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      First Love Reviews

      Yes, it's preposterous and at times hyper-violent, but the tongue is always firmly in its cheek. Until it's cut out.

      Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Mar 3, 2020

      A small release, but if you're looking for something different to see, please let me recommend this one. It's not like any other film out.

      Full Review | Feb 20, 2020

      Kôji Endô's thundering jazz-rock score amplifies Miike's tendency towards playful cartoon excess.

      Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 16, 2020

      Imagine if the David Ayer of Street Kings and End of Watch had shot the first half of a gangster movie, then thrown his megaphone to Spaced-age Edgar Wright.

      Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 14, 2020

      Sweetening up a smidgen without chilling out, this is Miike having fun, bombarding us with squirm-inducing violence while making us laugh and - ever so slightly - tugging on the heartstrings.

      Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 13, 2020

      It's bizarre and very unwholesome. But weirdly inspired.

      Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 13, 2020

      Intricacies of plot come second to the buffet of outlandish characters ranged about the neon-lit underworld - but the film keeps you locked into the mayhem regardless.

      Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Feb 12, 2020

      A double-crossing, criss-crossing caper, fatalistic and fun.

      Full Review | Original Score: 4/5 | Feb 11, 2020

      "First Love" resonates because the director and screenwriter Masa Nakamura have more on their minds than just carnage. They bring the story back to its human core, and find the beating heart at the center of all the bloodshed.

      Full Review | Original Score: B | Oct 11, 2019

      "First Love" might not ultimately mean much, but its wily mix of colorful elements - romance, organized crime, slapstick and ultra-violence - makes for a bracingly weird cinematic experience.

      Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Oct 9, 2019

      Often darkly funny, "First Love" is also very violent, and it's not just about gunplay. There's a beheading in the movie's first few minutes just to let everyone know, if they've somehow forgotten, that they've walked into a Takashi Miike film.

      Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Oct 9, 2019

      "The tone of Takashi Miike's latest film is best encapsulated by a single image: a close-up of a freshly severed head, its features wreathed in a goofy, blissed-out grin."

      Full Review | Original Score: 8/10 | Oct 7, 2019

      What keeps it from becoming a bloody farce is Miike's profound sympathy for his leads, innocents trying to find their way out of the maelstrom.

      Full Review | Original Score: 3/5 | Oct 4, 2019

      [Takashi Miike's] recent output just feels a little too produced and overseen by the Japanese government. Despite all this, First Love's warm and tender nature keeps it an endearing and heartwarming addition to the master's filmography.

      Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/5 | Oct 3, 2019

      Your Miike mileage may vary - but rest assured, there's no barf bag required.

      Full Review | Original Score: 3/4 | Oct 2, 2019

      "First Love" has a hyper-real nocturnal gleam that makes all this highly mannered action seem all the more comic or ridiculous, as the mood takes you.

      Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Oct 2, 2019

      "First Love" isn't art, by any means, but it's way more entertaining than it should be.

      Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Oct 1, 2019

      First Love is a celebration of the purity of romance set in a deeply unpure world.

      Full Review | Sep 29, 2019

      Though it has a tight course of events and is spiked with a few surprises, First Love is far more impressive for how it collides its many characters than what it ever feels for them.

      Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4 | Sep 27, 2019

      You'll find yourself grinning, whether or not your head is still attached to your body.

      Full Review | Sep 27, 2019

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