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The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei) (2002)

tomatometer

100

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 25 | Rotten: 0

Samurai epic as a touching drama.

audience

94

liked it
Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 10,281

My Rating

Movie Info

Veteran filmmaker Yoji Yamada -- who is perhaps most famous for cranking out most of the 48 films of the Tora-san series -- directs this good-natured drama set in the waning years of the Edo period (1600-1867). Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada) is a low-level samurai struggling to get by on stipend of 50 rice bales a year while working as a clerk at the clan office. While his co-workers spend their evenings sucking down sake at the local pub, Seibei, whose wife has passed away, heads straight home to

Dec 28, 2004

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All Critics (76) | Top Critics (28) | Fresh (67) | Rotten (1) | DVD (12)

The story sometimes slips into soapy territory, but when you think the schmaltz is going to ruin it, Yamada gives it just enough of a twist to make you realize this is not your regular romantic film.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Miami Herald
Miami Herald
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Beautifully captures the end of an age.

September 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Sentinel
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic IconTop Critic

A small, respectful corrective.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Times
Seattle Times
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As Iguchi, Mr. Sanada epitomizes the kind of man who can still dream and be true to himself amid the daily grind and turmoil. That's a welcome role model in any age.

July 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News
Dallas Morning News
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About the last days of an era, whittled to a poetic vision of a worthy, solitary man.

June 17, 2004 Full Review Source: Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This is an old man's movie in all the good ways: gentle, humanistic, rich with observation, quietly aware of all that can't be solved by the sword.

June 4, 2004 Full Review Source: Boston Globe
Boston Globe
Top Critic IconTop Critic

There is violence -- the gritty, bloody kind, not the balletic jumping off walls variety -- but it is kept firmly in its place and never allowed to take over.

June 14, 2008 Full Review Source: Eye for Film
Eye for Film

A story of a father who finds fulfillment in being a father.

May 28, 2007 Full Review Source: Film Freak Central
Film Freak Central

Yamada has a master's touch, creating a foggy rural world of hills, rivers, and trees in springtime

January 13, 2007 Full Review Source: Filmcritic.com
Filmcritic.com

gives us a humble family man protagonist who goes against the grain of the stereotypical Samurai archetype

June 20, 2005 Full Review Source: eFilmCritic.com
eFilmCritic.com

A masterpiece about a reluctant warrior

June 10, 2005 Full Review Source: rec.arts.movies.reviews
rec.arts.movies.reviews

Deeply humane... a bittersweet, eloquent tribute to a man who is bent but not crushed beneath the weight of his various competing duties.

February 17, 2005 Full Review Source: Decent Films Guide
Decent Films Guide

Twilight Samurai is to Japanese samurai flicks what Clint Eastwood's Unforgiven was to American Westerns.

October 19, 2004 Full Review Source: EricDSnider.com
EricDSnider.com

The film does have some very memorable moments. And Sanada's convincing performance as the world-weary former man of action certainly helps.

October 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Deseret News, Salt Lake City
Deseret News, Salt Lake City

Director Yoji Yamada tenderly portrays Iguchi as an anomaly among the ambitious samurai - a quiet man who would rather farm than fight.

October 1, 2004 Full Review Source: Salt Lake Tribune
Salt Lake Tribune

With Samurai, faced at 71 with what may have been the most challenging project of his career, [Yamada] blossomed like a gnarled cherry tree exploding in flowers on the last day of spring.

September 24, 2004 Full Review Source: Charlotte Observer
Charlotte Observer

Yoji Yamada's film has enough nice-guy self-sacrifice and shows of feminine pluck to fuel a Lifetime miniseries. Not that that's a bad thing, given the quiet power that emanates from Sanada's and Miyazawa's dignified performances.

September 16, 2004 Full Review Source: Orlando Weekly
Orlando Weekly

Intent on presenting a realistic depiction of mundane life in the 19th century and demystifying a central cultural icon, director Yoji Yamada has crafted a stunningly acted saga that explores the true nature of honor.

August 27, 2004 Full Review Source: Oregonian
Oregonian

It is awash in the precision and beauty of the mundane and the everyday.

August 27, 2004
Milwaukee Journal Sentinel

A determined, resolutely paced, and atypical samurai movie.

August 8, 2004 Full Review Source: Austin Chronicle
Austin Chronicle

Achingly beautiful and deeply moving, The Twilight Samurai turns a familiar genre inside out and finds it full of dramatic gold.

July 30, 2004 Full Review Source: Kansas City Star
Kansas City Star

This could be the first ninja movie that will make you cry.

July 23, 2004 Full Review Source: Arizona Daily Star
Arizona Daily Star

... both confronts the contradictions of the Bushido code in the mercenary world of political expediency and celebrates it in its purest form.

July 22, 2004 Full Review Source: Seattle Post-Intelligencer
Seattle Post-Intelligencer

Audience Reviews for The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

Touching, low-key melodrama on the personal side of a japanese warrior / salaryman.

Bonus points for cool alternate language titles: Le Samouraï du Crépuscule and Samurai in der Dämmerung.
June 21, 2007
brooklynspo

Super Reviewer

Awesome Japanese 'Jane Austen' samurai drama flick. The direction of the film is beautifully impressionist. Yôji Yamada crafts pictures of everyday life which gives us an inherent understanding of the life of Seibei Iguchi (Hiroyuki Sanada), a low-ranking widowed samurai with a senile mother and two daughters, working in the castle's stores and taking in piecework to get by.
Sanada is really a marvel to watch; he adds a very sensible depth and modesty to the character, and infuses it with some understated comic acting as well.
As his returning childhood friend, Rie Miyazawa has a beautiful, spirited feminity that makes Sanada seem even more of a macho hunk in contrast.
October 5, 2011
deano
Dean McKenna

Super Reviewer

The Twilight Samurai tells of gentle tale of the sacrifices of a determined father and brave warrior who is burdened, but refuses to succumb to the weight of his responsibilities to his family and clan. Impressive perspective on Japanese history and tradition. Skillful performances and cinematography. Precise emotions. Profound insights. Stunning.
September 9, 2011
Jan Marc Macababayao

Super Reviewer

A rather quiet film, The Twilight Samurai is a gentle, insightful, beautiful piece about a widower who works as a dull accountant for a war lord. And, oh yes, he happens to be a hell of a good swordsman when necessary. He reluctantly fights and only seeks to do exactly enough to halt the attacks.


All that might seem to be code words for dull, but Twilight Samurai is a fascinating, unique and thought provoking glimpse into the life of a low-ranking Samurai. Highly recommended for any fan of samurai films.
April 23, 2009
DrBenway
El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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