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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.
All Critics (209)
| Top Critics (41)
| Fresh (202)
| Rotten (7)
Arrives as cherishable proof that it is still possible, amid heightened commercial imperatives, for digimators to push for reflective, affecting art.
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.
It's triumphant as well as terribly sad.
More often than not it's a charming, Eastern-influenced myth that's beautiful to watch and enjoyable to follow.
Kubo offers visceral thrills and visual splendor, but it also champions the importance of kindness, forgiveness, and embracing humanity's many imperfections.
Filmgoers who've suffered through a summer of superheroes, supervillains and sequels/snarky reboots, we now have something that genuinely casts a spell on viewers.
Beyond its rich thematic subtext (which is, I admit, occasionally a bit heavy-handed), Kubo and the Two Strings borrows familiar motifs to create an entirely new mythology - one that's worthy of the word epic.
Kubo and the Two Strings avoids the generic Disney idea of good and evil by showing some empathy and compassion for the main villain--this is extremely rare.
The mixture of humor, thrills, drama and tragedy is decidedly triumphant allowing Kubo And The Two Strings to flex its reflective, throbbing mysterious muscles.
Kubo and the Two Strings is not a film that any other Western animation studio would ever dream of creating. The deeply philosophical tale told here is far closer to Studio Ghibli than anything Pixar would be able to come up with.
The point here is to savor the intricately animated action sequences and to drink in the potent mood of the piece, which brings a kinetic edge to Laika's signature detail-heavy, slightly melancholy production design
Kubo and the Two Strings is one of the best films of the year and I highly recommend it. With its spectacular animation, thrilling action scenes, likable characters and a great message, Laika have officially cemented themselves as an animation powerhouse.
Forged by envisioning animations, magical charm and a compelling story, Kubo and the Two Strings is a surprisingly majestic film that holds up against any other animated tale and their conventional ways of filmmaking and storytelling. 4.5/5
Travis Knight assembles Kubo and the Two Strings.
A 90 minute animated adventure paces itself slow and steady, perhaps a little too slow at times, but manages an interesting plot to keep the characters moving. A few twist and turns show around the bend and Kubo and the Two Strings has entertainment value for all ages.
The visual splendor of the characters and settings are the film's highest accolade, making it easy for continuous watching, even through the slowest of times.
Art Parkinson, Charlize Theron, and Matthew McConaughey voice the bulk of the journey and Rooney Mara is a pleasant surprise to fill in the gaps.
Kubo and the Two Strings leaves an all around pleasant taste on the screen. Find the armor and unleash the magic.
With annoying characters, a stupid protagonist and a messy plot that is more confusing than enlightening like it wants to be, this stunning stop-motion animation is predictable, unfunny and full of cheesy clichés that will please those who don't mind a story without much imagination.
At this point the Laiki studio (ParaNorman, The Box Trolls) has earned as much good will and credibility as Pixar in their pre-Cars 2 prime. I almost was going to write off their latest, Kubo and the Two Strings. For the first forty minutes or so I was somewhat indifferent to it. Sure the stop-motion animation was stunningly realized and the creation of the environments was very meticulous, but I just couldn't connect with the movie's story of a young boy, Kubo, and his quest to claim magic items to thwart the advances of his dangerous and estranged mystical family. Then the first big set piece happened and then the next, and then the plot made some deft reveals and provided a strong emotional foundation, and I was hooked. This is Laika's first real action film and the wide shots and long takes do plenty to serve the action and allow you to further marvel at the painstaking brilliance of these hard-working animators. It's a full-fledged fantasy epic that tickles the imagination and provides a poignant undercurrent of emotion especially during the final act. As Kubo declares his real strength are his memories of loved ones past, I was starting to get teary. It's a lovely message to top off an exciting and involving action movie with creepy villains and side characters that do more than throwaway one-liners. Art Parkinson (Game of Thrones) gives a very expressive and emotive performance as our lead. Charlize Theron is outstanding as Kubo's maternal protector who just happens to be a monkey. Rooney Mara is also genuinely eerie as an ethereal pair of flying sisters trying to snatch Kubo. Matthew McConaughey isn't the best vocal actor due to the limited range of his vocal register but he's still enjoyably daft. The Japanese setting and culture are recreated with loving touches that celebrate rather than appropriate. I still regard the arch silliness of The Box Trolls as my favorite film but Kubo is more than a worthy follow-up. The slow start is worth it by film's end, so stick with it if you start to doubt yourself, because the emotional wallop of Kubo and the Two Strings, not to mention its creative high points, is well worth the invested effort.
Nate's Grade: A-
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