Paprika (2006)



Critic Consensus: Following its own brand of logic, Paprika is an eye-opening mind trip that is difficult to follow but never fails to dazzle.

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A machine allows therapists to enter patients' dreams. When it's stolen, all hell breaks loose, and only a woman therapist (nicknamed "Paprika") seems able to stop it.
R (for violent and sexual images)
Animation , Horror , Science Fiction & Fantasy
Directed By:
Written By:
In Theaters:
Box Office:

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Megumi Hayashibara
as Paprika/Chiba Atsuko
Tôru Furuya
as Tokita Kohsaku
Katsunosuke Hori
as Shima Tora-taroh
Toru Emori
as Inui Sei-jiroh
Akio Ôtsuka
as Toshimi Konakawa
Koichi Yamadera
as Osanai Morio
Satomi Kohrogi
as Japanese Doll
Daisuke Sakaguchi
as Himuro Kei
Mitsuo Iwata
as Tsumura Yasushi
Rikako Aikawa
as Kakimoto Nobue
Shinichirô Ôta
as Reporter
Satoshi Kon
as Jin-nai
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Critic Reviews for Paprika

All Critics (85) | Top Critics (29)

With a conventional invade-dreams/bend-reality plot, it's a bit of a bore.

August 9, 2007
Orlando Sentinel
Top Critic

You could sit through the film two or three times to nail down the details of the story, but the film isn't interesting enough to warrant a second look.

July 13, 2007
Arizona Republic
Top Critic

Is it sci-fi? Fantasy? Idiocy? Mostly it's a droning mess -- pretty to look at but confounding to the point where you just don't care any more.

Full Review… | June 22, 2007
Houston Chronicle
Top Critic

Especially for fans who understand how movies are put together, Paprika grabs you from the get-go in a series of flowing images and transitions that follow the skewed logic of a dream, jumping from a three-ring circus to a swinging jungle vine.

Full Review… | June 22, 2007
Detroit Free Press
Top Critic

As a showcase of the limitless power of the imagination, Paprika never fails to delight the eye and engage the mind. We are never sure exactly whom we should be cheering for, or even if we're rooting for real characters or their avatars.

Full Review… | June 15, 2007
Toronto Star
Top Critic

We're so used to current cautious commercial formulas, it comes as an enjoyable shock to see something like Satoshi Kon's Japanese film, Paprika, which reminds us that with animation, almost anything you can imagine can be represented.

June 15, 2007
Globe and Mail
Top Critic

Audience Reviews for Paprika

There is something so disturbing and yet definitely entertaining about a film that explores the human mind, and this film does so in the most extreme and interesting ways. Through the beauty and intrinsic evolution of anime, the world of dreams has never been fuller or more vibrant on screen, at least not since "Un Chienne Andalusia". It feels so thick and odd throughout, mashing together the world of reality and that of the human mind. Fused together it's this strange ride through the sub-conscious that is both terrifyingly familiar and yet obtuse enough to be its own inane story. There's a lot of crazy elements that coalesce into an intricate and yet palatable world that not only remains adult with its themes but childlike and nostalgic. Thrown between these inert dreams comes the story of a hostile takeover from a high up figure, taking on a group of scientists who are trying to understand and study what is happening in the world of dreams. This dark and foreboding presence haunts the nightmares of a mashed dream that carries the psyches of multiple people, some possibly dead. The heroine of the film is a scientist working in the world of dreams, guised in the alter ego of Paprika, a red headed nymphet with a penchant for the absurd and a kind heart that speaks to a police chief. Paprika as an entity is not like a mindful Tinkerbell, but works as a pseudonym for the scientist. She works more as a strange multiple personality than a moderate cyborg. Paprika as a character is fascinating, and her role in the film is extensively reaching out to the other characters either through their subverted subconscious or in real life. The dreams are vivid, as well as the animation, and the story involves the same good versus bad narrative that dwells in most great films. This film is just so inventive and masterfully strange that it's something very other and yet powerfully recognizable.

Spencer S.
Spencer S.

Super Reviewer


A film that is way ahead of its time, Paprika is an acid trip of an anime epic. The story is mind bending and the animations are more ridiculous than that face melting scene from Raiders of the lost Ark. In just 3 minutes of starting the film, the tone is established and the audience is presented with imaginative characters. An underrated gem but can match the likes of classics like Spirited Away and Akira.

paul oh
paul oh

Super Reviewer

A movie that tackled the subject of dreams and reality before "Inception" made it cool. However, the dream sequences in "Paprika" are more trippy, a lot more trippy. The dreams in the movie burst with creative and unique visuals that make them incredible spectacles to watch. The story very smoothly weaves from sci-fi thriller, detective story, examinations of technology, and the nature of reality. However, I thought the characters could have been developed more. The only the character that is given a lot of development is the detective guy. One problem that arises out of this is that the character Paprika comes off as an enigma. It seemed the film is not sure whether we are supposed to perceive Paprika as a cheery heroine, charming ant-heroine, or a playful rule-breaker. Plus the villains are very under-developed as far as motivations go. Despite these minor issues, the film is still a must see for anime fans and non-fans alike.

Christopher Heim
Christopher Heim

Super Reviewer

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