Wes Anderson's Latest Is an Odd, Visual Treat

'Isle of Dogs' is a stop-motion tale
By Arden Dier,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 23, 2018 9:55 AM CDT

Nabbing an all-star cast for his ninth feature film about the exile of dogs to a trash island in a future Japan appears to have paid off for Wes Anderson. The stop-motion Isle of Dogs—with Edward Norton, Bill Murray, Bryan Cranston, Jeff Goldblum, Scarlett Johansson, Tilda Swinton, and Greta Gerwig—has a 93% rating from critics at Rotten Tomatoes. Four takes:

  • You wouldn't think a single film could be "a goofy dog comedy," "a grim totalitarian allegory," and "a series of moving paintings" all at once. But that's precisely what Isle of Dogs is—"and everything harmonizes, magically," David Edelstein writes at Vulture. "Each frame is a happy surprise with its unique universe of color." And if that doesn't make you "howl with joy," the film's one-liners should.
  • Lindsey Bahr agrees Isle of Dogs is "101 minutes of joy" that will have you "trying your best to suppress your laughter so you don't miss a beat." The film, "a testament to [Anderson's] incandescent genius," is "positively littered with his signature banter," which is "as quick and wry as ever," she writes at the AP. Then there are the visuals: "vibrant, purposeful and jam-packed with details that will make you want to watch it over and over."

  • The film is "so visually rich" that "by the time Anderson's animators show us a meal of sushi being prepared in meticulous close-up, I was ready for any trick Anderson wanted to perform for me," Chris Klimek writes at NPR. He awards the "wholly original adventure" the title of "Best in Show," applauding its mixing of genres and "ambitious" narrative."
  • Johnny Oleksinski was also impressed. Thanks in part to "some of the finest and funniest vocal performances you'll find in any animated film," Isle of Dogs is "a wicked smart satire of moronic local politicians that fits in snuggly with his eclectic oeuvre," he writes at the New York Post. He adds this is Anderson's "most touching movie since 2012's Moonrise Kingdom," but warns it's not for kids.
(More movie review stories.)

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