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Generally favorable reviews - based on 37 Critics What's this?

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6.9

Generally favorable reviews- based on 74 Ratings

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  • Starring: , , , , , , , ,
  • Summary: In the village of Cheesebridge, a Victorian-era berg obsessed with wealth, class and stinky fine cheeses, Eggs, a young orphan boy raised by the Boxtrolls, a lovable group of underground cave-dwelling trash collectors, tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator, Archibald Snatcher,In the village of Cheesebridge, a Victorian-era berg obsessed with wealth, class and stinky fine cheeses, Eggs, a young orphan boy raised by the Boxtrolls, a lovable group of underground cave-dwelling trash collectors, tries to save his friends from an evil exterminator, Archibald Snatcher, with the help of a wealthy local girl named Winnie. Expand
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 20 out of 37
  2. Negative: 3 out of 37
  1. Reviewed by: Catherine Bray
    Aug 31, 2014
    100
    I can't remember the last time I saw a family animation so visually rich, tightly scripted and charmingly performed which was also built on a sound and progressive message.
  2. Reviewed by: Sheila O'Malley
    Sep 26, 2014
    88
    It's gloriously inventive, wonderfully funny, and gorgeous to look at, the screen filled with sometimes overwhelming detail.
  3. Reviewed by: Richard Corliss
    Sep 25, 2014
    80
    The movie has its political-parable aspect, with malevolent forces convincing both the 1% and the 99% that they have reasons to fear the other. But The Boxtrolls is mainly a delight for the sharp eye and the capricious mind.
  4. Reviewed by: Joe McGovern
    Sep 24, 2014
    67
    The script lacks the wit of "Wallace & Gromit."
  5. Reviewed by: Mike McCahill
    Sep 22, 2014
    60
    Set it against the shiny blandishments that have passed for family fun this season, and it starts to look vaguely radical.
  6. Reviewed by: Michael Phillips
    Sep 27, 2014
    50
    The Boxtrolls remains relentlessly busy up through its final credits, and it's clever in a nattering way. But it's virtually charmless.
  7. Reviewed by: Marc Savlov
    Sep 24, 2014
    20
    The Boxtrolls feels rough-and-tumble and not as much fun by half.

See all 37 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 12 out of 16
  2. Negative: 3 out of 16
  1. Oct 12, 2014
    10
    A masterpiece. I can't understand why this doesn't have a perfect critical score. So funny and smart and beautiful to look at. Really lovedA masterpiece. I can't understand why this doesn't have a perfect critical score. So funny and smart and beautiful to look at. Really loved it. I love that movies for children are evolving in the substance of their messages. Expand
  2. Sep 26, 2014
    9
    Very very nice movie, its weird as hell, but that's what you should expect after Coraline, Paranorman and the night before Christmas. TheVery very nice movie, its weird as hell, but that's what you should expect after Coraline, Paranorman and the night before Christmas. The downside its that this movie is not for everyone and its absolutely not aimed to children, it is going to have a lot of bad reviews just because the target population is not as broad as a disney-pixar movie. Expand
  3. Dec 29, 2014
    8
    It's a very entertaining film.Good storytelling, good animation and good characterizations, but what I liked the most is Dario Marianelli'sIt's a very entertaining film.Good storytelling, good animation and good characterizations, but what I liked the most is Dario Marianelli's score, really perfect.When it ended, I found myself singing ''The Boxtrolls Song'' Expand
  4. Sep 28, 2014
    7
    The animation is great, the voice characterizations excellent as well. However, when I watch an animated film I expect to laugh. I neverThe animation is great, the voice characterizations excellent as well. However, when I watch an animated film I expect to laugh. I never laughed out loud once, only a chuckle here and there when the boy interacts with his fellow humans for the first time during a party. In fact, I laughed more during the preview of the SpongeBob Squarepants movie before this movie started than I did for the entire Boxtroll film. I'm sure you will be asking yourself the same question I did - how did this boy learn to speak perfect English since he was raised by trolls that don't speak English? I also thought the filmmakers were trying to cash in on the Minion craze, and Minions are much funnier. Still, I appreciated all the work put into the film and I didn't get bored so I give it a pass. Barely. Expand
  5. Oct 21, 2014
    7
    Gorgeously made with some smart and fresh elements -- namely the writing for Pickles & Trout. I think what holds Laika back is the maturityGorgeously made with some smart and fresh elements -- namely the writing for Pickles & Trout. I think what holds Laika back is the maturity levels--I'm not entirely convinced the writing is accessible to a younger audience and it keeps them from wider box office success. But perhaps that's what makes films like The Boxtrolls so immensely enjoyable and meaningful for adults.

    As many have said, the credits and post-credits scenes offer a great lingering after-taste.
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  6. Sep 29, 2014
    7
    The Boxtrolls features an almost entirely English cast, the rest donning false yet convincing accents, in a stop-motion fantasy-comedy fromThe Boxtrolls features an almost entirely English cast, the rest donning false yet convincing accents, in a stop-motion fantasy-comedy from the animation team responsible for Coraline and ParaNorman, two of the finest animated films of recent years in my opinion. This is a team that knows what they are doing when performing stop-motion. Here blending it seamlessly with computer-generated effects, lead animator Travis Knight is joined by Open Season director Anthony Stacchi and newcomer co-director Graham Annable in producing a creative and joyful, if a tad underwhelming, film with a look and color palette that can best be described as grimy; although since that is the point, this description is meant as a positive.

    In the town of Cheesebridge, a town largely obsessed with one thing (and it is not bridges), there live an underground group of creatures called Boxtrolls, strange little goblins who wear cardboard boxes for protection and who come to the surface at night to steal and collect garbage. One night, they are seen kidnapping a baby boy. Town exterminator Archibald Snatcher (Ben Kingsley) reports this to the town’s leader Lord Portley-Rind (Jared Harris), who charges Snatcher with the task of eliminating all of the Boxtrolls in exchange for a seat of power. Ten years later, the kidnapped boy (Isaac Hempstead-Wright), named Eggs after being fitted with a cardboard box of…well, you can imagine…is seen living happily as one of the Boxtrolls. He is spotted in town by Lord Portley-Rind’s daughter Winnie (Elle Fanning), who follows him. After realizing who he is, and that Snatcher is sure to try to kill him, Winnie helps Eggs and the rest of the Boxtrolls to fight back, and also to find peace with the humans.

    Reading this description, I realize you may be tempted to tag this movie as predictable and move along. This is perfectly understandable, and the film absolutely falls in line with many family film conventions in terms of story. However, it is the heart and humor of The Boxtrolls that sell it. I must remark on the first act of the film, showing us the underground world that the Boxtrolls have built, and Eggs adjusting to it. With the Boxtrolls speaking largely in grunts and guttural noises and Eggs at this point being an infant, this sequence is done almost entirely without dialogue. The filmmakers knew to let the scene rely on music and visuals alone, and it was a perfect choice. The first ten or fifteen minutes are enthralling as a result; heartwarming as we see the Boxtrolls bonding with Eggs, and humorous with seeing the creatures’ everyday activities and quirks. Unfortunately, it is when the plot kicks in that the film begins to slip.

    With the exception of Elle Fanning’s Winnie, the humans in the film are dependent on stereotypes and caricatures in order to keep the story moving. Winnie’s father, for example, is a caricature of the stuck-up royal father who won’t listen. With proper writing, that type of character can work very well; here, however, he is exaggerated beyond the point of return, and becomes exceedingly frustrating, more so than I think the movie intended. Ben Kingsley does bring out a supremely entertaining villain in Snatcher, and in terms of character, hits all the right notes. Snatcher is intimidating, and over-the-top in all the right ways; ways that make him wonderfully theatrical. Once again, though, writing creeps in and a running gag is introduced involving Snatcher and his love of cheese which frustrates once again, as well as disgusts with some of the imagery involved. If you read my previous review, you know I love disgusting imagery when it works, but here it is grotesque, unnecessary, and annoying.

    The film does admittedly attempt to comment on the absurdity of some cinematic stereotypes with a running joke regarding Snatcher’s henchmen, constantly wondering whether they are the good guys or the bad. Some of these jokes are funny and poignant, however the gag runs its course very quickly and becomes a bit too on-the-nose to sustain the humor that it wants to.

    The Boxtrolls picks up again in its third act and the final action sequence. One impressive thing about the film is that, where most animated family films of today would shy away from portraying death, this film is refreshingly blunt about it. As someone born in the early 90’s, I grew up with plenty of family films which showcased death proudly. One of my earliest movie memories is The Lion King, and although Mufasa’s death did strike me as a child, I don’t believe it to have had any sort of negative effects. In fact, I admire the film today even more because it didn’t shy away. For that very reason, I must give The Boxtrolls a level of respect and gratitude for not patronizing its audience. Without giving too much away, the third act gives us a rather shocking display of death, and the way it is dealt with and later resolved is very well done.

    Thus, although drooping in quality in the middle section with a slow-moving story and frustrating character, The Boxtrolls is a worthwhile experience for its beautiful opening, its captivating animation, and its mature, respectable conclusion. Since it is classified as a comedy, I must stress that the quality of the humor varies greatly throughout the film, however those funny moments which work are in fact very funny, and worth the groaners. I doubt this will leave much of a mark in terms of great animated films, but, for what it is, it is at the very least worth a rental.

    Thanks for reading!
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  7. Jan 22, 2015
    2
    The story was a bit generic and the characters not as developed as I'd like to see in an animated film. The visuals were the biggest turn offThe story was a bit generic and the characters not as developed as I'd like to see in an animated film. The visuals were the biggest turn off of the film, Some times even looked down right nasty on screen. They were a huge swing and a miss and I think it hurt the film big time. Overall, It's just not worth seeing. Expand

See all 16 User Reviews

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