Yojimbo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Yojimbo Reviews

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½ September 17, 2017
"Entertaining enough to eat." would be Kurosawa's starting point, following the pursuit of a wide mainstream approval, consequently making a film that's as intelligent as it is entertaining. 'Yojimbo' has nothing to envy to its Western version 'A Fistful of Dollars', being just as stylistically cool, tightly rhythmed and brilliantly set-up. Kurosawa's cinematography is impressive, and there is, from the opening credit to the end, every archetypal element of the lone warrior in Mifune's character. 'Yojimbo' is a highly enjoyable movie for action and western fans, a movie which uses its simple storyline to be universally thrilling.
September 16, 2017
Awesome film! I can definitely see where one of my favorite anime shows, Samurai Champloo, got some of it's inspiration from as well as other western cowboy movies. It's also easy to see why they would be inspired by this movie. The story and plot is great and the way that the story unfolds is very enthralling. It was very refreshing to see Toshiro play a character that was more on the serious side, he's very talented.

Overall, another Kurosawa masterpiece that I can say was very enjoyable to watch.
½ July 24, 2017
This film cemented both director & actor as top box office draws. This could be described as the Japanese version of a sprawling western epic - only with an Eastwood style hero instead of Wayne. Well, Yojimbo talks & fights a bit more like Clint and drinks more like John with only a sword by his side.
June 16, 2017
Kurosawa provides a great mindset of a village torn apart by betrayal and greed, and provides Toshiro Mifune a character that has influenced many from Clint Eastwood's Man With No Name to Heath Ledger's Joker. The moments are dark yet powerful, the direction is simple but intriguing. Two warring sides and sometimes in order to find piece, it is better to see them burn each other out to exhaustion. It's not only a landmark in filmmaking history, but powerful social commentary that has aged well to this day.
½ May 16, 2017
Yojimbo is certainly well acted with a couple of memorable sequences and it is well filmed and scored, but it is not one of Kurosawa's best efforts owing to its standard storyline, way too many characters and not enough originality. It is solid, but never great.
½ April 18, 2017
One of my favorite action films. Like most of Akira Kurosawa's 50s and 60s films, over imitated, often without getting what made the originals great.
April 16, 2017
Kurosawa + Mifune = masterpiece!!!
½ April 1, 2017
A samurai, Sanjuro Kuwabatake, finds himself in a town run by two warlords, Ushitora and Seibei. The town is a den of inequity, not only due to the warlords and their hired thugs, but due to the hordes of gamblers that inhabit it. The samurai sets out to rid the town of all these pestilences, his plan being to play the two warlords off against each other.

Excellent movie by famed Japanese director Akira Kurosawa. Clever, unpredictable plot with some great twists along the way. Good character development and some great action scenes.

The only blemish is that it is difficult to figure out which characters fit into the mix in what way. This is often heightened by Kurosawa introducing an important character out of the blue, with no background. They're often linked to the story via another character, a character who we also don't know much about, if anything at all. So some of the character-specific stories were a bit hard to follow.

An influential movie in that Sergio Leone used this as inspiration for his spaghetti westerns - a Fistful of Dollars in particular. You can see it in some of the fight scenes: the slow, deliberate build-up, the music the Mexican standoff. A Fistful of Dollars is even regarded as a remake of Yojimbo.
March 19, 2017
This is my favourite western. Watch it.
March 12, 2017
Toshiro Mifune plays a ronin who wanders into a small town torn asunder by a gang war. A display of his skill as a warrior causes both factions to seek to recruit him, but the samurai is more interested in playing both sides against the middle. The plot of Yojimbo is standard issue, but director Akira Kurosawa films this movie with an energetic mobility and darkly-comedic tone that transcends genre. While it does borrow quite a bit from the Westerns of John Ford, the new aesthetic terrains it explores gives little cause to wonder why Yojimbo was one of the most influential films on the Spaghetti Western genre that would soon come to prominence (For instance, Sergio Leone's A Fistful of Dollars is an unauthorized remake of this movie).
February 19, 2017
My absolute favorite movie of all time. This movie is gritty, entertaining and masterfully put together. I love everything about this film from the music to the epic story of a Ronin saving a small town from two gambling lords.
February 7, 2017
Pure samurai, from the master Kurosawa. The odd-wild-swordman Yojimbo crushing an entire village setting up two clans against themselves. By advertising his supreme deadly skill, and using his snakesuit moral, he cannot be trusted.
½ September 27, 2016
Sir Kurosawa at his prime.
½ June 18, 2016
A brilliant piece of work, clearly influencing westerns that followed, but with Samurai.
½ May 11, 2016
It only took about 10 minutes before I started noticing the similarities to A Fistful of Dollars in this film. Perhaps it's the fact that I just watched that one for the first time about a year and a half ago, but I noticed all the same plot points that get the story going. Yojimbo did it first, though, and it was really good at establishing characters and their motivations. Seeing the samurai enter the town and tricking both gangs into slaughtering each other is fascinating, because you never know exactly what his plan is but then it starts to unfold and you realize what he's doing. I love how subtly he manipulates them, allowing the rivals to do a lot of the dirty work for him. I also like this kind of character who is so much more skilled than the people around him, but he still holds a moral code which makes him a good guy. In a way it reminds me of the super heroes I used to love in my childhood who had all the power, but used it to help those in need.

It wasn't perfect, though. I wish there were more frequent confrontations in the film, because the story does slow down for large sections. I don't need it to be non-stop action, but sometimes the movie was so caught up in building towards something that it felt like it was never going to get there. My only other struggle with this film would be all the names. They did a good job of casting distinct faces for the characters to make them easy to differentiate, but all their names got really muddled in my head. Aside from that I think Yojimbo was a better presentation of the story that I saw first in A Fistful of Dollars. If for nothing else, I just loved the contrast that comes when a gun is brought into the world of only swords. I definitely enjoyed watching this movie, but for my first Kurosawa film I feel like I was expecting something more.
½ April 1, 2016
I read that this was the film that a fistful of dollars was based on. It does have a western feeling, albeit a Japanese Samurai film, and I can see similarities but not too many to make this boring. You should watch this film and pause it at regular intervals, go away and think about it for a bit, then come back, you'll realise slowly that this is a pretty weird film, and if it portrays the time accurately then Japan was a pretty weird little country. You do need to take some pauses to let this sink in otherwise you'll get dragged down into it and the next thing you know you'll be going down the put in your dressing gown having shaved the top of your head.
March 14, 2016
If there's a category for most single handedly influential film of all time, this would be on top. The first spaghetti western, an original rice noodle archetype.
½ January 7, 2016
Not particularly interesting (to me).
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