The Hidden Blade Reviews

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Louis Proyect
rec.arts.movies.reviews
September 7, 2008
Second installment in Yamada's samurai trilogy. Once again the hero is unlike the super-warriors of the genre, but far more interesting.
Kam Williams
Upstage Magazine
July 7, 2007
A character-driven, martial arts adventure more concerned with motivations than karate moves.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
David Noh
Film Journal International
March 1, 2007
Hidden Blade works, then, as that rare, intellectually stirring historical pageant, but also as a deeply emotional, satisfying samurai movie, one of the crown jewels of the genre.
Don Willmott
Filmcritic.com
September 28, 2006
a totally immersive experience
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Top Critic
Jeff Shannon
Seattle Times
July 14, 2006
A tenacious survival tale in which passionate lovers are held apart by outmoded traditions. How they overcome obstacles to happiness is what makes the film so dramatically engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 14, 2006
Yamada's enormously enjoyable The Hidden Blade is a movie that deftly balances the obligations of samurai history with love story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 13, 2006
It's a pretty simple tale, but -- true to his Western influences -- Yamada slows down the action and stretches it out to a prize-winning length.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
July 13, 2006
... the restrained drama both punctures the mythic ideal of the samurai culture and spins a romantic portrait of one man who values principle over protocol...
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
July 8, 2006
This is a film buff's movie but also has strong appeal to those who just want to be told a darn good story.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Ruthe Stein
San Francisco Chronicle
July 7, 2006
Reminders of feudal Japan are mixed in with a prescient glimpse into the country's future. The samurai will not be part of it, and The Hidden Blade poignantly shows what is lost in the name of progress.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
July 3, 2006
Yamada's film is old-fashioned in the very best sense. He is a great story teller and director of actors.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
July 1, 2006
An affecting portrait of the impact of profound change on people with limited options.
| Original Score: 3/5
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
June 24, 2006
Good, but a bit of a snorer.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
Maitland McDonagh
TV Guide's Movie Guide
June 23, 2006
Casually paced and filled with telling detail, Yamada's delicate drama with swordplay (there's not much, but what there is packs an emotional wallop) transcends its specific setting in its depiction of Katagiri's internal struggle.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
V.A. Musetto
New York Post
June 23, 2006
The Hidden Blade bears more than a passing resemblance in story and form to The Twilight Samurai, but stands on its own as a pleasant, if unremarkable, romance.
| Original Score: 2.5/4
Top Critic
Elizabeth Weitzman
New York Daily News
June 23, 2006
Both epic and intimate, this impassioned samurai drama is for anyone who's ever watched a movie and muttered, 'They just don't make 'em like they used to.'
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Edward Douglas
ComingSoon.net
June 23, 2006
Yoji Yamada redefines the words 'cinematic perfection' with a film that looks and feels like a true classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
June 22, 2006
[R]eminded me of one of [John] Ford's more elegiac Westerns
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
Top Critic
Noel Murray
AV Club
June 22, 2006
While Yamada essentially repeats himself structurally, he finds fresh ironies in the story of how a culture built on tradition gets corrupted by technology and years of inaction.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Top Critic
Owen Gleiberman
Entertainment Weekly
June 21, 2006
The Hidden Blade is tranquil, touching, and, in its climactic sword fight, excitingly real.
Full Review | Original Score: B+
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