Tokyo Sonata (Tokyo Sonata) Reviews

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Elliott Noble
Sky Movies
January 30, 2009
Intended as a satirical commentary on Japanese society, Tokyo Sonata frustrates mainly because its sharper insights are lost in the hotchpotch of ponderous drama and head-scratching farce.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Jules Brenner
Cinema Signals
February 28, 2009
The story falls apart sooner than the family does.
Full Review | Original Score: 1.5/5
David Kaplan
Kaplan vs. Kaplan
April 14, 2009
You can't always trust the promotional accolades that accompany some film releases.
Lewis Beale
Film Journal International
March 13, 2009
The effect of unemployment on a middle-class Japanese family makes for powerful storytelling until an awkward shift in tone about two-thirds of the way in.
Philip Kemp
Total Film
January 30, 2009
The multiple plotting threatens to pull it apart.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/5
Genevieve Yue
Film Comment Magazine
October 20, 2014
[H]ere, perhaps more urgently than ever before, it's about what happens when people confront the world outside, and what new, fragile connections they might begin to forge.
Philip Martin
Arkansas Democrat-Gazette
May 8, 2010
A horror film of a different sort from director Kiyoshi Kurosawa, who made his reputation as a "J-horror" director of intelligent supernatural thrillers ...
Full Review | Original Score: 88/100
Top Critic
Roger Ebert
Chicago Sun-Times
April 9, 2009
We believe we know where Tokyo Sonata is going. We are wrong.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
Top Critic
Michael Phillips
Chicago Tribune
April 9, 2009
Each performance in this plaintive work is superb, but Kyoko Koizumi's gently melancholy portrait of the businessman's wife keeps Tokyo Sonata true and affecting.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
John P. McCarthy
Boxoffice Magazine
March 16, 2009
Tokyo Sonata probes Japanese society with an incisiveness and lucidity that renders it all the more relevant and universal.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Donald Munro
Fresno Bee
June 19, 2009
The film in many ways is the bleakest indictment of contemporary Japanese culture I've seen. Yet it also functions as dark comedy, fierce character study and uplifting tale of redemption.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Fr. Chris Carpenter
Movie Dearest
March 17, 2009
Worth seeing and hearing.
Full Review | Original Score: B
Kelly Vance
East Bay Express
August 16, 2011
There's a lesson in Tokyo Story. The lesson has to do with kindness and human interaction.
Fernando F. Croce
Slant Magazine
September 10, 2008
The extraordinary thing is the way Kurosawa systematically dismantles the fabrics of the nuclear family.
James Rocchi
Cinematical
March 16, 2009
Kiyoshi Kurosawa's Tokyo Sonata, is an unexpected pleasure -- not only because it's a departure from the J-horror films that made his name, but because it's also a startlingly rich, funny and strong drama, without a hint of the supernatural or unearthly.
Avi Offer
NYC Movie Guru
March 13, 2009
An often captivating and engrossing drama with a sensitive, intelligent and tender screenplay.
Full Review | Original Score: 8.75/10
Chris Hewitt (St. Paul)
St. Paul Pioneer Press
May 15, 2009
While the first half of Tokyo Sonata plays like a darkish comedy, the last half is both bleaker and more emotionally engaging.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Anton Bitel
Film4
January 15, 2009
It may be a departure from his recent forays into J-horror, but in this family drama and allegory of contemporary Japanese anxieties, Kiyoshi Kurosawa is still rocking a haunted house.
Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
October 13, 2008
Another of Kiyoshi Kurosawa's chilling portraits of micro and macro alienation, a family drama as chillingly controlled and despondent as the horror films that gained him international recognition.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/4
Sarah Boslaugh
Playback:stl
July 10, 2009
Kurosawa's relaxed pacing and lack of concern for explaining every last thing will be a welcome relief if you've wearied of blockbusters...
Full Review | Original Score: 8/10
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