Labyrinth

Critics Consensus

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

70%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 44

86%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 373,179
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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, Didymus/The Hat/The Four Guards/Goblin
Timothy Bateson
as The Worm/The Four Guards/Goblin
Michael Hordern
as The Wiseman
David Healy
as Right Door Knocker
Kevin Clash
as The Four Guards/Fireys
Percy Edwards
as Ambrosius
Ian Thom
as Fireys
Danny John-Jules
as Firey 3/Firey 4
Marc Antona
as Goblin Corps
Kenny Baker
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
Richard Jones
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 (44) | Top Critics (6) | Fresh (31) | Rotten (13)

Audience Reviews for Labyrinth

  • Mar 29, 2016
    This movie is literally my childhood. I was really scared of this movie when I was a young kid, but as I grew up, I began to see the beautiful aspects of this movie. Jim Henson has already been one of the really great and he really shows that in this movie. It a half-human/half-puppet movie, but it works incredibly well and has a lot of those over-the-top George Lucasisms that we have come to know and love from the Star Wars original trilogy. Jennifer Connelly is very good in the movie but the person who really steals the entire movie is David Bowie as the Goblin King. This guy was not only one of the greatest musicians ever, but he was also one of the greatest actors on the big screen and he will definitely be missed.
    Lasse G Super Reviewer
  • Nov 29, 2015
    what first appears to be an utter mess grows increasingly engaging and interesting. The has ambition and creativity to burn, the first Bowie song had me rolling my eyes but it soon grew on me. Next is the dark crystal which has cult status painted all over it
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2013
    It tries to be like the Muppets but it's production values and ugly visuals add nothing to the sleaze of an arbitrary world. There's no sense for a teenage girl to wish a babysat child to be taken away by goblins and then all the sudden change heart and go get him back.
    Max G Super Reviewer
  • Sep 27, 2013
    Well, it would appear as though David Bowie decided to take a little break from the sci-fi flicks, but this is a fantasy film, so he's still not exactly settling the rumors that he's not of this world or real all that much. Really, if nothing else about this film intensified that rumor, it's the directorial credit to Jim Henson, because, for all we know, David Bowie was built to be just another Muppet. Yeah, he was probably too disturbing to children for Jim to keep him on the show, but hey, he's seen a pretty solid solo career, even though he isn't apparently all that marketable to the older children, as this young "adult" film's gross revenue will tell you. You'd figure that this film would have been a pretty big hit, considering that it boasts the names of Bowie and Henson, but then again, by 1986, we were probably also figuring that Jennifer Connelly wasn't bound to grow up to be a somewhat weird-looking woman. No, she's always been pretty, even at this time, as creepy as it might be to say that, but take it in, folks, as this was the last time we saw Connelly with relatively womanly eyebrows, before, I don't know, Bowie cast some kind of a curse on her upper head for some reason. I don't know, Bowie or somebody had to have messing with dark powers, because even though Connelly isn't too shabby to this day, she was beautiful even before she was 15, and yet she lost it once the eyebrows and forehead kicks in, though that might just be because this film didn't make enough money for Connelly to hold on to that nifty little Hollywood magic power of staying beautiful through and through. Oh well, at least she's always had good acting chops, even in this film, which has more than just a cute, talented young face and a talented, whatever in the world David Bowie is going for it, but is also with some drawbacks. The structure of the film is itself a labyrinth, but only in that it's more exhaustingly busy that easily comprehensive in structure, opening up offering hardly any immediate development to get you invested in the characters and the adventure, then proceeding to continue hurrying along its points, yet still taking time to bloat itself with excess filler to the point of actually being more driven by the thrill of the adventure than the narrative rises and falls that conceptually drive the thrills. The film entertains enough to keep you from drifting away too far, but make no mistake, this is a very aimless opus, whose unfocused, or at least episodic structure shoves storytelling along, struggling to find a path, and such confusion is enough to plague the final product with underwhelmingness, which was always a very distinct possibility. Now, look, this is a family flick of sorts, so it's hard to ask for all that much out of this messily told story, but there's no getting around the limitations in meat to this story concept, whose subject matter opens some potential for a toothy tale, ultimately betrayed by the bland safeness, as well as by cheesiness, yet another element of the overt kiddiness. Now, considering that this film is so kiddy, cheesiness to be expected, but frankly, while things aren't as cornball as I feared, the fluffiness gets kind of carried away, not just within the lame dialogue and fall-flat jokes, but within the action, whose tension is sometimes settled by downplays that do little outside of thin out a sense of consequence. It's difficult to feel all that much from these characters, given the cheesiness, as well as the aimlessness that, before too long, loses too much focus for you to recollect the conflict, and it doesn't help that you might be too aware of where this narrative is heading, because while there are some refreshing beats here and there throughout the film, there are perhaps plenty of more familiar elements, particularly when it comes to plotting, as this is a very formulaic - nay - generic story that quickly becomes predictable, even if you are somehow able to disregard the neutering. The film's guts are limited, and that's fine, because the final product remains decent, despite flaws, but I don't know, there's something missing here, and whether it be coherency, or thorough tension, or originality, or whatever, that hole is gaping enough for the film to fall to the brink of mediocrity. At the very least, the film isn't all that memorable, but while the film is asking for your attention, it keeps it sustained on the whole, because as sloppy, thin, cheesy and familiar as this film of little consequence is, it's pretty fun, and wouldn't be that if it didn't offer some enjoyably fluffy attributes, even in musicality. There is the occasional original song, maybe even a musical number, written by Mr. David Bowie himself, and when they arrive, they're fairly cheesy, - especially when an unholy marriage between Bowie's '80s pop sensibilities and children's musical numbers sensibilities is made - but decent on the whole, and when it comes to a then-up-and-coming Trevor Jones' score, there is also some cheesily '80s overstylization, but still plenty of hearty color that captures much of the heart of this whimsical flick. What further sells this colorful fantasy world is, of course, the production and technical value, whose special effects are a bit dated, but generally adequately buyable, much like art direction by Terry Ackland-Snow, Roger Cain, Peter Howitt, Frank Walsh and Michael White (Hold on, I need to catch my breath after just spelling that...) that does Jim Henson's trademark taste in lively designs justice through production value that build a world that, at the very least, looks fairly unique. If nothing else is refreshing about this generally formulaic fantasy flick, it's the art direction, which isn't simply dazzlingly unique, but immersive, offering plenty of stylish eye candy to try and bring some liveliness to a thin story. Style is perhaps more colorful than substance, and that's not going to be enough to save this neutered and aimless film, so I guess it's a good thing that Terry Jones' script does what potential there is to this story concept justice more often than not, because as sloppy and cheesy as Jones' writing is, he still offers humor that is generally pretty amusing for all ages, while being consistent in offering colorful set pieces, anchored by some memorable, if familiar and undercooked characters, really brought to life by a colorful cast whose supporting players deliver on distinguished and thorough charm, and whose head, a young Jennifer Connelly, fails to impress as much as she did in the still generally mediocre "Phenomena" and "Seven Minutes in Heaven", due to serious limitations in potential, but still captures enough charisma, wonderment and assurance to sell you on a lead character who is both an effective audience avatar and sharply imaginative little heroine by her own right. There's not a whole lot that's special about Connelly's performance, and the even lazily named Sarah Williams character is even less special on paper, but Connelly's portrayal of the familiar character type engages enough to charm and sell you on the core of this adventure piece, as surely as most every other performance charms. Of course, the charming performance that really saves the film as decent is that of director Jim Henson, whose storytelling is an overly safe, uneven mess, but still sustains the very engagement value that its shortcomings challenge, being driven by a subtly lively atmosphere that sometimes tenses up enough for you to get a fair sense of weight to this barely consequential family film, which is generally kept alive by sheer entertainment value, or at least charm. There's not much to compliment in this film, and quite a bit to complain about, but strengths ultimately stand supreme, anchored by endearing direction that is itself anchored by style and substance that engages enough to make a very messy, but still very entertaining final product. When the maze has ended, and the fantasy with it, you snap back to reality rather underwhelmed by this film which goes so heavily plagued by an unfocused, formulaic and typically overtly cheesy interpretation of a thin story concept, which is ultimately well-challenged enough by decent music, outstanding art direction, colorful highlights in writing, and charming performances, both on the screen and off, for Jim Henson's "Labyrinth" to stand as a harmlessly entertaining fluff piece that the family can enjoy just fine, even with plenty of complaints. 2.5/5 - Fair
    Cameron J Super Reviewer

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