Tokyo Godfathers - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Tokyo Godfathers Reviews

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Brian Gibson
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
February 9, 2016
Hana tends to swoon into stereotype, her theatricality and campiness infecting the other non-hetero characters here, with so many of them wailing or sobbing. The story's comedy and pathos can be similarly overwrought, too.
Top Critic
Stephen Whitty
Newark Star-Ledger
January 16, 2004
Great animation can delight children or adults; truly great animation may delight both. But Tokyo Godfathers seems unlikely to enthrall either -- or be remembered much past the flicker of its final cel.
Josh Larsen
Sun Publications (Chicago, IL)
January 29, 2004
The result is only occasionally pathos, the tone Kon seems to be striving for.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Tasha Robinson
AV Club
December 9, 2013
No amount of shoehorned-in razzle-dazzle can keep this forced fable from feeling like a shadow of Kon's early work.
Wade Major
Boxoffice Magazine
January 15, 2004
Kon deserves credit for attempting to animate a genre that has historically been best served by live action. The effort isn't entirely successful, but for an industry that rarely seeks to break free of tradition, that's already a quantum leap.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/5
Top Critic
Ann Hornaday
Washington Post
February 6, 2004
As visually accomplished as Tokyo Godfathers is, the story is the most primitive form of drama, one that counts on improbable coincidence to propel the story to its sudden, implausibly symbolic conclusion.
Frank Swietek
One Guy's Opinion
March 29, 2004
Tugs at the heart more than it warms it...a lovely-looking film, but hardly the emotional powerhouse some are suggesting.
Full Review | Original Score: C+
James Keith La Croix
Metro Times (Detroit, MI)
December 9, 2013
Tokyo Godfathers becomes a clever and well-written parody of Christ's nativity.
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Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
January 30, 2004
Harrowing and heartwarming.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Ella Taylor
L.A. Weekly
January 15, 2004
Pure Dickens by way of pure Capra. It's a wonderful life.
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Joe Morgenstern
Wall Street Journal
December 9, 2013
In one sense the plot involves returning stolen goods to a thief, but Tokyo Godfathers is really about longing -- for family, for children, for parents and for the lost past.
Larry Carroll
FilmStew.com
January 18, 2004
A director's material is only as good as its presentation and Kon needs some lessons in streamlining his product.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Phil Villarreal
Arizona Daily Star
February 13, 2004
Losing little in translation, the anime from director Satoshi Kon uses sentiment and sharp writing to shatter whatever cultural barriers may block its path.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Don Willmott
Filmcritic.com
August 10, 2004
this is a movie about Tokyo as much as it's a movie about three friends and a baby.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
February 19, 2004
A schmaltzy story gets grit from an unlikely place: animation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Nick Schager
Lessons of Darkness
May 4, 2005
A delightfully rambunctious holiday fable about the vital importance of family.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
January 15, 2004
A well-told story, forged on vision and delivered with heart.
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
January 16, 2004
Despite the story's inherent sentimentality, Satoshi balances everything splendidly, occasionally guiding the mush into humor, or fantasy, or noirish realism.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Amber Wilkinson
Eye for Film
December 7, 2007
The score grates in places but the script hits the mark, with the potty-mouthed vagrants certain to be a hit with older children.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
January 22, 2004
... a sentimental fairy tale with a social conscience twist, brimming with practical "angels" who guide our homeless heroes through their harsh world.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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