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MirrorMask (2005)


Average Rating: 5.8/10
Reviews Counted: 90
Fresh: 49
Rotten: 41

Critics Consensus: While visually dazzling, there isn't enough story to hang all the fancy effects on.

Average Rating: 5.6/10
Reviews Counted: 29
Fresh: 12
Rotten: 17

Critics Consensus: While visually dazzling, there isn't enough story to hang all the fancy effects on.


Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 70,707


Movie Info

A 15-year-old girl named Helena falls into a dream world where two queens are fighting in a bizarre land of fantastical creatures and masked inhabitants. Helena is charged with retrieving the MirrorMask to revive the sickly White Queen, but as she explores the strange world, she finds herself wondering if this is really a dream or something else more dangerous.

PG (for some mild thematic elements and scary images)
Drama , Kids & Family , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
Dave McKean , Neil Gaiman
In Theaters:
Jan 10, 2006
Box Office:
Samuel Goldwyn Films - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for MirrorMask

All Critics (100) | Top Critics (33) | Fresh (49) | Rotten (41) | DVD (19)

Could be Exhibit A for anyone arguing the case that modern filmmaking lacks a strong sense of story.

Full Review… | October 28, 2005
Toronto Star
Top Critic

Leonidas walks this tightrope quite engagingly, showing us a girl on the cusp of womanhood, torn between two competing needs -- to become an adult, to remain a child, to vilify, to revere.

Full Review… | October 28, 2005
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

McKean's inexperience as a director trips the film. There is so much going on that the viewer can't take in all the imagery, and McKean's devotion to his skewed vision slows the story to a crawl.

Full Review… | October 27, 2005
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Too long, and too rich, for its own good, but clearly Gaiman and McKean were bursting with ideas. Those ideas fly all over the place, sometimes landing with a thunk, but more often taking the breath away.

October 21, 2005
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

A 30-minute idea wrapped in a 100-minute movie. It's a jewel box filled with cubic zirconia.

Full Review… | October 21, 2005
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

The narrative is simplistic and lacking in energy, and the characters are sketched instead of fully formed.

Full Review… | October 21, 2005
Top Critic

Mirrormask eventually establishes itself as an thoroughly interminable piece of work that substitutes endless creativity for context and character development...

Full Review… | February 1, 2012
Reel Film Reviews

Dense, dreamlike fantasy isn't for every kid.

Full Review… | December 15, 2010
Common Sense Media

An alluring original piece of fantasy...

Full Review… | April 29, 2009
Cinema Crazed

The story is interesting, in a twisted fairytale sort of way, but the novelty of this dream world does eventually wear off, and we're left checking our watches.

Full Review… | January 5, 2009
Apollo Guide

MirrorMask proves that a movie can be brilliant and awful at the same time.

Full Review… | July 18, 2008

This one-of-a-kind fantasy film may be seen as a classic someday, possibly quite soon.

Full Review… | February 7, 2006 of those movies that might be improved immensely by the consumption of certain mood-altering substances.

Full Review… | December 12, 2005
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette

What a disappointment! The greatest fantasy novels and films are products of the unconscious - they have the authority of visions, glimpsed though imperfectly understood. But the creators of MirrorMask remain all too wide awake.

Full Review… | December 5, 2005
Urban Cinefile

A wonder of imaginative design and a failure of imaginative storytelling; after 101 minutes of this, you feel like a starving man being taunted with a Faberge egg.

November 7, 2005
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

"MirrorMask" may prove fascinating for fans of McKean and Gaiman, but I was left chilled and irritated.

Full Review… | November 7, 2005

[Director Dave] McKean's pacing is abominable but, more importantly, he doesn't spend enough time building his characters.

Full Review… | November 4, 2005

An impressive sheen on some familiar themes.

Full Review… | November 3, 2005
Las Vegas Weekly

It is so fresh, so bold and so fantastical on the visual plane that it seems to re-invent the language of dreams and widen the possibilities of fantasy storytelling.

Full Review… | October 28, 2005
Jam! Movies

None of the exceptionally designed characters have a soul that stirs the senses.

October 27, 2005
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

This strange, imaginative children's adventure has a fantastic visual sense that looks like nothing you've seen

Full Review… | October 27, 2005
Shadows on the Wall

Audience Reviews for MirrorMask

This is a really splendid visual feast. Neil Gaiman's story, Jim Hensons Company and Davie Mckea produce a wonderful feast for the eyes with a nifty little fantasy story. Well done.

John Manard

Super Reviewer


Way too much surrealism for my taste, but I gotta give credit to the creators for making something so incredibly imaginative. I really wanted to like it more than I did, but the visual style just wasn't my cup of tea. In fact, I was rather annoyed and put off by it. Nice performance by Stephanie Leonidas though. The lines flowed so naturally from her tongue that it's hard to believe she was actually acting. It's strange that I haven't seen her in any other films, because her talent deserves a lot more recognition. Either way, Leonidas' wonderful charisma was unfortunately not enough to save me from boredom, and it's a miracle I got through this without falling asleep. That isn't to say it's awful, because I'm sure there are a lot of people out there who like it. I just prefer fantasy that is more reality-based, as opposed to bizarre and dream-like.

Mike S

Super Reviewer


It is a very imaginative movie that won't make sense at first. Most of the visuals were just awesome. And I liked the song where Helena was having a makeover. But I'm not really sure about recommending since it didn't amazed me that much.

Dead Angel

Super Reviewer


This has got to be one of the strangest lloking movies i've ever seen. The cgi and hazed lighting they used is completely fake looking, but in a way that you see it as a fantasy world rather than bad production value. I think for the style trying to be achieved, that it works extremely well. I mean you really feel like you're peeking inside someone's dream. The costume design helps out a lot with this; it's almost as outrageous as the effects. While the story is essentially a modernization of The Wizard of Oz, it still manages to hold its own. While most of the acting is pretty bad and damaging to the overall movie, Stephanie Leonidas does a great job and works well as the protagonist we can all root for. Overall, it's a very interesting movie, it just doesn't have certain things that would make it a good deal better.

Conner Rainwater

Super Reviewer

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