The Iron Giant (1999)

(In theaters, August 1999) I like most movies because they entertain. I admire some movies because they’re very well done. I only love a few movies for their emotional impact, and The Iron Giant joins this select club by virtue of being an excellent film. It’s not “merely” a story about the friendship between a boy and a giant extraterrestrial robot, though it is also exactly that. It is, at turns, comedic, dramatic, horrifying, uplifting and every else you’d wish a great film would be. Cleverly constructed and exceedingly well-executed, The Iron Giant is simply wonderful. It can’t escape being a children’s movie (it eschews emotional subtlety and drags as it goes through the early “required scenes”) but also holds as much content for adults. It’s a measure of how good the film is that I was near-tears at the line “I am not a gun”, and horrified at a firepower display that would normally make me cheer. Great stuff, great movie; see it.

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