• Studio: GKIDS
  • Release Date: Mar 5, 2010

Universal acclaim - based on 20 Critics

Critic score distribution:
  1. Positive: 19 out of 20
  2. Negative: 0 out of 20
  1. 90
    The exquisite art and fairytale ambience will win over animation fans and children alike.
  2. 90
    A gorgeous transcription of medieval decorative art and its themes into a contemporary animated narrative, one that should enthrall children older than 8 or so, along with the adults lucky enough to watch with them.
  3. Reviewed by: Ella Taylor
    Gorgeously mounted tale of enlightenment through art and courage.
  4. Teaches important lessons in the most casual, joyful way. How it manages to do that is probably the biggest secret of all.
  5. 90
    It is only fitting that a movie concerned with the power and beauty of drawing -- the almost sacred magic of color and line -- should be so gorgeously and intricately drawn.
  6. This wonderfully strange and exquisite little feature was created, especially for young children, to celebrate the book through another kind of illumination that's been falling into disuse--hand-drawn animation.
  7. 88
    Quite unlike anything I've ever seen before.
  8. Reviewed by: Claudia Puig
    The Secret of Kells is a magical adventure unlike anything we've seen on screen before.
  9. Reviewed by: Ty Burr
    A visually overwhelming labor of love, a hand-drawn medieval adventure tale that seeks and finds cosmic connections.
  10. Reviewed by: Bob Mondello
    There's something kind of captivating about a film that's been painstakingly drawn to glorify the craft of illustration, and that's comfortable using retro techniques. Because after all, what else makes sense for bringing to life the gold and scarlet ornamentation in ancient manuscripts?
  11. Kells proves that in the increasingly high-tech world of feature animation, there still can be a place for old-time tradition.
  12. The movie isn’t quite suitable for the extremely young, but its apocalyptic tint may be catnip for smart preteens. They’ll breathe in the chilly air of a mysterious forest--the way forests should be.
  13. Reviewed by: Leslie Felperin
    With its jewel-bright colors and intricate use of lines, the result is absolutely luscious to behold.
  14. 75
    The movie has a wide appeal, with a gap in the middle. I think it will appeal to children young enough to be untutored in boredom, and to anyone old enough to be drawn in, or to appreciate the artistry.
  15. 75
    The Secret of Kells manages to feel simultaneously old-fashioned and mesmerizingly modern,and the slight story at its center has the emotional weight of a classic fable: A boy's wild, fantastical adventure, simply told.
  16. Gorgeous work, and its imagery and themes dovetail perfectly: a story about creating art, artfully created.
  17. Reviewed by: Amy Biancolli
    In its small, stubborn way, the film is a love letter to traditions that have endured since cave dwellers painted the walls at Lascaux.
  18. 63
    Not nearly as accomplished narratively as it is visually.
  19. Don't expect there to be a run on Secret of Kells action figures any time soon.
  20. Regrettably, the film's story is so busy yet flat that the effect isn't magical -- it's more like watching the tale of some very enchanted wallpaper.
User Score

Generally favorable reviews- based on 41 Ratings

User score distribution:
  1. Positive: 6 out of 7
  2. Negative: 0 out of 7
  1. Sep 1, 2014
    Deep, beautiful, colourful, clever, and an intresting fictional take on actual historic events.
    Nice animations, lovable characters and
    music. Ending could've been more but that would've caused the film to be far too long... Full Review »
  2. Jul 26, 2014
    Master-peace, from a visual perspective. The art in "The Secret of Kells" is some of the most sensational finest animation i have ever seen from any-over 2d animated film, truly breath taking. The secret of kells only real flaws are more to do with simplistic characters and an unsatisfying ending to a truly spectacular film.

    Full Review »
  3. Zal
    Dec 20, 2012
    In terms of animation style and visuals, this movie is gorgeous. I had to watch it several times just to take it all in. Something about it reminds me of Samurai Jack. On a story and character level, this movie is solid. The characters are mostly basic, but likable and well developed. I just wish there was more. Full Review »