Idiots and Angels

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Reviews Counted: 15

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Average Rating: 3.7/5

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Movie Info

Animator Bill Plympton offers a moral fable with his own surreal touch in this dark comedy. Tough guy Angel wakes up one morning to discover his body has begun to match his name -- a pair of wings has sprouted from his back. Angel doesn't care to have wings and is annoyed by the ridicule they inspire among his drinking buddies, so he cuts them off, only to find they quickly grow back. Even worse, Angel learns the wings have their own moral compass, and while he's a bitter and self-centered man, the wings are forcing him to be benevolent in a way that hardly suits him. Hoping a professional can help, Angel has a surgeon amputate the wings, but when Bart, the bartender at Angel's favorite watering hole, makes trouble for a woman who is a regular at the tavern, the wings return again and the barkeep realizes he can use Angel's talents to his advantage, leading to a war of wills between two corrupt men and one mysterious force for good. Angels And Idiots tells its story without dialogue but does include songs from such artists as Tom Waits, Moby, Pink Martini and Nicole Renaud.

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Critic Reviews for Idiots and Angels

All Critics (15) | Top Critics (8)

  • The dystopia conjured by Idiots and Angels, Mr. Plympton's sixth and best animated feature, suggests Toulouse-Lautrec by way of Charles Bukowski.

    Oct 8, 2010 | Rating: 4/4
  • Now in his early sixties, Plympton has made his most accomplished feature...his characters resemble images in motion rather than full-on animations, as if a Looney Tunes cartoon made love to a Ralph Steadman sketch.

    Oct 6, 2010 | Full Review…

    Eric Kohn

    Top Critic
  • In some respects, Idiots and Angels shows legendary independent animator Bill Plympton at the top of his game.

    Oct 6, 2010 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…

    Keith Uhlich

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • A dystopian commentary on humankind.

    Aug 14, 2009 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Even without a word of dialogue, Plympton's dark fable about the almost unnatural redemption of a lost soul content in its damnation is easily understood, and neatly told.

    Aug 14, 2009 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Good battles evil as a gun-running, booze-swilling, cigarette-puffing badass is dragged, kicking and screaming, toward salvation in Bill Plympton's slyly sardonic black comedy, his best animated feature to date.

    May 7, 2008 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Idiots and Angels


What a delightfully strange movie, and I do legitimately mean that as a compliment. It's impressive that Bill Plympton animated this movie completely on his own. So kudos to Mr. Plympton for that. The movie is certainly very surreal and very funny but at its heart there's actually a good narrative to the film without it actually using any dialogue. The movie definitely gets stranger and darker near the end, but I think it's definitely adds to the movie rather than detract because you do get to see how Angel getting his wings brings out the worst in some people who are full of greed. That being said, the movie is very good but it is an acquired taste. Not everyone will get into its visual style or its surreal, dark humor. I still think it's worth watching, even if you may not like it since it is pretty much different than anything else out there, but it's not like that's the only thing going for it. Hell it even has a good message, not something kid friendly, but not every animated movie needs to be.

Jesse Ortega
Jesse Ortega

Super Reviewer


A loathsome man who spends his days in a bar and enjoys squashing butterflies grows a pair of wings on his back that have a mind of their own. It features great non-verbal, animated storytelling and inventive animation in that mildly surreal Bill Plympton style, a hip soundtrack by Pink Martini and Tom Waits, and comedy that's wicked and dark without surrendering to nihilism. An under-the-radar winner.

Greg S
Greg S

Super Reviewer


Another decent surreal animation by Bill Plympton. Remarkably done without any dialogue.

Wu Chouin
Wu Chouin

Super Reviewer

Another excellent offering from the great Bill Plympton. This one is more serious than the other films I've seen from him (some might call it pretentious), but just as good. Not a word is spoken throughout the film, yet it states pretty clearly, something people seem to often forget; happiness is fairly easily achieved if you let yourself achieve it. A very good film.

Christopher  Brown
Christopher Brown

Super Reviewer

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