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Movie Info

While he seems ordinary at first glance, Iwao Enokizu (Ken Ogata) is actually a violent murderer running from police. Leaving behind his wife (Mitsuko Baishô), he hides out with Kazuko Enokizo (Mayumi Ogawa), a brothel owner who desperately loves him but does not know he is a killer. Iwao does not understand his urge to kill, but he knows that his terrible deeds have burdened both his wife and his father (Rentarô Mikuni) and fears his relationship with Kazuko cannot last.

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Critic Reviews for Vengeance Is Mine

All Critics (12) | Top Critics (2) | Fresh (12)

  • The film gathers fearful force.

    March 3, 2019 | Rating: 4/4 | Full Review…
  • [Director Shohei] Imamura is a poet of the harsh, a tour guide to horrific mystery.

    January 3, 2018 | Full Review…
  • Held together by simply stunning central performances by Ogata and Mayumi Ogawa, this is a most welcome, unforgettable treat from Japan's true crime cupboard.

    April 26, 2019 | Rating: 4/5 | Full Review…
  • [VIDEO ESSAY] a richly woven polemic that encompasses turbulent generational shifts in Japanese identity caused by World War II. Iwao Enokizu isn't waiting for God to make things right when only everything is wrong.

    January 8, 2015 | Rating: A+ | Full Review…
  • In a way, if we're tracking influences, Imamura probably had a little impact on the Coen Brothers' misanthropic masterpieces.

    December 29, 2014 | Rating: 3.5/4 | Full Review…
  • Although the film doesn't feel as groundbreaking now as it likely once had, Ogata's nuanced performance shouldn't be missed.

    November 3, 2014 | Rating: 6/10 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Vengeance Is Mine

  • Jul 10, 2011
    Whereas in conventional moviemaking psychological flashbacks, backgrounds, a non-linear storytelling and almost forgotten memoirs would help the attentive viewer to gather the puzzle pieces together and build the final image/meaning, Imamura smartly places them leaving unanswered questions and unclear motives. He attempts to create a Melville-like urban environment, but instead of being a random collection of scenes, the most intelligent thing he did with the movie was placing a central idea: trascendence has absolutely no relation with the earthly life, and what may be judged with earthly principles here, may not be judged equally in the afterlife (interpret that with the Divine Law, Heaven or whatever otherwordly ideal suits you). That's why the bones get caught in the sky, gravityless. 99/100
    Edgar C Super Reviewer
  • Oct 03, 2010
    A strange title "Vengeance Is Mine"when it should be "Anatomy of a Murderer" as thats what we get for two hours; 78 days in the murderous life of Iwao Enokizu, cut with parallel stories of his family and a few flashbacks to his youth. Shohei Imamura lays it on the line, there's no cop-out here of poor misunderstood killer, the man was a psychopath in the true sense of the word. .
    Lesley N Super Reviewer
  • Sep 30, 2010
    It is based on a true story, but somehow it just didn't make any sense. It doesn't attempt to give any answers or insight into the killers motives and psyche, and maybe that's the intention of the director, I don't know. But in my opinion that doesn't make it a very good movie.
    Saskia D Super Reviewer
  • Oct 22, 2009
    I was hooked all the way to the very end
    Brody M Super Reviewer

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