Yojimbo - Movie Reviews - Rotten Tomatoes

Yojimbo Reviews

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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).
January 4, 2016
Excellent. I can certainly see where the Spaghetti Western came from. Especially Sergio Leone's Dollar Trilogy.
January 3, 2016
Kurosawa's most stylish film and the BGM is a killer, but somehow, it's scenes are not as effective or memorable as it's plagiarized American version, A fistful of dollars. Mifune acts well, but his character does not have the screen presence that Eastwood so easily had. The film is also less violent compared to Sergio Leone's picture.
December 28, 2015
Yojimbo tells the story of a ronin who enters a village that is divided by two gangs, to free the town from the scum Sanjuro decides to play them against each other. If you're a fan of foreign movies or cinema then this movie is definitely worth your time. Before there was the man with no name there was Sanjuro and he is one cool character, who is one of the first anti-heros ever put to screen
½ December 6, 2015
Leone may have ripped this off without crediting Kurosawa, but the pacing and action seems a little slicker in A Fistful of Dollars. Nonetheless, an entertaining film.
November 15, 2015
It had been many years since I had last seen this masterpiece from the legendary Akira Kurosawa, and I thoroughly enjoyed seeing it again. It is currently #107 on imdb's top films of all-time. This movie shook up the conventions for the samurai film, and was the bases for "A Fistful of Dollars". Toshiro Mifune is awesome as usual. This film is a MUST watch for all movie lovers!
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