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12 reviews, 194 user ratings

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Incredibles, The
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by Peter Sobczynski

"Puts most contemporary films-animated or otherwise-to shame"
5 stars

With the overwhelming popular and critical success of their first five features, the two “Toy Story” films, “A Bug’s Life”, “Monsters Inc.” and “Finding Nemo”, Pixar Animation Studios has banked so much audience goodwill over the past nine years that they could go out and make the lousiest animated movie possible and actually get away with it on the theory that no one in the film industry can possibly keep batting a thousand forever. And yet, they have managed to maintain an astonishingly high level of quality throughout the years while somehow making it look easy. Their latest effort, the superhero comedy “The Incredibles”, not only keeps their streak going but takes their work to a new level. Once again, they have concocted a brilliant blend of fast-paced comedy, dazzling visuals and heartfelt emotion that put most other contemporary films-animated or otherwise-to shame and which will delight audiences of all ages.

As with any superhero saga worth its salt, “The Incredibles” opens with a sequence of amazing derring-do in which the city’s top dog, the aptly-named Mr. Incredible (Craig T. Nelson), foils bank robbers, rescues a kitty-cat from a tree, thwarts a purse snatcher, saves a would-be suicide, battles the mad French bomber Bomb Voyage, prevents a elevated-train disaster and deals with an annoying wanna-be who thinks that if he can simply copy the look of a hero, that automatically makes him one as well-all this while on the way to his wedding to Elastigirl, a fellow do-gooder with a body with the flexibility of a rubber band and the voice and sassy attitude of Holly Hunter (an unbeatable combination in my book). In a bizarre turn, the suicide sues Mr. Incredible for ruining his death by saving his life and wins-before long, even the most innocent heroics wind up in litigation. Desperate to avoid further suits, the government officially bans all superheroes and give them new identities through a secret relocation program.
Fifteen years later, Mr. Incredible and Elastigirl are now Bob and Helen Parr and are raising three kids-the invisible-at-will teen Violet (Sarah Vowell), the super-speedy Dash (Spencer Fox) and ordinary infant Jack Jack-in the suburbs. Bob, now working as an insurance adjuster under a creepy boss (Wallace Shawn), is unspeakably bored with his current lot and, like many a former high-school jock gone to seed, he spends nights hanging out with fellow exile Lucius, a.k.a. Frozone (Samuel L. Jackson), rehashing the glory days while looking for emergencies they can secretly help out with. (A suspicious Helen finds something incriminating on his shoulder and asks “Is this...rubble?”) Salvation seems to come when Bob is contacted by Mirage (Elizabeth Pena), a mysterious woman who, representing an unknown concern, offers him enormous amounts of money to do secret acts of heroism around the world. Although he keeps it a secret from the family, Mr. Incredible is back and saving the day-until he learns, too late, that he is now trapped in the clutches of diabolical supervillain Syndrome (Jason Lee), who has both a plan for world domination and a secret grudge against our hero that he has been nursing for years. All seems lost until Helen and the kids suit up to save both Bob and the world from destruction.
Just as a straightforward action saga, “The Incredibles” would be top-notch, easily the equivalent of such genre high-water marks as “Superman”, “Batman Returns” and “Spider-Man 2”, because it contains all of the necessary ingredients-interesting heroes, compelling bad guys and action sequences thrilling enough to turn even the most jaded moviegoer into a giddy kid sitting on the edge of the theater seat. Most filmmakers would have been satisfied to achieve just that, but writer/director Brad Bird (whose previous film, the wonderful “The Iron Giant”, is perhaps the finest American non-Pixar animated film of recent years) goes a lot further than that. Even though this is, at its core, a goofy romp, he finds the time to sketch in moments of actual human drama as well. There is a certain recognizable poignancy to the plight of our heroes-who have been shunted aside by the very people they have sworn to protect-and anyone who claims that they have never identified with Violet, the shy schoolgirl who literally fades into the background when her secret crush comes walks by, is a bald-faced liar. A lot of superhero stories, of course, have allegorical content but they are generally done in such a ham-fisted manner (such as the “outing” scene in “X2”) that they have all the subtlety and effectiveness as the scenes of socially redeeming value that they used to jam into porn films to beat obscenity charges. Bird, on the other hands, does it so deftly and intelligently that it isn’t until a second viewing, once the immediate shock of the film has worn off, that you begin to realize just how deep his work here goes.
Don’t get me wrong- “The Incredibles” also contains an enormous amount of laughs as well, covering all aspects of the humor spectrum instead of relying solely on obvious pop-culture references and the presence of the star voices. There are big sight gags and amusing little bits hidden in the corners. There are plenty of jokes that demonstrate an affection for the clichés of the genre-Syndrome’s hideout looks like the lairs of every James Bond villain jammed together and there is much discussion over the tendencies of bad guys to indulge in “monologuing”. Perhaps the comic highlight of the film is one of the strangest digressions-a visit to Edna (voiced by Bird himself), the Anna Wintour-lookalike who designs the outfits and who lectures gravely (and hilariously) about why capes are now a no-no.
Because Pixar has worked exclusively in the field of CGI animation and have had so much success, the theory in Hollywood is that audiences are no longer interested in traditional animation and the studios, even Disney, have now all but abandoned the form in an effort to duplicate their achievements. The short-sighted flaw in this thinking is that while the look of Pixar’s films is often dazzling, it is the humor and the heart that they display that is what really brings viewers in. Without those items, a studio can spend zillions on fancy animation and come up with something as glossy-but-soulless as “Shark Tale” while I suspect that Pixar could do a movie using the same limited-animation techniques seen on “South Park” and it would still be a wonder as long as they lavished the same amount of care on the screenplay.

The next couple of weeks are going to see a glut of animated films competing for holiday box-office dollars-besides “The Incredibles” and the still-running “Shark Tale”, there are the upcoming “The Polar Express” and “The Spongebob Squarepants Movie”. Most of these can easily be described as kid movies-they are bright and noisy enough to enchant youngsters but don’t really contain much for anyone whose age reaches into double-digits. “The Incredibles”, by comparison, is a family film in the best sense of the word-there is something there to appeal to every possible age group. Little kids, or course, will adore it and want to see it endlessly. Teenagers, especially the ones who have enjoyed the recent superhero epics, will go for the action and the cool humor. The adults will respond those aspects as well as the more serious elements-so much so that I suspect that a good number of them will be eager for a repeat viewing even without prompting for the tykes.

link directly to this review at https://www.hollywoodbitchslap.com/review.php?movie=11123&reviewer=389
originally posted: 12/01/04 22:46:27
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OFFICIAL SELECTION: 2004 Leeds Film Festival. For more in the 2004 Leeds Film Festival series, click here.

User Comments

2/13/17 morris campbell great 4 adults and kids 5 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
4/13/15 jokerass lol 1 stars
4/12/15 sjskskdk lol 1 stars
3/01/15 manalone923 crap 1 stars
2/15/15 john IDIOT 1 stars
10/18/11 Magic One of the best superhero movies. No emotional nuance, but very entertaining. 5 stars
3/30/11 TG One of the best Pixar films, and THE best superhero film I've seen. 5 stars
11/02/08 Samantha Pruitt very good and funny, great action! 4 stars
10/01/08 Shaun Wallner Great Kids Film! 5 stars
2/25/08 pkr a mixture of best non-animated movies tied together with superawesome plot, my favorite. 5 stars
3/19/07 dude good movie 4 stars
3/06/07 Stanley Thai A very good film, yet very overrated. It's just an animated film! 4 stars
2/18/07 Nick Maday Truly a family-friendly movie. A fantastic family-friendly movie. 5 stars
2/16/07 Vip Ebriega Genius superhero movie. 4 stars
2/08/07 Raph Branca My most favorite Pixar film to date. 5 stars
1/31/07 Tiffany awesome, I feel like a super hero 5 stars
1/13/07 Patrick Edna Mode!! 5 stars
1/12/07 David Pollastrini great action with a few comedy bits 4 stars
10/31/06 Kyle awesome movie loved it watched over and over again 5 stars
10/27/06 Richard Pixar made a rated PG film, and they should stick to it! 5 stars
9/07/06 David Cohen More cynical and gritty than previous Pixar films, but still good 4 stars
7/30/06 Scotty I was surprised at how action-packed and heart-felt this film was.. 5 stars
7/11/06 ian afford i want to marry elastigirl 5 stars
6/12/06 Dave Webber Totally awesome - as I said before; Brad Bird is a genius. 5 stars
5/21/06 Diane P excellent for both children and adults 5 stars
5/17/06 Poopy pops Good but went slow at times. B+ 4 stars
4/03/06 no awesome! some help eh..hehe 5 stars
4/01/06 JRE very funny but reeeeeelly overrated 4 stars
3/09/06 Dk Funny as hell 4 stars
2/02/06 ES Incredible 5 stars
1/09/06 Quigley Edna Mode 5 stars
12/08/05 Frank Rountree Good at times, but moves slow most of the time 3 stars
11/15/05 Adrian I honestly cannot find one wrong this with this movie. Priceless fun and entertainment. 5 stars
11/10/05 J.D. Pittman III Smooth animation, great storyline. Read my rating 5 stars
10/30/05 anonymous I hope the sequel involves North Korea and its communists 5 stars
10/25/05 Frank Rountree The best part was at the end, and the features that come with the movie 3 stars
10/12/05 eddiejohns I'm not a kid, but I feel more "incredible" having seen it. 5 stars
10/04/05 Jesse Taylor Amazing. The best animated movie ever. Brad Bird is amazingly talented. 5 stars
10/04/05 Amy Katherine Spencer It teaches with humor and love 5 stars
9/26/05 Jef Brunham Give me the Specials over this any day 3 stars
9/21/05 Jonathon Holmes fuck Fantastic Slop and see this film! 5 stars
9/20/05 Dave Fucking Brilliant 5 stars
8/29/05 Phil M. Aficionado 30 minutes of super heros = serious snoring; not with this stellar effort though. So, it's: 4 stars
8/22/05 Quigley this is a great movie, ditch Fantastic Flop! i love Edna! i love Edna! definitely see it 5 stars
8/12/05 ES My favourite movie to date= simply incredible 5 stars
8/08/05 yuko cute! amazing CG 5 stars
8/08/05 Del Great Movie. 4 stars
7/23/05 Gregor Erickson The best of its genre and the one that will age the best 5 stars
7/16/05 Dan Fun movie! 4 stars
7/08/05 Moctezuma Yet another pathetic and overrated Disney film. 1 stars
6/07/05 Mark Radburn Worst Film since Finding Lameo or Nemo is it 1 stars
5/28/05 Jake Dispit some parts that drag this film is incredible 5 stars
5/22/05 Theep There is no denying this is a great piece of animated cinema 4 stars
5/21/05 Arse Poet I watched it with an open mind, and this movie stole my furniture 1 stars
5/05/05 Taylor Fladgate Amazing...still getting my mind wrapped around the visual effects! 5 stars
5/04/05 Cindy Lovell Unbelievable...Pixar did it again 5 stars
5/04/05 rogsamsy hollywood schlock 1 stars
5/02/05 NYCLaura Great fun, but not as brilliant as some would have it. It's just a cartoon! 4 stars
5/01/05 Meredith Purintun Lots of fun for everyone! 5 stars
5/01/05 ed.williams Really fun movie. I get engrossed any time I see it playing in Price Club. 5 stars
4/23/05 H Lin greatest animation ever made 5 stars
4/23/05 Quigley Joe England, you are right. Pixar rules once again. uses tons of cliques, but still is cool 5 stars
4/22/05 Heather Tarlecky This movie was the greatest 5 stars
4/16/05 Lynnette Stevens Great Movie! We will buy this one for sure! 5 stars
4/09/05 Kristan anderson Great movie for kids AND adults. 4 stars
4/04/05 Sandra I loved this movie! It was great. I'll watch it all over again in a heartbeat... 5 stars
3/28/05 mwildeman I really enjoyed this film 5 stars
3/27/05 Netsurfer Holy shit is this movie great. 5 stars
3/26/05 The Mockingbird Go home Disney, you dont deserve to be in the company of The Incredibles 4 stars
3/25/05 MaryBeth Isaac I loved this film. We bought it on DVD as soon as it came out. 1 of the best kid's film 5 stars
3/24/05 Joe England First the Marvel movies, now this... these are glorious days to be a geek. 5 stars
3/24/05 Chance Great Movie! 5 stars
3/24/05 Holly Dawson I loved this as much as my kids! 5 stars
3/23/05 Colleen Goldrick GREAT 5 stars
3/22/05 steven nicholas i believe that this film is great !!!!!!!!!!!!! 4 stars
3/21/05 Gray best kids film is ages! 5 stars
3/16/05 tatum Stunning and wonderful 5 stars
3/15/05 Cassie Farmer This is one of the Best movies I have ever seen! 5 stars
3/10/05 Steph Heaps Cool 5 stars
3/08/05 Los Daddy Fun refreshing movie especially for Comic Geeks (like me)...Oscar is well deserved for this 5 stars
3/02/05 beef i hate cartoons especially crappy ones like these 1 stars
2/25/05 Brandy For lack of a better work, incredible. Great movie. 5 stars
2/23/05 Shams Huque Awesome film - Brad Bird is a genious. 5 stars
2/19/05 abhster Wonderfully imaginative, but not the best Pixar 4 stars
2/18/05 Margot Copeland I wish live films were as good ;-) 5 stars
2/17/05 Missy Mc Great for the whole family. My kids LOVED it! 5 stars
2/17/05 crandall101 Love it 5 stars
2/16/05 Karen Sebring Great Flick 5 stars
2/11/05 Gabriel Jolivet A cute movie, refreshing. Very well done. 5 stars
2/11/05 John Jankowski another great pixar film! 5 stars
2/10/05 X I can't imagine how the next Pixar flick Cars can top this 5 stars
2/06/05 craig varney great for everybody 5 stars
2/05/05 Tom Benton Possibly the best Pixar film yet. Clever, funny, and wonderfully enjoyable. 5 stars
2/05/05 Amy Bradshaw Very original and cute film for the whole family to enjoy! 5 stars
2/05/05 Susan Chamberlain Very Funny. My children and I all enjoyed it. 5 stars
2/04/05 Pam Shue My husband and little boy just thought it was wonderful!!! I did too! 5 stars
2/04/05 bongeezer Great for all ages, Funny 5 stars
2/04/05 COlleen GOldrick Excellent 5 stars
2/04/05 Melissa very good, fun for the whole family 4 stars
2/04/05 Ann Klonicki My kids loved it 5 stars
2/03/05 Mirella Rodriguez Incredibly Fun for kids and parents alike 5 stars
2/03/05 Debbi Kalstein Great 5 stars
2/01/05 Mark McConnell like friends animated - utter crap - embarrasing 1 stars
2/01/05 chinthaka best animation ever 5 stars
1/30/05 Bridget I really liked the movie 5 stars
1/30/05 williamwar A great movie for adults. Not sure about kids. 4 stars
1/29/05 Lisa Clarizio Very fun movie, excellent animation 5 stars
1/28/05 Richard Brandt There are few moments as moving as when Mr. Incredible confesses to his lack of strength 5 stars
1/27/05 Jeff Anderson A triumph from Disney, Pixar, and especially Brad Bird. This gives animation a great name!! 5 stars
1/26/05 JesseL The kids will love it. Nicely done. For adults its acceptable. 5 stars
1/21/05 Rob McKeown Awesome... like watching an animated Bond movie, but better! 5 stars
1/21/05 Uncle Phucker Didn't want to see it. Saw it. Very much enjoyed it. 4 stars
1/21/05 Sas Loved it, so funny! can't wait to buy it on DVD 5 stars
1/18/05 Keaton the Black Jackal Congratulations, Pixar, you've churned out another sequel--and this one's the best so far. 5 stars
1/16/05 Hannah This movie has a lot of action and is very funny! It has great animation. 5 stars
1/15/05 Feliciano a masterpiece, every kid should watch this!!!! 5 stars
1/11/05 Mark Power Finaly a family movie with a message I can agree with. 5 stars
1/09/05 Brett I thought this movie was great, definitely stuff for both kids and adults to enjoy. 5 stars
1/06/05 Green Gremlin Sets new standards for animation 5 stars
1/03/05 t-1000 pixar's most enjoyable 5 stars
12/31/04 Max an adult animated movie, too vocalised for kids. 4 stars
12/30/04 Cros Too long, too dark, too slow. 3 stars
12/29/04 Debra Sherman fabulous fun 5 stars
12/28/04 Tom Ciorciari Pixar triumphs yet again! What is in the water out there? 5 stars
12/28/04 burton miller another tour de force from pixar 5 stars
12/28/04 farnqwo Mighty US family feel good fightback set to Pink Panther music? 4 stars
12/28/04 alec who's the target audience kids or adults? whats up with weird background music? 4 stars
12/27/04 efrain This movie is wonderful. Definitely gonna give Shrek 2 a run for it's money 5 stars
12/20/04 Landshark sweet animation, cool characters, slightly subversive subject-matter 5 stars
12/16/04 Ken Cenerelli At a loss for words. I was spellbound the entire time. 5 stars
12/13/04 mike h Its worth multiple viewings! 6 out of 5 for this character-based action-comedy!! 5 stars
12/12/04 Jack Bourbon fun stuff 5 stars
12/12/04 Scott I had high expectations watching this movie, and it wildly exceeded them !! GREAT movie. 5 stars
12/11/04 Sam Very entertaining 5 stars
12/05/04 Littlepurch Pixar's best - nuff said! 5 stars
12/04/04 Brad I <3 Pixar 5 stars
12/03/04 JL funny as hell 5 stars
11/27/04 Daveman Doesn't have the beauty or wonder of F. Nemo, but it's still a superbly crafted Pixar film. 4 stars
11/26/04 DM Definitely a keeper, but not as good as I'd hoped 4 stars
11/24/04 drfardook Its a film version of the watchmen... but funny. very funny. 5 stars
11/23/04 Graham Simply put, I wanted to see it again as soon as it ended. 5 stars
11/21/04 Greg really creative and entertaining for everyone in the family 5 stars
11/21/04 Jim A riot. Absolutely nails every superhero trope it aims at. 5 stars
11/21/04 Chopper3 I didn't want it to end. That's the best a film can be in my book. 5 stars
11/20/04 Charlene Javier Not Pixar's best. 3 stars
11/20/04 Kristina Williams Nemo was better 4 stars
11/19/04 Richard Tamesis The best film of 2004! 5 stars
11/18/04 Keith pretty good, dragged on a bit towards end 4 stars
11/16/04 Worthy Slacker After being awed by the Star Wars trailer (WOW!), settled down for another "Pixar special". 4 stars
11/16/04 nick2k wow...wow...wow...definate 1st dvd purchase. pixar tech has advanced!!! 5 stars
11/15/04 chris. thought i was getting dragged to see another cartoon...pleastly surprised! 5 stars
11/14/04 Ry Another Winner 5 stars
11/14/04 goo Cool 5 stars
11/14/04 noggin_cmu Simply awesome...the only downside is the onslaught of kiddy-targeted merchandizing 5 stars
11/14/04 Betzaida Trully Incredible! 5 stars
11/14/04 ownerofdajoint what a flick! don't miss this one..... 5 stars
11/14/04 katsat So full of detail in character, action and setting, you have to see it at least 3 times! 5 stars
11/14/04 Mark Spivey Best movie I've seen in years. Loved everything about it. 5 stars
11/14/04 bullit16 Absolutely incred-- well, you know... 5 stars
11/14/04 Lord Jiggy Funny, quirky, smart. Worth full price. 5 stars
11/13/04 Nadia Exceeded my expectations. 5 stars
11/13/04 Mark D Fulwiler Another winner from Pixar! Great fun! 5 stars
11/12/04 Desperado Brilliant, great movie, works on very level, cant wait for part 2 5 stars
11/12/04 gabrielle and CArla We think that this was the best movie ever and we love it! 5 stars
11/11/04 Chris Meadows The family felt "real," not fake like 99.9% of screen families. They really got it right! 5 stars
11/10/04 Naka Animation classic! 5 stars
11/10/04 ZF yummy 5 stars
11/10/04 Sonny How do they do that with computers? 5 stars
11/09/04 ajay Not as good as other Pixar flics, maybe I need to see it again without the kids... 4 stars
11/09/04 Greg "The Incredibles" is a movie made for every age. 5 stars
11/09/04 el burro Sweet! Great followup to Finding Nemo. 5 stars
11/09/04 Old Spice Best Pixar yet. Makes Shrek 2 look like the steaming poo it is. 5 stars
11/08/04 Simon Khalil Haven't seen yet but will... $70mil in 1st wk? That automatically = Awesome! 5 stars
11/08/04 miatagirl This movie was a breath of fresh air! A must-see! 5 stars
11/08/04 Kristin Very insightful. 5 stars
11/08/04 Johnny When is the DVD coming out!!!!! 5 stars
11/08/04 Nancy Pixar knows what Lucas forgot: it's story that's important, not technology! 5 stars
11/07/04 Katie This movie is GREAT!So worth the wait in line at the movie theaters! 5 stars
11/07/04 Whatevr This movie lives up to it's name and more 5 stars
11/07/04 Cool Leather Jacket it really blew me away!! 5 stars
11/07/04 Doctechnical Absolutely fantastic. Instant classic. 5 stars
11/07/04 mia hamm in-cre-di-ble 5 stars
11/06/04 Rooktoven Very funny and a wild ride. 5 stars
11/06/04 KingNeutron FKG AWESOME. Best movie of the year! 5 stars
11/06/04 Joe This movie is not only hilarious, it's uplifting. 5 stars
11/06/04 Thonolan Great Movie 5 stars
11/06/04 Vicious I expected comedy, but it was an excellent super-hero action film, excellent visuals. 5 stars
11/06/04 Persephone wow 5 stars
11/06/04 BrianWilly Pure. Unadulterated. Genius. 5 stars
11/06/04 Dunce Best Pixar movie ever - best SUPERHERO movie ever! 5 stars
11/05/04 Sano Sorry for the redundancy, but it is Incredible! 5 stars
11/05/04 Titus A great ride, good fun, nice subversive message. A little slow to start, a bit predictable 4 stars
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  05-Nov-2004 (PG)
  DVD: 15-Mar-2005



Directed by
  Brad Bird

Written by
  Brad Bird

  Craig T. Nelson
  Holly Hunter
  Samuel L. Jackson
  Jason Lee
  Wallace Shawn
  John Ratzenberger

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