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.



Reviews Counted: 32

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Audience Score

User Ratings: 19,070


All Critics | Top Critics
Average Rating: N/A
Reviews Count: 0
Fresh: 0
Rotten: 0


Average Rating: 3.1/5

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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 (9)

  • 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

A long winded love story, to which becomes more enjoyable during the second half. Boredeom set in occasionally which surprised me because I?ve heard such good things about this film.

Lady D'arbanville
Lady D'arbanville

Super Reviewer

fantastic film. winner of 12 japanese academy awards, this one has a great ending. i liked the film even better after a second viewing when i was able to invest more in the story. the second of yamada's samurai trilogy, all 3 are essentially perfect films.

danny d
danny d

Super Reviewer

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 Bruce
Bruce Bruce

Super Reviewer

Director Yoji Yamada has been writing and directing films since the 1960s, so it is no surprise at how much recognition The Hidden Blade receives in its home country of Japan.

Let me get this out of the way. At first glance this movie is deceiving. The title is actually an appropriate one with the way the film plays out, but at the same time it makes the film seem like it is all about Samurai and swords. This film is all about Samurai, but it isn't all about the swords. This is not an action adventure by any means.

A good portion of the first half seems unnecessary, but it all falls into place as the movie progresses. I will also say that it progresses 10 minutes past the 2 hour mark, but this slow pace does wonders for the story, which feels like a film from the 1980s or early 90s. It doesn't look like a film from 2004. You really get a chance to understand all the major characters and their relationships. Even with the serious story, Yamada finds the time to insert really small chunks of comedic scenes that are HILARIOUS. It doesn't feel out of place either.

The action. There is a small duel near the end of the film and that is it. The camerawork is great, but the swordplay, while realistic, is a little bland. Don't watch this if you are expecting Samurai swordplay.

The acting is as good as the story. Masatoshi Nagase carries the film and the beautiful actresses are pleasant to watch.

The Hidden Blade is a bunch of great action sequences away from being a Crouching Tiger, Hidden Dragon, but this is worth the watch if you like good dramatic stories.

JY Skacto
JY Skacto

Super Reviewer

The Hidden Blade Quotes

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