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Katsuhiro Otomo, director of the groundbreaking anime feature Akira (1988), returns with this visually striking fusion of the past and the future. It's the Industrial Age in England, reimagined, and various and sundry inventors and scientists are arriving in Britain to hawk their products while capitalism rears its ugly head. A gadget-happy British lad named Ray (voice of Anna Paquin) receives a mysterious package from his grandfather Lloyd Steam (Patrick Stewart) -- a tiny ball that turns out to be an engine toting immense power. As it happens, several of these little balls run the… More

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Rotten Tomatoes Score: 60%

Critic Reviews from Rotten Tomatoes

"It's a sensationally designed piece of work."
‑ J. Hoberman, Village Voice
"Until it careers into cacophony ... it's a lot of fun."
‑ Jeff Shannon, Seattle Times
"Animated film is too violent for younger kids."
‑ Charles Cassady, Common Sense Media
"Visually impressive, but I thought it was never going to end."
‑ Robert Roten, Laramie Movie Scope
"...techno-fetishism at it's worst."
‑ Uri Lessing,
"Its problem is not a lack of things to look at. There's plenty of them, and they're all cool. It's just that, in this world of clanking, hissing machines, even the people seem like robots."
‑ Michael O'Sullivan, Washington Post
"Steamboy, ultimately, shares deep-seated themes with the futuristic Akira. Both offer cautionary tales about scientific responsibility and the evils of war. And both look pretty cool, too."
‑ Steven Rea, Philadelphia Inquirer
"Works more than it fails."
‑ Felix Vasquez Jr., Cinema Crazed
"It may be one of the most expensive anime features ever, but there isn't a wealth of entertainment on offer in Steamboy."
‑ Matthew Leyland,
"While Steamboy lacks the emotional resonance and psychological complexity of Akira, it is state-of-the-art anime made by one of the masters."
‑ Philip Martin, Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
"The movie never transcended its elaborate production work to achieve an independent reality. It's simply pictures of what never happened."
‑ Stephen Hunter, Washington Post
"Steamboy is breathtakingly detailed and ambitious beyond anything I have ever seen in the realm of animation. But the chase goes on much too long, and Ray and Scarlett are never still long enough to develop any inner resonance or romantic rapport."
‑ Andrew Sarris, New York Observer
"The film's extended debates on the ethics of science, government and personal responsibility would recommend it to critics of a medium that too often panders to audiences."
‑ Rex Roberts, Film Journal International
"In the movies, action doesn't necessarily equal a reaction."
‑ Rory L. Aronsky, Film Threat
"When massive bursts of steam are frozen into giant flowers of jagged ice, Otomo gives us a literal Cold War, to remind us of the folly of the arms race."
‑ John Beifuss, Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)
More reviews for Steamboy on Rotten Tomatoes

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