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Japón (2003)



Average Rating: 8/10
Critic Reviews: 10
Fresh: 10 | Rotten: 0

A slow-moving, visually impressive debut.



liked it
Average Rating: 3.7/5
User Ratings: 1,930

My Rating

Movie Info

A man with no name limps through the Mexican high country in what he intends to be his last journey. It is clear that he hates himself and is tired of life, but in order to prepare for death he seeks first the solitude of the mountains and finds shelter with Ascen, an elderly widow living on the outskirts of a mountain village.

Oct 12, 2004

Mantarraya Producciones

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All Critics (31) | Top Critics (11) | Fresh (20) | Rotten (5) | DVD (3)

If you're in synch with its heartbeat, and with Reygadas' tendency to pursue visual detours that intensify the film's sensual impact, this is a remarkable first effort that is equal parts disturbing, bold, mysterious and primal.

November 7, 2003 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Unfolding at an elliptical pace that feels like a revelation, or tedium, or both, Japon recalls the glory days of 1970s art-house filmmaking.

May 9, 2003 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
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Unlike a lot of young filmmakers, the 31-year-old Reygadas takes his ideas about the world and our place in it as seriously as his filmmaking ambitions.

April 24, 2003 Full Review Source: Los Angeles Times
Los Angeles Times
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Reygadas grapples with the most elemental of issues ... and the result is sly, touching and more than a little loony.

April 24, 2003 Full Review Source: L.A. Weekly
L.A. Weekly
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It is the work of a remarkable new talent.

April 17, 2003 Full Review Source: Chicago Tribune
Chicago Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Reygadas has an impressive eye for otherworldly landscapes and an impressive ear, too.

March 23, 2003 Full Review Source: New York Magazine/Vulture
New York Magazine/Vulture
Top Critic IconTop Critic

obese in length and overflowing in pretension like so many prototypical art films

July 2, 2006 Full Review Source:

Nothing shy of enthralling.

April 19, 2006 Full Review Source: Lessons of Darkness
Lessons of Darkness

Its pretensions have the ring of, if not exactly a vanity project, a strictly personal obsession.

September 5, 2003
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

The sacrificed female body is used to resurrect a condemned soul and with her ascension comes the spiritual renewal of (The) Man.

August 1, 2003 Full Review Source:

An obscure and haunting and unpredictable parable.

July 28, 2003 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

All these references, though, form a jambalaya that doesn't go down so easy.

May 29, 2003 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

The one thing that is clear from Japón is that a major new visual stylist has hit the screen and that Reygadas' first film represents the beginning of an auspicious career.

May 18, 2003 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

It's not a movie to see if you're in a hurry, but its deliberate pace and thoughtful mood are refreshing antidotes to the hyperactive speed of most Hollywood pictures.

March 20, 2003 Full Review Source: Christian Science Monitor
Christian Science Monitor

Strange and beautifully expressive.

March 19, 2003 Full Review Source: TV Guide's Movie Guide
TV Guide's Movie Guide

Should do for Mexican existentialism what Love Liza and Leaving Las Vegas did for good old American gluttony.

March 7, 2003
Planet Sick-Boy

Reygadas has fashioned a slow-burning meditation on life and death, faith and rebirth.

February 11, 2003 Full Review Source:

Audience Reviews for Japón

Japon's visual style is stunning and apt for the mood of the story. The story is strong and well conceived but as a tribute to Tarkovsky, it doesn't quite work. Imagine if Harold and Maude wasn't a comedy, imagine how grim that sounds and times by a hundred. Ok, so 'that scene' aside, there is a lot to relish here, the near suicide scene and the last 10 minutes of the film are absolutely breathtaking and redeem it somewhat, but the reference to it being a film (the scene with the builders/demolishers) was a step in the wrong direction as far as I'm concerned and after watching an interview with Magdalena Flores, I'm starting to wonder if she was actually tricked into the role which doesn't sit well with me either. Still, like Lars Von Trier once said, "a film should be like a stone in your shoe" - and this is a particularly sharp one. I'm being as generous as I feel I can be.
May 1, 2012

Super Reviewer

A terribly boring last journey to death. Frankly, I lacked patience with this film.
May 30, 2013
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Nothingness is the path to victory and in any constant public reactions,this would be the doomsday of most motion pictures.I will admit that Reygadas uses no script whatsoever,but why should i erase his ability to project a serene environment in a hostile manner?
March 2, 2010
Dimitris Springer

Super Reviewer

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Foreign Titles

  • Japón (DE)
  • Japon (UK)
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