Kubo and the Two Strings

Critics Consensus

Kubo and the Two Strings matches its incredible animation with an absorbing -- and bravely melancholy -- story that has something to offer audiences of all ages.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 213

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 35,207
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Movie Info

Kubo and the Two Strings is an epic action-adventure set in a fantastical Japan from acclaimed animation studio LAIKA. Clever, kindhearted Kubo (voiced by Art Parkinson of "Game of Thrones") ekes out a humble living, telling stories to the people of his seaside town including Hosato (George Takei), Akihiro (Cary-Hiroyuki Tagawa), and Kameyo (Academy Award nominee Brenda Vaccaro). But his relatively quiet existence is shattered when he accidentally summons a spirit from his past which storms down from the heavens to enforce an age-old vendetta. Now on the run, Kubo joins forces with Monkey (Academy Award winner Charlize Theron) and Beetle (Academy Award winner Matthew McConaughey), and sets out on a thrilling quest to save his family and solve the mystery of his fallen father, the greatest samurai warrior the world has ever known. With the help of his shamisen - a magical musical instrument - Kubo must battle gods and monsters, including the vengeful Moon King (Academy Award nominee Ralph Fiennes) and the evil twin Sisters (Academy Award nominee Rooney Mara), to unlock the secret of his legacy, reunite his family, and fulfill his heroic destiny.

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Critic Reviews for Kubo and the Two Strings

All Critics (213) | Top Critics (44)

  • A glorious flight of the imagination.

    Oct 10, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Kate Muir

    Times (UK)
    Top Critic
  • The animation? Well, it robs you of breath, over and over again.

    Sep 9, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • Arrives as cherishable proof that it is still possible, amid heightened commercial imperatives, for digimators to push for reflective, affecting art.

    Sep 8, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…

    Mike McCahill

    Guardian
    Top Critic
  • hile there's plenty of fun to be had from all this, there's not a hint of cuteness anywhere. The puppets have enormous vitality and there's a wonderful strangeness in the world they inhabit.

    Aug 25, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's triumphant as well as terribly sad.

    Aug 25, 2016 | Full Review…
  • More often than not it's a charming, Eastern-influenced myth that's beautiful to watch and enjoyable to follow.

    Aug 25, 2016 | Rating: B | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Kubo and the Two Strings

  • Dec 21, 2017
    just your typical tale of a semi-god boy learning to use his magic...
    Ed K Super Reviewer
  • Aug 21, 2017
    Kubo & the Two Strings - a gorgeous masterclass of motion-stop animation from lead animator of Laika, Travis Knight is mesmerising from start to finish. The story is both heartwarming and moralistic, serving with it a fantastic young protagonist in the orphan musician of Kubo and genuinely terrifying villains The Sisters and the Moon King (voiced by Rooney Mara and Ralph Fiennes respectively). The film has it's fair share of moments that adults will enjoy and would definitely be too frightening for young audiences, in the same vein of 2009's Coraline. An animated picture that actually has depth and a beautiful story is something that is common nowadays, and that's definitely a good thing. I'd also recommend staying until the closing credits for Regina Spektor's cover of "My Guitar Gently Weeps" and a glimpse into the agonisingly dedicated efforts that are put into stop-motion animation.
    Harry W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 11, 2017
    Just when you think animation films aren't attempting to push the medium, here comes what is possibly one of the best films of the year. Ambitious film with a strong storyline and unique characters, it's easy to be swept up in a very interesting film. Stop animation isn't a high box office draw so this film died at the box office which is a shame but in this day and age means it has a chance to have a longer life. The cast is excellent with Theron stealing the show, the story unfolds slowly and you are only allowed to know key plot points when the time is right. Films like these rarely do well at the box office, unique and clever films just lack the draw card that big dumb films can provide the average viewer. Great film and worth discovering for the family. 11-07-2017.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Jun 16, 2017
    Kubo and the Two Strings is a thrilling animated film from Laika about the power and importance of stories. To protect himself from the Moon King, a young boy with a special power to animate objects with the playing of his shamisen sets out on a quest to find a mythic suit of armor with the help of a monkey and a rogue samurai. Featuring the voice talents of Charlize Theron, Matthew McConaughey, Ralph Fiennes, and Rooney Mara, the film has a fairly decent cast. And the stop-motion animation is especially good, with some interesting character designs that are remarkably detailed and tactile. However, the storytelling is rather weak, providing little explanation as to the characters' magical powers or why they're fighting. Also, the ending is incredibly lame and nonsensical. But story problems aside, Kubo and the Two Strings is an entertaining adventure.
    Dann M Super Reviewer

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