Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary)

Critics Consensus

Our Little Sister uses the story of one fractured family to offer universal -- and deeply moving -- observations on the human condition.



Total Count: 115


Audience Score

User Ratings: 3,073
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Movie Info

Three sisters Sachi, Yoshino and Chika live together in a large house in the city of Kamakura. When their father absent from the family home for the last 15 years dies, they travel to the countryside for his funeral and meet their shy teenage half-sister. Bonding quickly with the orphaned Suzu, they invite her to live with them. Suzu eagerly agrees, and a new life of joyful discovery begins for the four siblings.

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Haruka Ayase
as Sachi Koda
as Chika Koda
Masami Nagasawa
as Yoshino Koda
Suzu Hirose
as Suzu Asano
Ryo Kase
as Yoshimi Sakashita
Ryohei Suzuki
as Dr. Yasuyuki Inoue
Takafumi Ikeda
as Sanzo Hamada
Kentarô Sakaguchi
as Tomoaki Fujii
Ohshiro Maeda
as Fûta Ozaki
Midoriko Kimura
as Hideko Takano
Yûko Nakamura
as Yôko Asano
Jun Fubuki
as Sachiko Ninomiya
Kazuaki Shimizu
as Toshio Iida
Shin'ichi Tsutsumi
as Dr. Kazuya Shiina
Shinobu Ohtake
as Miyako Sasaki
Fight Seki
as Masashi Ogata
Saya Mikami
as Miho Kaneko
Yuki Kimura
as Yoshimi Tokuno
Yôko Ataka
as Shino Yamane
Kirin Kiki
as Fumiyo Kikuchi
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Critic Reviews for Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary)

All Critics (115) | Top Critics (28)

  • Rarely has a film more eloquently captured the universality of human experience.

    Sep 15, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Under a less masterful hand, you'd be dying for a fistfight, a sex scene or a gunshot to shatter the calm. But Koreeda makes thrilling the rich inner lives of four young women trying to navigate rocky emotional terrain in the wake of their father's death.

    Aug 18, 2016 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • It's a movie that, by its serene final scene, changes its viewer. You leave happier, honored to have been, for two hours, part of this family.

    Aug 11, 2016 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • If you succumb to Koreeda's slow rhythms, the climbs up a hill to find a magnificent view, the walks along the beach, the simple peace of a shared meal, this is the kind of movie that will leave you feeling restored, maybe a little misty-eyed as well.

    Jul 29, 2016 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • Koreeda allows the action to unfold gradually, and plum wine isn't the only food metaphor enriching his tale. Each meal seems like an invitation for the sisters to learn more about each other or to be reminded-for good or ill-of their parents.

    Jul 28, 2016 | Full Review…
  • "Sister" ... broods on the past, on how it defines the present and future, but as a film about remembering it is not especially memorable.

    Jul 28, 2016 | Rating: 2.5/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Our Little Sister (Umimachi Diary)

  • Nov 08, 2017
    Despite the charisma and talent of its actresses, Koreeda's film is so uneventful and without a clear focus that it feels dull and uninteresting, failing to offer a reason compelling enough to make us follow a family of sisters who just live together.
    Carlos M Super Reviewer
  • Jul 08, 2016
    Anthony L Super Reviewer
  • Jun 11, 2016
    Literally never thought this would end. It's not a bad movie, not at all. It is beautifully made and the four actresses are completely believable as sisters and have well written personalities. It is just so long at two hours and it plods along with not a lot happening. Three adult sisters take in the teenage half sister they never met following their estranged fathers death. They live in a quiet town and the movie follows the small moments that make up anyone's lives. They go to work, they cook, they go to the local restaurant. There's small moments showing relationships with boyfriends, co workers, their auntie, none of it is all that fleshed out. It's a sweet movie, but it's exceedingly slow and hard to get through. Though I liked it, I was tempted to switch it off at so many points.
    Nicki M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 08, 2015
    VIFF Review: Koreeda's latest film is another emotional drama that's both sweet, yet, filled with a tragic past that the sisters in this film cannot let go. Then when attending their father's funeral after 15 years of not seeing him, they meet Suzu, their half-sister for the first time. After they notice Suzu dislikes her mother, they asks her to move in with them and from there, all of their lives are enriched by gaining the little sister that they never had, yet, they are also reminded constantly of their terrible relationship with their father and the things that they have no talked about for several years are painfully brought to life again. "Our Little Sister" provides us with an intriguing family dynamic that might seem like Science Fiction to some while relating immensely and accurately with others. Either way, it's a beautiful story about overcoming a sad past by bonding with the family you have and moving forward. The characters shine and the slow pace does not come across as tedious, but rather appreciated as we get to spend 128 minutes with these characters as we watch their pain and joy flesh out over the course of the film, giving a very realistic portrayal to the situation that they are in. SEE IT!
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer

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