The Hidden Fortress (kakushi-toride No San-akunin) - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hidden Fortress (kakushi-toride No San-akunin) Reviews

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March 21, 2017
Akira Kurosawa is among the absolute greats of directing. The Hidden Fortress is a tense, engaging, and funny story full of charismatic and spunky characters.
July 31, 2016
Plenty of comic relief in this one!
½ July 2, 2016
No doubt a significant movie historically, as it is the predecessor to many modern action adventure movies, but far from Kurosawa's best. I feel like in an attempt to make a much lighter hearted movie, too much mystery and spontaneity was removed to make the story more linear and easier for a general audience to appreciate.

Not to say that the story is bad, but when compared to other Kurosawa films, the best parts of Hidden Fortress pale in comparison. The use of peasants as an introduction to a story with a much larger scope is cool, but done better in Seven Samurai. The same goes for it's period detail.

At over two hours it is treading into the run time of some of his epics, which does not feel justified by the much smaller character driven story.

I probably sound like I didn't like the movie, but it's really not a bad movie by any means. This is Kurosawa at a lower point and it still years ahead of the competition.
June 18, 2016
I always forget how goofy Kurosawa's characters can get sometimes, that's why I need to finish up watching the films I have of his oeuvre (incomplete though it may be).
½ April 12, 2016
5 stars for cinematography. Story was lighter than the other Kurosawa films I have seen, both in substance and tone.

It is often mentioned how influential this film was in setting the building blocks for Lucas and Spielberg's blockbusters. As for setting a template for Star Wars, it was the weakest element of Hidden Fortress that carried over to the space fantasy. The two peasants are the banchmark for annoying comic relief characters like c-3P0 and R2D2, but I was thinking they were also much like Jar Jar Binks, sans Jamaican accent.

There are several scenes in this film that, on their own, could define an entire movie. Criterion's restoration leaves nothing to be desired.
April 6, 2016
This alluring epic from Akira Kurosawa is a grandiose adventure characterised by gorgeous sets and lofty explorations of greed and loyalty.
Hidden Fortress is perhaps one of the great auteur's more understated masterpieces, but viewers ought to remember that without it, we wouldn't have Star Wars, and we'd likely have missed out on many a Sergio Leone western along the way. Elegant in its simplicity, the film is peppered with good humour and unforgettable exchanges - more than a handful of which have have left indelible marks on modern cinema as we know it.
The film is undoubtedly overlong, with a tendency to sway softly between its moments of greatness, but this only renders each all the more rewarding, reflective and resonant. So sit back, and let poetry unfold before your very eyes.
March 25, 2016
Packed with action and wildly diverse characters, Akira Kurosawa's runaway epic is a fun (if occasionally overacted) winner!
February 5, 2016
Akiro Kurosawa's masterpiece and the template adopted by George Lucas for Star Wars. As a matter of fact C3PO and R2D2 are the two protagonists here. Even Princess Leia is directly influenced by the princess in this film. I highly recommend this movie to those who do not have a problem watching foreign films.
Super Reviewer
February 5, 2016
I streamed this on Hulu because I've heard George Lucas admit to basing R2D2 and C3PO on the two scheming, bickering, greedy peasants (Minoru Chiaki and Kamatari Fujiwara) in this, yet another of Kurosawa's great samurai pictures. There is a headstrong Princess (Misa Uehara) and a loyal General (Toshirô Mifune) sworn to protect her through enemy feudal territory. That is really the extent of plot or character similarities with Star Wars. I'm glad I saw this essential classic before the new The Force Awakens. Timed to that new release I was also greatly interested in articles about how Lucas wanted to cast Mifune as Obi Wan Kenobi or, if the actor preferred anonymity, as Darth Vader. Both roles were turned down because science fiction was thought of as a cheap genre. Of course the name Obi Wan, the martial arts, and the spiritual nature of the Force are all still highly influenced by Japanese Samurai culture. I can only imagine that the first Star Wars film would have been AWESOME with Mifune in either of those roles. Kurosawa produced, directed, contributed to the script, and edited his own films. The gorgeous black and white photography fits this Medieval samurai adventure like a katana sword fits its sheath. The two peasants aren't played by big celebrity actors, they're character actors who often played minor parts in Kurosawa's movies, yet this time it is the minor characters that carry us through the plot. The one, especially, irritatingly whines and moans at every hardship. These are not heroic characters except for their virtues of persistence (but that's to get a gold pay-out), and at the critical moment surprising even themselves by not turning in the princess for the reward (but that's mostly self preservation). The stoic and heroic General toys with the peasants and is often surprised by the strength his young charge shows. The ragtag group against hundreds behind enemy lines plot is thrilling as the conclusion is reached.
January 18, 2016
Una de las tantas obras maestras que realizo Kurosawa, aprovechando con placer e intención las prestaciones del tohoscope, con el paisaje, esos formidables exteriores del monte Fujimori en los que transcurre la acción, desiertos o bosques que siempre nos deparan información de primer orden de los personajes que enmarcan, sus movimientos, su fuerza, su debilidad. Y hablar de lo telúrico, en Kurosawa, supone hablar de lo climatológico, la temperatura dramática en la que se traduce el azote, o la caricia, de los elementos naturales. Al respecto, por su magnífica definición visual, cabe detenerse en esas secuencias que narran el modo en que se va estrechando el cerco contra los protagonistas además de ese tono humorístico y patético que acompaña a los mendigos durante la aventura.
January 13, 2016
a good as any classic Kurosawa's masterpieces go. Hidden Fortress follows a ambitious narration which the story is unfolded by two seemingly irreverent and unlikable characters. As the story progresses, we get to see the bigger picture of the film which is about a revolution of an ethical kingdom. The film eventually inspires Lucas to make the first Star War, and Hidden Fortress sure is a more stylish approach of such theme.
Super Reviewer
½ November 30, 2015
It's entertaining from start to finish but what pushes the film into the level of greatness is that the film's two central characters are greedy cowards who Kurosawa somehow manages to get the audience to completely empathize with.
October 28, 2015
A pair of cowardly, blubbering peasants find themselves transporting a couple of strangers back to their land, whom they don't know are a princess and her general.
Super Reviewer
October 9, 2015
Well made, but failed to engage me.
August 22, 2015
Definitely one of the funniest of Kurosawa with lighthearted dynamic between Tahei, Matashichi, and Rokurouta. Boasting intense horse mounted duels and magnificent, textural rocky landscapes, The Hidden Fortress is a definitively essential watch for Kurosawa fans and historical film enthusiasts alike.
May 31, 2015
This is a great film from Akira Kurosawa and one of the primary influences on George Lucas for "Star Wars". I first saw it a long time ago and didn't remember it well, so watching the new 2k digital restoration was an amazing experience. This was Kurosawa's first widescreen film and he makes the most of it. The story is highly entertaining and the cinematography outstanding, the movie is definitely the work of a Master on his game. I also loved all the performances including the great Toshiro Mifune. This is a MUST watch for all movie lovers!
May 8, 2015
defenetly not the best work of Kurosawa but one of his most fun. this movie has one of the best duel scenes i have seen . interesting fun adeventure movie with unique storytelling that later was used by George Lucas in Star Wars .
if you want to get into Kurosawa movies this is a very good movie to start .
April 14, 2015
Comical and entertaining samurai drama.
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