Spirited Away Reviews

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Richard Corliss
TIME Magazine
Top Critic
April 23, 2014

Artful but not arty, Spirited Away is a handcrafted cartoon, as personal as an Utamaro painting, yet its breadth and heart give it an appeal that should touch American viewers of all ages.

Mark Schilling
Screen International
April 23, 2014

Spirited Away is a masterwork, the latest and best in a long line from Japan's premieranimator.

Michael Sragow
Baltimore Sun
April 23, 2014

Watching the Japanese cartoon epic Spirited Away is like strolling into Alice's Wonderland and seeing every wonder sprout up around you as if for the first time.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Jack Mathews
New York Daily News
Top Critic
April 23, 2014

The result is nothing less than magical, a throwback to the very best of early Disney. If I can't remember the last time I was this enchanted by an animated film, it's because I was too young.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Christopher Runyon
Movie Mezzanine
February 16, 2014

To watch Spirited Away feels like a special gift. It is a film of such startling imagination, originality, intelligence, and emotion that I feel inexplicable joy when the opening title card fades in.

Full Review | Original Score: A+
Michael Agger
New Yorker
Top Critic
November 27, 2013

It's an amazing work, filled with a visual intelligence that's meticulously composed and obscenely clever.

Tasha Robinson
AV Club
Top Critic
November 27, 2013

Miyazaki's luminescent, gorgeously realized world is relatively safe for children, but it also acknowledges blood, pain, dread, and death in ways that other animated films wouldn't dare.

Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
Top Critic
November 27, 2013

Spirited Away has much to say about many worthy things: the life of the spirit, materialist greed, the importance of words, the power of love.

Total Film
November 27, 2013

Anything but your regular 'toon, it's a (literally) fantastic experience.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Leah Rozen
People Magazine
November 27, 2013

At times it's even vaguely reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz, only as if illustrated by Hieronymus Bosch. It's wonderful.

David Parkinson
Radio Times
November 27, 2013

Director Hayao Miyazaki's insistence on hand-drawn graphics gives the CGI visuals an ethereal charm that ensures the story is always a pleasure to behold, even during its rare moments of inaction.

Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
David Nusair
Reel Film Reviews
March 5, 2012

...a gorgeously animated yet sporadically entertaining endeavor that isn't quite the instant classic one might've expected...

Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Ted Shen
Chicago Reader
Top Critic
October 25, 2011

Enchanting and impressively crafted.

Liz Perle
Common Sense Media
January 2, 2011

Magnificent, spellbinding movie has a bit of edge.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Tim Brayton
Antagony & Ecstasy
March 31, 2010

Full of riches, thematic and visual, and the best way to understand them is simply to watch the film and take it all in.

Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Nick Davis
Nick's Flick Picks
August 25, 2009

Spirited Away exalts the young girl Chihiro's uncanny experiences into an adventure that is as thrillingly ambiguous as it is vividly soundtracked and illustrated.

Full Review | Original Score: A-
Felix Vasquez Jr.
Cinema Crazed
April 29, 2009

I went nuts over this movie.

Michael Dequina
December 28, 2008

Filmgoers of all ages should not pass up the opportunity to experience such a work of staggering imagination.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Joe Lozito
Big Picture Big Sound
October 18, 2008

This persistently fascinating if slightly over-long fairytale is propelled by the seemingly boundless imagination of writer-director Hayao Miyazaki.

Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Daniel Etherington
September 3, 2008

Spirited Away is wonderful.

Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
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