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Bright Future (2004)



Average Rating: 5.6/10
Critic Reviews: 8
Fresh: 4 | Rotten: 4

No consensus yet.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 3,348

My Rating

Movie Info

A drama centering upon the friendship between Yuji and Mamoru, two angry young men working in a plant that processes oshibori--the wet hand towels found in restaurants and fast food joints. Both are anti-social loners with short fuses. Yuji worships the older, enigmatic Mamoru, who lives with a red jellyfish that is hauntingly luminous and fatally poisonous. Mamoru shows him how to care for the creature, which swims alone in its tank, waving its tentacles with deceptive gentleness. When Mamoru

Mar 8, 2005

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All Critics (24) | Top Critics (9) | Fresh (14) | Rotten (6) | DVD (10)

Gradually establishes a sense of foreboding that is hard to shake, though it's not without its darkly humorous moments.

January 28, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The movie has a curious and cumulative power.

January 14, 2005 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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The most spellbinding aspect of Bright Future is that the surrealism sustains its own squiddish logic, concluding with one of the most breathtaking film finales of the year.

November 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Entertainment Weekly
Entertainment Weekly
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Pretty to look at, but it's a slow-moving, meandering work that isn't as complex or mysterious as it appears.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Daily News
New York Daily News
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Directed by Kiyoshi Kurosawa, a prolific and sui generis talent from Japan, this quietly creepy film contains a hint of politics and a wealth of shivers.

November 11, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The writer-director's story sense is far too distracted, clouding the film's themes and even its basic plotline and allowing only the most glancing insights into its characters.

November 11, 2004 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Kurosawa's weird look at the empty lives of modern youth is mysteriously eye-catching but nothing deeper.

September 17, 2009 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

no less enigmatic, broad-reaching and majestically paced than a jellyfish.

November 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

a genre that's starting to get overplayed

March 8, 2005 Full Review Source:

Kurosawa's mysterious film about Japan's disaffected and alienated youth.

January 27, 2005 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

No stranger to the bizarro social metaphor, [Kurosawa] somehow paints the film's title as honestly optimistic, winkingly ironic, and completely doom-laden at the same time.

January 27, 2005 Full Review Source: The Stranger (Seattle, WA)

It's a haunting, spooky journey into a world that embraces trippy ambiguity.

December 10, 2004 Full Review Source: E! Online
E! Online

More high -- but strangely touching -- weirdness from acclaimed Japanese auteur Kiyoshi Kurosawa.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide enchantingly cryptic, ethereally photographed slice of somber surrealism that should definitely appeal to fans of David Lynch and Luis Bu˝uel.

November 12, 2004 Full Review Source: Premiere Magazine
Premiere Magazine

That the film succeeds on the level of a thriller as well as of a philosophical reflection is a proof of Kurosawa as perhaps the best Japanese filmmaker of his generation.

October 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Not Coming to a Theater Near You
Not Coming to a Theater Near You

Though admirers of the director's eerie, elegant horror tales Pulse and Cure will find Bright Future rather more lugubrious, Kurosawa's latest turns out to have a surprising emotional pull and a truly transcendent final shot.

January 31, 2004 Full Review Source: eye WEEKLY

Kurosawa strains to find a parallel between jellyfish and his characters' disaffections.

January 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

A remarkable companion piece to Gus Van Sant's similarly haunted, lyrical, allegorical Elephant.

October 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Audience Reviews for Bright Future

[font=Century Gothic]In "Bright Future", Mamoru(Tadanobu Asano) and Yuji(Jo Odagiri) are two friends who work in a factory in Tokyo to maintain their slacker lifestyles. Yuji prefers to spend his spare time asleep when he dreams of utopias. When he is not asleep, he goes bowling or to the arcade. Mamoru keeps a red jellyfish as a pet which is poisonous. After being offered permanent positions with the company, they become friendly with their boss.[/font]

[font=Century Gothic]"Bright Future" starts out creepy before its eccentricities just make it annoying. There is little idea as to what motivates the characters. The film might be a statement about the aimlessness of youth but that does not explain the significance of the jellyfish.[/font]
January 27, 2006
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

Japanese fillm about two solitary friends and, initially at least, a jellyfish. Even after watching the whole thing quite carefully, I'm not really sure what the film's trying to say. There's a plot, and action, character development, it's intriguing, and very lovely in places and .... hmm, still no.

March 31, 2011
Lesley N

Super Reviewer

Right now it's a go.
March 4, 2008

Super Reviewer

There are no approved quotes yet for this movie.

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Foreign Titles

  • Bright Future (Akarui mirai) (DE)
  • Bright Future (UK)
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