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Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole (2010)


Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 122
Fresh: 61
Rotten: 61

Critics Consensus: Legend of the Guardians' dark tone and dazzling visuals are to be admired, even if they're ultimately let down by a story that never lives up to its full potential.

Average Rating: 5.7/10
Reviews Counted: 20
Fresh: 9
Rotten: 11

Critics Consensus: Legend of the Guardians' dark tone and dazzling visuals are to be admired, even if they're ultimately let down by a story that never lives up to its full potential.


Average Rating: 3.5/5
User Ratings: 69,844


Movie Info

Acclaimed filmmaker Zack Snyder makes his animation debut with the fantasy family adventure "Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole" based on the beloved Guardians of Ga'Hoole books by Kathryn Lasky. The film follows Soren, a young owl enthralled by his father's epic stories of the Guardians of Ga' Hoole, a mythic band of winged warriors who had fought a great battle to save all of owlkind from the evil Pure Ones. While Soren dreams of someday joining his heroes, his older brother, Kludd, … More

Action & Adventure , Animation , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
John Collee , Kathryn Lasky
In Theaters:
Dec 17, 2010
Box Office:
Warner Bros. Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole

All Critics (123) | Top Critics (21) | Fresh (61) | Rotten (61) | DVD (8)

There are a handful of soaring, immersive and at times beautiful fight-and-flight sequences which utilise 3D in the best imaginable way.

Full Review… | October 20, 2010
Time Out
Top Critic

A splendid adventure sure to thrill children and fantasy buffs, while leaving everyone else passably entertained.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

The film's look can't overcome all its shortcomings, but it helps them go down easier than its title.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
Detroit News
Top Critic

Snyder and his crew have made a film for an improbably narrow audience -- I can imagine 12 1/2-year-old boys being enthralled by it -- but they've made it with such skill and care it's more a shame than a failure.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
MSN Movies
Top Critic

May be a hoot, but for all its pyrotechnics, it fails to soar.

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
New York Times
Top Critic

After the frightened kids run screeching from the theater, adults may wonder what this vicious flick was trying to teach us. But as a guardian of unhatched spirits, I say: Hoo-hoo-hoo cares?

Full Review… | September 24, 2010
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic

a thrilling and exciting tale that the whole family can enjoy

Full Review… | January 5, 2014
7M Pictures

In an age of "let's all get along" pabulum, there's much to like in a cartoon not afraid to show its talons.

Full Review… | January 31, 2013
Movie Nation

While it was a delight to look at, it might have been something really special had it had a stronger, more compelling story behind it.

Full Review… | September 23, 2012

the story's inherent sense of fantasy and genuinely felt moments of exhilaration...and danger...keeps us engaged - for a time, at least

Full Review… | January 30, 2012
Cinema Writer

It's a shame that the painstaking work of the CGI animators was ultimately doomed to failure by the script.

Full Review… | July 14, 2011
Digital Spy

A wrong-headed and milling attempt at a "final conflict" tale like the Fellowship of the Ring.

Full Review… | May 25, 2011

It's tough-minded and anything but happy.

Full Review… | April 4, 2011

Only the most saintly of viewers could forgive the film all of its storytelling lapses [but] there's always going to be some stupidly gorgeous tableau to hold your attention.

Full Review… | March 28, 2011
Antagony & Ecstasy

The repetition fatigue that plagued 300 also weakens Legend of the Guardians, but otherwise it's an entertaining, action-packed fable

Full Review… | March 9, 2011
Reel Times: Reflections on Cinema

...Legends Of The Guardians is nonetheless an excellent adventure that comes with plenty of heart, spectacle and that welcome darker edge that helps make a family movie great.

Full Review… | February 2, 2011
The Standard

This 3-D animated film is for the birds.

Full Review… | December 29, 2010
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

Elements of the story drag on longer than expected, but the film is lifted up by its dynamic visuals, exciting set pieces and terrific voice cast.

Full Review… | December 24, 2010

...a pretty amazing step forward for a major studio work of animation.

Full Review… | December 19, 2010
E! Online

Had everything it needed to be unique, but instead it emerges as unmemorable and run-of-the-mill.

Full Review… | December 16, 2010
Window to the Movies

...there is no denying those pretty pictures, and they go a long way toward making the movie watchable.

Full Review… | December 9, 2010
Movie Metropolis

[The film] makes an attempt at mystical magic, but it never overcomes the obstacles that the it sets for itself.

Full Review… | December 6, 2010
Mark Leeper's Reviews

full review at Movies for the Masses

Full Review… | November 20, 2010
Movies for the Masses

Such gorgeous feathery violence.

Full Review… | November 11, 2010

'Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole' is just as suited to fans of Harry Potter as it is to older children who will want to enjoy this fantasy adventure.

Full Review… | October 30, 2010
KWQC-TV (Iowa)

Más allá de algunos logros visuales, la historia no ofrece nada que ya no se haya visto antes, con la contra de que, esta vez, faltó emoción y convicción dramática.

Full Review… | October 25, 2010
Uruguay Total

Audience Reviews for Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole


A very visually pleasing movie, amazing animation! An interesting tale with an excellent voice cast and of course Zack Snyder's trademark super slo mo everywhere. Enjoyed this one with my daughter.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Let's be honest, it's a movie with owls fighting each other while wearing helmets. Sounds horrible? I agree. But, as it turns out, the movie deserves a chance. It may be a bit too scary for the really young ones and a bit too cute for older teenagers, everyone in between and adults young at heart should have a good time with this, though. The animation is breathtakingly beautiful, as are the landscapes that give this world a sense of depth and mythology. That works great for the film's fantastic atmosphere. The characters are likable enough, the story engaging and even offers a surprise or two. That makes for a really entertaining adventure that showcases what animated films can do in terms of photorealism. I stand corrected.

Jens S.

Super Reviewer

Zack Snyder has stooped very low to male a film like this but there are a few good cinematics.

Scott Green

Super Reviewer


This is a film based on some literature (man, I've been watching, reviewing, and re-reviewing a lot of these lately) about a young owlet who yearns for adventure and ends up being a part of a great one involving epic battles, action, and the need to save the world fro mtyrrany. Zack Snyder made an interesting career turn with this one, as it marked not only his first animated feature, but his first film to not be rated R.

Yes, it is about owls, and I'm sure the book are for a slightly younger crowd, but you know what? I liked this movie. It's cool. Granted, I've always liked owls and thought they were cool, but still. For an animated fantasy adventure type film, it could be a whole lot worse. The film does follow a standard formulaic plot of the domination, hero's quest, and good evrsus evil varieties, but what it lacks in original plotting and underdeveloped characters that more than just archetypes, it more than makes up for it with good direction, a great voice cast made up of a few Brits and a boatload of Aussies including Sam Neill, Geoffrey Rush, Helen Mirren, Ryan Kwanten, Jim Sturgess, and Hugo Weaving among others and, the real star of the show: an absolutely gorgeous look with some wonderfully detaied photorealistic visuals. These owls and other creatures truly come alive and look real down to the smallest details. I saw this in 2D, but I got the sense that some of the 3D probably looked great and worked well in places, but not in all of them. Also, being a Zack Snyder film, the action set pieces (complete with slow-mo) are really well done and look great.

Despite being a typical genre film, this is still quite entertaining and decent. If only the way it was executed and the story/characters could have been developed more and better, then this could have been like the owl version of Star Wars to a degree, and yes I'm serious, and will discuss it further if asked.

All in all, not bad. It's a little silly at times, but it doesn't insult the audience's intelligence a whole lot, so that's good. Give it a shot, you might like it.

Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

Legend of the Guardians: The Owls of Ga'Hoole Quotes

I'll get you closer!! We're going to lock talons. Trust me, I know what I'm doing!!
Yeah, but have you done this before?!
No... but I've always wanted to try it!! Hold on!!
– Submitted by shoop d (3 months ago)
The warrior!!
A poet warrior, please, thank you.
– Submitted by shoop d (3 months ago)
Ahah!! Danger, intrigue!! The stuff of song.
Oh, no, not the lute.
But such things have no effect on me!! For I am a poet, as much as a warrior.
– Submitted by shoop d (3 months ago)
We only seek the truth.
The truth? We told you the truth. The Pure Ones exist. They will enslave us all and rule our world without pity!! I know that the only proof I have are my words... but words were the only proof I had that you existed, and still I believed.
And you would argue with that?
– Submitted by shoop d (3 months ago)
Can you fly with me?
There... there are five of us...
Yes. We know.
– Submitted by shoop d (3 months ago)
Do you even know the way to the Sea of Hoolemere? Twilight knows the way.
Of course I know the way!! We are off to the Sea of Hooladance!!
It's Hoolemere.
– Submitted by shoop d (3 months ago)

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