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Cold Fish (2011)


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Average Rating: N/A
Critic Reviews: 2
Fresh: 2 | Rotten: 0



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Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,394

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Movie Info

From Sion Sono, the director of Love Exposure and Suicide Club. Cold Fish has won acclaim at both the Venice and Toronto Film Festivals. In the film, mild-mannered Shamoto's teenage daughter gets caught shoplifting. A generous fellow fish-store owner and his wife appear to help resolve the situation by having her work at their fish store. Too good to be true? You bet! Shamoto soon discovers the horrific truth about this seemingly perfect couple...who inextricably weave him into their grisly

Aug 23, 2011

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All Critics (22) | Top Critics (3) | Fresh (15) | Rotten (4) | DVD (1)

A deliciously warped wallow in misogyny, depravity and dead-eyed manipulation, "Cold Fish" charts the twisted alliance of two tropical-fish salesmen with baleful glee.

August 4, 2011 Full Review Source: New York Times
New York Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Cold Fish is wild, head-turning, stomach-churning stuff, and it makes a bracing addition to the overstuffed canon of serial-killer cinema.

August 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Village Voice
Village Voice
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Overlong? A tad. Still, at two-and-a-half hours it's 90 minutes shy of its predecessor Love Exposure. Insane fun? Absolutely. Darkly funny and deliriously absurd in all of its bloody glory, I found it impossible to look away.

August 17, 2011 Full Review Source: Quickflix

Cold Fish is artful and unnerving and, at times, repulsive. Its merit lies in an unrepentant willingness to be all of those things.

August 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Aisle Seat
Aisle Seat

Smart, devious, and confrontational filmmaking from a man who's quickly becoming a master at this sort of stuff.

August 5, 2011 Full Review Source: FEARnet

hilarious, harrowing

August 4, 2011 Full Review Source:

Don't let me talk you out of it--after all, I'm no kibbitzer.

July 31, 2011 Full Review Source: Slant Magazine
Slant Magazine

There are gruelling, gleeful scenes of blood-drenched murder and dismemberment that will test even the hardest stomach.

April 14, 2011 Full Review Source: Daily Express
Daily Express

Gallows humour and character twists offer welcome reprieve from the largely hysterical acting and rivers of viscera.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Total Film
Total Film

Just as with Suicide Club, the deliberate weirdness and detached tone of Cold Fish may initially leave audiences befuddled, but this a sign of its complexity.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Electric Sheep
Electric Sheep

The climax is formidably bloody, but if you've got the stomach for it, Shion Sono's ludicrous spectacle makes for compelling viewing.

April 13, 2011 Full Review Source: The Skinny
The Skinny

Slack pacing aside, this is a disarmingly brutal, feral social satire.

April 10, 2011 Full Review Source: What Culture
What Culture

Overlong, drenched in blood and rather like attending a school for apprentice butchers.

April 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Sono orchestrates his tale with a skill that allows irony to match the horror and realism to dampen down the melodrama. Altogether, it's quite a feat.

April 8, 2011 Full Review Source: This is London
This is London

The grisly, absurd violence of the final hour puts a wrecking ball through whatever interest this film might have accumulated.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Guardian

Purportedly based on fact, this is knowingly played with respective manic glee, anguished regret and slinky sexuality by Denden, Fukikoshi and Kurosawa.

April 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Radio Times
Radio Times

Is it a black comedy? Is it a horror thriller? More wit and ingenuity might have made it Tarantino-esque.

April 6, 2011 Full Review Source: Financial Times | Comments (3)
Financial Times

...the audacity of plot and growing blood-and-bones in 'Cold Fish' are engrossing for those not turned off.

February 16, 2011 Full Review Source: ReelTalk Movie Reviews
ReelTalk Movie Reviews

Audience Reviews for Cold Fish

Twisted Japanese gore feat with a dysfunctional family. The Japanese do this stuff so well.
June 15, 2013

Super Reviewer

Cold Fish is a dank, dark and highly unlikable film...that I just so happened to really like. It sees a meek and feeble fish store owner, Syamoto, come into contact with a much more confident fish store owner, who gives his troublesome daughter a job. But things aren't as they seem once Syamoto is dragged through a world of sex, murder, disembowelment, business and crime. Syamoto is pushed to the very edge of his humanity by a group of depraved and sickening characters. Fortunately it's helmed by Shion Sono, one of the greatest handlers of dark material. He knows when to make us gag and when to make us laugh. We feel at ease with the material because it is so outside of our protected worlds (hopefully). The pace builds fantastically, from a slow beginning, as we are gradually pulled in to this grim reality, which is based on a true story. It looks at the role of men and women in society, and how the inability to handle emotions can spiral out of control. One of the most pleasant unpleasant watches of recent years.
February 9, 2013

Super Reviewer

After an excellent start, the movie failed to work for me as it went ahead. It just kept on getting worse. It's indeed an engaging thriller (based on real events) till it transforms into some sort of soft porno. The story didn't require this extent of graphic scenes, but that's my opinion (which highly matters, if not hardly). Besides, the time-stamp failed to work as a smart distraction. The twists are too predictable to be shocking; in fact, the effectiveness is negative. All that said, Denden's performance is incredibly superb. He holds it up amazingly even as the script falls apart.

Won't be unfair to say that it's a terrific flick that goes terrible as it unfolds. Of course, just my opinion. Feel free to differ.
September 2, 2012

Super Reviewer

A chance encounter between two fish store owners pushes a meek, emasculated man to the edge and beyond, in this twisted, horrific tale.

Cold Fish is one of the most brutal, bloody, and deranged serial killer flicks I've ever seen. Seriously, this is one of those "you have to see it to believe it" movies that's almost impossible to write a review for, because, well, what do you compare it to? Cold Fish is mean-spirited, misogynistic, bleak, and quite the experience. I don't know if I "recommend" it, you could easily despise this, but I definitely want you try it out if you're brave enough.
November 7, 2011

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Cold Fish (Tsumetai nettaigyo) (DE)
  • Cold Fish (Tsumetai nettaigyo) (UK)
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