The Hidden Blade - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hidden Blade Reviews

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Super Reviewer
August 10, 2006
A long winded love story, to which becomes more enjoyable during the second half. Boredeom set in occasionally which surprised me because I?ve heard such good things about this film.
Super Reviewer
January 15, 2007
fantastic film. winner of 12 japanese academy awards, this one has a great ending. i liked the film even better after a second viewing when i was able to invest more in the story. the second of yamada's samurai trilogy, all 3 are essentially perfect films.
Super Reviewer
May 9, 2009
This is an absolutely jaw-dropping brilliant film. This was from the 2005 Berlin International Film festival. And I will tell you at the start 5 Stars and its worth no less. A story of a Samurai, that mixes the traditions of a Samurai, along with the sword action, and Romance for you ladies. All throughout the movie the background scenes are phenomenal Don't shy away from this. One can only hope that Munezo the Samurai (Played by Massatoshi Nagase) will do another movie. Maybe in the Zacochi way, a number of movies, but not TV Series type. Takako Matsu played Kie, who was Munezo Family's house maid, she play the part to the T. If I tell you the details of this movie it would only ruin your watching, Trust me when I say ladies its just not Swordplay and Samurai. You will enjoy the addition of the Life Long Romance, Enough Said, 5 stars.
Super Reviewer
September 4, 2008
Director Yoji Yamada has been writing and directing films since the 1960s, so it is no surprise at how much recognition The Hidden Blade receives in its home country of Japan.Let me get this out of the way. At first glance this movie is deceiving. The title is actually an appropriate one with the way the film plays out, but at the same time it makes the film seem like it is all about Samurai and swords. This film is all about Samurai, but it isn't all about the swords. This is not an action adventure by any means.A good portion of the first half seems unnecessary, but it all falls into place as the movie progresses. I will also say that it progresses 10 minutes past the 2 hour mark, but this slow pace does wonders for the story, which feels like a film from the 1980s or early 90s. It doesn't look like a film from 2004. You really get a chance to understand all the major characters and their relationships. Even with the serious story, Yamada finds the time to insert really small chunks of comedic scenes that are HILARIOUS. It doesn't feel out of place either.The action. There is a small duel near the end of the film and that is it. The camerawork is great, but the swordplay, while realistic, is a little bland. Don't watch this if you are expecting Samurai swordplay.The acting is as good as the story. Masatoshi Nagase carries the film and the beautiful actresses are pleasant to watch.The Hidden Blade is a bunch of great action sequences away from being a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but this is worth the watch if you like good dramatic stories.
Super Reviewer
½ July 9, 2006
[font=Century Gothic]In "The Hidden Blade", Munezo Katagiri(Masatoshi Nagase) is a low-caste samurai living in rural 19th century Japan whose father had committed harakiri some years before. His younger sister, Shino(Tomoko Tabata), is being courted by a good friend and fellow samurai, Samon(Hidetaka Yoshioka). Their maid, Kie(Takako Mitsu), will soon be married too...[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]Three years later, Munezo, still not married, comes across Kie in a shop and finds that the intervening years have not been kind to her after she married a merchant and is now often ill. A few months pass, and Munezo has learned that Kie has still not recovered and is, in fact, treated badly at her house. This time, he decides to take matters into his own hands...[/font]
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[font=Century Gothic]"The Hidden Blade" is not a bad movie but it is too similar to Yoji Yamada's own superior "Twilight Samurai" to be considered much of a success on its own. This movie is simply not as engrossing as the previous film as it is very slow and predictable. However, there is some thought given to the conflict between Western influences(the training with artillery and new guns) and the tradition of the samurai. [/font]
Super Reviewer
½ October 19, 2009
It was hard...very hard to sit still through this Japanese movie based upon honor and the cherish of the concealed and almost lost art of love, between a samurai, and a house servant .... to top it off...a rival swordsman of the star of the show is bound by honor even though his rival is arrested and condemned for a gang affiliation not allowed in the mid 19th century Japan. It is an extremely slow moving but interesting portrayal of loyalty and the code of honor that people in that time era had to keep for order to be maintained.
Super Reviewer
½ October 16, 2009
The epic tale of Munezo - a samurai being displaced in a rapidly changing Japan. After a failed political coup he is ordered to prove his innocence by finding & killing his best friend samurai & brilliant swordsman. Munezo enlists the help of their old teacher who entrusts him with a secret technique. Second part of a Yji Yamada's trilogy and it was so good that I now have to watch oter two parts as well...
Super Reviewer
July 3, 2009
Soap opera-ey
Super Reviewer
December 14, 2006
A constantly interesting samurai drama.
½ February 1, 2012
Not what I was expecting but I enjoyed this. It was funny, you felt for the characters and the story was good.
November 11, 2010
Its structured very similarly to the twilight samurai its predecessor, but with a new character comes new problems and events. The biggest difference with The hidden Blade is unlike its predecessor, it's at its worst only when trying to be sappy with the romance. The art direction is superior to its predecessor and it has a longer sword duel thats unobstructed most of the time. Hidden's central protagonist is much more likable as well, overall The Hidden Blade is a worthy sequel to one of the best samurai flicks ever made.
½ July 17, 2010
A fantastic love story that loses itself in its own complexity. The constant introduction of new conflicts dilutes the focus of the film and leads to a rather awkward ending... but still a fantastic movie worth seeing.
January 21, 2010
Starts out extremely slow, but soon picks up and turns into a great film. Highly stylized and dramatic swordfights. Based on this I'd like to see Yoji Yamada's other films such as Twilight Samurai
March 10, 2009
so your girlfriend wants to watch some girly movie about love and you prefer samurais and honor. this is the movie that will absolutely satisfy you both. beautiful love story and when the hidden blade of the title is finally used, it is extremely satisfying. excellent swordfight as well.
February 21, 2009
Yamada Yoji has created the best example of the jidaieki (period film) since Kurosawa. He has done something unique to Japanese cinema by combining elements of the Ozuesque home drama. Also, its timeless plot should even appeal to Japanese audiences who flock to Western films. It offers a much needed change. This film has a very Eastern feel to it, in that the life of a samurai has not been glamourized. Its protrayed in a realistic way. The things that the main character, Katagiri Munezo, must endure, make a good case for the argument that perhaps one is better off just being a regular townsperson.
Throughout the film, there a several examples of classic Ozu films.
In the The Hidden Blade, Katagiri is getting older and is not married. Likewise in Ozu's Early Summer, Hara Setsuko, plays a woman past 25 who hasn't married either. Katagiri becomes a lot like Hara Setsuko's character in that both are stubborn and will get married when they want to and if they want to. Katagiri also shares common charateristics with the father figure of Ryu Chishu's various characters in Ozu films. Some of the dialouge between Katagiri and his servant Kie reminded me of similar scenes from Tokyo Story, when Ryu and his wife are talking.
What I like about this film, is the way inwhich, Yamada humanizes his samurai characters through anecdote. There is a very moving and funny scene of a little girl who is afraid of Katagiri because he carries a sword. Katagiri cannot understand why this girl is afraid and when Kie tells him, he laughs and points out that most of the time samurai never draw their swords. The life of the bureaucract. There are other comedic episodes until the plot has to become serious. That's when the best dramatic scenes come out.
The Hidden Blade is a complex story that requires you to bring you full attention to it. The closer you follow the story, the more you will see and understand. Like any great work of literature, you have to be willing to be in the work and invest your complete attention.
Overall, this is a great film that showcases Yamada Yoji as the best new Japanese director, along with my other favorite, Koreeda Hirokazu.
April 10, 2008
Too sloooow. The netflix description was no so detailed so I was tricked into thinking there would be lots of good action. Even the last fighting scenes were weak... He did some cowardly move and then used the hidden blade on the other guy.
March 22, 2016
The similarities to the love story in Twilight Samurai is there but the violent ending is awesome. Lovin this more than the Fujisawa's first film.
November 3, 2013
A truly beautiful film musing over the familiar Samurai themes of Honour, Courage, Loyalty and Justice. Not an action film, with the exception of a showdown, this film is a touching and beautiful story.
March 26, 2013
Another Yoji Yamada masterpiece, which may fall short of The Twilight Samurai, but is a masterful film in it's own right.
February 2, 2013
Similar to his own "Twilight Samurai", it's a Yoji Yamada movie about the last days of the samurai, in a modernizing Japan. The social clash is well shown from the point of view of a samurai that starts to defy authority. All wrapped up in a romantic story, which is a secondary part of the movie despite the trailer. Highly recommended! ;)
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