Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Kaubôi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira)


Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Kaubôi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira)

Critics Consensus

This may be strictly for anime junkies, but they'll find much to like about Cowboy Bebop's casual violence and cool dialogue.



Total Count: 71


Audience Score

User Ratings: 52,238
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Movie Info

The popular animé series Cowboy Bebop gets its own feature-length film with the aptly named Cowboy Bebop: The Movie. Set in the late 21st century, it jumps into the series' story line just prior to its conclusion, with the bounty hunting crew of the interstellar craft Bebop chasing a hacker aboard a tanker into a major city on Mars. As crew member Faye Valentine closes in on the tanker, she witnesses its catastrophic explosion, which soon appears to be a viral terrorist attack as the death toll continues to mount in the days following. Furthermore, Faye caught a glimpse of the person responsible for the blast and is thus the only surviving witness of the crime. After the government puts out a large bounty for the perpetrator's capture, the Bebop gang -- slacker Spike Spiegel, former policeman Jet Black, and hacker girl genius Edward -- begin their own hunt for the mass murderer, who is eventually revealed to be one Vincent Volaju. Vincent, it turns out, was the lone survivor of a governmental medical test and now seeks revenge by unleashing the same microscopic robotic virus used in the tanker explosion on the unsuspecting city. The Bebop crew must scramble to prevent Vincent from carrying out his plan, as well as try to locate an anti-virus to counterattack the effects of Vincent's virus. Released in both dubbed and subtitled cuts in the United States in 2003, Cowboy Bebop - The Movie premiered in Japan in 2001.


Critic Reviews for Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Kaubôi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira)

All Critics (71) | Top Critics (24) | Fresh (46) | Rotten (25)

  • The film starts with a bang, but its characterisation comes with a whimper.

    Jun 24, 2006 | Full Review…
    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • The only problem for me was that the plot failed to grab the attention the way the visuals did: a very involved storyline about terrorists and a biological weapon went on at least a half-hour too long.

    Jul 8, 2003 | Rating: 2/5 | Full Review…
  • A brilliant feature-length anime that's good enough to deserve mention in the same breath as Akira, Ghost in the Shell, and Spirited Away.

    Jun 24, 2003 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Jamie Russell
    Top Critic
  • The movie, with room to gallop through nearly two hours and an R rating, often just kicks around in the stable.

    Jun 6, 2003 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

    Vic Vogler

    Denver Post
    Top Critic
  • Even those unfamiliar with the good ship Bebop will enjoy the high-intensity action and witty dialogue.

    May 15, 2003 | Rating: 4/5
  • Folks who go for this sort of thing will find it the sort of thing they go for. But the rest of us may find reason to scratch our heads and scratch again.

    May 8, 2003 | Rating: 2/5

Audience Reviews for Cowboy Bebop: The Movie (Kaubôi Bibappu: Tengoku no Tobira)

  • Oct 12, 2011
    This is how you make an anime movie, I am a big fan of the series, so this is great. We have everything we love about Cowboy Bebop (The Music, the action scenes, the amazing characterization) brought together into this movie, and no anime movie has ended with a better song than this, Gotta Knock a Little Harder!
    Willis T Super Reviewer
  • Jun 02, 2011
    Embodies everything I loved about Cowboy Bebop. The chemistry of the crew, the Scifi elements, Spike's martial arts prowess and delicious animation while still retaining that slick bounty hunter feel. Someday though I'll have to climb over that lame melodramatic mountain that seems present in all Anime. The main antagonist is such a quack, boohoo everyone died except me! I don't know about my past so I have to kill large amounts of people! Please.
    Drake T Super Reviewer
  • Feb 22, 2011
    Great movie, but not quite up to par with original OVA storyline.
    Chris B Super Reviewer
  • Sep 11, 2010
    Can’t quite figure what was wrong the first time so I watched it again and I’m still not sure. There is the proper balance of action and plot the anime is top rate, but I just never got totally into it. I have never seen the series but it kept popping up as a 4+ star in my queue. Spike Spiegel is the main character who is the updated James Bond of bounty hunters. His partner is Jack Black, who from the oddly arranged comment in the movie is a will developed character in the show but poorly developed in the movie. Other characters are Faye Valentine the fleshed out anime women in the show. Do flesh tight lieder hosen short shorts really exist? Hmm. Ed and Ein are an amusing duo. Ed is an apparently 13 year old feral genius computer hacker and Ein is a normal looking genetically engineered Welsh corgi (Lap dog). Who can win at chess every time. Out of the hoe show Ein is the most addressable, he solves the tough questions but no one takes him serious because he is a dog and he can’t talk. From what I read about the series the characters are well developed and multifaceted, but the movie is more of a more elaborately animated and longer episode. If you watch the series its probably a must without previous viewing it more like a sampler that not very fulfilling.
    Bill C Super Reviewer

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