The Dark Crystal


The Dark Crystal

Critics Consensus

The Dark Crystal's narrative never quite lives up to the movie's visual splendor, but it remains an admirably inventive and uniquely intense entry in the Jim Henson canon.



Total Count: 47


Audience Score

User Ratings: 176,302
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Movie Info

The last of the Gelfings, Jen and Kira join forces and embark on a dangerous journey to "heal" a precious Dark Crystal and restore order to their planet.


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Critic Reviews for The Dark Crystal

All Critics (47) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (10)

  • As narrative, the incidents in The Dark Crystal are unremarkable; as the excuse for special effects, fanciful decor and eccentric characters, they do nicely enough.

    May 2, 2019 | Full Review…
  • Jim Henson and Frank Oz... designed and directed this 1983 film, in which no human actors appear (except as crude long-shot doubles for the animated figures); it's a cute gimmick, but the puppets are so stiff and inexpressive that the film drops dead.

    May 1, 2019 | Full Review…
  • The story is a standard fairy-tale concoction, but the New Agey philosophy about healing and heroism makes for a classic Henson story, all heart and rapturous wonder at the world's incredible possibilities.

    May 1, 2019 | Rating: B+ | Full Review…

    Tasha Robinson

    AV Club
    Top Critic
  • A children's fantasy film so enjoyable, imaginative and devoid of cuteness that you want to shake the hand of each individual member of the huge team of collaborators.

    Apr 27, 2018 | Full Review…
  • The Dark Crystal, besides being a dazzling technological and artistic achievement by a band of talented artists and performers... that could teach a lesson in morality to youngsters at the same time it is entertaining their parents.

    Oct 18, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic
  • Desiccated, clawing villains feasting on rotting food in a castle as unprepossessing as the crashed spaceship in Alien have a splendour that is almost operatic.

    Jan 26, 2006 | Full Review…

    David Pirie

    Time Out
    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for The Dark Crystal

  • Jan 24, 2016
    There is nothing that can justify the amount of effort put into creating something so visually stunning (the production design is spectacular) but none into such a tedious narrative that has no imagination, no energy, no sense of pacing and is full of annoying characters.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2015
    A cult film in every sense of the word. Henson and Oz created a puppet movie to end all puppet movies, this one has nothing but puppets and it maintains seriousness in the structure and storyline. Films like this should not exist, it is incredible they managed to create a film so layered with texture and beauty. The film has aged incredibly well and I had moments of nostalgic memories last night, I have not watched this film since childhood. Watching this on the big screen was a dream come true and it is a masterpiece in certain aspects. The film has not aged terribly and it maintains unpredictability, unlike the Hollywood films now. 03/09/2018.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Mar 22, 2015
    Fantastic puppetry with a charming and well-executed fantasy universe. The voice acting is quite good as well. On the other hand, the story is flat and the characters lack any depth whatsoever. All in all, an entertaining adventure story.
    Christian C Super Reviewer
  • Mar 16, 2014
    Great puppet/set designs, and I like the twists in the mostly standard fantasy/quest plot, but this could have afforded to be a little longer with more character development for the two central heroes.
    Alec B Super Reviewer

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