Tokyo Godfathers Reviews

Top Critic
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.
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.
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J. R. Jones
Chicago Reader
February 17, 2012
Japanese animator Satoshi Kon has a striking sense of composition, but I'm more impressed by his storytelling skills.
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Ken Eisner
Variety
September 7, 2008
Takes anime to a whole new level.
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Gary Dowell
Dallas Morning News
March 25, 2004
One of the most moving, enjoyable and wholly unconventional Christmas stories to come along in a long time.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
February 27, 2004
Demonstrates an idiosyncratic human touch. Kon is unafraid of the unseemly and unsightly.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Colin Covert
Minneapolis Star Tribune
February 19, 2004
It doesn't make sense to praise an anime movie's acting, does it? Yet you can't help but marvel at the expressive pen-and-ink performers.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Michael O'Sullivan
Washington Post
February 6, 2004
Gritty yet surprisingly touching story.
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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.
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Robert Denerstein
Denver Rocky Mountain News
February 6, 2004
I found myself alternately puzzled and transported by this unusual helping of anime.
| Original Score: B-
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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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Andrew Sarris
New York Observer
January 29, 2004
Social indifference and injustice plague the protagonists, as well as our own consciences. This may very well be the point of the whole exercise.
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Michael Wilmington
Chicago Tribune
January 29, 2004
A spellbinding piece of Japanese anime from one of the form's new masters, director-writer Satoshi Kon.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
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Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
January 23, 2004
A satisfying story that's greater than the sum of its parts.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Tom Long
Detroit News
January 23, 2004
Interesting stuff that's plain fun to watch.
| Original Score: B
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John Monaghan
Detroit Free Press
January 23, 2004
Full of charm, grittiness and a solid storyline, the movie deserves an audience far beyond diehard animation fans.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
January 16, 2004
An ambitious and impressively inventive undertaking.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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Carla Meyer
San Francisco Chronicle
January 16, 2004
A gorgeous animated film that's as avid a tribute to the Japanese capital as Lost in Translation.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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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.
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
January 16, 2004
Director Kon goes heavy on the schmaltz, but it doesn't matter. He puts viewers in a comfy mode, where sentiment is a plus.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
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A.O. Scott
New York Times
January 15, 2004
Loosely based on 3 Godfathers, John Ford's maudlin 1948 western, this movie, a sweet fable of decency amid the down and out, also has echoes of Chaplin and Capra.
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Manohla Dargis
Los Angeles Times
January 15, 2004
A well-told story, forged on vision and delivered with heart.
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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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Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
January 14, 2004
Artfully appreciates the beauty and humanity in junked lives and landscapes.
Full Review | Original Score: B
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Richard James Havis
Hollywood Reporter
January 13, 2004
It's a touching movie that, like the best animes, transcends the limitations of the genre.
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
January 13, 2004
A welcome exercise in anime weirdness.