Labyrinth (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Labyrinth (1986)

TOMATOMETER

AUDIENCE SCORE

Critic Consensus: While it's arguably more interesting on a visual level, Labyrinth provides further proof of director Jim Henson's boundless imagination.

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Movie Info

Fifteen-year-old Sarah resents her baby brother Toby and secretly wishes that he will just disappear. Her wish comes true when goblins kidnap the boy. Feeling responsible and guilty about his abduction, she sets forth to retrieve him, and finds herself on the adventure of a lifetime. To rescue her brother, she must sneak into the castle of the Goblin King, which is in the center of a fantastical labyrinth. But, the task is easier said than done, for the maze is filled with strange creatures and mind-bending puzzles, and nothing is really as it seems.

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Cast

David Bowie
as Jareth the Goblin King
Shelley Thompson
as Stepmother
Karen Prell
as The Worm/Junk Lady
Frank Oz
as The Wiseman
Denise Bryer
as Junk Lady
Anthony Jackson
as The Four Guards/Goblin
Douglas Blackwell
as The Four Guards/Goblin
Steve Whitmire
as The Four Guards/Firey 4/Ambrosius
Anthony Asbury
as The Four Guards/Right Door Knocker Firey 5
Robert Beatty
as Left Door Knocke
Dave Goelz
as The Hat/The Four Guards/Left Door Knocker
Brian Henson
as Hoggle/Goblin
Ron Mueck
as Ludo/Firey 2/Goblin
Leonie Pallete
as Ballroom Dancer
David Shaughnessey
as Didymus/The Hat/The Four Guards/Goblin, Didymus
Timothy Bateson
as The Worm/The Four Guards/Goblin
Michael Hordern
as The Wiseman
David Healy
as Right Door Knocker
Percy Edwards
as Ambrosius
Ian Thom
as Fireys
Danny John-Jules
as Firey 3/Firey 4
Marc Antona
as Goblin Corps
Danny Blackner
as Goblin Corps
Peter Burroughs
as Goblin Corps
Toby Clark
as Goblin Corps
Tessa Crockett
as Goblin Corps
Warwick Davis
as Goblin Corps
Malcolm Dixon
as Goblin Corps
Anthony Georghiou
as Goblin Corps
Paul Grant
as Goblin Corps
John Key
as Goblin Corps
Andrew Herd
as Goblin Corps
Mark Lisle
as Goblin Corps
Peter Mandell
as Goblin Corps
Linda Spriggs
as Goblin Corps
Katie Purvis
as Goblin Corps
Nicholas Read
as Goblin Corps
Albert Wilkinson
as Goblin Corps
Penny Stead
as Goblin Corps
Elfrida Ashworth
as Ballroom Dancer
Margaret Foyer
as Ballroom Dancer
Elizabeth A. Gilbert
as Ballroom Dancer
Louise Gold
as Ballroom Dancer
Moira Grant
as Ballroom Dancer
Hoi San Lee
as Ballroom Dancer
Janis Mackintosh
as Ballroom Dancer
Penny Marsden
as Ballroom Dancer
Kim Mendez
as Ballroom Dancer
Wendy Millward
as Ballroom Dancer
Caroline Pope
as Ballroom Dancer
Sharon White
as Ballroom Dancer
John Aron
as Ballroom Dancer
Terry Dane
as Ballroom Dancer
Derek Hartley
as Ballroom Dancer
Douglas Howes
as Ballroom Dancer
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News & Interviews for Labyrinth

Critic Reviews for Labyrinth

All Critics (40) | Top Critics (6)

An innovative mix of sophisticated puppetry and special effects, Labyrinth has all the components of classic myth.

Full Review… | August 9, 2007
Philadelphia Inquirer
Top Critic

Unfortunately, this contemporary (at least, for the era) fairy tale, directed and co-written by Muppets creator Jim Henson, never sets a timely tone beyond the 1980s. It remains disappointingly tethered to yesteryear.

Full Review… | August 2, 2007
Washington Post
Top Critic

Henson's imagination is boundless. But his movie has no pep. It's a dream in neutral.

Full Review… | June 29, 2007
Boston Globe
Top Critic

A real masterpiece of puppetry and special effects, an absolutely gorgeous children's fantasy movie.

June 14, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A remarkable achievement.

Full Review… | May 21, 2003
New York Times
Top Critic

Great energy and creativity went into the construction, production and direction of this movie, but it doesn't have a story that does justice to the production.

Full Review… | January 1, 2000
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Labyrinth

½

This typical 80s muppet adventure contains all the highlights and lows of the era: a pop soundtrack by David Bowie (who is also a fine villain), a simple but enthralling story, lovable characters that sometimes burst into songs, but also some cheesy lines, dated special effects and a simplistic plot. Of course, none of those things mattered if you saw this film at the right age when it came out. Most of the dolls still look pretty fine and especially unique today and there are some amazing visual effects in the film. Jennifer Connelly started her great career with this and the Henson studios once again proved that they are the masters of puppets. It's easy to find flaw in this film today, but for its time it was pretty outstanding and still works for an entertaining rainy afternoon now.

Jens S.
Jens S.

Super Reviewer

½

A delightful fantasy adventure clearly inspired by The Wizard of Oz (the book appears in at least two scenes) and fairy tales (even a poisoned fruit is there), and its dated visual effects and cheesy musical numbers have a charm only found in these movies of the '80s.

Carlos Magalhães
Carlos Magalhães

Super Reviewer

Terribly disappointing. I'm not a fan of muppets anyway, and the campy faux musical numbers go nowhere. Sarah is such a brat at the beginning; her dad and stepmother aren't THAT cruel or negligent. She seems to go after the stolen Toby only out of self-preservation, not out of any fraternal love or filial piety. Her reason for loving her brother isn't shown or found, and there's no reconciliation with her parents in the end. The intended theme of the movie seems to be about growing up or learning responsibility, but there are no specific challenges that test those waters. There are no compelling plot points, no rising action or climax - just a bunch of traveling with some surface friendships, some chases, and not enough riddles. The provenance of the key to defeating the Goblin King ("You have no power over me") is also slightly vague. Sarah seems to recite from a play in the first scene, but it's unclear that the labyrinthine dreamscape she unlocks is from that same play/book (which I learned from the DVD case synopsis was her favorite book), and the secret weapon was in the book the entire time; she need only to remember it. The vaguely bondage/domination desires of the Goblin King are creepy but almost not creepy enough. There's no real sense of romance, but there's no real sense of danger for this age-inappropriate flirtation either, so what's the point?

Alice Shen
Alice Shen

Super Reviewer

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