“Kubo and the Two Strings” is being hailed by critics as a “masterpiece” and “the best animated film of the summer, and perhaps of the year.”
Scoring 92 percent on Rotten Tomatoes, critics are noting the beautiful animation and filmmaking techniques as well as the voice work of actors like Charlize Theron, Ralph Fiennes, Rooney Mara and Matthew McConaughey.
“As with any well-worn myth, what matters is not the tale but the telling, and it’s there that ‘Kubo’ outshines virtually everything that the major studios have put into multiplexes this year,” wrote TheWrap’s film critic Sam Adams. “Every frame of Laika’s animation is realized with utmost care, seamlessly blending stop-motion and digital.”
“Kubo and the Two Strings” will open this Friday along with Warner Bros.’ “War Dogs” and Paramount’s “Big-Hur” remake. The studio expects to gross in the low-teens when it opens.
See below for the seven other best reviews.
Scott Mendelson, Forbes:
“We have ‘Kubo and the Two Strings,’ which is another gem of an animated movie. Yup, it’s every bit as good as you’d hope … Like every Laika film before it, it is packed to the gills with eye-catching sights and offhand beauty that more than justifies the 3D upcharge. Once again, without denigrating any other kind of filmmaking techniques, I am in absolute awe at the almost unthinkable amount of work and patience that goes into creative a stop-motion animated feature. This film is a visual wonderland of beauty and genuine big-screen magic. Oh, and it tells a pretty darn good story in the bargain.”
Roger Moore, Movie Nation:
“And Laika has a second masterpiece to park alongside ‘Coraline,’ the best animated film of the summer, and perhaps of the year.”
Leah Greenblatt, Entertainment Weekly:
“First-time director Travis Knight — he served as lead animator on Laika’s previous three films — has given ‘Kubo’ a gorgeously tactile look full of lavish depth and detail, and an engaging cast of characters, including Matthew McConaughey‘s strutting warrior Beetle and Ralph Fiennes‘ tricky, terrifying Moon King … ‘Kubo’ is still a marvel — a visually stunning, richly imagined oasis in a sea of candy-colored safety, and one of the first truly original movies of the year so far.”
Matt Prigge, Metro:
“It’s a reverie about grief and loss and the idea that people don’t die so long as their stories live on. That might make ‘Kubo’ sound stuffy, even brainy, when it’s actually fleet and masterful. Even if it has no interest in birthing a franchise, it deserves to live on as an instant classic.”
Jonathan Pile, Empire Magazine:
“It’s a beautifully animated tale (keep your eyes on the way Kubo’s hair moves) that balances story with comedy and moments of effective (if light) horror. The appearance of Kubo’s aunts (both voiced by Rooney Mara), for example, is a moment as successfully spooky as the Other Mother unveiling the buttons to sow onto Coraline’s eyes. (And interestingly, Kubo’s grandfather has similar plans for Kubo’s vision.) While there are noticeable shifts in tone — the seriousness of the first 15 minutes give way to increasingly broader comedy as Kubo adds companions to his quests — it has an undeniable emotion at its heart. And that’s where the film truly resonates.”
David Ehrlich, IndieWire:
“Staggeringly beautiful and immensely true, the best animated film of 2016 — one of the year’s best films of any kind, really — is a stop-motion fable about a one-eyed boy in mythical Japan that was made by a team of gifted visionaries in an Oregon warehouse.”
Leah Pickett, Chicago Reader:
“Another stunning achievement from the Laika animation studio (‘Coraline,’ ‘The Boxtrolls’), this 3-D stop-motion fantasy concerns an 11-year-old boy in late Edo-period Japan seeking a magical suit of armor that his late father, a Samurai warrior, wore to protect himself against his immortal in-laws, the boy’s maternal aunts and grandfather.”