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13 Assassins (2011)

tomatometer

96

Average Rating: 8/10
Reviews Counted: 117
Fresh: 112 | Rotten: 5

Takashi Miike's electric remake of Eiichi Kudo's 1963 period action film is a wild spectacle executed with killer, dizzying panache.

92

Average Rating: 8.6/10
Critic Reviews: 25
Fresh: 23 | Rotten: 2

Takashi Miike's electric remake of Eiichi Kudo's 1963 period action film is a wild spectacle executed with killer, dizzying panache.

audience

89

liked it
Average Rating: 4.1/5
User Ratings: 21,252

My Rating

Movie Info

Cult director Takeshi Miike (Ichi the Killer, Audition) delivers a bravado period action film set at the end of Japan's feudal era in which a group of unemployed samurai are enlisted to bring down a sadistic lord and prevent him from ascending to the throne and plunging the country into a wartorn future. --(c) Magnet Pictures

Jul 5, 2011

$0.8M

Magnet Releasing - Official Site External Icon

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All Critics (119) | Top Critics (25) | Fresh (112) | Rotten (5) | DVD (7)

Familiar though it may be, as samurai movies go, 13 Assassins" is a killer.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Detroit News
Detroit News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

This slam-bang remake of a 1963 feature by Eichi Kudo builds slowly, accumulating characters and themes, then explodes into a prolonged and masterful battle sequence inside a deserted town.

June 10, 2011 Full Review Source: Chicago Reader
Chicago Reader
Top Critic IconTop Critic

One can pinpoint the exact moment when 13 Assassins transforms from vivid samurai drama to insane work of genius.

June 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Dallas Morning News | Comment (1)
Dallas Morning News
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Epic. Unforgettable. Relentless. Magnificently entertaining.

June 2, 2011 Full Review Source: Minneapolis Star Tribune
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Does Guinness World Records have an entry for longest on-screen fight? If it doesn't, Takashi Miike's "13 Assassins" just set it. And if a record actually exists, Miike's film just broke it.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: Washington Post
Washington Post
Top Critic IconTop Critic

The dialectic about duty may not translate to a modern Western audience, but the savage sword-fighting is to die for.

May 27, 2011 Full Review Source: St. Louis Post-Dispatch
St. Louis Post-Dispatch
Top Critic IconTop Critic

Culminates in a riveting, ingeniously plotted, and inventively shot 45-minute battle scene.

November 7, 2013 Full Review Source: Film Comment Magazine
Film Comment Magazine

Miike shows us the absurdity of war by showing us the thrill of war.

June 23, 2013 Full Review Source: Deadspin
Deadspin

Entirely too long, but the samurai game of cat and mouse, the strategizing, is fascinating.

January 10, 2013 Full Review Source: McClatchy-Tribune News Service
McClatchy-Tribune News Service

...a big movie that will overwhelm you with its scope, and it's hard to imagine anyone topping it any time soon.

October 4, 2012 Full Review Source: PopMatters
PopMatters

Consegue combinar uma abordagem mais clássica, tradicional, aos toques de violência bizarra típicas da filmografia de Miike.

July 18, 2012 Full Review Source: Cinema em Cena
Cinema em Cena

13 Assassins evokes a classic filmmaking style sharpened by Takashi Miike's modern energy.

January 29, 2012 Full Review Source: IGN DVD
IGN DVD

A much fresher experience than would seem likely for such a well-trod genre.

January 3, 2012 Full Review Source: Antagony & Ecstasy
Antagony & Ecstasy

Miike's sadistic fetishization of violence and suffering is nowhere in evidence.

December 15, 2011 Full Review Source: Goatdog's Movies | Comments (2)
Goatdog's Movies

A wildly entertaining blockbuster that should appeal outside the extreme Asian cinema niche market.

December 7, 2011 Full Review Source: Flicks.co.nz
Flicks.co.nz

I've seen enough of these samurai films to be in a position to say this one could be a considered a classic of the genre.

November 23, 2011 Full Review Source: Laramie Movie Scope
Laramie Movie Scope

Though it might look like a Kurosawa film, Miike brings to it a subversive edge of greater proportions.

November 20, 2011 Full Review Source: Ozus' World Movie Reviews
Ozus' World Movie Reviews

The excessive mind of Japanese director Takashi Miike (Audition; Ichi the Killer) throttles back the gore to deliver a disciplined, refreshingly grounded samurai action film.

September 14, 2011 Full Review Source: The Age (Australia)
The Age (Australia)

Miike plays it by the age-old rules, and the result, while undeniably entertaining, is unexpectedly tame, at least by Miike standards

September 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Cinemania

The once dormant samurai movie is rejuvenated in 13 Assassins, a spirited and violent romp which delves into the honour and savagery of samurai ideology.

September 13, 2011 Full Review Source: Matt's Movie Reviews
Matt's Movie Reviews

13 Assassins looks at honour from many angles, without becoming simplistic. Ichii hasn't lost his edge after all.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: Sydney Morning Herald
Sydney Morning Herald

I was engrossed by this film because it had tactics, strategy and characterisation.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

It doesn't feel like the tour de force it should be.

September 9, 2011 Full Review Source: MovieTime, ABC Radio National
MovieTime, ABC Radio National

The sense of loss, of waste, for a society, a culture, is just heartbreaking. That feeling is something special in a 21st century action picture.

September 8, 2011 Full Review Source: sbs.com.au
sbs.com.au

It pounds with blood-drenched action, but director Takashi Miike also offers up a thoughtful exploration of honour and loyalty.

September 6, 2011 Full Review Source: FILMINK (Australia)
FILMINK (Australia)

There are many deft touches, a sprinkling of humour and a great deal of grunting and shouting as men clash in hand to hand combat. But the supporting premise that this is a good fight to rid the world of an evil man gives the action moral traction

September 3, 2011 Full Review Source: Urban Cinefile
Urban Cinefile

Audience Reviews for 13 Assassins

Even though it starts out slowly, the film only takes two gruesome scenes to establish the bad guy as monster. What follows is a lot of recruiting and planning by the 13 Ronin that decide to take him out. That's not particularly exciting but lays a perfect ground for a finale furioso. Once the showdown kicks into gear there is no rest for 45 minutes. It's also refreshing that there are no stylized fights defying gravity or logic, but realistic, bloody and dirty deaths. When the dust settles, the audience is almost as exhausted as the lone survivor. Then again there is quite another pleasant surprise, even if unrealistic one, in the end. A highlight of the genre.
August 9, 2013
ironclad1609

Super Reviewer

When a brutal sociopath becomes next in line to take power over a then peaceful Japan, a small group of samurai are dispatched to prevent him from reaching his kingdom and taking the throne. Takashi Miike is no stranger to blood and guts and so it was almost inevitable that he would turn his hand to the traditional samurai story at some point in his career, and he does so with a perfect balance between character-driven historical allegory and gritty, blood-soaked violence. Although the template for the story is clearly provided by the Kurosawa classic Seven Samurai, Miike evokes the tone of the likes of The Wild Bunch or Once Upon A Time In The West in portraying a group of men of action who no longer have a place in the world and grasp their last chance for glory or death. It concerns itself with the usual trappings of the samurai movie, namely fulfilling duty and honour in the face of overwhelming odds, but also examines the merit of such obedience. The duel between Shinzaemon and his opposite number Hanbei is the crux of the story, as Hanbei's devotion to such a cruel tyrant is clearly misguided and throws into sharp relief the folly of unquestioning obedience. But the centrepiece of the film is the prologued yet gripping action sequence as the trap is sprung; Miike is obviously in his element and the chaotic blood letting on a massive scale is surely one of the most visceral and exciting sword battles yet captured on film. Certainly one of the best of this genre of recent years.
July 10, 2013
garyX
xGary Xx

Super Reviewer

A ridiculously entertaining and breathtaking action masterpiece. A poetic, bloody, epic, unforgettable and remarkably relentless piece of genius from cult filmmaker, Director, Takashi Miike. A bold, savage and insanely awesome movie with some of the richest, bloody and longest battle sequences in recent film history. It's uniquely character drawn, atmospheric, thrilling, funny and visually captivating stuff. The craftsmanship is damn near perfect, the performances almost flawless and the imagery is tremendous. One of the best Samurai movies ever made.
May 31, 2013
allan913

Super Reviewer

    1. Shinzaemon Shimada: I shall accomplish your task...with magnificence.
    – Submitted by I Am The Vast UNIVERSE I (22 months ago)
    1. Hanbei Kitou (Naritsugu's Head Samurai): Who are you? You're no samurai.
    2. Koyata (13th Assassin from the Forest): So what? Do only samurai matter in this world? I thought samurai would be fun but you bore me. You're useless, even more useless in great numbers.
    3. Lord Naritsugu Matsudaira: [stabs him] This man speaks the truth. His reward is my short sword.
    – Submitted by I Am The Vast UNIVERSE I (22 months ago)
View all quotes (2)

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