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2,275 Ratings

Time Bandits

Directed by Terry Gilliam
United Kingdom, 1981


A young boy decides in favor of adventure when six time-traveling dwarves emerge from his wardrobe one night. Equipped with a stolen map plotting all the holes in the fabric of time, the band of misfits hop from one historical era to the next.

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Time Bandits Directed by Terry Gilliam

Awards & Festivals

Hugo Awards

1982 | Nominee: Best Dramatic Presentation

Gilliam matches the screenplay’s verbal artistry with ingenious visual techniques, often embedded in minute details—for instance, the way items in Kevin’s home (his chessboard, the plastic covers on his parents’ furniture) have creepy counterparts in Evil’s dank sanctum. Gilliam is one of the few filmmakers proudly influenced by Georges Melies, and Fritz Lang’s optical labyrinths were surely on his mind as well.
December 11, 2014
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Good as these cameos are, however, the lasting draw of the film is its exceptional aesthetic. Gilliam keeps his camera low in a child’s perspective, and wide-angle lenses only exacerbate the magnified sense of scale that everything has. Minutely detailed miniature work makes epic set pieces of an ogre’s ship, or the labyrinthine chasm that’s the fortress of Evil (David Warner).
December 09, 2014
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If Andrei Tarkovsky crafts profound lyric poems about dreams and the time-space continuum, then Terry Gilliam might be his lowbrow, comic book counterpart… As with any Gilliam film, TIME BANDITS boasts plenty of psychedelic eye candy and visual wizardry, including spatial distortion, inverted images, and M.C. Escher-esque set design.
April 13, 2012
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