Variety says it "stands as the sort of film that feels richer with each successive viewing, from the paper-folded Laika logo at the beginning (an early taste of the stunning origami sequences to follow) to the emotional resonance of its final shot." Rolling Stone gives it a full 4-star review and says, "while magical is a word that gets thrown around a lot about the movies, few actually deserve to be called that. Kubo and the Two Strings does, and in spades." The Guardian says it "stands out for its complexity, seductively dark themes and the extraordinary beauty of its animation" and that it "succeeds on every level"
Empire Online gives it 4 out of 5 stars and concludes, "Yet another success for stop-motion giants Laika, Kubo boasts big laughs and effective scares in a typically gorgeous animated tale." Roger Ebert's site says, "The timelessness of the film gives it an overall feeling of cinematic grace, with obvious nods to greats ranging from Kurosawa and Miyazaki to Spielberg and Lucas. The resonance of the performances from its excellent voice cast gives it an immediate emotional punch." Rotten Tomatoes has a critics score of 97%.