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She's everything. He's just Ken.Jul. 19, 2023United States, United Kingdom114 Min.PG-13
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6 1 vote


The iconic Mattel doll gets her long-awaited live-action big-screen debut in the energetic Barbie. Directed by Greta Gerwig, this origin story avoids going the cynical route, instead crafting an uplifting tale celebrating imagination and self-acceptance. Anchored by a perfectly cast Margot Robbie in the title role, plus strong supporting work from Ryan Gosling and America Ferrera, Barbie delivers family-friendly themes with some clever satire mixed in.

We open in Barbie’s animated perfection of Barbieland, where the eternally positive doll teaches and inspires other Barbies through song and dance. But when she is unwillingly exiled from this plastic paradise to the messier human world, Barbie teams up with a raggedy outcast doll named Ken (Gosling). As they navigate our universe and discover what lies beyond prescribed roles, Barbie learns an empowering lesson in the power of writing your own story.

Robbie effortlessly captures Barbie’s trademark cheer and compassion, bringing nuance and humanity beyond just a parody. She showcases excellent comedic timing throughout fish-out-of-water adventures, while also handling sincere emotional moments as Barbie confronts new complexities. Gosling proves a perfect eccentric foil as the outcast Ken, matching Robbie’s energy with awkward charm. The two share endearing chemistry that gives the wacky journey heart.

Gerwig’s imaginative direction nods to fantasy films of the past through dreamlike production design and playful use of miniatures to construct Barbieland. Once Barbie enters the human world, her bold and glittery attire pops amidst the ordinary backgrounds. The story morphs in tone and style as Barbie discovers new perspectives, anchored by an electropop-laden soundtrack of empowering anthems. The craftsmanship is impressive across multiple genres invoked.

The script co-written by Gerwig tackles themes of female empowerment and pursing your true self creatively. By using Barbie literally breaking free from the box she was placed in as metaphor, the story encourages girls to aim beyond society’s limiting labels and roles. Some amusing satire of influencer culture also provides laughs as Barbie becomes an accidental star on social media. Parents will appreciate the positive messages wrapped in the signature plastic packaging.

Where Barbie struggles slightly is keeping its momentum in the middle section once the initial fish-out-of-water gags conclude. As Barbie explores new careers through montages, the film borders on overstuffed. The thematic throughline gets muddled briefly before the inspiring finale brings focus. Some subplots like a rivalry with perfect doll Skipper also feel underdeveloped. But Robbie’s committed performance keeps us invested through any sluggishness.

Ambitious and imaginative, Barbie overcomes narrative hiccups to deliver a joyful celebration of embracing your dreams. Anchored by Margot Robbie bringing brains, heart and humor to the iconic doll, the film defies cynical expectations. With messages promoting individuality and positivity for young viewers, Barbie makes for a welcome big-screen role model.

Original title Barbie
IMDb Rating 7.3 291,691 votes
TMDb Rating 7.346 4,075 votes


Greta Gerwig


Margot Robbie isBarbie (
Barbie ("Stereotypical Barbie")
Ryan Gosling isKen (
Ken ("Beach Ken")
Kate McKinnon isBarbie (
Barbie ("Weird Barbie")
Will Ferrell isMattel CEO
Mattel CEO
Simu Liu isKen (
Ken ("Tourist Ken"/"Rival Ken")
Helen Mirren isNarrator (voice)
Narrator (voice)

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