Battle Royale (2000)



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

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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
Action & Adventure , Art House & International , Drama , Mystery & Suspense
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Anchor Bay Entertainment

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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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Critic Reviews for Battle Royale

All Critics (44) | Top Critics (7)

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

Full Review… | May 24, 2012
New York Post
Top Critic

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
New York Times
Top Critic

Forgive the film its small flaws of histrionic performances and cheap execution for the giddy rush of its banal, Verhoevenesque atmosphere...

Full Review… | May 22, 2012
Time Out
Top Critic

It may suit a certain worldview, but Battle Royale's cynicism is still a form fantasy-a balm as well as a bomb.

Full Review… | May 22, 2012
Village Voice
Top Critic

3D conversion of a classic teen massacre thriller raises the gore level.

Full Review… | May 22, 2012
Hollywood Reporter
Top Critic

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.

Full Review… | May 19, 2008
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Battle Royale

Way better than The Hunger Games.

Nicki Marie
Nicki Marie

Super Reviewer

Battle Royale has impressed many and is loved by a lot. I must have missed something. I liked the concept of the film and enjoyed some it. But I guess what really put me off was some of the dialogue and some of the acting. It was just too cheesy for me. I couldn't get passed it. Plus a lot of the gory parts looked really fake. I know they are but you want it to at least look realistic. It just wasn't a movie for me.


Super Reviewer

'Battle Royale' is clearly a huge underground hit for many good reasons, even if the acting is a little poor from the young students. Kitano gives a great performance however, and the pace is brisk while the violence is plenty. The film most superbly succeeds in its a production design and atmosphere whilst being a social commentary that is pretty poignant. The teenage drama is a little soapy but its easy to forgive their performances, seeing as the film in its entirety is extremely potent. 'Battle Royale' is definitely recommended for any Tarantino fan or someone looking for an original viewing experience because yes, this film was made before 'Hunger Games' was even written. The similarities may be uncanny, but this vision of teens fighting to the death makes for a better production.

Kase Vollebregt
Kase Vollebregt

Super Reviewer

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