MirrorMask - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

MirrorMask Reviews

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Super Reviewer
June 6, 2008
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.
Super Reviewer
½ June 8, 2007
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.
Super Reviewer
½ February 19, 2010
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.
Super Reviewer
½ May 18, 2011
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.
Super Reviewer
September 19, 2010
With her mother due to undergo surgery, a circus girl enters a dream where an evil queen and a good queen fight for control of a magical land (and for the girl's soul, obviously). It's virtues mildly outweigh its faults and its hard to dislike, but this LABYRINTH-style psychological coming-of-age fantasy is extremely uneven, right down to the extremely imaginative but often fake-looking CGI design.
Super Reviewer
July 24, 2007
Some of the visuals were kind of cool, but I really don't see much of a point in this film.
Super Reviewer
December 1, 2009
I wonder why this Movie is so under rated. It is a beautiful tale!
Super Reviewer
½ March 19, 2007
Dave McKean's directing credits may be small at this time, but MirrorMask is one fantasy adventure to not be ashamed of.The story for MirrorMask is like if Alice and Wonderland were mashed together with Labyrinth. I'm not saying that is what it is, but just what it is sort of like. A girl transports to a world with odd creatures and characters. The story is quite engrossing and it is enough to hold one's attention for the entire 1 hour and 40 minutes.Visually this is a CG effect party, with a unique look to it. It isn't trying to be realistic and this is perfectly fine. Combining the visuals with Iain Ballamy's jazzy soundtrack is a notable combo itself.It is always enjoyable to see actors play multiple characters. With that said, there are 4 main actors that end up playing 8 characters in total. All put on creditable performances. Stephanie Leonidas and Jason Barry are able to carry this picture from beginning to end.MirrorMask's first-class opening credits start things off with a bang. From here on out, the rest of the film is a fun adventure. Check it out.
Super Reviewer
June 30, 2009
Mirrormask is one of the strangest and most imaginative films I've seen in a long time. It begs comparisons to an earlier Jim Henson film called Labyrinth. Both movies are about a troubled girl on a quest to save a kingdom, meeting all sorts of creatures along the way. In Mirrormask, however, the creatures are CGI creations of all sorts. Cats with human faces, duck-apes, and an Irish bird man are just some of the fascinating inhabitants the girl, Helena, faces in her journey through this incredibly bizarre world. There are definitely some magical moments, but the film does get carried away by its animation. While this movie is aimed at kids, it will attract people with a wild imagination. It isn't quite Labyrinth, but it's a consistently engaging film, alive with creativity.
Super Reviewer
½ December 6, 2008
Who said that LSD left right after that Alice and Wonderland was made a movie. The person who wrote this had to have some type of drugs. Its a pretty wild movie. Made for Children, well I am not sure about that. Well for $4.99 at Bestbuy its worth it. So its in my collection.
Super Reviewer
½ March 22, 2006
I think that Dave McKean's artwork looks better in 2 Dimensions. Otherwise this is a very good albeit scary-looking children's movie. It loses points because the story seems to go off track and get away from Gaiman, but the characters are engaging and grounded just enough to keep you with them. Flawed, but not without merit.
Super Reviewer
½ February 7, 2008
Dave McKean's directing debut (the story/script co-written with Neil Gaiman) proves that this revolutionary artist is definitely ready to make the jump to moving pictures. This is one of the most visually unique movies in years.

This is primarily a children's story, but the art probably appeals more to a trained art critic's eye than a kid's as most of it is extremely surreal and slightly dark, even for fantasy. I cannot wait until McKean does a much thematically heavier and loaded storyline that will allow him to do anything, especially if it is creepy, scary, or otherwise visually distressing like some of his graphic novel work. Maybe a Batman movie, or fingers crossed though it'll never happen, a story set in The Sandman universe, written by Gaiman.
Super Reviewer
October 14, 2007
Some neat stuff to look at, like giants orbiting, but i felt the story itself was pretty weak.
Super Reviewer
July 14, 2007
Woo! A girl wishes herself gone from her circus family life and is eventually (after 20 dull minutes) transported to an abstract fantasy realm of her imaginative doodlings. Almost every setting, background and creature is CGI; making it dark, artistic and surreal. I was creeped out and impressed by the black queen and the carnivourous riddling sour-faced rainbow sphinx cats. It's not a place I really enjoyed visiting; too bizarre. The live-actors didn't always seem connected with what was going on, falling into the same trap Lucas did with his Star Wars prequel art-over-heart. A great looking place however.
Super Reviewer
March 11, 2007
Like Labyrinth, but darker - just what you would expect from a piece of Neil Gaiman's work.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2007
A boring mass of cliches dressed up in visual "wonder" in order to make it seem like something original.

Some of the imagery is neat, I'll give it that much, but it was reaching WAY too hard for all that. Wonder is acheived naturally. You can't force it upon people.

The only truly good scene in this movie is when the robot maids are dressing up Helena and singing an eerie, ephemeral version of "Close to You". THAT, my friends, is wonder, and if the entire movie was like that it would be one of my favorite films of all time.
Super Reviewer
½ March 3, 2006
A good enough fantasy story that feels like a semi modern day labrynth. The story feels like it would have worked better in book form and its bogged down by Jim Henson CGI. Actual creatues would have made this film better.
Michael M.
Super Reviewer
February 13, 2010
MirrorMask is a film made by the same people who made The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth, the two movies which pretty much defined the 80s, and most peoples childhood's for that matter. It's a strange film, but in a good way, and has shot up my top 10 list and may be my new favorite movie. So much I can say about it, so I'm going to split up my thoughts into several categories.

The story was written by Dave McKean (most famous for being a comics illustrator) and Neil Gaiman (most famous for being a comics writer), and the screenplay was written by Gaiman. McKean has said that most of the story is based on a series of dreams he had, with ideas added in by Gaiman, and the dreamlike nature shows. The budget was very low, so both of them were making the film for arts sake.
I love stories about how our world and the world of fantasy are not two seperate places, but rather interconnected. This is seen in The Chronicles of Narnia, Harry Potter, The Neverending Story (and most other works by Michael Ende) and plenty more. The fantastic trend continues here, but in a new way.
Basically, it's about a 15 year old girl named Helena whose family runs a circus. She hates it, and wants to "run away and join real life," but when her life is thrown in a corkscrew when the circus business begins to go down and her mother collapses during a performance and is in the hospital for brain surgery, she's pulled into the fantasy world of the drawings she has created and which hang about her room. Without spoiling anything, suffice it to say that it gets weirder....much weirder. But everything fits so thematically well, and portrays some truly human conflicts in a truly bizarre world.

As I said earlier, they had a ridiculously low budget apparantly, and as such, most of the cast is unknowns. The only one I recognized is Jason Barry who plays the character Valentine because of a secondary role he had in Titanic. This works to their advantage though in my opinion. When I watched I Am Legend, I didn't see Robert Neville, I saw Will Smith; in War of the Worlds I didn't see Ray Ferrier, I saw Tom Cruise; and in any Jim Carrey movie I fail to see anyone but Jim Carrey! that happens with so many movies and so many actors. MirrorMask didn't have that problem, and it meant I could see the characters and not the actors.
Not to mention they're all damn fine actors. One actually plays two characters and still manages to give each character their own depth, and another plays three and still accomplishes that. Even the actors with very minor roles make top-notch, memorable performances. The highlight though would have to be Jason Barry's portrayal of Valentine. It's off-the-wall, very theatrical, and truly entertaining. He manages to be funny, and still have a lot of depth and importance.

It was directed by Dave McKean, who as I said earlier also wrote the story (along with Neil Gaiman), and made most of the concept art. If you look at the concept art, and then the finished product, there is virtually no difference to be seen. This is quite possibly the most beautiful film I have ever seen in my entire life. The low budget required them to make a world that didn't look that photorealistic, and they took this as a blessing in disguise.
Most of the story is based on McKean's dreams, and it truly LOOKS like a dream!

Like the film, the music is beautiful, atmospheric, and kinda' trippy. Calming tones at one point, and upbeat and fast during another, but all managing to sound together. Unlike a lot of films, I really didn't notice when the music began and when it ended. I'm not saying I didn't hear it, I'm saying that it blended in perfectly and flowed together in a way unlike most any other film. Amazingly this was apparantly the first score that the person doing the music did. There's also a great song called "If I Appologize" played during the credits, written by McKain and Gaiman, which is truly magnificent. Unlike the Henson companies other film Labyrinth, we don't get any of those crazy David Bowie musical segments, though there is one point with a mechanical version of the song Close to You sung by what appeared to be robotic Jack-in-the-boxes which manages to be far weirder (and for that matter creepier) than anything David Bowie did with a group of muppets, which is saying a helluva' lot really.

The motivation of this movie wasn't to make an immediate success. The backstory is that the Jim Henson company, seeing the success that The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth were having on DVD, even though they were at the time thought to be flops, wanted to do something like that again. Over 20 years later, we're still watching those films, and new generations are discovering their greatness for the first time. MirrorMask hasn't done so well commercially, but has allready developed a steady cult following like The Dark Crystal and Labyrinth. 20 years from now, we'll still be watching it.
Super Reviewer
½ October 4, 2005
[color=red]In "Lord of War", we are introduced to Yuri Orlov(Nicolas Cage), who immigrated from the Ukraine under false pretenses along with his parents and younger brother, Vitaly(Jared Leto). One day, he chances upon a mob hit and realizes that the one thing the world will always need is guns and ammunition. He uses this to to escape his dead end existence in Brighton Beach and over the years, and with a bit of luck, Yuri becomes one of the most successful arms merchants in the world, while being dogged by Interpol agent, Jack Valentine(Ethan Hawke).[/color]
[color=#ff0000]"Lord of War" is an intelligent movie that makes some valid points concerning foreign policy. There are also bits of black humor thrown in for good measure. It walks a tightrope in its depiction of Yuri Orlov as an amoral guns dealer.(He has no qualms about selling arms to whoever needs them but it is quite a different matter when he gets his hands dirty.) He is the lead character here and it is amazing to see no sentiment form around him. This is thanks to a rather excellent performance from Nicolas Cage. On the minus side, the film does occasionally telegraph its punches and the characters age badly, if at all.[/color]
[color=purple]When I was reviewing "Constantine" about six months ago, I mentioned how I came around to reading the comic book it was based upon - "Hellblazer." As I said before, that comic book convinced me that comic books could be about more than super heroes and because of that I took a chance and picked up the first issue of "Sandman"(and the 74 following), a dark fantasy concerning the King of Dreams written by Neil Gaiman and with covers by Dave McKean. Now, Gaiman and McKean have collaborated on a movie called "Mirrormask".[/color]
[color=#800080]In "Mirrormask", Helena(Stephanie Leonidas) is a 16 year-old girl who is a member of a circus troupe run by her parents. Like most teenagers, she is desperately trying to find her place in the world. Shortly after arguing with her mother(Gina Mckee) before a performance, her mother collapses and falls seriously ill. On the night of her mother's operation, Helena falls into a magical realm which is threatened by creeping shadows due to the Queen of Light lying in a coma. Only a magic item called a Mirrormask can restore order.[/color]
[color=#800080]The originality is not in the overall story(Girls have been falling into magical realms since at least "Alice in Wonderland.") but in the individual episodes and the overall design of the film, thanks to Dave McKean who designed and directed. [/color]
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