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The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei) (2004)

The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)


Average Rating: 8.2/10
Reviews Counted: 68
Fresh: 67 | Rotten: 1

Critics Consensus: Samurai epic as a touching drama.

Average Rating: 7.9/10
Critic Reviews: 26
Fresh: 26 | Rotten: 0

Critics Consensus: Samurai epic as a touching drama.


Average Rating: 4.2/5
User Ratings: 10,360


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 … More

Drama , Action & Adventure , Art House & International
Directed By:
Written By:
Yoji Yamada , Yoshitaka Asama
In Theaters:
Dec 28, 2004
Empire Pictures - Official Site


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Critic Reviews for The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

All Critics (76) | Top Critics (29) | 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.

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
Miami Herald
Top Critic

Beautifully captures the end of an age.

Full Review… | September 17, 2004
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

A small, respectful corrective.

Full Review… | July 23, 2004
Seattle Times
Top Critic

An affecting look at the vulnerable side of a warrior

July 2, 2004
Fort Worth Star-Telegram/
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | July 1, 2004
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic

About the last days of an era, whittled to a poetic vision of a worthy, solitary man.

Full Review… | June 17, 2004
Atlanta Journal-Constitution
Top 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.

Full Review… | June 14, 2008
Eye for Film

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

Full Review… | May 28, 2007
Film Freak Central

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

Full Review… | January 13, 2007

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

Full Review… | June 20, 2005

A masterpiece about a reluctant warrior

Full Review… | June 10, 2005

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

Full Review… | February 17, 2005
Decent Films Guide

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

Full Review… | October 19, 2004

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

Full Review… | October 1, 2004
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.

Full Review… | October 1, 2004
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.

Full Review… | September 24, 2004
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.

Full Review… | September 16, 2004
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.

Full Review… | August 27, 2004

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.

Full Review… | August 8, 2004
Austin Chronicle

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

Full Review… | July 30, 2004
Kansas City Star

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

Full Review… | July 23, 2004
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.

Full Review… | July 22, 2004
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.

Bob Stinson

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.

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.

Jan Marc Macababayao
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.

El Hombre Invisible

Super Reviewer

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