Ron Perlman, David Hyde Pierce

Directed by Guillermo del Toro
Rolling Stone: star rating
5 3
Community: star rating
5 3 0
April 2, 2004

For starters, it's funny. Ron Perlman, painted red and decked out in horns (he files them down to look more normal), plays the title character with a deadpan delivery that Larry David would envy. Better yet, the live-action comic book that director Guillermo del Toro (Blade II, Cronos) puts onscreen actually bears a close relationship to Mike Mignola's vividly drawn Dark Horse comic series about how Hellboy (his pals call him HB or Big Red) is rescued from Satan and the Nazis during World War II and given a home by Professor Broom (John Hurt). Now sixty, Hellboy lives in New Jersey, where the Professor has trained him to fight against evil at the Bureau for Paranormal Research and Defense. Hellboy smokes cigars, stuffs himself with pancakes and stays undercover until monsters walk the earth. Then he is called on to kick ass, which he does with wicked glee. The monster attacks, exciting at first, grow grating with repetition. But del Toro, who wrote the screenplay, works in a hot relationship with Big Red and the pyrokinetic Liz, played by a wonderfully touching Selma Blair. Hellboy is on fire with scares and laughs and del Toro's visionary dazzle. It's the tenderness that comes as an unexpected bonus.

Movie Review Main Next


Community Guidelines »
loading comments

loading comments...


Sort by:
    Read More

    Movie Reviews

    More Reviews »
    Daily Newsletter

    Get the latest RS news in your inbox.

    Sign up to receive the Rolling Stone newsletter and special offers from RS and its
    marketing partners.


    We may use your e-mail address to send you the newsletter and offers that may interest you, on behalf of Rolling Stone and its partners. For more information please read our Privacy Policy.

    Song Stories

    “Santa Monica”

    Everclear | 1996

    After his brother and girlfriend both died of drug overdoses, Art Alexakis -- depressed and hooked on drugs himself -- jumped off the Santa Monica Pier in California, determined to die. "It was really stupid," said the Everclear frontman, who would further explore his personal emotional journey in the song "Father of Mine." "I went under the water. Then I said, 'I don't wanna die.'" The song, declaring "Let's swim out past the breakers/and watch the world die," was intended as a manifesto for change, Alexakis said. "Let the world do what it's gonna do and just live on our own."

    More Song Stories entries »