Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 30 out of 37
  2. Negative: 0 out of 37

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Critic Reviews

  1. Del Toro moves his story along with unrelenting energy and wit while introducing the opposing parties with admirable efficiency.
  2. Wall Street Journal
    Reviewed by: Joe Morgenstern
    A perfect fit in the category of instant classic, and, not incidentally, fits the profile of super-profitability. Bursting the bonds of its genre, Hellboy fills the screen with gorgeous imagery, vertiginous action and a surprising depth of feeling.
  3. 90
    Surprisingly smart, graphically faithful live-action adaptation of the Mike Mignola series
  4. 90
    One of the most poetic comic-book adaptations to come along in years, yet it never loses its sense of lightness and fun -- del Toro gives it just enough screwball nuttiness to keep it from bogging down.
  5. Reviewed by: David Edelstein
    Guillermo del Toro is in a class with Peter Jackson as a fan-boy who gets it--a brilliant filmmaker who has a kind of metabolic connection to horror and sci-fi that helps him transform secondhand genre material into something deep and nourishing. Del Toro reaches into himself and finds the Wagnerian grandeur in schlock.
  6. 90
    Hellboy just might end up being one of the best movies you see this year.
  7. 88
    One of those rare movies that's not only based on a comic book, but also feels like a comic book. It's vibrating with energy, and you can sense the zeal and joy in its making.
  8. The movie's got a heart as warm as hellfire.
  9. 80
    One of the sturdier superhero movies of the last couple of years, with monsters and effects and diabolical baddies to spare, a heart as big as a house and a love story that actually gets its hooks in you.
  10. 80
    Mr. del Toro lets loose with an all-American, vaudevillian rambunctiousness that makes the movie daffy, loose and lovable.
  11. 80
    Played by Ron Perlman, he's the most magnetic action hero I've come across in a long while.
  12. Directed by Guillermo del Toro with a colorfully kinetic visual imagination that seldom lets up.
  13. 75
    Hellboy likely won't be the best comic-to-screen adaptation this year, but, squared off against its early-season challenger, Marvel's "The Punisher," this is the winner.
  14. The film - despite being a half-hour too long - is a rocking, rolling supernatural spectacle.
  15. The screenplay has flashes of real wit, and Perlman is perfect in the title role.
  16. Hellboy may be a big, noisy goof of a comic-book action film, but love is in the dank, dark, subterranean air as the bulky red-hued palooka tries to win the heart of the pyrokinetic beauty Liz Sherman.
  17. 75
    Hellboy is on fire with scares and laughs and del Toro’s visionary dazzle. It’s the tenderness that comes as an unexpected bonus.
  18. The movie has a self- deprecating sense of humor and a strong emotional core that vaults it above most action movies that come out this time of year.
  19. 75
    There are other filmmakers who might have been drawn to a comic book as enchantingly ridiculous as Hellboy. But there are none who would have turned in a sleek $60 million picture as daringly silly, playful and imaginative as this one.
  20. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    So forget about taking anyone under 12. But if you want to see what a benign demon looks like when he's eating nachos and unwinding to Al Green, this is the movie for you.
  21. Hellboy is, to borrow a phrase, one helluva good time.
  22. Reviewed by: Sara Brady
    If the film's love triangle feels a little silly and the arch-villains a little over the top, it's all secondary to del Toro's passionate immersion in Hellboy.
  23. Reviewed by: Joe Leydon
    Has more than enough across-the-board appeal to attract mainstream auds unfamiliar with source material.
  24. An enjoyable if somewhat neutered defender of the free world. Make no mistake: Hellboy still has a hide as hard-boiled as Lee Marvin in "The Dirty Dozen," but now he's also wearing a smile.
  25. 70
    Pretty much impossible not to like a little, but it's also hard to like a lot. There's a fantastic film to be made from this material, but now, the burden of making it falls to a sequel.
  26. 70
    To his credit, del Toro does not flinch from the ridiculous. But he is equally sensitive to Hellboy's pulp poetry.
  27. 67
    While the film ably thrusts longtime fans of Mignola’s highly stylized artwork and newcomers alike into the world of that ol' debbil Hellboy, the film suffers from both scattershot character development and a serious case of H.P. Lovecraft overdose.
  28. Will dazzle you while establishing the world in which it takes place. After that, you may wonder whether Guillermo del Toro got amnesia halfway through.
  29. Surprisingly enjoyable, as adaptations of cult comic books go, thanks to a sense of humor all too rare in the genre, winning performances by Ron Perlman and Selma Blair, and a sweet romance of the kind that made "Spider-Man" a richer experience than its competitors.
  30. It's a treat because, making no apologies for the source material, director Guillermo del Toro lets his picture gorge on power bars of pop energy, sugared with sprinkles of playful humour, and, at least twice, laced with a visual style so piercingly keen that horror morphs into beauty. Not bad for a pulpy outing.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 518 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 57 out of 100
  2. Negative: 13 out of 100
  1. Sep 29, 2011
    Guillermo Del Toro's "Hellboy" isn't exactly a balanced movie; it kinda sides with the friendly side, which results in less action sequencesGuillermo Del Toro's "Hellboy" isn't exactly a balanced movie; it kinda sides with the friendly side, which results in less action sequences than you think. Nevertheless, its still a visually great film to watch. Full Review »
  2. Aug 20, 2014
    Hellboy: 10 out of 10: Hellboy is one of the three best comic book adaptations of the last ten years. Now considering the recent spate ofHellboy: 10 out of 10: Hellboy is one of the three best comic book adaptations of the last ten years. Now considering the recent spate of mediocre comic book adaptations this is a bit like winning a beauty contest at a fat farm. Hellboy is simply head and shoulders above those.

    It is on par with the recent Spiderman movies (Hellboy sports a better hero and better CGI effects while Spiderman takes the nod in the love interest and villains categories) better than the X-men films and simply puts other comic book adaptations to shame (League of Extraordinary Gentleman should be particularly embarrassed)

    Hellboy starts with a rip-off of one of the last scenes in Raiders of the Lost Ark and introduces such horrible clichéd villains as Nazi babe and Rasputin. Yet the scene works. Director Guillermo del Toro nails a comic book style to the direction that keeps the action and humor going during the most implausible circumstances. Another kudos is in order for the special effects, both make-up (which is spot on) and CGI. Now I seem to hate most CGI effects.

    Many a big-budget Hollywood film has come out recently with horrible special effects that stick out despite 50 million plus budgets. Hellboy's effects are simply seamless where one forgets that entire characters and locations are digitally generated. The acting is also seamless with lead Ron Perlman giving a scene stealing cigar chomping performance that rivals Daniel Day Lewis's turn in Gangs of New York and Jeffrey Tambor turning a stock cliché (obstructionist bureaucrat who wants to shut everything down) into a humanistic sympathetic character. (This is also an example of very smart writing that makes even the clichéd characters into three-dimensional figures.)

    While all is not perfect (In addition to Nazi Chick and Rasputin we also have a Clock/Sand Nazi and a Space Cthulhu as an improbable villains) Hellboy is better than an action movie should be, much better than a comic book adaptation ought to be, and immeasurable better than a movie called Hellboy deserves to be.
    Full Review »
  3. Nov 28, 2012
    With an amiable lead performance from Ron Perlman and some truly phenomenal visuals, "Hellboy" proves to be an extremely engaging cinematicWith an amiable lead performance from Ron Perlman and some truly phenomenal visuals, "Hellboy" proves to be an extremely engaging cinematic experience. Full Review »