Generally favorable reviews - based on 26 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 16 out of 26
  2. Negative: 1 out of 26

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Critic Reviews

  1. 89
    If Victorian Manchester had been remotely like this, H.G. Wells never would have bothered to pen "The Time Machine" – he'd have just stepped outside and into the fray.
  2. 80
    Steamboy doesn't have the deep melancholia or the visionary élan of last year's Ghost in the Shell 2: Innocence. Consistent in its graphic invention from first to last, however, it's a sensationally designed piece of work. (The retro stylistics are comparable to Brazil, David Lynch's Dune, and The Iron Giant.)
  3. 80
    Steamboy adds a touch of innocent wonder to the formula through Ray's eyes, resulting in Otomo's most human film to date, but humanity rarely seems to be among Otomo's priorities. His films seem far more concerned with the spectacle he manages like no one else in animation.
  4. 80
    The movie's true genius lies in the exquisite animation, a blend of hand-drawn and state-of-the-art digital technology that suggests an old world being bullied into a new one.
  5. It's a roller-coaster action film that thunders along with top-notch set pieces and studiously researched period settings. The only letdown is that the focus on action drowns out any character development.
  6. The film turns into a preposterous but engrossing spectacle, fueled by a resource more enduring than steam or its successors: big ideas.
  7. 80
    A stunning-to-look-at film marred by a less than searing pace and some narrative incoherence.
  8. 75
    Gorgeously detailed animated adventure.
  9. Reviewed by: Aaron Hillis
    Though Steamboy could have been smarter and more dramatically engineered, this razzle-dazzle ride won't disappoint if you just need to blow off a little you-know-what.
  10. The narrative here may be strictly nuts and bolts, but as an achievement in graphic design, Steamboy is first class.
  11. A fine example of how anime uniquely contributes to world cinema.
  12. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    Boys of all ages, by contrast, will be mesmerized by the relentless, breathtakingly visualized action.
  13. 70
    Visually commanding, conceptually beguiling, but dramatically inert.
  14. It's nifty to behold, but about the only drama in Steamboy lies in waiting for this colossal hovering machine-monster to blow a gasket.
  15. It's part Jules Verne arms-race nightmare, part James Bond gadget war and part boy's own adventure.
  16. 60
    Perhaps the key to understanding where Steamboy goes wrong is in understanding why Otomo's previous animated feature "Akira" was such a success.
  17. 60
    Dry storytelling and boy's-toys mechanics will stop this from being the next "Spirited Away"-style crossover hit.
  18. The sci-fi wonders, including an army of shuddering robo-soldiers and one-man, steam-powered bombers with delicate wood-and-linen wings, are truly marvelous and go a long way toward making up for the film's erratic pacing.
  19. 60
    Visually arresting, with an enjoyably wacky premise, but scuppered somewhat by its rusty, clunky storytelling.
  20. Though Katsuhiro Otomo's animated Victorian-era adventure Steamboy stars British characters, it's a Japanese film through and through.
  21. The weak story and bland hero are no match for the increasingly exciting visuals, while the score by Steve Jablonsky should be on exhibit in the Hall of Lead.
  22. 50
    There may be possibilities here, but they're lost in the extraordinary boredom of a long third act devoted almost entirely to loud, pointless and repetitive action.
  23. Much of Steamboy is actually reminiscent of "Wild Wild West," with a giant moving tower substituting for the giant spider, and the personalities of Will Smith and Kevin Kline being replaced by . . . no personality at all, really.
  24. It's just that, in this world of clanking, hissing machines, even the people seem like robots.
  25. The movie never transcended its elaborate production work to achieve an independent reality.
User Score

Universal acclaim- based on 119 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 7 out of 13
  2. Negative: 1 out of 13
  1. RClemo
    Oct 23, 2005
    Kind of like Laputa: Castle in the Sky.
  2. Eoin
    Oct 23, 2006
    Not too bad. Great animation, not so great story.
  3. May 24, 2014
    Basically Steamboy is a film FULL of stupid plot points, annoying characters but bumped up due to the fact that the film Looks and feelsBasically Steamboy is a film FULL of stupid plot points, annoying characters but bumped up due to the fact that the film Looks and feels visually spectacular also the Dub is pretty great.

    6/10, better then average
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