The Hidden Blade - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

The Hidden Blade Reviews

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Nick Schager
Slant Magazine
September 16, 2005
This overly staid film seems to cry out for a climactic, cathartic dose of wild, passionate unpredictability that the director is never fully willing to indulge.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Jeffrey M. Anderson
Combustible Celluloid
July 13, 2006
It's a pretty simple tale, but -- true to his Western influences -- Yamada slows down the action and stretches it out to a prize-winning length.
Full Review | Original Score: 2.5/4
Phil Hall
Film Threat
September 26, 2005
Back to the woodshed with this dull blade!
| Original Score: 0.5/5
Eric Lurio
Greenwich Village Gazette
June 24, 2006
Good, but a bit of a snorer.
| Original Score: 2.5/5
June 22, 2006
[R]eminded me of one of [John] Ford's more elegiac Westerns
Full Review | Original Score: 8.5/10
Don Willmott
September 28, 2006
a totally immersive experience
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Edward Douglas
June 23, 2006
Yoji Yamada redefines the words 'cinematic perfection' with a film that looks and feels like a true classic.
Full Review | Original Score: 10/10
Kam Williams
Upstage Magazine
July 7, 2007
A character-driven, martial arts adventure more concerned with motivations than karate moves.
Full Review | Original Score: 2/4
Mark R. Leeper
June 20, 2006
Yamada's film is strong and poignant, though perhaps it will be more so with Japanese audiences who better understand societal pressure.
Full Review| Original Score: 8/10
Frederic and Mary Ann Brussat
Spirituality and Practice
September 15, 2005
An exceptional portrait of a samurai warrior who is a nurturing male.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Rich Cline
Shadows on the Wall
September 30, 2005
Beautifully observed, with strong characters and a lovely romantic plot, although it's as a bit too subdued.
Full Review | Original Score: 4/5
Laura Clifford
Reeling Reviews
July 3, 2006
Yamada's film is old-fashioned in the very best sense. He is a great story teller and director of actors.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Robin Clifford
Reeling Reviews
July 8, 2006
This is a film buff's movie but also has strong appeal to those who just want to be told a darn good story.
Full Review | Original Score: A-
Sean Axmaker
Seattle Post-Intelligencer
July 13, 2006
... the restrained drama both punctures the mythic ideal of the samurai culture and spins a romantic portrait of one man who values principle over protocol...
Full Review | Original Score: B+
Top Critic
Michael Atkinson
Village Voice
June 20, 2006
From the beginning Yamada's movie, made in 2004, looks and feels more like a John Ford western than any other Asian film I've ever seen.
Top Critic
Wesley Morris
Boston Globe
July 14, 2006
Yamada's enormously enjoyable The Hidden Blade is a movie that deftly balances the obligations of samurai history with love story.
Full Review | Original Score: 3.5/4
May 6, 2006
The Hidden Blade is worthy of being loved by foreign film buffs and samurai film geeks alike.
| Original Score: 3/4
Will Lawrence
Empire Magazine
April 1, 2006
A subtle and emotive period drama that mirrors its highly praised predecessor.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Matthew Leyland
December 6, 2005
Even when it comes to the climactic blade battle, the director holds back with samurai-style self-control. In spite of this muted mood, the resolution of the film's love story manages to work the heart-strings.
Full Review | Original Score: 3/5
Top Critic
Jeannette Catsoulis
New York Times
July 1, 2006
An affecting portrait of the impact of profound change on people with limited options.
| Original Score: 3/5
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