Metascore
75

Generally favorable reviews - based on 12 Critics What's this?

User Score
6.3

Generally favorable reviews- based on 4 Ratings

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  • Summary: Like a detective story, the film untangles the web of influences behind Japan’s captivation with insects. It opens in modern-day Tokyo where a single beetle recently sold for $90,000 then slips back to the early 1800s, to the first cricket-selling business and the development of haiku and other forms of insect literature and art. Through history and adventure, Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo travels all the way back in time to stories of the fabled first emperor who named Japan the “Isle of the Dragonflies.” (Argot Pictures) Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 11 out of 12
  2. Negative: 0 out of 12
  1. The Japanese love affair with insects takes many forms, but most of them are, by Western standards, exotic. To Oreck's credit, she doesn't attempt to play down the exoticism by pretending to go native.
  2. Reviewed by: Justin Chang
    90
    Eschewing character arcs and talking heads in favor of a more poetic approach, this lyrical exercise in avant-garde entomology is the work of an intuitive filmmaker with an often hypnotic sense of composition.
  3. A delightfully weird, if occasionally too arty, documentary as darting in its structure as a dragonfly's flight.
  4. 75
    More essay than documentary—and by no means a monster movie--Jessica Oreck’s Beetle Queen Conquers Tokyo takes a closer look at the Japanese obsession with insect-collecting, and considers it as a partial explanation of the country’s national character.
  5. There's no shortage of fascinating segments.
  6. An entomologist's delight, Jessica Oreck's movie about Japan's insect mania is worth watching even if you're repulsed by creepy-crawlers.
  7. Reviewed by: Gary Goldstein
    60
    A meditative piece that is by turns hypnotically beautiful and painfully slow. It's the kind of film perhaps best appreciated in smaller doses, in the same way bench rest can help sustain a tiring museum visit.

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