Cold Fish - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Cold Fish Reviews

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November 25, 2016
One of the most compelling and messed-up movies I've seen about a desperate man going bad, most of which happens in one glorious scene.
½ November 12, 2015
The rat becomes dangerous when it's trapped in a corner, because it's the only solution it has. And that's exactly what happens here when Shamoto, the main character, knows he lost everything he has ever had, one way or another. A mix between drama, thriller, horror, splatter and sexual components, wonderfully acted and directed
October 15, 2015
Another really good effort from Sion Sono, I'm really enjoying most of his movies so far. Like his others, Cold Fish is very over the top, and while I think some of the other movies of his I've seen were supposed to be funny in a satirical way, with Cold Fish the humor translated overall better for me, and it comes across mostly as a dark comedy for me. Looking at the movie poster just now, it strikes me how similar it is to the poster of Straw Dogs, and thinking about it Hoffman's character from that film reminds me a bit of Shamoto. Both start out as timid, "civilized" modern men that throughout their respective movies are driven "to the edge" through events mostly out of their control.
August 26, 2015
The assets of the film can be considered average in most moments, it builds up what it's supposed to and concludes. About 4 locations for the whole plot, you're not going to see any extras around, which gives a sense of emptiness but you won't feel confined into it. Very provocative and instigating moments of gore can be considered its pinnacle.
½ December 25, 2014
Grotesque...funny :)
November 17, 2014
September 14, 2014
Director Shion Sono delivers with razor sharp precision, with witty brilliance, gorgeous cinematics, strict attention to detail, and plenty of blood..... the movie combines your typical genre of thrillers, fantasy, grindhouse, classic, and horror and combines it into something unique..... from the gorgeous, strong brutal intellectual dialog to the utterly phenomenal acting job from Mr. Shamoto and Mr. Murato, this is a movie you must watch...
½ August 28, 2014
Dark and disturbing in a way you just can't get with horror movies.
June 14, 2014
Disgusting -- not just b/c of the gore, but b/c of the misogyny -- tries to be "Straw Dogs" or Takashi Miike but fails.
½ May 9, 2014
Japanese people don't seem to know how to make ordinary dramas (really, Asian people for that matter). Everything tends toward the melodramatic and, in a lot of cases, hyper-violent and gory. However, for most of its run time, COLD FISH remains rather restrained. Only in the final act does this movie really go over-the-top in such a way that it ruins what could have been subtle shocker. Still, the journey to the end is one worth taking. The story concerns a mild-mannered, nebbish man at odds with his family. As a consequence of his daughter's shoplifting, he is brought into contact with a man who, while admittedly weird at first, shows himself to be something else entirely. And as the movie progresses, this put-upon man is pushed to his limits. I thought everything about this movie was excellent, from the production values, the performances, the soundtrack, etc. Shion Sono has quite a pedigree and by and large, this one doesn't disappoint either. The only fault it really has is that it's about 30 minutes too long. There were a couple of detours/plot points that don't really go anywhere, and the ending was a little too protracted to be believable, considering what came before it. The average viewer might be put off by the gore, but to be honest there's not as much of it compared to other movies coming out of Japan. Definitely for fans of extreme Japanese cinema, but maybe this might not be a bad entry point for those new to it.
½ March 12, 2014
Tsumetai Nettaigyo (Cold Fish) (Shion Sono, 2010)

Shion Sono's movies occupy an interesting place in Japanese cinema. One certainly couldn't call them true to life, even in the magical-realist sense one must use of "true to life" when discussing the films of, say, Kiyoshi Kurosawa, but they're not fully into the sort of ridiculous fantasy world one finds with directors like Hiroki Yamaguchi. Sono certainly uses elements of absurdism in his films, but keeps them grounded enough in the real world as to make much of what he splashes across the screen terrifyingly plausible. This may never be truer than in Cold Fish, a movie that is simultaneously so plausible that it could be happening next door to you and so absurd that it couldn't be happening anywhere. I still have no idea how to reconcile those two ideas in my head.

Nobuyuki Syamoto (Twilight Samurai's Mitsuru Fukikoshi) has a troublesome, rebellious daughter, Taeko (13 Assassins' Megumi Kagurazaka). Things escalate to the point where she is caught stealing. Syamoto despairs of what to do with here, but seemingly from the blue, local aquarium owner Yukio Murata (Cure's Denden) offers to take the girl in, give her a job, teach her some responsibility and discipline. Nobuyuki and his wife Mitsuko (The Land of Hope's Hikari Kajiwara) fall all over themselves saying yes, but as Taeko's apprenticeship in the shop continues, she begins to realize that Yukio and his creepy wife Aiko (A Snake of June's Asuka Kurosawa) are much, much more than they portray themselves on the outside...

I'm not sure how much of the game to give away here; normally that wouldn't be a problem, but the film is based on true events (reported much more widely in the UK than in the US, or so Google would have me believe), so you may already know where the movie's going anyway. Its biggest problem (and one Sono, like Stephen King, seems to suffer from more frequently as he gets older and more popular) is with scope; this is a ninety-minute comedy-thriller that is expanded to two and a half hours for... well, no good reason, really. There's a great deal of filler here that could have been left on the cutting room floor. But those ninety minutes? Those are very good cinema indeed. Worth watching for existing fans of Sono's; those unfortunates who are asyet unfamiliar with his work would do better to seek out some of his earlier works (Suicide Club is quite readily available in the western market) before trying to tackle this one. ** 1/2
½ February 27, 2014
A relentless, oppressive, piano-wire-tight film. From the very earliest scenes, the inevitable disaster is manifest like a heavy fog even if one goes in knowing nothing about the film. It's an insane, blood-soaked tragedy of the best sort.
February 13, 2014
[2014-2-13] Watching this film in the freezing night is absolutely testing my limit.
February 6, 2014
A strange and visceral tale.
½ January 10, 2014
Wild, head-turning, stomach-churning stuff!
November 23, 2013
Totally twisted but I have a whole new respect for Japanese films.
September 26, 2013
Watched it on netflix with a friend o mine,, he couldn't believe what he was watching,,, movie inspired by true events.
August 28, 2013
A Japanese thriller that really brings you in. I really enjoyed this film and this one hit me hard.

A aquatic shop owner named Syamoto (Mitsuru) gets acquainted with a more elder man of the same suite *Denden), but little did Syamoto know, Murata, the other shop owner and his wife have an extremely psychotic side as they make people "invisible". This film has a very twisted turn of events and has twisted surprises around every corner!

If you love realistic gore fest films, this is a must see. A movie that deserves more than it has.
July 21, 2013
Love, sex, deceit, theft, and murder. Sion Sono brings life to all these emotions in this Japanese tale of death. This film is not for the faint of heart. A definite must see for murder mystery aficionados. Rent only if you like blood.
Super Reviewer
July 12, 2013
Japanese horror is one of the best horror sources because of several reasons. First, psychologically, it plays with audiovisual cognitive dissonance, that is, give the audience a seemingly defenseless stimuli and create an environment of ease, for then betraying their feelings with the exact opposite of the film spectrum. This has an advantage: Japanese cinema has never cared about the international censorship, so the commercial standards to which audiences have gotten used to are challenged once more. Cold Fish is cognitive dissonance from beginning to end, not only the entire film (the first introductory 21 minutes until finally the film's title is displayed, against the 100 following minutes, until the orgiastically insane madness shown in the last 30), but also the sum of its parts (the film title shown with an aggressive red font and with a tranquil family background, the middle 100 minutes count with bizarre violent and sexual Japanese trademarks, etc.). Thirdly, nothing is more horrifying than real life. People complain about how slow it takes for the film to get started because of the drama contained throughout, yet rate it highly. The high rating is due to their subconscious enjoyment of the film given that the last chapter acquired a stronger force when a whole situation was created during the first two hours.

Cold Fish is celluloid of contrasts "based on true events", which certainly did not stop Sono for applying his gory trademarks and the dark humor which makes you want to laugh and then go to Church and ask for repentance given the fact that you laughed.

Do not miss this ride; it ranks as a strong 2010 delivery better than almost all films nominated for an Oscar that year.

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