Battle Royale


Battle Royale

Critics Consensus

Battle Royale is a controversial and violent parable of adolescence, heightening teenage melodrama with life-or-death stakes.



Total Count: 46


Audience Score

User Ratings: 86,470
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Movie Info

A long-unavailable underground hit that anticipated The Hunger Games novels by eight years, veteran director Fukasaku's epically violent, still-controversial and deeply influential genre masterpiece takes place in a dystopian alternate universe. In the near future, the economy has collapsed, unemployment has soared and juvenile crime has exploded. Fearful of its nation's youth, the Japanese government passes The BR Law: Each year, a 9th grade class is sent to a remote island where they will be locked into exploding neck collars, given a random weapon, and forced to hunt and kill each other until there is only one survivor left. Battle Royale follows one such class, with an ice-cold performance from Takeski Kitano as the group's teacher. -- (C) Anchor Bay

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Aki Maeda
as Noriko Nakagawa
Ai Iwamura
as Smiling Winner
Tatsuya Fujiwara
as Shuya Nanahara
Taro Yamamoto
as Shougo Kawada
Kou Shibasaki
as Mitsuko Souma
Ai Maeda
as Shiori Kitano
Sousuke Takaoka
as Hiroki Sugimura
Masanobu Ando
as Kiriyama
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News & Interviews for Battle Royale

Critic Reviews for Battle Royale

All Critics (46) | Top Critics (10) | Fresh (40) | Rotten (6)

  • Stylistically it's a beauty, with khaki-uniformed waifs fighting for their lives to a crashing classical score.

    May 25, 2012 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Awful deaths (and hysterical reactions to them) punctuate declarations of love and friendship, revelations of treachery and heavily armed expressions of angst.

    May 24, 2012 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • Forgive the film its small flaws of histrionic performances and cheap execution for the giddy rush of its banal, Verhoevenesque atmosphere...

    May 22, 2012 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It may suit a certain worldview, but Battle Royale's cynicism is still a form fantasy-a balm as well as a bomb.

    May 22, 2012 | Full Review…
  • 3D conversion of a classic teen massacre thriller raises the gore level.

    May 22, 2012 | Full Review…
  • Departing from two decades' worth of domestic and personal dramas and returning to his roots as Japan's maestro of mayhem, Kinji Fukasaku has delivered a brutal punch to the collective solar plexus with one of his most outrageous and timely films.

    May 20, 2008

    Robert Koehler

    Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Battle Royale

  • Jun 05, 2017
    If you've seen The Hunger Games, forget all of it and get yerself strapped in for oneupsmanship on a grand scale. This has got better writing, better acting, better everything on steroids. Just one action film with balls.
    Kevin M. W Super Reviewer
  • Jul 18, 2016
    Here's a Japanese film ripe for an American re-make. Made in 2000, this is a manga-style tale of a society upset with teen violence that the government picks a classroom every year to participate in a three-day Hunger Games type of kill or die survival ritual. The whole thing is meant to be a crass representation of the social mores of young people. There's plenty to dislike about the movie - the over the top acting, achingly annoying dialogue - but, the movie has a campy, cultish charm to it. Would love to see Eli Roth, Fede Alvarez or Ryan Coogler direct an updated version.
    Aldo G Super Reviewer
  • Jun 20, 2016
    It is argued on the internet that this film is where the idea for The Hunger Games came from. After watching it, there are pretty striking similarities, although this movie is much more violent and graphic than The Hunger Games. Every year, Japan sends a 9th grade class into the Battle Royale to kill each other and crown a winner as a way of the adult population to maintain some level of control over the younger generation. It is pretty well acted and the script is a very interesting concept. The sheer brutality of it is probably more real-to-life as what would happen as some would care to admit. Great Japanese film.
    Patrick W Super Reviewer
  • Jun 01, 2016
    In this Hunger-Games-like Japanese film, one class of 42 students are taken to a remote island, given supplies and a random weapon each, and instructed to fight to the death, leaving one winner. The dialogue is cheesy and the acting is unimpressive, but this bloody and violent affair has a lot of strong points.
    Peter B Super Reviewer

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