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Yojimbo Reviews

Page 1 of 113
TheDudeLebowski65
TheDudeLebowski65

Super Reviewer

May 14, 2014
Akira Kurosawa helms this phenomenal action drama that elevates the genre of Samurai films even further. His style is unique, one that evokes a strong sense of grand storytelling, which was the case with Seven Samurai. Yojimbo is a great film, one that boasts an impressive cast of actors, a good script, and well paced, thought out scenes that make this film standout. I much preferred Seven Samurai to this film, nonetheless, it's a good film, one that should be seen by fans of the director, and if you enjoy these films, then you ought to check this one out. The film is very well acted and directed, as well as it helped influence many films that would try to duplicate it, but never quite match it. This is a well crafted picture, one that ranks among the finest genre films ever made, and the way it's shot, with its simple story and its acting really ring through. This is a phenomenal film, and definitely one of Akira Kurosawa's best films. The film works well on many levels, and if you enjoy a well constructed story, with plenty of action, thrills and memorable scenes, Yojimbo is such a picture worth seeing. This is a genre classic, one that ranks among the finest samurai films ever made, and it's an expertly crafted picture that has a unique directorial touch that Akira Kurosawa could provide. His filmmaking is wonderful, and gets most out of the scenes because of the cinematography, which is always one of the highpoint of his pictures. Add to that a great sense of storytelling, and you a film that is both grand and memorable, as well as furthering the art of terrific Samurai movies to the big screen. If you've enjoyed Seven Samurai, you're sure to enjoy this powerful piece of cinema, and it's a picture that has a standout legacy, which influenced countless other filmmakers, some of the finest directors to create their own slice of cinematic history. Yojimbo is great for what it is, but it's not as epic in scope as Seven Samurai, which is hard to beat. Nonetheless, Yojimbo is a solid film well worth seeing.
Dan S

Super Reviewer

October 7, 2007
A hugely influential and masterfully constructed samurai tale with Western undertones concerning an impoverished roamer (Toshiro Mifune) who comes to a small Japanese town ruled by two evil gangs who threaten to tear it apart. Instead of taking one side over the other, the drifter elects to in turn attempt to manipulate each group into destroying each other, although this proves not to be a plan without flaws, including a nearly fatal lesson in pride going before the fall. Mifune is absolutely phenomenal, as he effortlessly portrays a character that is committed to accomplishing what the common good is for everyone. The themes of power, pride, redemption, and equality are ones that prove to be utterly arresting thanks to the wonderful direction from legendary filmmaker Akira Kurosawa. Mostly, this is a simple movie that does not try to be anything more than it is, but ultimately, thanks as well to a thrilling finale, this is a masterpiece.
axadntpron
axadntpron

Super Reviewer

July 14, 2011
A superbly shot black comedy that truly showcases the strengths of Kurosawa and his lead Mifune. It is also a scathing indictment on capitalism that Leone's remake "A Fistful of Dollars" doesn't touch on as well. In this town, lawlessness seems to be the only law of the land as rival factions seek to control the local market and human relations have evolved into a series of business exchanges.
Also, in this world, Mifune's character Sanjuro is a ronin who lacks a real reason for taking part in battle. Rather, Sanjuro at first seems to exploit each faction for his own gain and pits them against each other out of boredom. Later, it seems that Sanjuro becomes a sort of surrogate for Kurosawa who has created world in he has wiped out the greedy merchants and reversed the course of history.
It is an interesting outlook on the world of the early 1960's which is made all the more powerful by Kurosawa's brilliant camera work. There are some exquisite shots that really make use of the wide screen format. He also employs some very tight close ups that must have been very influential on Leone.
All in all, another example of why Kurosawa was indeed way ahead of his time.
blkbomb
blkbomb

Super Reviewer

June 8, 2011
"Kill one or a hundred. You only hang once." Yojimbo is a really cool movie directed by Akira Kurosawa. It went on to inspire Leones A Fistful of Dollars and Last Man Standing with Bruce Willis. The story from Yojimbo will probably be used again. It's a simple, but very cool story that can be told in many different settings. The story is about a lone samurai who comes into a village that is in a battle. He decides to stay despite warnings from a restaurant owner. Yojimbo is a very good movie and I can understand people's love for the movie. The film is a complete classic. Toshiro Mifune is a great actor and does an incredible job as Sanjuro.
Anthony L

Super Reviewer

March 28, 2011
Even if you haven't seen it, you know the story by now. Kurosawa's influence and love of Westerns is obvious but this love letter to the cowboy film is something else. Funny how in turn it was ripped off and made into a Western but that's what is so great about cinema. Toshiro Mifune is brilliant as Sunjuro, just watch this film to see why he and Kurosawa are regarded as two of the best in the history of cinema. The word masterpiece is overused but here it is only for lack of a better word.
Keiko A. --Samurai--
Keiko A. --Samurai--

Super Reviewer

January 24, 2011
Great and Worst Project's (Westerns)


Directed by Akira Kurosawa Toshirō Mifune, Tatsuya Nakadai, Yko Tsukasa and Isuzu Yamada.


To me Yojimbo is the greatest western ever made and hands down it is better than The good the bad and the ugly. I think of Akira Kurosawa as the greatest filmmaker in cinema history and easy that hands down, I don't think I have seen a better director with such style and influence over the films he makes and the films of course to come such as A fistful of the dollars. But that movie really just copied the story of this but more of an Italian style to it. In my opinion this is better than Seven Samurai but Ran is still my all-time favourite by Akira nothing but Style.

Sanjuro, a wandering samurai enters a rural town in nineteenth century Japan. After learning from the innkeeper that the town is divided between two gangsters, he plays one side off against the other. His efforts are complicated by the arrival of the wily Unosuke, the son of one of the gangsters, who owns a revolver. Unosuke has Sanjuro beaten after he reunites an abducted woman with her husband and son, then massacres his father's opponents. During the slaughter, the samurai escapes with the help of the innkeeper; but while recuperating at a nearby temple, he learns of innkeeper's abduction by Unosuke, and returns to the town to confront him.

I think the story well...is very influential even though it was based on American westerns but the type of westerns we had were called Jidaigeki cinema. Seven Samurai kick stated it with the whole American thing or idea. The story really captures the whole western feel to it as well. And of course it's the whole Man with no name thing which would inspire the dollars trilogy and even the films.

Again we have western type towns in the countryside that look amazing and again we copied the American thing you can see the building and people designs were done because of it. Although 1 gun and the rest are just swords. I really liked the whole concept of it really.

We really see some amazing direction by Akira with a whole range of Close-ups and pull backs so we can see this creative design of his. And we see the man with no name pull into town and we see everything around him. So the acting is truly flawless I liked it from our lead Toshir Mifune who is just incredible. And same really goes for everyone else in this epic cast.

The music is very good as well same with sets and weaponry and really just everything okay. So by the end this truly is my favourite western of all time. Simple no flaw.

Keiko's score 100%
FilmFanatik
FilmFanatik

Super Reviewer

January 13, 2011
As good as this film is I had the most difficult time getting through all of it in one sitting. I think the reason mainly is that the film only follows one character against other characters, and in the Kurosawa films I love there is usually an ensemble of characters. I'm also not particularly fond of the score in places (although there are spots where it's fantastic). So I can't say that this is my favorite film of Kurosawa's, but definitely not a bad one. The man never made a poor film, and he made only 30.
nelsonpickens
nelsonpickens

Super Reviewer

June 30, 2010
Yojimbo is one of the greatest and most stylish films ever made.Yojimbo has all of Kurosawa's qualities and none of the flaws. The music score is an essential element of the plot, almost a character itself.One of the unique things about Yojimbo is the central character. He is an anti-hero. We see him initially as a killer and a man greedy for money. But then, he saves a family by re-uniting mother and child and giving them all the money he was advanced. Clint Eastwood could only aspire to equal such a performance or be as cool as Toshiro Mifune.One of the greatest movies by one of the greatest directors of all-time.
flixsterman
flixsterman

Super Reviewer

January 7, 2009
A lone samurai wanders into a small town and into a feud between two rival gangs. With no allegiance to either side he decides to play one against the other for fun and profit.

Yojimbo is a Kurosawa classic that has inspired several films in other genres, including westerns and gangster films. A must see for serious film fans.
Aaron N

Super Reviewer

June 24, 2006
Sanjuro: You're all tough, then?
Gambler: What? Kill me if you can!
Sanjuro: It'll hurt.

Akira Kurosawa puts his favorite actor, Toshiro Mifune, into complete badass mode, as a wandering samurai playing a town with rival gangs against each other.

Sanjuro: Cooper. Two coffins... No, maybe three.

Based on the crime novel Red Harvest, which has been made into a film several times, including Leone's remake (basically) of this film, A Fistful of Dollars, and the Bruce Willis starer Last Man Standing; this is a pretty simple story that really only requires someone very cool to play two sides against each other, while using his own skill when need be. This film accomplishes that and its a lot of fun.

True to Kurosawa form, the film is very good looking, with a number of great sequences and cool shots. Mifune is particularly good, playing a character different from some of the others he's portrayed in the past.

Very good all around.

Sanjuro: I'll get paid for killing, and this town is full of people who deserve to die.
Carlos M

Super Reviewer

February 18, 2010
Kurosawa's classical film that inspired Sergio Leone and Quentin Tarantino, changing cinema with his use of dark humor in this very entertaining, delightful samurai story that features one great performance by Toshiro Mifune.
sanjurosamurai
sanjurosamurai

Super Reviewer

January 3, 2007
after yet another viewing im reminded of why this is one of my favorite films of all time. my favorite actor playing his best role, it is fascinating to watch this ronin samurai play such a distant character who at the same time is perfectly calculated in every step he makes. this film is often imitated and never equaled, especially the exceptional scene at the end where sanjuro is standing at the edge of the street just moments away from his stand against his enemies. the music, weather, and cinematography were used perfectly and the entire film from start to finish could not have been carried out any better. this film improves with each viewing.
Mr Awesome
Mr Awesome

Super Reviewer

May 1, 2009
Few films have been as revolutionary as Yojimbo and few filmmakers have been as imitated as Kurosawa. Hollywood re-made The Seven Samurai with the Magnificient Seven, and Sergio Leone re-made Yojimbo with A Fistfull of Dollars (to the point where Kurosawa actually sued him and won, receiving 15% of that film's worldwide gross). It's easy to see why a director making a western would be so inspired by this movie, it feels like a cowboy picture every step of the way (and obviously Kurosawa was inpired by america's westerns). Toshiro Mifune plays a wandering samurai who arrives in a little 1860s town torn apart by the conflict of two rival gangs. The ineffectual "officer" (sheriff) tries to get the samurai to join one of the gangs so he might get a finder's commission, but the gangs aren't interested until he displays his prowess with the sword. The only person seemingly not corrupt is the little old man who runs the tavern, and he just seems angry with the samurai for insinuating himself into the fray. The samurai concocts a scheme to rid the town of both gangs single-handedly, by working for both sides and playing them off one another. He manages to fool them all pretty easily until one of the boss' youngest son comes back to town. He's more clever and ruthless than any of the other villain, and also has something no one else in town has, a revolver. One of the things I loved about this film is the way the characters personalities were reflected in their appearances (pig-faced men behaving like animals, for example). The defenseless victims of the corrupt gangs are hunched-over and elderly, and in a town that seems to be wholly inhabited by the gangs there seems to be only two other inhabitants: the old tavern owner and the undertaker. The concepts in this movie aren't subtle and can be appreciated almost soley by the visuals. It's an evolutionary step in the action genre, one that could only have been done by a master director.
Cassandra M

Super Reviewer

January 9, 2009
If you ever watched Pulp Fiction and thought: movie cool was born here, or maybe you saw any single Sergio Leone movie and thought: this guy invented movie-cool (if you haven't, i thoroughly recommend it - Kill Bill is nothing to his Good, the Bad and the Ugly or Once Upon a Time in the West), then experience Yojimbo, or The Bodyguard. Kurosawa's camera sits behind Toshiro Mifune's man-with-no-name, inviting us to look up at the back of his head as he walks the earth, inviting us to be in awe of this man. And as he walks, super-cool walking-the-earth music plays. Later on, when he's taunted and asked to prove himself, he slices a guy's arm off and plays the petty, money-grabbing rival factions in the town he wanders into off each other.

If you have it in your mind that a guy called Kurosawa couldn't make movies that would impress you, that the cultural gap would be too great - be assured that Kurosawa's movies are rife with Western values. Sure, they are rife with Japanese values (i am told), but Kurosawa had a great appreciation of Western culture. He based many of his movies on Western texts, like Shakespeare, Dostoyevsky, or American gangster fiction and film. Yojimbo is one of the latter - inspired by the Dashiell Hammet novel Red Harvest (Hammett's novel The Maltese Falcon was put onscreen moment for moment by John Huston in the movie of the same name which immortalised Humphrey Bogart).

Actually, the history of the story of the lone wolf, the wanderer with a weapon, who rides into town to play off two warring factions against each other - is quite a story itself. Dashiell Hammett, an American, wrote a novel with an American private eye as the stranger. In 1961, Akira Kurosawa transposed this story to medieval Japan, after the fall of a dynasty, where a Samurai finds himself with no place to go (at the beginning, we see him throw a branch up in the air and walk the direction it falls), and no master to serve. A bodyguard with no-one to protect. In 1964, Sergio Leone transposed the screenplay of Yojimbo (nearly word for word) to the spanish desert, and he brought along a young television actor named Clint Eastwood, and together they revolutionised the western with Fistfull of Dollars, and created an entire genre, the Spaghetti Western, which sported among its attributes a gritty, desolate landscape, and a cynical, postmodern lack-of-values ideology (traditional American westerns had quite plush landscapes and were always black and white (good and evil) in their value system. Despite the massive influence of Fistfull of Dollars, it pales in comparison to both its predecessor Yojimbo, and its sequals, For a Few Dollars More and The Good the Bad and the Ugly. But still, both Yojimbo and Fistful are iconic movies, and very cool movies.

With good music, a great anti-hero, a fun script, and a visually spectacular canvas of an image, painted by the eye of an artist (it is said that Kurosawa storyboarded his movies in full-scale paintings), Yojimbo is one of the amusing movies ever made.
rubystevens
rubystevens

Super Reviewer

March 23, 2008
yes it's better than a fistful of dollars :D i just wish i'd seen it first! love the soundtrack too. kurosawa successfully sued leone for 15% of the worldwide gross and made more from the lawsuit than he did on this film apparently
cosmo313
cosmo313

Super Reviewer

June 19, 2006
Stellar performances, thrilling music, strong direction, and good swordplay are just a few of the many highlights of this highly entertaining, influential, and classic samurai film.
DragonEyeMorrison
DragonEyeMorrison

Super Reviewer

January 31, 2007
Mifune defines the lone wolf anti-hero in this undisputed classic from the master Kurosawa. Ran and Seven Samurais might be the deep and complex flicks, but every time i want some good fun i come back to this one.
Saskia D

Super Reviewer

July 31, 2007
One of the best Kurosawa movies. Mifune is his brilliant grumpy self :) haha
garyX
garyX

Super Reviewer

October 20, 2006
Toshiro Mifune plays a wandering samurai who chances upon a small town in which two rival gangs are squabbling for control and decides to manipulate them into killing each other off. Possibly the greatest director in cinema collaborating once more with one of the greatest actors on a script filled with nuance and timeless photography. Mifune's performance is filled with subtlety and charisma as his initial disdain of these big fish in a small pond turns to brutal retribution after his suffering a vicious beating at their hands when he makes the mistake of becoming personally involved. Kurosawa's sense of period and atmosphere is second to none, and his trademark use of composition is breathtaking. Often copied, never bettered.
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