Metascore
78

Generally favorable reviews - based on 36 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 35 out of 36
  2. Negative: 0 out of 36
  1. With writer-director del Toro given free license to go where his singular vision takes him, Hellboy II plays like Guillermo's Greatest Hits with even hotter visual effects.
  2. 100
    Poetic, funny, darkly romantic and beautifully structured -- is a very different picture from "Pan's Labyrinth." But there's no doubt that it springs from the same cathedral.
  3. 100
    Del Toro is almost alone in his ability to re-create on screen the wide-eyed exhilaration and disturbing grotesqueness that is the legacy of reading comics on the page.
  4. Reviewed by: Dana Stevens
    90
    Perlman's Red is hilarious, combining the gritty delivery of a film noir cop with the physiognomy of a horned behemoth. And the script, by del Toro and Mignola, alternates action smackdowns with sweet, goofy moments, like a scene in which Red and the lovelorn Abe drink beer and croon along with a Barry Manilow record.
  5. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    90
    If the film is just as strange and endearing as its glowing protagonist -- and it is -- that's because the director and co-writer (with Mignola) is Guillermo del Toro, 43, who has the wildest imagination and grandest ambitions of anybody in modern movies.
  6. Reviewed by: John Anderson
    90
    Not to disparage the f/x guys, but what's onscreen in Hellboy II is all about the seismic eruptions in del Toro's head. Comparing his work to most fantasy cinema is like comparing cave drawings to the Cathedral of Cologne.
  7. Hugely inventive -- and smashingly beautiful.
  8. 90
    As he has done in all his movies, from creature features such as "Mimic" to serious dramas such as "Pan's Labyrinth," del Toro creates unforgettable images, filled with color, texture, lyricism and horror.
  9. 88
    Imagine the forges of hell crossed with the extraterrestrial saloon on Tatooine, and you have a notion of Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army.
  10. 88
    It's a dry, mundane title. It's also the only thing about the film that doesn't blow your mind right out of its comfortable, I've-seen-all-this-before rut.
  11. The Golden Army dazzles like something out of "Jason and the Argonauts." To make a comic-book fantasy this derivative yet this dazzling requires more than technique. It takes a director in touch with his inner hellboy.
  12. 83
    Ron Perlman returns as the film's loveable title character, a demon gone good who's tough on the outside but tender underneath, with a soft spot for kittens, candy, and babies.
  13. The endlessly inventive del Toro creates visual fantasies unlike any other, and the creatures on display here are truly extraordinary. But amid all the costumes, all the action, and all the special effects, it's the humanity that makes his work so memorable. Yes, the monsters are amazing. But the moment when a heartsick Hellboy discovers Barry Manilow? Priceless.
  14. 80
    Better than the first in some ways: the superfluous Agent Meyers is gone, Doug Jones is great as Abe, and Strauss is an amusing addition (if almost structurally identical to Kroenen).
  15. Reviewed by: Helen O'Hara
    80
    As much Tolkien's baby as Mignola's, this has more heart and humour than most fantasy films can dream of. Hellaciously good.
  16. Reviewed by: Chuck Wilson
    80
    Despite the rosary beads Red wraps around his wrist, Hellboy II doesn't have much on its mind, but few will care since del Toro and his stellar "Pan's Labyrinth" team, including Oscar-winning cinematographer Guillermo Navarro, stage one virtuoso set-piece after another.
  17. 78
    It's not perfect -- thank Satan! -- but Hellboy II: The Golden Army is by far the most splendidly imaginative and creatively uncorked piece of fantastic cinema since the director's "Pan's Labyrinth" netted an Oscar trifecta in 2007.
  18. 75
    A surprise package of fun, fright and untamed imagination.
  19. The movie overall is engaging, though it's more cavalier regarding story and relentless in its action than its predecessor.
  20. The talented fantasy filmmaker and heir to the "Lord of the Rings" throne gets the tone right throughout Hellboy 2, and the hip retro charm alone is enough to merit recommendation.
  21. 75
    The same super-heated visual imagination that made Guillermo del Toro's "Pan's Labyrinth" such a darkly thrilling delight is very much in evidence in his sequel to "Hellboy." It's a shame that it's at the service of such a blandly conventional story.
  22. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    75
    Highly imaginative and consistently amusing without pretensions.
  23. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    75
    Of all the comic book movies that have spun out of theaters this long and pulpy summer, Guillermo del Toro's Hellboy II: The Golden Army is the most unapologetically comic book-y.
  24. 75
    Hellboy II is solid entertainment, but it's a shame such blemishes prevent it from achieving a higher level.
  25. 75
    The sheer volume of amazing things that del Toro is able to mine from his unconscious and render plausibly on the screen is remarkable. Hellboy II feels pretty sequel-y, as these things go, but there's a lot in it that has no precedent of any kind, anywhere, ever. That stuff makes it worthwhile.
  26. It definitely gives us our money's worth in the sheer volume of its imaginative fantasy creatures and it's that rare superhero-movie sequel that's better than the original.
  27. 75
    Del Toro stuffs the film with wit and wonderments. Yet, coming out this superhero summer, it plays like a lovingly crafted synthesis of every fantasy saga we've seen in the past decade.
  28. Hellboy II comes across as an original. But being original is not always the same thing as being wonderful.
  29. 70
    The whole affair is pulpy, jokey, sometimes touching and frequently nonsensical: a big mess and, mostly, a lot of fun.
  30. Reviewed by: Joshua Katzman
    70
    A funny, offbeat superhero flick.
  31. 63
    Despite all of the hideous critters Hellboy encounters, there is a hint that things are considerably weirder elsewhere.
  32. Goes somewhere the first "Hellboy" never ventured: into the Realms of Tedium.
  33. Reviewed by: Stuart Levine
    63
    It's in the script, however, that del Toro the writer falls a wee bit short of del Toro the visionary.
  34. Like a lot of well-staged parties, though, the affair peaks shortly after the introductions, and then devolves into intrigues, fights and mayhem.
  35. Fanboys won't mind the absence of depth or emotion; they may even welcome it for making the film more representative of its comic-book origins. The rest of us, however, cannot rejoice at the overspending and overkill likely to come in Hellboy III.
  36. The best scene is when Hellboy and Abe get drunk and sing out raucously, which after "Hancock" suggests a trend toward superhero alcoholism.
User Score
7.4

Generally favorable reviews- based on 259 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 74 out of 100
  2. Negative: 19 out of 100
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    7
    "Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" is a prominent improvement of "Hellboy". With the obviously beautiful visuals, director Del Toro proceeds to"Hellboy 2: The Golden Army" is a prominent improvement of "Hellboy". With the obviously beautiful visuals, director Del Toro proceeds to actually contribute deeper into the plot and characters, resulting in one exhilarating film. A reasonable must-watch. Full Review »
  2. Syzygy
    Jul 13, 2008
    4
    In the wake of his magnificent Pan's Labyrinth, critics have draped Del Toro with the cloak of a faultless auteur who we have to In the wake of his magnificent Pan's Labyrinth, critics have draped Del Toro with the cloak of a faultless auteur who we have to appreciate to be worthy of our intellectual vanities. Hellboy II is retread and blase, boring and all-too familiar. Del Toro is sloughing through a look which he has been rehashing for a number of years, cribbing from one film to the next. What is most fatal to Hellboy II is the lack of any seriousness. Del Toro has his characters wallowing in lazy repartee and throwaway interactions so that they wont interfere with his first love, which - surprise, surrpise, - is his CGI-rendered fantasy universe. Full Review »
  3. Sep 15, 2014
    10
    A masterpiece of creativity. It is an amazing world that Del Toro created in this movie. The characters are fitting and the villain is notA masterpiece of creativity. It is an amazing world that Del Toro created in this movie. The characters are fitting and the villain is not only well done but you can also fell his tortured soul and corrupted noble intentions. The plot is also off from simple good vs evil or black vs white. Both sides are grey with good intentions and flaws. It is a must watch movie and far better than the first one. Full Review »