Critics Consensus

Thanks to director Juzo Itami's offbeat humor and sharp satirical edge, Tampopo is a funny, sexy, affectionate celebration of food and its broad influence on Japanese culture.



Total Count: 53


Audience Score

User Ratings: 9,148
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Movie Info

The tale of an enigmatic band of ramen ronin who guide the widow of a noodle shop owner on her quest for the perfect recipe, Tampopo serves up a savory broth of culinary adventure seasoned with offbeat comedy sketches and the erotic exploits of a gastronome gangster. Sweet, sexy, surreal, and mouthwatering, Tampopo remains one of the most delectable examples of food on film.

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Critic Reviews for Tampopo

All Critics (53) | Top Critics (15) | Fresh (53)

  • In Tampopo, every aspect of life is filtered through the prism of food - its rituals of preparation and consumption, its role as a social unifier or divider, its many healthy uses and perverse abuses.

    May 2, 2017 | Full Review…
  • It unfolds as a series of madcap, effortlessly charming comic vignettes, centred around food and food culture in mid-'80s Japan.

    Dec 9, 2016 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…
  • There are many love stories folded into this film's enjoyably meandering two hours, but "Tampopo" is above all about the romance of food, and the joyous, agonizing devotion and hard work required to tease out its manifold mysteries.

    Oct 27, 2016 | Full Review…
  • A biting satire of Japanese culture and its uneasy incorporation of Western influences.

    Oct 20, 2016 | Full Review…
  • Japanese films have commented before on the intrinsic connection between food and sex, but not with the erotic gusto of Juzo Itami's Tampopo and rarely with the comic lustiness of this broad-scale satire.

    Mar 13, 2015 | Full Review…
  • Itami's humor and invention is such that we never have a chance to feel deprived. His stylistic palette and sense of fun are so wide-ranging that he can oscillate between brightness and darkness to articulate one gag.

    Mar 13, 2015 | Rating: 3/4 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Tampopo

  • Oct 08, 2015
    Tampopo is a light-hearted feel-good comedy with a heavy focus on making a winning bowl of ramen and setting up a great shop. There were quite a few bits I found to be random which were probably cultural references but if you are amused by randomness then you'll find they flow in with the rest of the general wackiness. While I don't rate it quite on the level of Cantonese comedies such as the God of Cookery, Tampopo is still a fun view.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Mar 09, 2013
    Tampopo is a Japanese comedy about the art of noodles. It has plenty of funny scenes, especially the silent noodle scene. That brought some good laughs. But the movie loses all focus and has no concentration. This makes the film ultimately pointless. Also WTF was with the erotic scenes, this director would have a bright future in fetish porn.
    Daniel D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 24, 2011
    A timeless feast for the senses, saw it twice in college with friends. We ate ramen before watching it, but still left in the middle of the movie to go get more. It will taunt your appetite and twist your salivating imagination around its chopsticks until your craving can't hold out any longer. Hilarious and very Asian vignettes about the cultural importance of food in a Japan that's trying to westernize without losing its Nippon identity. (The beggar foodies especially reminded me of the Chinese wuxia stories.) And it's a delight to watch the sweet, understated chivalry between Goro and Tampopo.
    Letitia L Super Reviewer
  • Aug 27, 2010
    A two hour comedy about a widow and a trucker trying to make the perfect noodle. I'm still asking myself how this managed to be so entertaining. It's indescribable; don't try to describe it to your friends. Just say it's Monty Python meets The Good the Bad and the Ugly in Japanese. Random and hilarious, and with some expected misfires, this is a funny satire on Japanese culture that's worth the watch because of some memorable movie scenes and good acting. 95/100
    Simeon D Super Reviewer

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