High and Low (Tengoku to jigoku) Reviews

  • May 15, 2019

    Considering that most of High and Low takes place in one setting, this movie does a great job of building suspense and holding the interest of the audience. It also feels very realistic as the detectives try to discover the location and the identity of the kidnapper. It's a slow-moving, but well-thought-out story with characters that you care about.

    Considering that most of High and Low takes place in one setting, this movie does a great job of building suspense and holding the interest of the audience. It also feels very realistic as the detectives try to discover the location and the identity of the kidnapper. It's a slow-moving, but well-thought-out story with characters that you care about.

  • Mar 09, 2019

    This is one of the greatest films ever made

    This is one of the greatest films ever made

  • Dec 02, 2018

    I really liked this film. The story was like Death Note, one of my favorite animes, and delivered the same type of clever characters that make a great detective film.

    I really liked this film. The story was like Death Note, one of my favorite animes, and delivered the same type of clever characters that make a great detective film.

  • Oct 11, 2018

    Half fascinating character study, half sturdy police procedural, it's what Kurosawa seeks us to get out of this film that makes it so engaging. And boy does he pull it off.

    Half fascinating character study, half sturdy police procedural, it's what Kurosawa seeks us to get out of this film that makes it so engaging. And boy does he pull it off.

  • Feb 18, 2018

    High and Low is a simple and straightforward tale of a kidnapping and the subsequent police investigation. It doesn’t take any major twists even though I kept thinking one was coming, and I loved that. Instead of relying on clever tricks in the storytelling, they just tell the story as well as they possibly can. With perfect drama they ratchet up the tension to the point that you almost can’t breathe. Each scene is perfectly captured with brilliant framing and creative camerawork. The shots reinforce the theme and direct your eyes to see what is most important. The acting is amazing, and each actor seems to give their all. Toshiro Mifune is off the charts in the early scenes as he shows a full range of emotions and you can feel the dilemma tugging at his heart. Then it shifts to the police and we get to watch one of the most thorough procedural dramas ever captured on film. You could legitimately run an entire police investigation with no experience if you used this film as a blueprint. High and Low was so much more than I ever could have hoped for, and my only complaints are insignificant nitpicks. This is one of Kurosawa’s best, for sure.

    High and Low is a simple and straightforward tale of a kidnapping and the subsequent police investigation. It doesn’t take any major twists even though I kept thinking one was coming, and I loved that. Instead of relying on clever tricks in the storytelling, they just tell the story as well as they possibly can. With perfect drama they ratchet up the tension to the point that you almost can’t breathe. Each scene is perfectly captured with brilliant framing and creative camerawork. The shots reinforce the theme and direct your eyes to see what is most important. The acting is amazing, and each actor seems to give their all. Toshiro Mifune is off the charts in the early scenes as he shows a full range of emotions and you can feel the dilemma tugging at his heart. Then it shifts to the police and we get to watch one of the most thorough procedural dramas ever captured on film. You could legitimately run an entire police investigation with no experience if you used this film as a blueprint. High and Low was so much more than I ever could have hoped for, and my only complaints are insignificant nitpicks. This is one of Kurosawa’s best, for sure.

  • Feb 06, 2018

    I'm not going to drag on about every aspect of it, but I'll say one thing, I'd give this 30 stars if I could. This is simply my favourite film of all time. At times this seems almost like your viewing the first half of the crime as God looking down at the mortals from his heaven, and from the second half of the film, you are the Devil watching from the murky depths of hell, seeing the more grittier side to the story. I love this. 'Nuff said.

    I'm not going to drag on about every aspect of it, but I'll say one thing, I'd give this 30 stars if I could. This is simply my favourite film of all time. At times this seems almost like your viewing the first half of the crime as God looking down at the mortals from his heaven, and from the second half of the film, you are the Devil watching from the murky depths of hell, seeing the more grittier side to the story. I love this. 'Nuff said.

  • Sep 20, 2017

    High and Low (or Heaven and Hell, which is the better translation) is Kurosawa at his best, and in one of my favorite genres, noir. The film is fascinating in both execution and its examination of heaven and hell.

    High and Low (or Heaven and Hell, which is the better translation) is Kurosawa at his best, and in one of my favorite genres, noir. The film is fascinating in both execution and its examination of heaven and hell.

  • Jul 30, 2017

    Very in-depth detective drama and shares the screen-time examining both high and low society in Japan. Mifune is passionate, frightened and quietly earnest, a standout as always.

    Very in-depth detective drama and shares the screen-time examining both high and low society in Japan. Mifune is passionate, frightened and quietly earnest, a standout as always.

  • Jun 16, 2017

    Akira Kuroswawa hit a grand slam with this one. The (intentionally) uncomfortably slow pace, the depth of character development, the attention to detail, the captivating plotand the performances of a brilliantly selected cast (Mifune and Nakadai in particular) make this movie a must see.

    Akira Kuroswawa hit a grand slam with this one. The (intentionally) uncomfortably slow pace, the depth of character development, the attention to detail, the captivating plotand the performances of a brilliantly selected cast (Mifune and Nakadai in particular) make this movie a must see.

  • Jun 08, 2017

    A moralistic analysis of criminal activity and justice, High and Low is as suspenseful as anything Hitchcock ever made. Every shot is smooth and calculated, the black and white cinematography is gorgeous, and it feels like every facet of the film has been perfected down to last detail by Kurosawa.

    A moralistic analysis of criminal activity and justice, High and Low is as suspenseful as anything Hitchcock ever made. Every shot is smooth and calculated, the black and white cinematography is gorgeous, and it feels like every facet of the film has been perfected down to last detail by Kurosawa.