The Eel (Unagi) Reviews

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Top Critic
Lisa Schwarzbaum
Entertainment Weekly
May 23, 2013
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Cole Smithey
ColeSmithey.com
October 12, 2005
| Original Score: 3/5
Emanuel Levy
EmanuelLevy.Com
August 12, 2005
| Original Score: 4/5
Judith Egerton
Courier-Journal (Louisville, KY)
July 2, 2004
Imamura composed The Eel with an artist's eye and takes his time, so don't expect a fast-paced American-style film.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Darrin Keene
Film Threat
February 4, 2003
| Original Score: 5/5
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
March 2, 2002
This excellent drama, based on a novel, reveals the beginning of a relationship between two souls who are trying to move beyond the wounds of the past.
Michael W. Phillips, Jr.
Goatdog's Movies
February 28, 2002
[An] odd, affecting little film.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Kevin Thomas
Los Angeles Times
February 14, 2001
Unpredictable and captivating.
Top Critic
Lawrence Van Gelder
New York Times
January 1, 2000
Yakusho and Ms. Shimizu deliver unerring performances in a splendid film that harvests hope from a bleak landscape.
Top Critic
Jonathan Rosenbaum
Chicago Reader
January 1, 2000
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Dennis Schwartz
Ozus' World Movie Reviews
January 1, 2000
An interesting film that works most effectively as an introspective study of how to deal with one's anger and love.
Full Review | Original Score: B-
Liz Braun
Jam! Movies
January 1, 2000
A beautiful character study -- comedic scenes notwithstanding -- that ends on a hopeful note.
| Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
J. Hoberman
Village Voice
January 1, 2000
This simple, sinuous fable may not be among Imamura's greatest films ... but it could hardly have been made by anyone else.
Harvey S. Karten
Compuserve
January 1, 2000
Effectively emotional, quiet, and leisurely paced.
Full Review | Original Score: 9/10
Marc Savlov
Austin Chronicle
January 1, 2000
A flash of quiet brilliance that resonates long after the images have faded from the screen.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Jeff Vice
Deseret News, Salt Lake City
January 1, 2000
An oddly affecting and haunting film, thanks to the deliberate pacing and an appropriately enigmatic starring turn by actor Koji Yakusho.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Richard Porton
Film Journal International
January 1, 2000
An alternately poignant and funny film which transcends the limitations of its seemingly ludicrous plot.
Top Critic
Bob Graham
San Francisco Chronicle
January 1, 2000
It sounds nuts, but one of the best movies in town is about the relationship of a man with his eel.
G. Allen Johnson
San Francisco Examiner
January 1, 2000
In a way, The Eel is very much like Black Rain, and nearly as great.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
James Sanford
Kalamazoo Gazette
January 1, 2000
Just when it seems like 'The Eel' is going to settle into a standard love-conquers-fear tale, the writers begin coloring in the characters, revealing their secrets and insecurities. The results are sometimes shocking and sometimes funny...
Top Critic
David Stratton
Variety
March 26, 2009
David Sterritt
Film Scouts
April 17, 2002

Boston Phoenix
March 24, 2002
Joe Baltake
Sacramento Bee
March 14, 2002
Sam Adams
Philadelphia City Paper
January 1, 2000
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