Ran

Critics Consensus

Akira Kurosawa's sprawling, epic take on King Lear should be required viewing for fans of westerns, war movies, or period films in general.

97%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 87

95%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 38,338

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Movie Info

At the age of seventy, after years of consolidating his empire, the Great Lord Hidetora Ichimonji (Tatsuya Nakadai) decides to abdicate and divide his domain amongst his three sons. Taro (Akira Terao), the eldest, will rule. Jiro (Jinpachi Nezu), his second son, and Saburo (Daisuke Ryu) will take command of the Second and Third Castles but are expected to obey and support their elder brother. Saburo defies the pledge of obedience and is banished.

Cast & Crew

Tatsuya Nakadai
Lord Hidetora Ichimonji
Mieko Harada
Lady Kaede
Akira Terao
Taro Takatora Ichimonji
Jinpachi Nezu
Jiro Masatora Ichimonji
Daisuke Ryu
Saburo Naotora Ichimonji
Kazuo Kato
Kageyu Ikoma
Masayuki Yui
Tango Hirayama
Hitoshi Ueki
Nobuhiro Fujimaki
Hisashi Igawa
Shuri Kurogane
Katsumi Furukawa
Executive Producer
Hisao Kurosawa
Associate Producer
Toru Takemitsu
Original Music
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Critic Reviews for Ran

All Critics (87) | Top Critics (26) | Fresh (84) | Rotten (3)

Audience Reviews for Ran

  • Aug 15, 2017
    Ran is Akira Kurosawa's last epic. The man was a genius when it came to directing these long Japanese war epics and Ran is no different. This is Kurosawa's interpretation of Shakespeare's King Lear, a play that unfortunately I did not study. The plot consists of Lord Hidetora abdicating his empire and splitting the kingdom between his three sons, who each want to have total control. And so many castles are raided and many horseback battles are conceived. Whatever the scene, everything was filmed to perfection. I just adore Kurosawa's style, he doesn't rush a single scene. Leave a castle burning for 30 seconds, watch a man run through a field for 30 seconds or even look at the sky for 30 seconds. In theory, I should be bored...but his artistic integrity and majestic style is a sight to behold. What resonated with me the most was the screenplay, also by Kurosawa. Several lines of dialogue felt like Shakespeare and it's admirable to see an influential film maker be...well...influenced by another famous writer. Scenes where Hidetora descends into madness are great examples of this. Tatsuya Nakadai, who portrayed Hidetora, was once again outstanding. This equals his role from Kagemusha, it was an emotive and poignant portrayal of a father who has been betrayed by his children. The battle scenes were masterful work, hundreds of extras in clan attire definitely filled up the screen with contrasting colours. The costume and production design were yet again wonderful to look at. I do love me the traditional Japanese environment that Kurosawa captures with ease. Lady Kaeda though, was the manifestation of evil...her manipulative skills were fascinating to watch. This leads me to my only problem, which is that none of the major characters are likeable, even Hidetora had issues. So I struggled to become emotionally invested in these characters. However, the purpose of this iteration was to explore themes of betrayal and insanity, Kurosawa conveyed them to technical perfection. Not a complete masterpiece, but extremely close to being one.
    Luke A Super Reviewer
  • Jun 17, 2016
    4.5-5. Classic and powerful. Such a good telling of King Lear that it reawakens my (quite dormant) interest in Shakespeare. Very bleak film.
    Kyle M Super Reviewer
  • May 31, 2014
    Akira Kurosawa's Ran is a brilliant, sweeping picture using plenty of themes for build an incredible story. Greed and revenge are the themes explored in the film, and Kurosawa always managed to get the most out of his film because he crafts films that really resonate with the viewer. Ran is such a film. Brilliantly shot, acted and directed, the film, not only boasts effective performances, but has stunning imagery, which adds so much to the film. Fans of his work will definitely relish in the power that the film possesses. I much preferred Kurosawa's earlier work, but Ran is nonetheless a strong film that features all the trademarks that has made Kurosawa's work so good. With strong performances, and a simple, yet effective story, Ran is brilliant, poetic filmmaking that should be seen by any film buff. I really enjoy films that have simple ideas for storylines, and I find that the filmmaker is able to get much more depth out of an idea without overdoing anything, and the result is an impressive effort that ranks among the finest foreign films. Nonetheless, I still think that Seven Samurai was Akira Kurosawa's masterstroke of filmmaking. He has never topped it, but he always delivered thought provoking, epics that managed to be some of the finest films ever made. If you want a good action drama, then give this a viewing, it is a film going experience like no other, and it's one of the few foreign films that have stood the test of time. This is a film worth seeing, and it is enthralling experience from start to finish that will surely appeal to viewers looking for a film that has a simple idea, yet grand execution in style. That was what stood out for Akira Kuroswawa's work, his knack to create big, ambitious films while keeping everything to a bare minimum, as to not complicate things for the viewer and in the process, he created something quite remarkable in the cinematic medium.
    Alex r Super Reviewer
  • Jul 28, 2013
    One of the best epics by one of the best filmmakers in cinema history! Good luck trying to shake this one once it's finished! Fucking masterpiece!
    ZACHO D Super Reviewer

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