Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai)

Critics Consensus

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



Total Count: 94


Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,086
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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 (94) | Top Critics (31) | Fresh (87) | Rotten (7)

Audience Reviews for Nobody Knows (Dare mo shiranai)

  • Feb 06, 2012
    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 B Super Reviewer
  • Apr 13, 2009
    "Nobody Knows" is painful to watch. It's a story you won't shake off, it's from the most defenseless of humans -- children, trapped in growing poverty and abandonment. It has not any action or exciting moments, but I was totally perplex during the two hours of the movie...cause of the superb performances of the adorable children, who were all really natural and likable. You just feel for them and wonder how their mother could have done such a thing with them. You see the contrast between the courage, maturity and innocence of children, and the selfishness of adults. The real documentary style of filming allows viewers to see things from the eye of the children... My vote? 5 stars and some tears.
    Daisy M Super Reviewer
  • Nov 08, 2008
    A blistering story that reminds us that child neglect is a tragic plague that exists beyond the boundaries of our culture. Despite the film being a bit lengthy and unfocused, these characters are so genuine, authentic, and universal that you often forget you are watching a scripted foreign film.
    Richard F Super Reviewer
  • Aug 02, 2007
    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 B Super Reviewer

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