The Secret World of Arrietty Reviews

Top Critic
Deborah Young
Hollywood Reporter
January 7, 2013
The fresh and simple story will win its share of young fans, though it lacks the disturbing adult elements might have attracted older audiences.
Top Critic
Ben Sachs
Chicago Reader
January 7, 2013
[The film] pulses with feeling for childhood and nature and develops a surprising amount of suspense considering it takes place around a single suburban home.
Top Critic
Peter Rainer
Christian Science Monitor
February 17, 2012
The Secret World of Arrietty is a marvelously captivating animated feature about very tiny people and the full-scale world they inhabit.
Full Review | Original Score: A
Top Critic
Ian Buckwalter
The Atlantic
February 17, 2012
Yonebayashi gives Arrietty an excellent sense of balance, with the adventure aspects of the story, which feel legitimately dangerous providing well-paced contrast the film's more placid moments.
Full Review | Original Score: 7.8/10
Top Critic
Rafer Guzman
Newsday
February 17, 2012
It's an enjoyable and attractive-looking film, but a little of that "Speed Racer" energy wouldn't have been such a bad thing.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
February 17, 2012
The visual details are inventive, and the animation - particularly the colors - is lovely.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Jody Mitori
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
February 17, 2012
"The Secret World of Arrietty" proves that imagination still matters amid all the clamor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Lou Lumenick
New York Post
February 17, 2012
"The Secret World of Arrietty'' is a feast for the eyes that will engage the entire family.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Liam Lacey
Globe and Mail
February 17, 2012
The Secret World of Arrietty is sweet fun, an astute match of exquisite style and small content.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Amy Joyce
Washington Post
February 17, 2012
This gorgeous little movie is sure to be beloved by your little people, who may discover what it means to find a magical beauty in the things we can't altogether see.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tom Long
Detroit News
February 17, 2012
"The Secret World of Arrietty" is a sweet world indeed.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Claudia Puig
USA Today
February 16, 2012
With its lush colors, imaginative view of ordinary objects and meticulously crafted miniature civilization, it transports viewers to an enchanting alternate storybook reality.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Alonso Duralde
TheWrap
February 16, 2012
Whether it's an expansive view of a sun-dappled meadow or a close-up of our diminutive heroine making her way across a lawn while hiding under a leaf, the Ghibli artists show us the world the way Matisse once painted it.
Top Critic
Amy Biancolli
San Francisco Chronicle
February 16, 2012
What unfolds is part adventure, part fairy tale, part star-crossed romance (she fits in his palm; can it get more doomed?). And the overall sum is enchantment.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
New York Times
February 16, 2012
Studio Ghibli and Arrietty have a way of taking you where you may not expect, whether you're scrambling through rooms as large as canyons or clambering into the safety of an outstretched hand, a simple gesture that says it all.
Top Critic
Kenneth Turan
Los Angeles Times
February 16, 2012
Beautiful, gentle and pure - but not without elements of genuine menace - it will make believers out of adults and children alike.
Top Critic
Carrie Rickey
Philadelphia Inquirer
February 16, 2012
When Shawn, a sickly boy sent to live in the house before he has heart surgery, sees Arrietty, does he squash her like a bug? Dear reader, he is enchanted. As are we.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Ty Burr
Boston Globe
February 16, 2012
The film flatters young moviegoers' awareness of deeper matters while delivering just enough enchantment to beguile both them and their parents.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 16, 2012
Ghibli films have a fantastic visual style and tone all their own, and first-time director Hiromasa Yonebayashi adapts Mary Norton's 1952 children's classic "The Borrowers" according to the house rules.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Joe Neumaier
New York Daily News
February 16, 2012
Like the ornate dollhouse that plays a part, "Arrietty" is lovely and well-appointed, but filled with only what you bring to it.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Steven Snyder
TIME Magazine
February 16, 2012
Unlike most Ghibli escapes that liberate us from reality, Arrietty brings the same magic to the mundane, elevating the ordinary confines of daily life into sumptuous surprises
Full Review | Original Score: 4/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
February 16, 2012
It's lovely, both in spirit and in its simple, supple, hand-drawn visual allure.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Tom Keogh
Seattle Times
February 16, 2012
Yonebayashi is faithful to the studio's signature look and feel, but the jewel-like colors and painterly splendor of his environments are distinctively personal and presented with disarming modesty.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Linda Barnard
Toronto Star
February 16, 2012
Arrietty offers an opportunity to be carried away by a whimsical adventure, set to a lovely score by French musician CÚcile Corbel.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
February 16, 2012
Even when making movies for small children, Studio Ghibli produces stories that are more emotionally sophisticated, and less philosophically polarized, than most adult fare.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
February 15, 2012
The result is a dreamy, soft-edged hybrid, equally interested in observing raindrops and the worries of a race of minuscule beings.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Aaron Hillis
Village Voice
February 14, 2012
The otherworldliness that is Miyazaki's trademark has been tamped down into naturalistic textures, but the look is still as meticulous and confident as the master's handiwork.
Top Critic
Sam Adams
Time Out
February 14, 2012
It's one of few animated fairy tales to genuinely transport the audience into their world and, in the process, let us see our own with fresh awe and respect.
Full Review | Original Score: 5/5
Top Critic
David Germain
Associated Press
February 14, 2012
A marvel of image and color, its old-fashioned pen-and-ink frames vividly bringing to life the world of children's author Mary Norton's "The Borrowers."
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Glenn Kenny
MSN Movies
February 13, 2012
While it doesn't offer much in the way of 'sophisticated' content for adults, it brings something much more valuable, really: genuine aesthetic bliss.
Full Review | Original Score: 4.5/5
Top Critic
Leslie Felperin
Variety
July 28, 2011
Old-school, mostly in a good way.
Top Critic
David Jenkins
Time Out
July 27, 2011
A gorgeous, rounded piece of craft, where the subtle, almost tactile textures of the characters and backdrops allow you to appreciate this moving, whimsical tale as if it were real.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5