Universal acclaim - based on 27 Critics What's this?

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Universal acclaim- based on 135 Ratings

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  • Starring: ,
  • Summary: A giant metal machine falls to Earth in 1950s Maine, frightening townspeople. However, the robot befriends a nine-year-old boy named Hogarth who must save it from the predjudices of the townspeople and from a government agent intent on destroying the robot.
Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 27 out of 27
  2. Mixed: 0 out of 27
  3. Negative: 0 out of 27
  1. It's an antidote to complacency. The question is, whom is it trying to wake up?
  2. Reviewed by: Cody Clark
    Bird's movie neither panders to children nor sneers at them, and it beautifully, lucidly captures the giddy adventurousness of childhood.
  3. Surprising as it sounds, as far as examinations of trust, loyalty and identity go, the big metal dude's story winds up far more satisfying than the plodding Kubrick opus any day of the week.
  4. Still, the movie -- as beautifully drawn, as sleek and engaging as it is -- has the annoyance of incredible smugness.
  5. Reviewed by: Ken Fox
    A rare adaptation that actually improves upon the original material: It's everything a good children's adventure tale should be, and a powerful fable for adults.
  6. A smooth, skilled example of animated filmmaking.
  7. Reviewed by: Rod Dreher
    In most respects, The Iron Giant is one of the better animated children's films in recent memory, which makes its strident political correctness all the more frustrating.

See all 27 Critic Reviews

Score distribution:
  1. Positive: 40 out of 43
  2. Negative: 2 out of 43
  1. Oct 28, 2010
    any kid who likes animation should like this. it has heart, comedy, and adventure. the right family movie for kids and adults.
  2. Aug 17, 2010
    Brad Bird's The Iron Giant mixes adult themes about overencroaching governments and biting political commentary with humor, heart, and a true soul. To say this film is anything less than one of the preeminent animated films of our time is to do it injustice. I do not believe any movie has been able to so deftly weave in a message as powerful as this one with a kid-friendly animated story. For a film about a "giant metal man," The Iron Giant is anything but mechanical. This film, interestingly enough, explores topics very relevant to modern American foreign policy, despite its setting in 1958 during the Cold War when tensions were high with the Soviets. The Iron Giant portrays the US as a highly expansionistic, militaristic nation with interventionist tendencies, playing off of the common beliefs about nuclear war at the time. However, it manages to do so subtly enough that it never feels like it is preaching to its audience- while there is a powerful anti-war sentiment towards the end of the film, it doesn't go so far as to insult the military or degrade the nation as movies tackling this issue tend to do. And then, it even works as a sci-fi film, grabbing the attention of the audience from the get-go with an exciting, mysterious opening scene. Sci-fi? Politics? Family values? This movie has got it all. Hogarth (Marienthal), the protagonist, is an eleven-year-old child with a widow for a mother who has no real friends from school, and often entertains himself outdoors as his mother (Aniston) tries to earn a living. At first, the character almost seems annoying due to his mannerisms and chatty personality, but over time, it becomes apparent that he is absolutely a realistic portrayal of a child who has been left to his own devices, but is undeniably kind and gregarious in nature and who is only looking for companionship (and a father). Throughout the film, the audience is given more backstory to who he is and this allows us to empathisize with him, making the climax that much more gripping. The giant also manages to become an endearing character as the movie progresses, with subtle voice acting talent from Vin Diesel himself. I belive it is safe to say that this is the best thing Vin Diesel has ever done. That goes without saying- in fact, picking him to play the giant with a limited vocabulary ironically gave him the opportunity to be the most affecting. The Iron Giant's incredible relationship with Hogarth evolves as a classic story of friendship that is both organic and believable. A brilliant edition to the cast comes from Harry Connick, Jr., who plays the beat generation hipster Dean. His role is the shining star of the film. He could easily have been underplayed or overly clichéd, as his character description would allow for either scenario, but fortunately his dialogue, delivery, and place in the story are so well thought-out that he never has the chance to flounder. Equal parts emotional and hiarious, Dean completes the triangle between Hogarth, the giant, and himself. The last character to finish off the cast is the wonderfully headstrong, slightly crazy and progressively aggressive government agent Kent Mansley (McDonald) whose choices throught the story ultimately lead to the powerful climax. Dislikable in the best way, Mansley represents everything that was bad about the McCarthy/Red Scare era in US history. I keep mentioning the movie's climax, but it's for good reason. At first the conclusion seems contrived, but the brilliance of its execution helps overcome this fact. The last 20 minutes will stick with you for days afterward. Of course, the animation is top-knotch as well. The hand-drawn environments and character movement, as well as voice-to-mouth alignment, make this a visual spectacle that can be referred to as nothing less than art. The sountrack compliments the visuals as well, rounding out the AV experience. In conclusion, I believe that this remains Brad Bird's genre-defining masterwork to date and will remain his best piece unless he somehow outdoes what is essentially perfection. Ratatouille and The Incredibles were fun, but they can't possibly measure up. In fact, I'd say most Pixar films would even find it difficult to compare themselves, mostly because, aside from Up, none deal with adult themes like The Iron Giant. Your biggest competition remains Miyazaki's epic, Spirited Away- and for that, I applaud you, Mr. Bird. You should be honored to be in such impressive company. You've got the Western front covered. Verdict: Movie Win Expand
  3. Sep 28, 2010
    "The Iron Giant" is a soft-hearted and whimsical take on period movies (I've rarely seen a better take on Communist-era America) that is an absolute joy to behold. The combination of great animation and satirical dialogue makes every character memorable and fun and the finale is as gripping as animated films come. Expand
  4. Mar 24, 2011
    This is a great movie with much feeling, drama, and action. I loved this movie when i was a young child, and i still do today, the only problem is that they haven't made an iron giant 2! Expand
  5. Oct 19, 2013
    The films got an amazing story, amazing animation for the time period and has some truly amazing voice acting. I love this film and recommend everybody to watch it, its just great family fun, 10/10, why isn't their a squeal, why you may ask is because it would be pretty goddamn dark, if i say anymore it will be spoilers Expand
  6. Jan 19, 2013
    This movie is way too similar to E.T. to warrant a 10/10. Alien comes to planet. Kid finds alien. Government tries to get the alien. Only difference is the alien get sacrifices himself at the end of the Iron Giant and is "killed." Animation was pretty damn good though and it was a very cute movie Expand

See all 43 User Reviews