Labyrinth (1986) - Rotten Tomatoes

Labyrinth (1986)



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

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.more
Rating: PG
Genre: Action & Adventure, Kids & Family, Science Fiction & Fantasy, Cult Movies
Directed By:
Written By: Terry Jones, Edward C. Hume, Lewis John Carlino, John Varley
In Theaters:
On DVD: Oct 12, 1999
Sony Pictures Home Entertainment


David Bowie
as Jareth the Goblin Ki...
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/Gobl...
Douglas Blackwell
as The Four Guards/Gobl...
Steve Whitmire
as The Four Guards/Fire...
Anthony Asbury
as The Four Guards/Righ...
Robert Beatty
as Left Door Knocke
Dave Goelz
as The Hat/The Four Gua...
Brian Henson
as Hoggle/Goblin
Ron Mueck
as Ludo/Firey 2/Goblin
Leonie Pallete
as Ballroom Dancer
David Shaughnessey
as Didymus, Didymus/The...
Timothy Bateson
as The Worm/The Four Gu...
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
Kevin Clash
as The Four Guards/Fire...
Kenny Baker
as Goblin Corps
Richard Jones
as Goblin Corps
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Labyrinth

Critic Reviews for Labyrinth

All Critics (42) | Top Critics (9)

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.

Full Review… | June 14, 2007
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

A remarkable achievement.

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

A wonderful eighties fantasy gem...

Full Review… | October 20, 2013
Cinema Crazed

Audience Reviews for Labyrinth


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 Magalh„es

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

Super Reviewer

Very hammy, even for an 80's movie. Maybe a little too much so. Maybe I would feel differently if I had seen this as a child, but somehow missed this one.
Even David Bowie is not very good here, and I'm a fan. It's like he couldn't take it seriously either.
Jennifer Connelly looks pretty, but she's not good either. Extremely unconvincing.
Didn't really like the puppets. I guess maybe kids would enjoy this. I can't picture an adult, although the ratings suggest otherwise.

Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Labyrinth Quotes

Jareth the Goblin King: Live without your sunlight, love without your heartbeat
– Submitted by Raina C (18 months ago)
The Worm/The Four Guards/Goblin: Come inside and have a cup of tea!
– Submitted by Ignacio B (20 months ago)
Jareth: Everything I've done, I've done for you. I move the stars for no one.
– Submitted by Polly V (3 years ago)
Jareth: You remind me of the babe.
Goblin: What babe?
Jareth: The babe with the power.
Goblin: What power?
Jareth: Power of voodoo.
Goblin: Who do?
Jareth: You do.
– Submitted by Julia W (3 years ago)

Discussion Forum

Discuss Labyrinth on our Movie forum!