(2004)

Critic Reviews

66

Metascore

Based on 26 critic reviews provided by Metacritic.com
100
Visually stunning animation.
80
Village Voice
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.)
80
The A.V. Club
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.
80
L.A. Weekly
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.
80
The Hollywood Reporter
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.
80
The film turns into a preposterous but engrossing spectacle, fueled by a resource more enduring than steam or its successors: big ideas.
70
Chicago Reader
Visually commanding, conceptually beguiling, but dramatically inert.
60
Film Threat
Perhaps the key to understanding where Steamboy goes wrong is in understanding why Otomo's previous animated feature "Akira" was such a success.
60
Variety
Dry storytelling and boy's-toys mechanics will stop this from being the next "Spirited Away"-style crossover hit.
60
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.

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