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Battle Royale 3D (2000)

tomatometer

86

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Reviews Counted: 43
Fresh: 37 | Rotten: 6

Battle Royale is a controversial and violent parable of adolescence, heightening teenage melodrama with life-or-death stakes.

86

Average Rating: 7.5/10
Critic Reviews: 7
Fresh: 6 | Rotten: 1

Battle Royale is a controversial and violent parable of adolescence, heightening teenage melodrama with life-or-death stakes.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 84,095

My Rating

Movie Info

A long-unavailable underground hit that anticipated The Hunger Games novels by eight years, veteran director Fukasaku's epically violent, still-controversial and deeply influential genre masterpiece takes place in a dystopian alternate universe. In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of its nation's youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be

Mar 20, 2012

Anchor Bay Entertainment

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All Critics (43) | Top Critics (7) | Fresh (37) | Rotten (6) | DVD (28)

Stylistically it's a beauty, with khaki-uniformed waifs fighting for their lives to a crashing classical score.

May 25, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Post
New York Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Awful deaths (and hysterical reactions to them) punctuate declarations of love and friendship, revelations of treachery and heavily armed expressions of angst.

May 24, 2012 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Forgive the film its small flaws of histrionic performances and cheap execution for the giddy rush of its banal, Verhoevenesque atmosphere...

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Time Out New York
Time Out New York
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It may suit a certain worldview, but Battle Royale's cynicism is still a form fantasy-a balm as well as a bomb.

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

3D conversion of a classic teen massacre thriller raises the gore level.

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Hollywood Reporter
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Departing from two decades' worth of domestic and personal dramas and returning to his roots as Japan's maestro of mayhem, Kinji Fukasaku has delivered a brutal punch to the collective solar plexus with one of his most outrageous and timely films.

May 20, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Before The Hunger Games there was Battle Royale. The bloody spectacle of Japanese schoolchildren being forced into a sadistic game of "last man standing" packs an emotional wallop.

May 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Film Journal International
Film Journal International

A gloriously entertaining ride, provided you have a taste for dark material and don't mind the occasional poke in the ribs.

May 25, 2012 Full Review Source: Mania.com
Mania.com

A wonderfully exciting, incredibly idiosyncratic actioner.

May 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Film4
Film4

Maybe Battle Royale's ultimate punchline is its inexplicable ability to fool some people into taking it seriously.

May 20, 2012 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine | Comments (4)
Slant Magazine

Battle Royale's dystopia reflects a hyper-tech Japan still deeply concerned with social cohesion and the value-gaps between the generations. It's the disturbingly dark social frame, not its bloody canvas, that makes this a battle worth watching.

May 10, 2012 Full Review Source: Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)
Vue Weekly (Edmonton, Canada)

Fukasaku's set pieces are dynamic, composed and edited with a neatness that is missing from the shaky-camera esthetic of the movie's successor, 'The Hunger Games.'

March 30, 2012 Full Review Source: Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN) | Comments (11)
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN)

Battle Royale is a masterpiece of mayhem, violence and unfettered teen melodrama.

March 19, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

Battle Royale is The Hunger Games not diluted for young audiences.

February 22, 2012 Full Review Source: Boston Phoenix | Comments (8)
Boston Phoenix

Pitched with the insatiable verve of a TV game show and the vacant regret of a Grand Theft Auto videogame.

July 19, 2011 Full Review Source: Projection Booth
Projection Booth

It gets no points for subtlety, but this confronting, devastating, hilarious and extremely fun film is a masterpiece all in its own right.

March 6, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Gloriously sick and twisted. A masterpiece.

November 24, 2009 Full Review Source: Combustible Celluloid
Combustible Celluloid

Disturbing, gory, shocking, and very original.

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Although the film can be seen as a satire on everything from the Japanese education system to reality TV, ultimately its absurdism resists easy interpretation.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

A disturbing film to say the least, and definitely one that could never have been made in the United States.

June 17, 2008 Full Review Source: ESplatter | Comments (7)
ESplatter

Audience Reviews for Battle Royale 3D

Battle Royale has impressed many and is loved by a lot. I must have missed something. I liked the concept of the film and enjoyed some it. But I guess what really put me off was some of the dialogue and some of the acting. It was just too cheesy for me. I couldn't get passed it. Plus a lot of the gory parts looked really fake. I know they are but you want it to at least look realistic. It just wasn't a movie for me.
April 10, 2013
LWOODS04
♥˩ƳИИ ƜѲѲƉƧ♥

Super Reviewer

'Battle Royale' is clearly a huge underground hit for many good reasons, even if the acting is a little poor from the young students. Kitano gives a great performance however, and the pace is brisk while the violence is plenty. The film most superbly succeeds in its a production design and atmosphere whilst being a social commentary that is pretty poignant. The teenage drama is a little soapy but its easy to forgive their performances, seeing as the film in its entirety is extremely potent. 'Battle Royale' is definitely recommended for any Tarantino fan or someone looking for an original viewing experience because yes, this film was made before 'Hunger Games' was even written. The similarities may be uncanny, but this vision of teens fighting to the death makes for a better production.
January 26, 2013
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

I've finally gotten around to seeing this, and yeah, it's quite a film.

First off: the elephant in the room. The Hunger Games isn't a complete rip off of this. Yeah, it's similar, but as I said in my review for that one, it's just another variation on a theme. The biggest difference between this and that is that one has more world building (and is slightly better in that regard), but this one has a lot more guts, and was thankfully not compromised when it comes to the dark and gritty subject matter. Not only that, but this film is a lot easier to tell what's going on too, as the camera isn't shaking every few seconds.

The satire (and yes, it is clearly a darkly comedic satire) is fairly broad, but it gets the point across. Japan is getting frustrated with youthful rebellion so they come up with an extreme way to deal with it: randomly select entire classes of 9th graders and force them to battle to the death on an island. Awesome. It's a pretty pointed look at the competitiveness of the educational system, and really does a good job with the broad strokes. Plus, the bloodshed is a lot more effective and shocking since the kids all know each other very well, unlike THG where the kids don't really know one another very much.

The film is quite shocking, and it amazed me how many times I noticed that my jaw had dropped. This is gruesome, but there's definitely a sense of tongue-in-cheek to this, namely with the instructional video, and the way the adults regard the situation. I kinda felt bad for enjoying this at times, and the fact that the film is really tonally ambiguous is somewhat problematic, but overall, this film is quite amazing and compelling.

There's some character development, but just enough to keep most of the characters from being complete fodder. In a movie like this, its expected that some characters will get priority over the others, and that's fine. Those characters get the most development, and it's done decently. I just wish that it was possible to have more development for more of the players. The performances are decent though, for the most part. Occasionally some of the acting sticks out as rather melodramatic, but not enough to wreck things.

Now, the violence. Damn! Like I said, I got pretty shocked at times. This film is brutal, inventive, and the rough stuff is executed quite well. Some of these set pieces were just dynamite, and I loved the creativity they put into some of these kills.

The film does somewhat fall apart a bit towards the end, but it ended satisfactorily enough for me I suppose.

All in all, this is definitely a must-see. Obviously it's not for the squeamish, but come to it with an open mind and I think you might find something good to take away from it.
January 21, 2013
cosmo313
Chris Weber

Super Reviewer

A taut, gripping and dramatic action thriller that puts students to fight each other to the death till one winner .is left standing. Sound familiar? The Hunger Games basically ripped off the idea, and even though I enjoyed that film, I much preferred this one. The film does boast some good acting, and has a good plot that is sure to keep you entertained from start to finish. The film is well directed and is a lot more compelling than The Hunger Games, as it has a rawer, gritty intensity to the tone of the movie. Therefore it adds so much more flavor to the plot and it is a more violent, realistic piece of cinema. I'm not hating on The Hunger Games, but once you see this film, it's hard not to notice that the novel and subsequent film weren't influenced by this work. Entertaining and intense, Battle Royale is one of the best foreign films that has come out in the last twenty years. With effective pacing, director Kinji Fukasaku paints a visceral picture of a society using humans as pawns in a battle to the death, and it works very well. If you want a film that's very similar to the Hunger Games, but is a lot better, and then give this film a viewing, you're sure to enjoy it more and if you were disappointed by that one, this one may give you what you were looking for in a film. Very well done, and accomplished in terms of scope, concept and effective plot, Battle Royale is a great film that is a near flawless piece of cinema. Violent, memorable and well acted, this one stands in a class by itself.
November 26, 2012
TheDudeLebowski65
Jeff "The Dude" Lebowski

Super Reviewer

    1. Mitsuko Souma: Why not kill? Everyone has their issues.
    – Submitted by Alice N (8 months ago)
    1. Kitano: Life is a game. So fight for survival...and find out if you're worth it.
    – Submitted by Alice N (8 months ago)
    1. Kitano: If you hate someone, you take the consequences.
    – Submitted by Rynoir I (20 months ago)
    1. Kitano: The last one... Cookies sure were good.
    – Submitted by Hannah S (22 months ago)
    1. Mitsuko Souma: [in her head] I just don't want to be a loser anymore.
    – Submitted by Austin C (2 years ago)
    1. Shuya Nanahara: NOBU! [Nobu's head explodes]
    – Submitted by Kyle C (2 years ago)
View all quotes (9)

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Foreign Titles

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  • Battle Royale (UK)
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