Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai) (2004)


Critic Consensus: Tragic and haunting, a beautifully heart-wrenching portrait of child abandonment.


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Movie Info

Four siblings live happily with their mother in a small apartment in Tokyo. The children all have different fathers and have never been to school. The very existence of three of them has been hidden from the landlord. One day, the mother leaves behind a little money and a note, charging her oldest boy to look after the others. And so begins the children's odyssey, a journey nobody knows. Though engulfed by the cruel fate of abandonment, the four children do their best to survive in their own little world, devising and following their own set of rules. When they are forced to engage with the world outside their cocooned universe, the fragile balance that has sustained them collapses. Their innocent longing for their mother, their wary fascination toward the outside world, their anxiety over their increasingly desperate situation, their inarticulate cries, their kindness to each other, their determination to survive on wits and courage...

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Critic Reviews for Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai)

All Critics (92) | Top Critics (30)

Nobody Knows will chill you, further proof that the ability to procreate does not automatically qualify you to be a parent.

Jun 17, 2005 | Rating: 4/5

At its heart, Nobody Knows is a sweet salute to the tenacity and courage of children who are blithely mistreated by adults who should know better and probably do.

Mar 18, 2005 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

This gem from Hirokazu Kore-eda unfolds with the graceful simplicity of a real-life episode turned into a minimalist fable.

Mar 17, 2005 | Rating: A | Full Review…

Profoundly sad, but it's made with such artistry that it's almost uplifting; you watch it mesmerized, immersed in the strange community the children create.

Mar 11, 2005 | Rating: 4/4

Kore-eda has an astonishing talent for making us feel the same emotional aches as the kids.

Mar 4, 2005 | Rating: 3.5/4

The first great picture to be released this year.

Mar 4, 2005 | Rating: A

Audience Reviews for Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai)

Wow! A story of abandonment. This answers the question of what would happen if four kids were left alone with a bit of pocket money and little else. Disturbing.

John Ballantine
John Ballantine

Super Reviewer

Absolutely essential viewing. Slow, subtle and sublime. Wonderfully shot and written the story unravels at a calm pace building up to a devastating climax. Incredible performances from the youths make this a painfully naturalistic and at the same time heartwarming film about family, friendship and responsibility.

Luke Baldock
Luke Baldock

Super Reviewer



Bob Stinson
Bob Stinson

Super Reviewer

[font=Century Gothic][color=red]Warning: do not go see "Nobody Knows" if you have Attention Deficit Disorder or have a short attention span. The movie starts slow and eventually moves to a deliberate speed. You need to be patient with this film.[/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=#808000][/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=darkorange]"Nobody Knows" starts out with a mother and 12 year old son, Akira, moving into a new apartment. Since the landlord says her neighbors might have problems with larger families, her two younger children arrive via suitcases, and a fourth is snuck in the dark of night from the train station.(None of the other children are enrolled in school. And all of the children have different fathers.) The mother tends to arrive home late after work and then after leaving a quick note, leaves the children to their devices for an extended period of time. Then, the money begins to run low.(Perhaps it is telling that the mother is the only parent we see in the entire film.) [/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=darkorange][/color][/font] [font=Century Gothic][color=darkorange]Basically, "Nobody Knows" is a heartbreaking movie with an open ending that is both happy and sad. It is not flashy in any way, seeking to emphasize the mundane day-to-day activities. On the minus side, it does tend to overdo the children-as-baggage metaphor.[/color][/font]

Walter M.
Walter M.

Super Reviewer

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