The Hidden Blade

Critics Consensus

A slow and steady samurai flick a la John Ford that brings emotions and psychology to an epic-scale adventure.



Total Count: 32


Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,069
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Movie Info

The Hidden Blade concerns Yaichiro, a warrior who must leave his family in the care of two other samurai after he answers a request for his services in another town. Muenezo and Samon do their best to protect the family when they come under attack during Yaichiro's absence. ~ Perry Seibert, Rovi

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Ken Ogata
as Hori, the shogun
Masatoshi Nagase
as Munezo Katagirl
Hidetaka Yoshioka
as Samon Shimada
Min Tanaka
as Kansai Toda
Reiko Takashima
as Hazama's wife
Yukiyoshi Ozawa
as Yaichiro Hazama
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News & Interviews for The Hidden Blade

Critic Reviews for The Hidden Blade

All Critics (32) | Top Critics (10)

  • A tenacious survival tale in which passionate lovers are held apart by outmoded traditions. How they overcome obstacles to happiness is what makes the film so dramatically engaging.

    Jul 14, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • Yamada's enormously enjoyable The Hidden Blade is a movie that deftly balances the obligations of samurai history with love story.

    Jul 14, 2006 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Reminders of feudal Japan are mixed in with a prescient glimpse into the country's future. The samurai will not be part of it, and The Hidden Blade poignantly shows what is lost in the name of progress.

    Jul 7, 2006 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • An affecting portrait of the impact of profound change on people with limited options.

    Jul 1, 2006 | Rating: 3/5
  • The Hidden Blade bears more than a passing resemblance in story and form to The Twilight Samurai, but stands on its own as a pleasant, if unremarkable, romance.

    Jun 23, 2006 | Rating: 2.5/4
  • Both epic and intimate, this impassioned samurai drama is for anyone who's ever watched a movie and muttered, 'They just don't make 'em like they used to.'

    Jun 23, 2006 | Rating: 3/4

Audience Reviews for The Hidden Blade

  • Oct 31, 2009
    haven't seen a better film about the samurai, their customs and way of life. the central character katagiri has to deal with modernisation. while it is pushed upon him to learn the way of new western weapons history also becomes his enemy as he cannot show or feel the love he has for the household maid. amongst all this his clan is riddled with corruption and he has to confront his own conscience while following his clans orders loyally as he is ordered to kill a friend. funny at moments, emotionally powerful and full of gorgeous scenery
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Oct 19, 2009
    It was hard...very hard to sit still through this Japanese movie based upon honor and the cherish of the concealed and almost lost art of love, between a samurai, and a house servant .... to top it off...a rival swordsman of the star of the show is bound by honor even though his rival is arrested and condemned for a gang affiliation not allowed in the mid 19th century Japan. It is an extremely slow moving but interesting portrayal of loyalty and the code of honor that people in that time era had to keep for order to be maintained.
    Fascade F Super Reviewer
  • Oct 16, 2009
    The epic tale of Munezo - a samurai being displaced in a rapidly changing Japan. After a failed political coup he is ordered to prove his innocence by finding & killing his best friend samurai & brilliant swordsman. Munezo enlists the help of their old teacher who entrusts him with a secret technique. Second part of a Yôji Yamada's trilogy and it was so good that I now have to watch oter two parts as well...
    Panta O Super Reviewer
  • May 09, 2009
    This is an absolutely jaw-dropping brilliant film. This was from the 2005 Berlin International Film festival. And I will tell you at the start 5 Stars and its worth no less. A story of a Samurai, that mixes the traditions of a Samurai, along with the sword action, and Romance for you ladies. All throughout the movie the background scenes are phenomenal Don't shy away from this. One can only hope that Munezo the Samurai (Played by Massatoshi Nagase) will do another movie. Maybe in the Zacochi way, a number of movies, but not TV Series type. Takako Matsu played Kie, who was Munezo Family's house maid, she play the part to the T. If I tell you the details of this movie it would only ruin your watching, Trust me when I say ladies its just not Swordplay and Samurai. You will enjoy the addition of the Life Long Romance, Enough Said, 5 stars.
    Bruce B Super Reviewer

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