Isle of Dogs

Critics Consensus

The beautifully stop-motion animated Isle of Dogs finds Wes Anderson at his detail-oriented best while telling one of the director's most winsomely charming stories.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 336

87%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 8,544
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Movie Info

In this stop-motion-animated film from writer/director Wes Anderson, an outbreak of canine flu in Japan leads all dogs to be quarantined on an island. A boy (voice of Koyu Rankin) journeys there to rescue his dog Spots (Liev Schreiber), and gets help from a pack of misfit canines who have also been exiled. His quest inspires a group of dog lovers to expose a government conspiracy. The voice cast also includes Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, Bob Balaban, Greta Gerwig, and Yoko Ono.

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Critic Reviews for Isle of Dogs

All Critics (336) | Top Critics (46)

  • This is outwardly one of Anderson's bleakest films. It's also one of his dullest and least emotional.

    Apr 13, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/5 | Full Review…
  • Anderson's projects have always had a meticulous quality to them, but "Isle of Dogs" is exacting to the point of alienation. Someone needs a leash.

    Apr 6, 2018 | Rating: C | Full Review…
  • A delight, albeit one that is red in tooth and claw.

    Mar 29, 2018 | Rating: 3/5 | Full Review…
  • Another utterly distinctive, formally brilliant exercise in savant innocence from Anderson, somewhere between arch naivety and inspired sophistication.

    Mar 29, 2018 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It remains more a dazzling conceit or experiment rather than a realized whole. We stay on the outside, admiring its originality and all the talent that went into it, without ever really finding our way in.

    Mar 28, 2018 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Isle of Dogs is in need of a stronger storyteller. And, yes, there are times when the cleverness starts to feel smug. I would have liked Isle of Dogs more if there had been less of it.

    Mar 28, 2018 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Isle of Dogs

  • Apr 08, 2019
    Incredibly disappointing, Isle of Dogs is a bizarre mess of a film from writer/director Wes Anderson. When a strange disease infects the dog population Megasaki City expels them to Trash Island, leading the mayor's 12-year old ward Atari Kobayashi to go there in search of his beloved dog. Featuring the voice talents of Bryan Cranston, Edward Norton, Liev Schreiber, Bill Murray, and Scarlett Johansson, the cast is quite impressive (as are those of most Anderson films). But the story is really dumb, and told poorly. For some reason the film is set in a weird dystopic Japan, and there's no subtitles for the Japanese dialog. Also, the stop-motion animation doesn't seem to add anything to the film (other than to heighten its strangeness). However, Anderson's trademark comedy comes through and delivers some good laughs. While Isle of Dogs doesn't work, it's an interesting failure.
    Dann M Super Reviewer
  • Mar 21, 2019
    Combine the quirky, vivacious humor of Wes Anderson with the gullible and fluid stop-motion animation and you've got a surprisingly heartfelt, ambitious and charming film and not to mention the canine frenzy that Isle of Dogs has to offer. 4.25/5
    Eugene B Super Reviewer
  • Feb 28, 2019
    If you want to read the review I wrote for this, go to letterboxd.com/HankIsDead514. I can no longer post long reviews on here and I'm not writing two separate reviews for the same movie.
    Jesse O Super Reviewer
  • Sep 02, 2018
    For a long time Wes Anderson movies were super hit or miss for me, like 5 stars or 1 stars only. Lately his movies are sliding right in the middle, and Isle of Dogs is no different. There is a lot of charm to this movie, and at times it's quite funny, but it begins to meander in its second act and loses sense of focus. There' s a lot I'm conflicted on with the film; on the one hand the miniature sets are meticulously designed and the cinematography is gorgeously choreographed, but on the other the color scheme is consistently grey and really ugly to look at. In its story it starts off simply enough with a boy who just wants to find his dog and the journey there is strong enough to carry the whole film through and pull at the heart strings of any animal lover, but then later on this whole conspiracy plot begins to develop that gets rather confusing and ultimately goes nowhere. The movie is a mixed bag to be sure, and it does start to drag a bit in the middle before fortunately picking up in the end. The emotions thankfully are stronger than they have been in some of Andersons other films, and there is enough heart to carry the film through its clunkier parts. The artistry is impressive enough to overcome the less impressive colors, and the characters are strong enough to make the journey worthwhile. It's mixed, but I lean more positively on this one in the end for its sheer creativity and charm.
    Michael M Super Reviewer

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