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At-A-Glance Film Reviews

The City of Lost Children (1995)



Reviews and Comments

City of Lost Children is a visual feast: I've never seen another movie that looks quite like this one. It looks like some unholy cross between Roald Dahl and H. R. Giger.

The incredible visual creativity of the film will be enough for some. Certainly a case can be made that its unique vision is praiseworthy. But I found it too abrasive to appreciate on its own merits. There is as much ugliness as eccentric beauty, and the soundtrack -- alas, the soundtrack -- is shrill and grating. This abrasiveness might be worth putting up with in light of a good story, but it's difficult to discern much of a story here. What story there is is barely comprehensible and is devoid of emotional resonance. This world is simply too surreal (and often unlikeable) to care what happens in it.