Time Bandits 1981

Time Bandits

Critics Consensus

Time Bandits is a remarkable time-travel fantasy from Terry Gilliam, who utilizes fantastic set design and homemade special effects to create a vivid, original universe.

90%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 49

77%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 49,669

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Movie Info

Young history buff Kevin (Craig Warnock) can scarcely believe it when six dwarfs emerge from his closet one night. Former employees of the Supreme Being (Ralph Richardson), they've purloined a map charting all of the holes in the fabric of time and are using it to steal treasures from different historical eras. Taking Kevin with them, they variously drop in on Napoleon (Ian Holm), Robin Hood (John Cleese) and King Agamemnon (Sean Connery) before the Supreme Being catches up with them.

Cast & Crew

John Cleese
Robin Hood
Sean Connery
King Agamemnon, Fireman
Ian Holm
Napoleon
Ralph Richardson
Supreme Being
Peter Vaughan
Winston the Ogre
David Warner
Evil Genius
George Harrison
Executive Producer
Denis O'Brien
Executive Producer
De Wolfe
Original Music
George Harrison
Original Music
Trevor Jones
Original Music
Peter Biziou
Cinematographer
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News & Interviews for Time Bandits

Critic Reviews for Time Bandits

All Critics (49) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (44) | Rotten (5)

  • The film lacks what Garland, Lahr, Haley, Bolger, et al, had in abundance: humanity and charm.

    October 22, 2018 | Full Review…
  • When you can count the laughs in a comedy on the fingers of one hand, it isn't so funny.

    June 5, 2007 | Full Review…

    Variety Staff

    Variety
    Top Critic
  • The film is resolutely, passionately antiadult, yet much of the humor has an adult sophistication and edge to it; this is one kids' movie that doesn't condescend.

    June 5, 2007 | Full Review…
  • Gilliam fills the screen with bizarre images, and directs with a breathless ingenuity.

    June 24, 2006 | Full Review…

    Nigel Floyd

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • Amazingly well-produced. The historic locations are jammed with character and detail. This is the only live-action movie I've seen that literally looks like pages out of Heavy Metal magazine.

    October 23, 2004 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • A cheerfully irreverent lark -- part fairy tale, part science fiction and part comedy.

    August 30, 2004 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Time Bandits

  • Apr 13, 2016
    The first in a trilogy of films referred to by director Terry Gilliam as the "trilogy of imagination." This film is seen through the eyes of a child who loves history and wants desperately to escape his life where his parents can't be bothered to be torn away from their new gadgets or game shows. One night in bed a knight on a horse bursts through his closet. He is scared, but his parents just tell him to go to bed. The next night he waits up with a flashlight expecting something similar to happen and he is met by six dwarves said to represent the Monty Python group. Along with the dwarves, the boy travels through history to steal valuable items with the help of a magic map. This map is also sought after by an evil sorcerer who wants to rule the world. Cameos in the movie include John Cleese, Sean Connery and Ian Holm. Very impressive film with great special effects on its modest budget.
    Joseph B Super Reviewer
  • Dec 04, 2015
    original fantasy film and typical Gilliam brand. He was in the peak of his filmmaking in the 80s and 90s and this another great film. Full of great cameos and interesting oddball characters, you can't dislike such a passion filled film. Sean Connery is very good in a limited role. I couldn't believe this film has gone past my collection for so long.
    Brendan N Super Reviewer
  • Aug 31, 2013
    One of my favorite movies from my childhood and it holds up remarkable well . . . probably because its hilarious (the recurring bits with Duvall and Palin are fantastic). I also like that Gilliam doesn't really change his political and personal beliefs to suit a younger audience.
    Alec B Super Reviewer
  • May 18, 2012
    Clearly a conservatives dream world. Not exactly my kind of thing. What I disliked the most of this film was the pacing and production values. It was way to fast for my taste. After all it is a boys fantasy film and I'm no longer a little boy. I did not like the production values because it looked like it had a modest budget. Wasn't to big of a fan towards the props used in this. The plot itself was badly build up. It held no interest or fun. The acting was horrible. The writing was decent. It felt as if it was written to get it over with. Some of the ideas in this are great but they are badly put together. I recommend you don't see this.
    Eduardo T Super Reviewer

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