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Total Count: 6


Audience Score

User Ratings: 239
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Movie Info

Inspired by the deadly sarin gas attacks on a Tokyo subway back in 1995, director Akihiko Shiota's introspective psychological drama follows the journey of a young boy attempting to reconnect with his estranged mother and sister after a horrific terrorist attack. The Nirvana cult has committed an unspeakable act, and now that the group has been disbanded, its child members are being taken in by welfare services. Twelve-year-old Koichi (Hoshi Ishida) is just such a child. His father was a member of the Nirvana cult, and now Koichi has no one to turn to. Enraged and confused at being made a faceless ward of the state, Koichi flees from welfare services in an attempt to track down his sister, who has recently moved to Tokyo with their grandfather. Along the way, Koichi crosses paths with pretty runaway Yuki (Mitsuki Tanimura), who survives on the streets by selling her body. Though the two children are initially able to connect over the fact that they have both lost one parent and suffered terrible mistreatment at the hands of the other, Yuki's position in life gives her a kind of tentative erotic power, while Koichi's mind remains irreparably damaged due to the months of physical and mental intimidation he was forced to endure while living with the Nirvana cult. Together, these two forgotten children struggle to find their way in a society in which the weak are exploited and the vulnerable left to fend for themselves.


Critic Reviews for Canary

All Critics (6) | Top Critics (3)

  • If the writer-director, Akihiko Shiota, sometimes strains too hard for mythic import, his patience is a gift. As Yuki watches a blind woman fashion an origami bird, the characters' connection to a simpler, collective past is evident in every perfect fold.

    Jul 25, 2008 | Rating: 3.5/5
  • It lacks the punch of Shiota's previous explorations of traumatized teen spirits, but the film still leaves bruises in all the right places.

    Jul 24, 2008 | Rating: 4/6

    David Fear

    Time Out
    Top Critic
  • I was counting off the minutes long before a silly "saved from the blessings of civilization" non-ending.

    Jul 23, 2008 | Full Review…
  • The Orient's relatively-eloquent answer to Eminem's 8-Mile and 50-Cent's Get Rich or Die Tryin', replete with gangsta' rap on the soundtrack.

    Jul 25, 2008 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Gripping "road movie" featuring two remarkably well-developed 12 year old characters played consummately by two gifted child actors. Set against backdrop of infamous Tokyo subway sarin massacre cult.

    Jul 25, 2008 | Full Review…
  • In Canary, the audience is encouraged to sit back and allow sleepily serene scenes of quiet isolation to limit their opinions to tranquil tsk-tsks.

    Jul 23, 2008

Audience Reviews for Canary

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