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Reviews
STAR RATINGS EXPLAINED
Unmissable 5 Stars
Excellent 4 Stars
Good 3 Stars
Poor 2 Stars
Tragic 1 Star

FILM DETAILS
Certificate
U
Cast
David Bowie
Jennifer Connelly
Toby Froud.
Directors
Jim Henson.
Screenwriters
Terry Jones.
Running Time
101 minutes

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Labyrinth
Rousing, wholesome, fantasy fun and David Bowie as King of the Goblins!


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Plot
When her baby brother is stolen by the fantastical Goblin King, young Sarah must mount a rescue operation. A plan made doubly tricky by the fact he has hidden his castle in the middle of a treacherous labyrinth populated with the weird and the wonderful.


Review

In its follow up to the ambitious puppet wonders of The Dark Crystal, the Henson workshop rather lost their nerve and put regular human beings back in the middle of this maze of crazy-brilliant puppetry. Mind you, David Bowie cuts a spooky enough figure in that fright wig to fit right in with this extraordinary menagerie of Goth Muppets. And Jennifer Connelly, still in the flush of youth, makes for an appealingly together kind of heroine. And yet, this is a lesser adventure than Crystal, never quite as fully transporting for all its fine execution.
 
Broadly speaking, it’s Alice In Wonderland made less trippy by its quest format, but still a picaresque through the heady world of Henson’s making. The Labyrinth itself, referencing Escher’s dizzying optical illusions, is a very literal nightmare world. The film is playing a distinctly Freudian game — after all, Sarah is plunging in puberty — that all of it might be going on in her dreams. A similar idea to that expounded in L. Frank Baum’s world of Oz, that her companions on this journey are merely living versions of her most reassuring bedroom toys. When she departs the land, she is finally departing childhood.
 

Quite a clever notion to thread into a kid’s adventure, and you have to admire Henson’s reach, but he gets caught a little aimless, many of the encounters come to nothing, while the addition of Terry Jones to spruce up the scriptwriting team adds a strain of Pythonesque whimsy that feels awkwardly superimposed. Yet, Henson’s handsome gifts at giving his exotic puppets the spark of life and personality is an unsung form of genius, that remains sorely missed.


Extras

Labyrinth Labyrinth
Released: 02 March 2000
A 56-minute Inside The Labyrinth documentary.


Verdict
Fabulous fantasy from the godfather of modern puppetry Jim Henson.


Reviewed by Ian Nathan

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Your Reviews

Average user rating for Labyrinth
Empire Star Rating

Get that bulge out of my face !

This may be one of my favourite films of all time and maybe the most underated movie I have ever seen and I was not even shocked a bit when I saw your evil 3 star rating of a timeless classic with only one problem David Bowie's bulge witch has scared my brain , this film is so magical I didn't even care about the bad effects , this aside the muppits is Jim Henson 's best work in my opinion , this film will stand the test of time , as Jeremy jahns said Labyrinth is AWESOMETACULAR! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mr darkman at 11:07, 17 April 2014 | Report This Post


Get that bulge out of my face !

This may be one of my favourite films of all time and maybe the most underated movie I have ever seen and I was not even shocked a bit when I saw your evil 3 star rating of a timeless classic with only one problem David Bowie's bulge witch has scared my brain , this film is so magical I didn't even care about the bad effects , this aside the muppits is Jim Henson 's best work in my opinion , this film will stand the test of time , as Jeremy jahns said Labyrinth is AWESOMETACULAR! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mr darkman at 11:02, 17 April 2014 | Report This Post


Get that bulge out of my face !

This may be one of my favourite films of all time and maybe the most underated movie I have ever seen and I was not even shocked a bit when I saw your evil 3 star rating of a timeless classic with only one problem David Bowie's bulge witch has scared my brain , this film is so magical I didn't even care about the bad effects , this aside the muppits is Jim Henson 's best work in my opinion , this film will stand the test of time , as Jeremy jahns said Labyrinth is AWESOMETACULAR! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mr darkman at 11:02, 17 April 2014 | Report This Post


Get that bulge out of my face !

This may be one of my favourite films of all time and maybe the most underated movie I have ever seen and I was not even shocked a bit when I saw your evil 3 star rating of a timeless classic with only one problem David Bowie's bulge witch has scared my brain , this film is so magical I didn't even care about the bad effects , this aside the muppits is Jim Henson 's best work in my opinion , this film will stand the test of time , as Jeremy jahns said Labyrinth is AWESOMETACULAR! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mr darkman at 11:02, 17 April 2014 | Report This Post


Get that bulge out of my face !

This may be one of my favourite films of all time and maybe the most underated movie I have ever seen and I was not even shocked a bit when I saw your evil 3 star rating of a timeless classic with only one problem David Bowie's bulge witch has scared my brain , this film is so magical I didn't even care about the bad effects , this aside the muppits is Jim Henson 's best work in my opinion , this film will stand the test of time , as Jeremy jahns said Labyrinth is AWESOMETACULAR! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by mr darkman at 11:01, 17 April 2014 | Report This Post


3 stars my ass ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by harvestmoon at 14:21, 28 April 2011 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

I saw this again the other day... Still love it.. And totally adore the songs.. Goddamnit, the are stuck in my head again s timeless, and only the synth score has dated. I love Didymus e has some great expressions... David Bowie really ownt his part.. Yup, i love this.. ... More

Posted by 4aces at 13:23, 17 June 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

L: Super Hans L: the sangypange david bowie used to scare me in this film, i think it was the hair Not the obscenely tight leggings then?ote]   You could see what religion he was ... More

Posted by sanchia at 18:54, 12 June 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

Never mind the hair, what about his codpiece? My missus pointed his loaded crotch out to me when we watched Labyrinth a while back. Now every time I watch it, I can't stop looking! I think it must be my latent homosexuality...   "It's a crystal Sarah, nothing more" p;   ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by phunkyfish at 10:55, 11 June 2007 | Report This Post


Before...

...the muppet movie, there was Labyrinth! this is a retro classic! ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by JokerJr at 18:10, 01 June 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

L: the sangypange david bowie used to scare me in this film, i think it was the hair sp; Not the obscenely tight leggings then? ... More

Posted by Super Hans at 18:02, 01 June 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

thank you very much ... More

Posted by the sangypange at 22:14, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

Quality avatar mate ... More

Posted by *emz6* at 15:13, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

david bowie used to scare me in this film, i think it was the hair ... More

Posted by the sangypange at 14:20, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

]David Bowie makes this film! It wouldn't be half as good without him he only bad thing about the film is Jeniffer Connely's character, she's a right whiny kid. She wound me up when I was little and she still does ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DaisyDivision at 00:39, 31 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

i watched it again for the first time in ages and realised that the majority of my dreams when i was younger were all Labyrinth related/inspired etc. I feel it may have fucked with my head a bit, oh well its still class ... More

Posted by *emz6* at 19:51, 30 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

Nothing? Nothing? Nothing, tra-la-la?   Class, all the way.   You remind me of the babe... ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by nicholsonsmhead at 15:14, 30 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

One of my wife's favourite as a kid. Not so much now.   Just doesn't seem to have held up well and David Bowie......... ... More

Posted by APovey at 14:02, 30 May 2007 | Report This Post


RE: Timeless.

]This film is a timeless classic, and perhaps made even better for it's use of puppets. Still one of my all time favourite films since being a kid ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by DaisyDivision at 03:06, 30 May 2007 | Report This Post


Timeless.

Jim Henson is the undisputed master of Puppetry, even now 20 years later this film feels advanced in terms of fantasy character and scenery without the use of CGI. Rumour has it that Michael Jackson was the original choice to play Jareth, but even in his prime he surely could not have captured the essence of the Goblin king and connected so emotionally to Jennifer Connelly's character Sarah the way Bowie does here. As a Child there were moments in this film that frightened me somewhat, but I ... More

Empire User Rating

Posted by labyrinth at 14:36, 23 April 2007 | Report This Post


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