Dolls (2002)



Critic Consensus: No consensus yet.

Movie Info

Master filmmaker Takeshi Kitano returns behind the camera for the first time since his indifferently received English-language effort Brother (2000) with this operatic tale of lost love. Dolls takes puppeteering as its overriding motif -- specifically, the kind practiced in Bunraku doll theater performances -- opening each section of his film with a story provided by the puppets and their masters, which relates thematically to the action provided by the live characters. Chief among those tales … More

Rating: Unrated
Genre: Drama, Kids & Family, Romance, Art House & International
Directed By: ,
Written By: Takeshi Kitano
In Theaters:
On DVD: Mar 8, 2005
Palm Pictures - Official Site



as Sawako

as Hiro, the Boss

as Ryoko, the Woman in ...

as Haruna Yamaguchi, th...

as Nukui, the Fan

as Haruna's Aunt

as Young Hiro

as Young Ryoko

as Haruna's Manager

as Tayu, Puppet Theater...

as Puppet Theater Shami...

as Puppeteer of Umegawa...

as Puppeteer of Chubei

as Matsumoto's Father

as Matsumoto's Mother

as Matsumoto's Colleagu...

as Haruna's Mother

as The Young Minion

as Hitman in the Park

as The Driver

as Aoki, the Fan

as Son of the Boss's Br...

as Matsumoto's Friend

as Sawako's Friend

as Friend of the Boss's...
Show More Cast

News & Interviews for Dolls

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Critic Reviews for Dolls

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (17)

The cinematography is colorful and sweeping, the editing and storytelling simple and pure.

Full Review… | March 11, 2005
San Francisco Chronicle
Top Critic

It's all as passionate, refined, and insistently sad as Bunraku puppetry itself.

Full Review… | February 11, 2005
Boston Globe
Top Critic

Dolls isn't a film for everybody, especially the impatient, but Kitano does succeed, I think, in drawing us into his tempo and his world, and slowing us down into the sadness of his characters.

Full Review… | February 4, 2005
Chicago Sun-Times
Top Critic

A work both rigorously stylized and deeply personal.

Full Review… | February 3, 2005
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic

Devoted fans of Kitano will want to see Dolls. Others may be put off by the dirgelike pace (Kitano takes full credit for the editing) and a ghastly, mood-destroying pop-music number performed by Fukada.

Full Review… | January 21, 2005
Seattle Times
Top Critic

The movie's pace is appropriate to its mood, which is crisp, melancholy and gently cruel.

Full Review… | January 20, 2005
Los Angeles Times
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Dolls


When I viewed Takeshi Kitano's "Dolls" I was told I would either love or hate the film. In retrospect, neither of those emotions crossed my mind. I merely though the film was OK. I certainly enjoyed piecing together the three stories and dissecting the themes, symbolism and being taken under it's visual spell- but I couldn't help being reminded by so many other, better films. The film is about obsession (clearly taken from "Vertigo"), it deals with relationships where the couples are imploding but bound together (clearly taken from "Eyes Wide Shut"- with the same use of color and music), and it's about the emotional violence men can inflict on weak woman (clearly taken from "In the Company of Men"; "Dolls" also adopts, without the grace Neil Labute's film had, the idea that ALL women are weak, pitiful messes). "Dolls" just seemed like a rehash of better and more interesting films- granted, it has beautiful imagery, but that alone does not make a great.

Steven Carrier

Super Reviewer

Takeshi Kitano brings us three stories about the decisions we make that affect our whole lives. The key element here is that we sometimes make the wrong decision due to emotions involved, not to mention pressure from others, and framed as a bunraku performance, Japan's national art-form involving elaborate puppets.

Dolls is Kitano's quietest and most accomplished film so far, in my humble opinion. Given the unhappy consequences for many of the love-struck protaganists, this may lead the viewer to believe that the idea of love, although lasting, is bitter-sweet as Kitano goes from making his well known violent films to one of pain involving what we do to ourselves when we take the wrong path in life. Be careful what you wish for

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

Drags a bit in some parts, yet Kitano knows how to keep things simple and direct to the point.

Tsubaki Sanjuro

Super Reviewer

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