The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

2004

The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

Critics Consensus

Samurai epic as a touching drama.

99%

TOMATOMETER

Total Count: 69

94%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 10,725
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Movie Info

Veteran filmmaker Yoji Yamada -- who is perhaps most famous for cranking out most of the 48 films of the Tora-san series -- directs this good-natured drama set in the waning years of the Edo period (1600-1867). Seibei (Hiroyuki Sanada) is a low-level samurai struggling to get by on stipend of 50 rice bales a year while working as a clerk at the clan office. While his co-workers spend their evenings sucking down sake at the local pub, Seibei, whose wife has passed away, heads straight home to care for his two young daughters and doddering mother. One day, his friend Michinojo (Mitsuru Fukikoshi) tells him that his boyhood friend Tomoe (Rie Miyazawa), is leaving her thuggish husband and returning home. Tomoe soon starts to frequent Seibei's house, taking care of his daughters, while Seibei quietly falls in love with the attractive young lass. After defeating Tomoe's husband in a duel, armed with only a pointed stick, Seibei is asked by Michinojo if he wants to marry Tomoe. Seibei declines, too embarrassed by his poverty to accept. Later, as he prepares to perform the distasteful task of killing a fellow samurai, he learns that Tomoe is engaged to another man. ~ Jonathan Crow, Rovi

Cast

Critic Reviews for The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

All Critics (69) | Top Critics (27) | Fresh (68) | Rotten (1)

Audience Reviews for The Twilight Samurai (Tasogare Seibei)

  • Oct 08, 2015
    Twilight Samurai has an uncommon mix of serious, emotional, and serene qualities that draw the viewer into a very believable and well-told story. The pacing is excellent and leads to a satisfying end. The lead actor makes one believe he is the character he portrays. Twilight Samurai is an example of a film that does not seem great at first but by the end the parts have indeed come together to form a greater whole.
    Robert B Super Reviewer
  • Oct 13, 2012
    all about a struggling man trying to look after his daughters and elderly mother in a changing feudal japan. simpler than "hidden blade" but the environment and point is similar. sanada puts in a fine performance as seibei iguchi. it's almost as if yamada was still crafting his work here, but even so the piece still manages to be superb and endearing. loved the climatic fight scene
    Sanity Assassin ! Super Reviewer
  • Oct 05, 2011
    Awesome Japanese 'Jane Austen' samurai drama flick. The direction of the film is beautifully impressionist. Yôji Yamada crafts pictures of everyday life which gives us an inherent understanding of the life of Seibei Iguchi (Hiroyuki Sanada), a low-ranking widowed samurai with a senile mother and two daughters, working in the castle's stores and taking in piecework to get by. Sanada is really a marvel to watch; he adds a very sensible depth and modesty to the character, and infuses it with some understated comic acting as well. As his returning childhood friend, Rie Miyazawa has a beautiful, spirited feminity that makes Sanada seem even more of a macho hunk in contrast.
    Dean M Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2011
    Hiroyuki Sanada breaks from samurai movie tradition has a role as the clans lowest cast of retainers. Although skilled with a sword he chooses to take care of his daughters and his mother who suffers from Alzheimers over the money, glory and late nights on the town with the other retainers that he works with at the armory storing fish. Hiroyuki Sanada was the character that taught tom cruises character to sword fight in "The Last Samurai"-2003. A very well done heart-warming piece but really slow for samurai movies.
    Bill C Super Reviewer

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