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The Boy and the Heron
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The Boy and the Heron

2023
Fantasy
Adventure
2h 4m
Your probable score
Avg Percentile 64.38% from 515 total ratings

Ratings & Reviews

(515)
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Rated 11 Dec 2023
85
84th
The first third is classic Ghibli worldbuilding, rife with lush environments, the presence of traumatic maternal grief, and a mysterious lure into the extraordinary. It all sets up for a classic Miyazaki adventure -- only this time the fantasy logic is dissolving before itself into pure dream logic. The film escapes itself over and over again and starts to discuss the futile nature of world-building, the Real absurdities of existence that supersede the desire to create. A heavy end.
Rated 07 Oct 2023
40
11th
It has its moments, especially in the second half, yet is overall really simplistic. Not one second is spent to craft and establish this fantastical universe properly, so everything is completely arbitrary: every now and then new information is thrown at you, usually via exposition, as if they're making it up as they go along, but I'll be damned if anything makes sense. For some reason, the supposedly intense moments are rushed and have zero buildup, while the rest is drawn-out and kinda boring.
Rated 18 Dec 2023
97
97th
This movie doesn't explain a lot of what is going on. It took awhile to realize that this is a feature of the movie and not a bug. I felt familiarity too other movies wash over me at different places and this was nice. At the end I sat my mind quiet but active on a subconscious level. I did not want to leave and break the spell.
Rated 09 Dec 2023
70
53rd
The art is incredible - some of the best Ghibli has produced: the painterly backgrounds are absolutely stunning. The humour is also excellent, and Robert Pattinson steals the dub with a genuinely transcendent performance. But the writing is in shambles. The story is incredibly overcomplicated, and none of its dozen attempts at meaning or substance are given space to actually connect. Its characters are flat, its fable is confused, its length is exhausting.
Rated 14 Dec 2023
80
91st
As a work both by and about a master nearing the end of his life, this is perhaps Miyazaki's most introspective, confounding, and challenging film in his oeuvre. Where his previous films can contain muddled plotting and confusing character moments (I'm looking at you, Howl's and Ponyo), here, with its dreamy atmosphere, it actually works. This is a movie which asks the viewer to meet it halfway, which attempts to find comfort in its own ambivalence and Miyazaki's own mortality.
Rated 15 Jan 2024
61
52nd
Aesthetically pleasing, but very messy. It overall feels like he played for an already conquered audience and did not need to set any foundations for the worlds he built. Hence, a lot of events come off as arbitrary. The exploration of emotions is alas virtually absent... disappointing.
Rated 04 Jan 2024
96
90th
Are we really surprised that one of the Japan’s most seasoned directors has hit it out the park again? Yet another strange film that’s hard-hitting, with yet another world that doesn’t feel like anything else he’s done, with yet another really likable protagonist, stunning animation, and another gorgeous Hisaishi score. I love that it doesn’t feed the viewer, making the movie’s closing moments a genuine, compelling surprise. A mature, profound, sad, sometimes scary depiction of trauma and grief.
Rated 02 Jan 2024
60
26th
The movie looks pretty but the story is dull. I didn't care about any character and not much gets explained - and this isn't in a "mysterious intriguing" way but more in a "just ignore the story and look at this cute animation" way. The ending was lazy. I also felt like Miyazaki copied a lot of classic Ghibli elements/scenes that everyone loves and slapped it together for the wow (or nostalgia?) factor. One of the more forgettable Miyazaki movies-but nevertheless an enjoyable Miyazaki Movie.
Rated 23 Jan 2024
79
80th
tour de force, can't wait to see it again. Some scenes and themes felt like echoes from Miyazaki's previous films, but at this point we can't really hold that against him
Rated 01 Feb 2024
62
49th
It has the beautiful animation and great score one would expect, but the random events nature of the plot can get tedious.
Rated 04 Feb 2024
81
84th
An Adipose origin story.
Rated 20 Dec 2023
85
92nd
Film is a medium of light, and at 82, Miyazaki keeps finding ways of letting it in. Not just cinematographically, though his animation literally shines. This time he deliberately goes into that darkness without a safe way back. The Boy and the Heron is messy, its protagonist sometimes a brat, the plot often (at least to these Western eyes) nonsensical. You're surprised that he doesn't choose the calm, clear, harmonious ending? That's not where stories live. That's not where the light comes from.
Rated 13 Dec 2023
85
76th
The Boy and the Heron is absolutely gorgeous even by Studio Ghibli's already high standards. Visually everything is just so rich and vibrant. Joe Hisaishi's score is also extremely beautiful. This is the level of not just animation, but overall artistry that every animation studio should be striving for. Despite everything it can still feel slow at times given that plot wise it uses a lot of Ghibli standbys. That said the artistry really is at a level that I recommend seeing this in IMAX.
Rated 24 Oct 2023
81
57th
idk if I’m too sleep-deprived or just a dunce because other than the obvious metaphor points towards the end I have almost no idea what this movie was about!!!!! but it is incredibly beautiful and funny as per usual
Rated 02 Jul 2024
60
50th
Miyazaki's masterful use of visuals wasn't quite enough to keep me enticed this time. And I'm not trying to be Brian Cox as Robert McKee here but I need either a lot more screenplay structure and character development or a significantly shorter runtime. Also, every time that heron showed up I wanted him to scram.
Rated 09 Dec 2023
82
87th
Maybe Miyazaki’s most elliptical and mysterious ever. I’m not prepared to call this one of Miyazaki’s best, but I’m equally unprepared to say this isn’t one of Miyazaki’s best. For now, all I can really say is that I found it utterly wondrous, delightfully strange, and intriguingly abstract. I felt more awed than moved, but I also reserve the right to be emotionally devastated by it after a couple more viewings. It certainly demands them and I’m eager to oblige.
Rated 08 Dec 2023
96
98th
Supremely my jam and stunningly beautiful. It is an examination of how to rebuild the soul in the aftermath of grief, where the supernatural is a representation of the inner world. The film is also just as much about the ending of things as it is about rebirth and renewal. A look at the mystical, the nonsensical, the apocalyptic, and the most excruciatingly powerful love that we contain inside ourselves. Miyazaki is and forever will be the man.
Rated 08 Dec 2023
71
23rd
This is only the second studio Ghibli I’ve ever seen, but it just felt like it took the outline of Spirted Away (of course the only other one I’ve seen) and changed it so the teacher wouldn’t notice. I mean the animation was amazing, and the dubbed voice acting was good for the most part. If I would have seen this movie before seeing Spirted Away I think I’d like it a lot more, but it felt to similar. I found myself asking when this movie was going to end, which is never a good sign.
Rated 01 Feb 2024
79
68th
Lovely to look at and full of inventive touches, but I think I'm gonna need to rewatch it to get a better understanding of the main themes (and possibly the basic plot).
Rated 08 Jan 2024
90
95th
The Grey Heron: "I'll be your guide."
Rated 08 Jan 2024
50
30th
I'm lukewarm on the film. The level of artistry is masterful, but the storytelling is frustrating, confusing, and lacks structure.
Rated 10 Jan 2024
4
51st
I do like the more grounded, subtle stuff from Ghibli, so while this is good it’s not entirely my thing
Rated 13 Jan 2024
69
92nd
A visual masterpiece, coupled with a profound, emotional story of self-descovery and whimsy.
Rated 15 Jan 2024
91
83rd
Amazing movie, an homage to creation and legacy
Rated 19 Jan 2024
71
45th
audiovisual 82 overall feeling 60 avg 71
Rated 19 Jan 2024
87
76th
Beautiful film with a wonderous sense of it's own mythology. the translation of how it translates into grief, withdrawal and it's unintended consequences is incredibly deep, far more so than Spirited Away, his other masterpiece. This movie demands further inspection
Rated 13 Sep 2023
67
43rd
No brakes on this Miyazaki train. Which is mostly for the worse.
Rated 04 Jul 2024
73
82nd
Beautiful animation, a confusing yet Ghiblisque story but it lacked the childlike wonder and heart that the best of the studio had.
Rated 22 Jan 2024
70
35th
Gorgeous movie, story makes no sense.
Rated 04 Jul 2024
70
57th
the boy and the heron and the parakeets and the old man and the old ladies and th...
Rated 27 Jun 2024
68
46th
Howitgoesintotowerwindowlol+pirateygirlandbirdsstartedlosinmetoomuchlol+itjustfeelsrandom/disjointed/unfocusedlolbutcoolshithappens+cansavetheworldwithsuperjengalol+befriendingsimilaragemomiscoolute+kindaendsabruptylylol
Rated 06 Feb 2024
83
52nd
I am clearly the worst person in the world. This did nearly nothing for me, no visual metaphor felt relatable, the story wasn't clear or interesting to me. If I never get admitted to the cinema again, I'll kind of understand.
Rated 11 Feb 2024
75
80th
A bit convoluted and it gets too much time to get where it really matters -- the big beautifully bloated crazy world-building in the second half, with giant birds, the mom who's never actually died, the new mom he's trying to save, the heron who has a man with a big nose inside --, but when it does, oh, boy.
Rated 20 Feb 2024
4
90th
The story is classic Miyazaki, and I'd say one of his best. The animaton, while noticeably modern, is spectacular.
Rated 16 Jul 2024
65
28th
As stated previously, I tend to respond better to Miyazaki’s more “Earth-bound” and restrained efforts than his flights into full bore fantasy, so for the first half at least I was more or less riveted – but then the second half gives itself over to busy and frantic fantasy, making it difficult to become properly emotionally invested in the saga. The animation is stunning, as good as anything in the Miyazaki canon, and the spirited English voice cast are great fun.
Rated 30 Jun 2024
63
60th
I have mixed feelings about this, though one can sense that Miyazaki wanted it to be a glorious swan song. Some of it, well, the plot and the setup, feels like I've seen it from Ghibli (or generic anime) too many times before. But then, it still has many flourishes of delightfully unnecessary and imaginative weirdness, which is where Miyazaki has always shined.
Rated 29 Feb 2024
77
90th
A gorgeous parade of Miyazaki trademarks taking no prisoners.
Rated 04 Mar 2024
74
54th
Miyazaki's quality doesn't quite match his ambition anymore, but there's still plenty of both.
Rated 31 Mar 2024
3
27th
I was disappointed with this movie having come to expect a certain narrative style from Miyazaki's films. His films transport you to wonderful and magic places, but they also tell coherent stories with beautiful messages. While this movie might have a beautiful message, it is unmistakably his most abstract outing yet. I am not allergic to art films, but I never go into a Miyazaki film expecting to be confused. A second watching of this might make me change my opinion at a later point.
Rated 27 Jun 2024
60
68th
Based on one watch, I admired this more than genuinely liked. Visually, it looks great and contains scenes that are on par with Miyazaki's best work. It's also the most artistic and demanding, and will not please everyone - which you have to respect coming from an old master. But I didn't get into it the same way as I do with his best films, and I thought the lack of strong narrative focus made the film too episodic. I will no doubt re-watch it at some point and hopefully it will grow on me.
Rated 17 May 2024
88
90th
A beautiful pace, a dreamy pace. There are moments both magical and poignant, but these are often interrupted by clumsy pieces with an over reliance on exposition. Wonderful but not quite the complete journey I yearned for.
Rated 22 Dec 2023
84
75th
At once deeply truthful about our complicity in the brokenness of the world and also deeply pessimistic about our ability to overcome it, the film offers a complex portrait of both an old man and a young boy trying to come to grips with the devastating realities of life. The old man leans toward what he knows: the power of accumulated wisdom to build a better world. The young boy falls back on what he knows: the relationships with his friends and family that will sustain him through the troubles
Rated 24 Oct 2023
60
47th
Hayao Miyazaki'den ilginç 1 macera. Annesini çalıştığı hastanede kaybeden küçük oğlumuz, cici annesinin yanına güzel evine götürür. Okula başladığında çocuklarla kavga eder. Kafasına taş vuran oğlumuz, evin diğer bahçesinde bulunan gizemli 1 köşke gider. Arafta gezinip duracaktır. Konu içinde konu. Öykü içinde farklı karakterler. Hepsi ortak 1 yerde birleşiyor. Hayal gücü sınırsız. Fakat, konuyu takip ederken yordu. Filmin sonunda, kardeş gelmiş. Delikanlı mısın sen pelikan
Rated 16 Nov 2023
84
80th
2023'de #IzlediğimFilmler ; 186. The Boy and The Heron (2023) Miyazaki'den yine muazzam bir animasyon. Büyük perdede izleyebilmek büyük ayrıcalık. Çoğu sahneyi durdurup saatlerce incelemek isterdim. Detaylar yine hayranlık uyandırıcı. İyi ki varsın Miyazaki! 8/10
Rated 02 Dec 2023
90
93rd
Miyazaki has a question for you - not what might one be, but how should you live. We are gifted wonderlust fit of (and from) every other movie, and it is there that ethics grips a child who faces a war outside, and inside. This time though, warplanes are birds. Between a fantasy of omnipotence and the principle of reality, how do you create "beautiful worlds untainted by malice", after you leave the theatre? A beautiful goodbye, everyone should answer.
Rated 09 Dec 2023
7
67th
A greatest hits compilation of Miyazaki's career featuring visually arresting but familiar images and sequences. One gets the sense that this is Miyazaki waving goodbye, but who knows, maybe there's another one in him...
Rated 10 Dec 2023
90
68th
Maybe retreads similar ground to Spirited Away, but takes things in a more somber direction. A unique journey to the underworld, with stunning use of color and light.
Rated 10 Dec 2023
85
75th
The wada-wadas were my favorite. Stunningly beautiful animation. The dream logic captivates.
Rated 11 Dec 2023
100
97th
This is not quite as good as some of Miyazaki's best. But that is a ridiculously high standard for anybody to strive for. This is still a borderline masterpiece.
Rated 11 Dec 2023
65
64th
Miyazaki communicates a sobering message to the audience here; not everyone, indeed hardly anyone at all, is up to the challenge of attempting to realise the summum bonum through world building, i.e., the growth of concrete reasonableness (in Peirce's terms). Those of us who are not world builders, have to settle for family and friends, and that's okay. The 'hospital fire' scene is perhaps the second best 'fire accident' scene in cinema, the pinnacle is of course 'Days of Heaven'.
Rated 12 Dec 2023
1
8th
It's like a talentless hack tried to rip off a Ghibli movie.
Rated 12 Dec 2023
75
26th
Weird dream journey, would be great if you were experiencing in a dream yourself. But for a viewer. Most of what's going on doesn't make sense. Heavy reliance on superstitions to explain stuff. World feels artificial & confusing. Feels like multiple authors drew paintings, and stitch them together to call it one whole painting. Pacing issues. MC is chad, but feels too mature at times. Good parts are few & far between. Overall, an experimental movie.
Rated 12 Dec 2023
90
87th
It's not strictly autobiographical, but the setup has echoes of Hayao Miyazaki's own childhood, and this film is truly a rare thing. It's possibly the world's greatest living filmmaker making a film that consciously reflects on what is overwhelmingly likely to be his entire career. It's a beautiful meditation on fantasy and what role it serves, as well as a fairly profound endorsement of the real world and all the pain that living there entails.
Rated 16 Dec 2023
80
86th
A film that certainly captures the rarified fantastical majesty that only Hayao Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli are capable of.
Rated 21 Dec 2023
55
52nd
Dad's backup plan is to marry his wife's sister. Great concept. Symbolism and messaging are a bit dull. Music is amazing.
Rated 08 Jan 2024
82
73rd
At times taxing and confusing. Nonetheless, The Boy and The Heron is a triumphant meditation on that grey area between reality and fantasy, when the trauma of existence becomes too much to distinguish between.
Rated 22 Dec 2023
90
89th
This movie blew me away. I have never seen such animation, it was spectacular! The story left me a bit confused, but perhaps that's to be expected for wonder. Would love to see it again!
Rated 23 Dec 2023
29
35th
To call this soulless AI recycle job bitterly angry would not be exactly wrong (see the accusatory original title). But it seems less of an anger consisting of principled moral fiber than an impotent self-portrait of geriatric nihilism. Not buying the praise for Joe Hisaishi's score either.
Rated 29 Dec 2023
5
38th
I really wanted to like it, and it definitely merits a rewatch, but upon first viewing it left me disappointed. Wants to do so much and in the end I never felt confident that I knew what was important. Beautiful, and the animated fire was transfixing, but I was more invested in Kiki’s cat than any of the characters here.
Rated 31 Dec 2023
89
75th
I’ve never really felt like Miyazaki gives us films the same way other artists do. His films are more experiential than most, often layered; on one watch you may laugh at a fun animation choice, on another you may cry at a mere music cue. The Boy and the Heron is hardly different, and the first time viewing can only afford me so much. I can still attest to its creativity, its beauty, its humour and heart, but I know a rewatch will reward me as they always do.
Rated 02 Jan 2024
85
40th
i was so looking forward to this movie, still trying to process how i feel: somewhat let down i think. while lovely, it wasn't gorgeous. simplistic plot, but i suppose its a kids movie. i will say tho i like how it toyed with this idea of what is a perfect world and how willing we are to see things how we want to see them, instead of how they are.
Rated 04 Jan 2024
6
34th
Hayao Miyazaki has made another Hayao Miyazaki film. Shocking. I think I’ve reached a point in my life where the only type of animation I still have the patience for is the first 9 seasons of The Simpsons.
Rated 06 Jan 2024
80
73rd
A step in the right direction compared to Miyazaki's previous two films, however it still has many flaws and fails to come close to his best. This does feel like a summation of his career, as he references and borrows from many of his best films, but the film suffers from a pacing issue. Many things go unexplained, even with a fairly long runtime, as Miyazaki tries to pack as many tropes and throwbacks as possible into what should be his final film. Overall a gorgeous and interesting film.
Rated 06 Jan 2024
31
21st
Not a big animation fan. Some lovely movement of the heron and nice soundtrack, but it dragged for me. Hoping it would come together at end, with the consolidated understanding of his family, the trauma, and it did.
Rated 06 Jan 2024
80
65th
Trippy and bizarre with beautiful animation and memorable characters
Rated 06 Jan 2024
95
90th
Truly wonderful, dream-logic and logic-logic, sort of a last will and testament of Miyazaki as a creator. It has so many layers (takes you from WWII reality, deeper and deeper and deeper into the magic) and it all really makes sense, thematically and emotionally. It's also funny and the visuals are magical and wondrous.
Rated 07 Jan 2024
97
99th
The most philosophically meaningful yet mysterious, symbolic, existential and emotional film Miyazaki-san has ever made. Layers of meaning in so many aspects of this subtle and thoughtful film. This is the clear-minded product of a wisened old master at the very top of his craft. The onboarding of a few animation legends has also helped. By far his most intellectually challenging of his career, people around me in the cinema just didn't seem to understand what was going on.
Rated 07 Jan 2024
50
33rd
I’ll never get the praise for Miyazaki at all. The weirdness and randomness of things happening just doesn’t gel well with me in his films. There’s just something that annoys me about it that rarely leaves good vibes to them.

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