masterpiece of puppetry and special effects, an absolutely gorgeous children's fantasy movie.

June 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A remarkable achievement.

May 21, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Great energy and creativity went into the construction, production and direction of this movie, but it doesn't have a story that does justice to the production.

January 1, 2000 Full Review Source: Chicago Sun-Times | Comment (1)
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A wonderful eighties fantasy gem...

October 20, 2013 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

If, like most of its fans who caught up with the film through VHS and afternoon television airings on the ABC, then seeing it on the big screen will surely rank as one of the most eye-opening, fantastical experiences of the year.

September 8, 2013 Full Review Source: Trespass
Trespass

Labyrinth has stood the test of time astonishingly well.

April 4, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema Autopsy
Cinema Autopsy

Muppet creator Jim Henson went dark, but not too serious in this entertaining, but meandering trifle.

August 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

Surreal coming-of-age fantasy -- with Muppets.

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

Henson's vision and the wonderful bag of puppetry tricks he turns to are enough to make "Labyrinth" a winner.

September 26, 2009 Full Review Source: Movie Metropolis
Movie Metropolis

Plays like The Wizard of Oz or Alice in Wonderland crossed with a middling episode of "The Muppet Show" guest-starring David Bowie … suffers from a distinct lack of charm.

September 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

The chaotic narrative proceeds in fits and starts, and the sights and sounds are often dated, but somehow the film's wit and wonder linger in the mind.

July 25, 2007
Groucho Reviews

A long and colorful quest filled with crazy critters and creative set design.

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

A made-for-kids movie with just enough weird stuff in it to appeal to teens.

May 26, 2006 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Could I possibly love a movie any more than this?

November 3, 2005
ÜberCiné

A trip, for sure, but a worthy one.

June 28, 2005

It's be pretty good if it weren't for the nonsensical songs.

June 14, 2005
7M Pictures

Great production design; if only the ending weren't so lame.

June 24, 2004
New Times

More about wacky creatures and spectacular set pieces than emotion and coherent storytelling.

June 3, 2004

Audience Reviews for Labyrinth

A delightful fantasy adventure clearly inspired by The Wizard of Oz (the book appears in at least two scenes) and fairy tales (even a poisoned fruit is there), and its dated visual effects and cheesy musical numbers have a charm only found in these movies of the '80s.
June 4, 2014
blacksheepboy

Super Reviewer

Terribly disappointing. I'm not a fan of muppets anyway, and the campy faux musical numbers go nowhere. Sarah is such a brat at the beginning; her dad and stepmother aren't THAT cruel or negligent. She seems to go after the stolen Toby only out of self-preservation, not out of any fraternal love or filial piety. Her reason for loving her brother isn't shown or found, and there's no reconciliation with her parents in the end. The intended theme of the movie seems to be about growing up or learning responsibility, but there are no specific challenges that test those waters. There are no compelling plot points, no rising action or climax - just a bunch of traveling with some surface friendships, some chases, and not enough riddles.

The provenance of the key to defeating the Goblin King ("You have no power over me") is also slightly vague. Sarah seems to recite from a play in the first scene, but it's unclear that the labyrinthine dreamscape she unlocks is from that same play/book (which I learned from the DVD case synopsis was her favorite book), and the secret weapon was in the book the entire time; she need only to remember it.

The vaguely bondage/domination desires of the Goblin King are creepy but almost not creepy enough. There's no real sense of romance, but there's no real sense of danger for this age-inappropriate flirtation either, so what's the point?
July 31, 2013
aliceinpunderland

Super Reviewer

Very hammy, even for an 80's movie. Maybe a little too much so. Maybe I would feel differently if I had seen this as a child, but somehow missed this one.
Even David Bowie is not very good here, and I'm a fan. It's like he couldn't take it seriously either.
Jennifer Connelly looks pretty, but she's not good either. Extremely unconvincing.
Didn't really like the puppets. I guess maybe kids would enjoy this. I can't picture an adult, although the ratings suggest otherwise.
April 22, 2013
romy861

Super Reviewer

This typical 80s muppet adventure contains all the highlights and lows of the era: a pop soundtrack by David Bowie (who is also a fine villain), a simple but enthralling story, lovable characters that sometimes burst into songs, but also some cheesy lines, dated special effects and a simplistic plot. Of course, none of those things mattered if you saw this film at the right age when it came out. Most of the dolls still look pretty fine and especially unique today and there are so amazing visual effects in the film. Jennifer Connelly started her great career with this and the Henson studios once again proved that they are the masters of puppets. It's easy to find flaw in this film today, but for its time it was pretty outstanding and still works for an entertaining rainy afternoon now.
April 2, 2012
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

    1. The Worm/The Four Guards/Goblin: Come inside and have a cup of tea!
    – Submitted by Ignacio B (23 days ago)
    1. Jareth: Everything I've done, I've done for you. I move the stars for no one.
    – Submitted by Polly V (17 months ago)
    1. Jareth: You remind me of the babe.
    2. Goblin: What babe?
    3. Jareth: The babe with the power.
    4. Goblin: What power?
    5. Jareth: Power of voodoo.
    6. Goblin: Who do?
    7. Jareth: You do.
    – Submitted by Julia W (22 months ago)
    1. Goblin: [poking Ludo with a biting stick] Try this one on for size, you big hippie!
    – Submitted by Dov D (23 months ago)
    1. Sarah: [during battle] Ludo, call the rocks!
    – Submitted by Dov D (23 months ago)
    1. Hoggle: [sadly, after Sarah broke free from the crystal] Oh, she'll never forgive me. What have I done? I've lost my only friend. That's what I've done.
    – Submitted by Dov D (23 months ago)
View all quotes (51)

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Foreign Titles

  • Die Reise ins Labyrinth (DE)
  • Labyrinth (UK)
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