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Lost In Translation (2003)



Average Rating: 8.4/10
Reviews Counted: 222
Fresh: 211 | Rotten: 11

Effectively balancing humor and subtle pathos, Sofia Coppola crafts a moving, melancholy story that serves as a showcase for both Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.


Average Rating: 8.4/10
Critic Reviews: 44
Fresh: 43 | Rotten: 1

Effectively balancing humor and subtle pathos, Sofia Coppola crafts a moving, melancholy story that serves as a showcase for both Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.



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Average Rating: 3.6/5
User Ratings: 331,374

My Rating

Movie Info

After making a striking directorial debut with her screen adaptation of The Virgin Suicides, Sofia Coppola offers a story of love and friendship blooming under unlikely circumstances in this comedy drama. Bob Harris (Bill Murray) is a well-known American actor whose career has gone into a tailspin; needing work, he takes a very large fee to appear in a commercial for Japanese whiskey to be shot in Tokyo. Feeling no small degree of culture shock in Japan, Bob spends most of his non-working hours


Drama, Comedy

Sofia Coppola

Feb 3, 2004


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All Critics (222) | Top Critics (44) | Fresh (211) | Rotten (11) | DVD (41)

Lost in Translation revels in contradictions. It's a comedy about melancholy, a romance without consummation, a travelogue that rarely hits the road.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: TIME Magazine
TIME Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Very much a mood piece, the film's deft balance of humor and poignancy makes it both a pleasurable and melancholy experience.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Variety
Top Critic IconTop Critic

With this film it becomes clear that Sofia Coppola is a filmmaker with eyes all her own.

November 1, 2007 Full Review Source: Newsweek
Top Critic IconTop Critic

So far as the central relationship goes, the film is almost European in its subtlety and nuance. Cinematic cherry blossom.

June 24, 2006 Full Review Source: Time Out
Time Out
Top Critic IconTop Critic

[Murray] can still do more with a raised eyebrow than anyone since Groucho Marx, but he's mellower and sometimes slightly poignant.

March 7, 2005 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

In Japan, the most extreme delicacy goes hand in hand with garishness, and Coppola offers up both for our delectation. It's a heady, hallucinatory combo.

August 7, 2004 Full Review Source: New York Magazine
New York Magazine
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Depicts a very specific mental state too shaded and delicate for most movies to feel comfortable approaching it.

July 29, 2013 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Excellent but mature film about finding a connection.

December 25, 2010 Full Review Source: Common Sense Media
Common Sense Media

A relationship picture with elegant connective tissue; it's brittle and real, focused on the nuances of body language and unspoken desire, while indulging in a cheeky bit of knowing absurdity when the mood strikes.

December 28, 2009 Full Review Source:

...a deceptively simple study in unrequited attraction that succeeds in spite of minor problems with neglected sub-plots.

June 13, 2009 Full Review Source:

An excellent top notch gem with beautiful direction courtesy of Sofia Coppola...

April 29, 2009 Full Review Source: Cinema Crazed
Cinema Crazed

Wonderfully warm and witty.

October 18, 2008 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Transcends its initial culture clash comic riffs to evolve into something altogether more moving by the end. As a result, it's a work of considerable power and pathos.

October 5, 2008 Full Review Source: Film4

Working this time with her own story, Coppola lets it relax and breathe, devoting herself to moods and moments.

August 13, 2007 Full Review Source:

This is another step in Mr. Murray's career and one that hopefully gets him the recognition he deserves.

July 14, 2007 Full Review Source: Big Picture Big Sound | Comment (1)
Big Picture Big Sound

The whole tale is told with a dreamy, jet-lagged feel, that part wonder, part nasueous feeling brought about by significant travel. Jet lag as a metaphor for love, a delicious combination. Simply a must-see film.

June 21, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Scouts
Film Scouts

Alternately laugh-out-loud silly and profoundly moving, kudos to Sofia Coppola for managing to capture an undeniable chemistry between Murray and his 18 year-old co-star, despite a certain asexuality.

May 23, 2007 Full Review Source: Princeton Town Topics
Princeton Town Topics

Sofia Coppola's accomplished sophomore work is a personal, melancholy film, based on her own experience, and benefiting from strong chemistry between Bill Murray and Scarlett Johansson.

January 24, 2007 Full Review Source: EmanuelLevy.Com

Perfectly acted. Immeasurably funny. A great second outing for director Sofia Coppola.

August 8, 2006 Full Review Source: Cinema Sight
Cinema Sight

From the casting choices to the soul-soothing musical score to glimpses into Japanese visual culture, it's obvious that Sofia pays careful attention that each element of the film stands strong alone, but can also contribute to the whole.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Like so many things made in Japan, Sofia Coppola's new film is smaller and less costly than its standard American counterpart while at the same time superior in most important respects.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

A magnificent picture because it specifically goes out of its way to avoid the clichés and elements would usually expect to see when watching this kind of boy meets girl movie.

December 6, 2005 Full Review Source: Film Threat
Film Threat

Audience Reviews for Lost In Translation

Like all of Sofia Coppola's films, Lost in Translation is beautiful, intimate, and mesmerizing. Visually stunning--with a brilliant use of music--and exceptionally written and acted, the film is a reflection on life, freedom, and the lessons we learn from one another and from finding our place in the world. Bravo!
June 29, 2013
Matthew Samuel Mirliani

Super Reviewer

Had to rewatch this as I've now been to Japan and seen it for myself. It makes the film much more believable and touches me in a different way now, a whole new experience as I can relate to the story and the surroundings.

The thing that struck me is how accurate the film is, I know exactly how the main characters feel (mainly Johansson) in and amongst the huge sprawling, towering, crowded metropolis that is Tokyo. The strange feeling of being alone around hundreds and not being able to communicate, not really being noticed, it is a perfect visual picture of feeling isolated or living in a strange solitary state.

Coppola captures the small niches of the country and its people, how they live, eat and relax etc...its a very different world believe me and you can see this in Coppola's direction and use of locations. Of course the performances by Murray and Johansson are brilliant, just right, understated and subtle. Murray starts off in his familiar dry satire type way but evolves into a much deeper person, finishing on a very emotional finale that does put a lump in your throat. And not forgetting Faris as the superstar airhead, very good (and accurate) portrayal there, loved it.

The atmosphere and visuals of the film are glorious of course, being filmed entirely in Tokyo and a little in Kyoto. It all looks so familiar now, makes me wanna go back. Much of the film was actually filmed live too, in front of hundreds of Japanese people who had no clue they were making a film! again that's impressive believe me. It also shows how different the Japanese are, no one batted an eyelid to the filming, they saw it as normal or uninteresting and no one recognised Bill Murray. Not a clue who he was and they didn't much care either, anywhere else and people would crowd around making a huge scene.

The plot is loose and pretty dull in places I admit, if you have no interest in Japan then you won't like this methinks. I believe a little interest in the country/culture helps here. But essentially its just the two main characters chatting, eating, meeting and going about their daily routines in Tokyo. Over time they fall in love but can't seem to reach out and express this to each other. They both have family/relationship situations which hold them back and make things difficult, its actually quite a realistic little story.

Wandering around Tokyo lost a daze of neon lights and bizarre cultural differences. Murray is good with his little work/business sequences (dotted throughout) which offer some comedy, whilst Johansson does more discovering with a segment in Kyoto. A great couple of scenes with Faris offer more laughs when she promotes a Western action flick her character stars in. And a glorious small dinner sequence with Johansson, Faris and the underrated Giovanni Ribisi which involves much awkward small talk and slobbering as Faris and Ribisi's characters flirt.

Can't not mention the touching, soft, emotional almost spiritual soundtrack throughout. Absolutely gorgeous choices of music which compliment the individual sequences beautifully. As said the ending is a real tear jerker which you don't think will get you but it actually does. The track by 'The Jesus and Mary Chain' is playing as Murray's character leaves Johansson behind, gotta say this choked me up as its a lovely scene and really makes you care for the characters.

A classic underrated love tale that manages to grab you when you think your above it. A surprise hit for me plus a wonderful memory of a beautiful country.
April 7, 2013

Super Reviewer

A beautiful, subtle journey detailing two lonely people's lives and the chance meeting they encounter with one another in Japan. Richly detailed in culture, this is a moving film that shows two Americans mumbling their way through a city they first both hate, but come to love just for the sake of being with each other. Murray shows a different, lighter side that we haven't seen from him before, and Johansson is just as stunning as a distressed woman looking for companionship once her husband proves to be a consistent no-show in her life. This is a very touching film, with a quiet score to complement the two wonderfully restrained performances by Murray and Johannson. The ending is heartbreaking especially, I don't think it will ever leave me. Not everyone's cup of tea to be sure, but definitely a work of art.
March 4, 2013
Dan Schultz

Super Reviewer

You might have had a great day, a beautiful day, a perfect day, one time before, back in your past somewhere, a time out of familiar surroundings and away from friends and family, like in another world, a time spent entirely with a stranger (with whom you know you will never meet again), doing unusual things for the both of you but sharing them together ... and perhaps only have one picture or one thing to remember that day. Well this film recalls the story and feelings behind the picture, the memory of the day, growing more golden with every viewing. It helps if it already happened to you.
October 18, 2012

Super Reviewer

    1. Charlotte: I tried taking pictures, but they were so mediocre. I guess every girl goes through a photography phase. You know, horses... taking pictures of your feet.
    – Submitted by Jillian L (9 months ago)
    1. Bob Harris: The more you know who you are and what you want, the less you let things upset you.
    – Submitted by Lily G (19 months ago)
    1. Bob Harris: [inaudible whisper]
    – Submitted by Taylor A (19 months ago)
    1. Bob Harris: For relaxing times, make it Suntory time.
    – Submitted by Justin S (21 months ago)
    1. Bob Harris: For relaxing times, make it santori time.
    – Submitted by Feli Y (2 years ago)
    1. Kelly: Ok, listen, I'm under Evelyn Waugh, okay? Okay, Arigato Arigato!
    2. John: Muchi Muchi!
    3. Charlotte: Evelyn Waugh?
    4. John: What?
    5. Charlotte: Evelyn Waugh was a man.
    – Submitted by Feli Y (2 years ago)
View all quotes (12)

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