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Overall Rating
4.5

Awesome74.29%
Worth A Look: 12.86%
Average: 5.71%
Pretty Bad: 2.86%
Total Crap: 4.29%

1 review, 64 user ratings


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Labyrinth
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by the Grinch

"Maybe Henson's best film, and possibly the most misspelled word ever..."
5 stars

Perhaps most notable as a post-Howard the Duck movie that George Lucas was involved with and didn't manage to anally rape, Labryinth combines the writing talents of Monty Python alumnus Terry Jones, the creative direction of Jim Henson, the character designs of fantasy artist Brian Froud, and some of the best puppeteering since the latest MTV Music Awards.

How was that for a run-on sentence?

Much like The Dark Crystal (Henson's earlier foray into a fantastical world populated by realistic puppets), Labyrinth is one of those films that will never age thanks to the aesthetic efforts involved. Just think how this film would be done today...nevermind if most of the effects could be easily done in realtime and at half the cost...if done today, everything down to David Bowie's little ball-juggling trick (not the one involving Mick Jagger, mind you) would be done via CGI. All hail JAR-JAR, Unholy God of CGI!

The rather simplistic story is an ode to fairy tales...Alice in Escherland, if you will. Sarah (Connelly) is the flighy Alice type, following her kidnapped baby brother down the rabbit hole to Wonderland. Except that this wonderland has a Bog of Eternal Stench that makes pooting noises (I'm guessing this was Lucas' contribution), jive-talking Orange things that can sing and remove their heads, hands that make faces and talk, and talking dogs that saddle up other dogs. Stay away from the brown tab acid indeed...

At the center of all of this is a truly astonishing labryinth (duh) and a gravity-defying room full of staircases that would make M.C. Escher giddier than J. Edgar Hoover in a candy striper dress. Sarah must navigate this labyrinth in 13 hours, or else the Goblin King (David Bowie) will keep her baby brother captive forever, and will either turn him into a Goblin or sell him to one of Kathy Lee Gifford's sweatshops, I can't remember which.


Some weak points of the film are perhaps Jennifer Connelly's performance, which was somewhat inadequate for such an important role (this is where Bowie and the supporting cast pick up the slack nicely)...Her breas, er, abilities just weren't DEVELOPED enough at this point in her career. There is a little padding in the film in the way of pointless meanderings and dream-within-a-dream sequences, but not nearly as extreme as the padding in David Bowie's unecessarily tight spandex. Given his Ziggy Stardust past, it looks like Bowie could regress into glam rock mode at any time, but I guess it works in making his character seem other-worldly and magical, as if he could change into an owl at any moment. Speaking of Bowie, his soundtrack is perhaps the only thing that could date Labryinth, but given his retro appeal and songcrafting abilities, this won't turn into, say, Alan Parson's horrid soundtrack for 'Ladyhawk'. If you're going to hire a rockstar to craft music for your movie, it's probably a better idea to hire the rocker familiar with themes and stage performance than the progressive rocker who wants to be Vangelis.

None of this will matter much to you, though, as you're swept up into the world that Henson and Brian Froud have intricately woven. This is one movie that was difficult for me to objectively review as it was a childhood favorite of mine that never wore thin. Amongst the dreck that's shoved down kids' throats today, however, I have to say that Labyrinth's magic still holds up, and it has what so many modern kiddie movies lack: HEART.

See it, then buy it on DVD. If anything, you can slow down the frames and learn how to do David Bowie's little crystal ben-wah ball party trick. Insert "Pearl Cream: Ancient Oriental Secret" joke here.

link directly to this review at http://www.efilmcritic.com/review.php?movie=1613&reviewer=156
originally posted: 06/26/02 13:05:45
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User Comments

10/21/16 Jon Jim Henson's best? Not even close, this was enjoyable but The Dark Crystal was better 3 stars
4/08/15 LadyBakon Loved David Bowie in this one! Jim Henson rocked the goblins! 5 stars
11/07/12 Kelly Mayfield One of the best muppet movies ever. Loved it! 5 stars
9/22/10 sunny day Not THAT great as a fantasy musical, but Connelly as Sarah is really balls-chopping hot. 4 stars
9/17/09 bored mom The Dark Crystal is way less annoying. No goofy singing Muppets. 3 stars
10/08/08 Shaun Wallner One of my favorite all time films. 5 stars
10/04/08 PAUL SHORTT BIZARRE, TEDIOUS AND BORING 1 stars
4/25/08 Karrie Millheim a good fantasy for its times 4 stars
2/04/08 Pamela White cool fantasy and the talent of Jim Henson 5 stars
11/29/07 Bnorm I almost pissed myself during this; funny as hell 5 stars
1/19/07 Laszlo I love it! Great Animatronics! 5 stars
1/11/07 Smeagul Labyrinth is the greatest movie in the history of the world. 5 stars
8/09/06 Dragon The Artist Another one of the greatest, &most imaginative cult classics!!!! 5 stars
6/13/06 Phasm Labyrinth rocks. 5 stars
4/06/06 tab Greatest movie ever 5 stars
1/15/06 Adrienne One of the best fantasy films ever made. I'll take this over LotR any day. 5 stars
12/03/05 cr a pretty cool fantasy by jim henson, every thing about movie was cool except davidbowie 3 stars
7/24/05 Shae I think Jennifer's unevolved acting abilities were well made up for by her emotional respon 5 stars
5/13/05 Indrid Cold Good fantasy. Bowie looks ludicrous but an underage Connelly is already gorgeous. 4 stars
4/04/05 Vince Badly dated. Perhaps OK for kids. Connelly was cute though. 2 stars
10/21/04 Eduardo The Movie Is Awesome if you actually understand what the movie is trying to you. 5 stars
10/11/04 aleya great movie! 5 stars
6/25/04 punkangel489 This is a great film! Nothin against CGI, but the puppets are awesome! 5 stars
5/28/04 Samantha Greates movie ever 5 stars
4/18/04 Father Merrin Seen it countless times & I just might pop the DVD in again in a min. True classic! See it! 5 stars
4/03/04 sherry My most favorite movie of all time! 5 stars
1/15/04 Taylor This is a movie i could watch a thousand times n never get bored w/ it!! 5 stars
8/26/03 Eloise brings back those childhood memories........pretty good ones.....therefor 5 stars 5 stars
8/18/03 Tyler LOVE THIS MOVIE 5 stars
7/24/03 Kit Great movie. Great Soundtrack. Watch it!! o.o;; 5 stars
7/23/03 David storm guest love the film, probly may best of all time 5 stars
5/06/03 Jareth Love it or hate it, you won't forget it. 4 stars
3/27/03 Anne Elizabeth Margaret Byrne I love this movie and it's soundtrack too 5 stars
2/06/03 Dave Great, fun movie. Pity Jennifer can't act to save her life. 4 stars
11/28/02 jim Great film for its time. timeless acting from Bowie. 4 stars
11/23/02 Charles Tatum Yummy Jennifer 4 stars
10/14/02 Nevz I loved this when I was a kid and still do 5 stars
10/12/02 Nicole David Bowie in tight pants.....what more can I say? 5 stars
8/15/02 jessica greatness abounds in the LABYRINTH 5 stars
8/15/02 Kathryn Only the best movie ever 5 stars
8/13/02 Matt Arsenault GREAT FUCKING MOVIE 5 stars
8/10/02 jenfan great movie for everyone. You can find something interesting at any age. 5 stars
8/05/02 laura i love this movie i made my neice watch it and she has to watch it at least once a day now. 5 stars
8/02/02 T. Taylor It's fantastic...a timeless masterpiece that will live through the ages!!!!!!!!! 5 stars
7/27/02 sdjfsdkjf Bowie kicks ass. Gotta love those eyes and "dance magic dance". 5 stars
3/20/02 Abby It's Little Weird, but Funny for a pupet lover 1 stars
3/08/02 Butterbean Connelly has come a long way. I enjoyed this one as a kid 5 stars
1/24/02 Andrew Carden It Gets It's Greatness From It's Artisitic Qualities That Are Very Modern and Active. 5 stars
1/11/02 max zhang This film went the way of the gnome who pissed it all away at the start of the movie. 2 stars
11/23/01 Jim How does Bowie do that thing with the glass balls? Best line: "Smells BAD!" 5 stars
8/22/01 Erica I loved this movie, one of my favorites! I have owned a personal copy for a long time. 5 stars
7/31/01 Su I loved this film!! Bowie was awsome, and Henson's magic is too cool! 5 stars
7/11/01 Fish Eye I love the Muppets as much as anyone, but this shit sucks. I had to shut it off. 1 stars
6/05/01 Roy Smith Good on many levels! 4 stars
4/21/01 Booty Sillyness 5 stars
2/03/01 Amy The most amazing and entertaining movie i have ever seen!!!! I love it! 5 stars
1/02/01 Cathryn I grew up with the movie, so maybe I'm a little biased, but I've always loved it. 5 stars
2/16/00 Kyle Broflovski Rocks, rocks, rocks. A personal favorite. :-) 5 stars
10/29/99 Karahde Khan Luca$ produced it, but even that way it rules! Fantasy at his best. 5 stars
9/13/99 Elizaveta Ohhh yeah, David Bowie!!! This movie is excellent!!! 5 stars
7/15/99 Freyja It rocks!!! There's enough obscure symbolism in there for a whole film study class. 5 stars
6/19/99 Evol *Excellent* fantasy film. One of my very favorites. 5 stars
2/20/99 Cool Thing It's Lord Bowie! I remember feeling a little mpty after this film. Didn't get into it. 3 stars
2/19/99 davebo Good nostalgic movie, not quite as good as Neverending Story :) 4 stars
IF YOU'VE SEEN THIS FILM, RATE IT!
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USA
  01-Jan-1986 (PG)

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