Critic Reviews



Based on 18 critic reviews provided by
But the movie has a great deal of zest and charm, and Yakusho gets so exactly that crest of melancholy that is a man's early 40s, until he decides to go for another kind of life, that the movie is infinitely touching.
Chicago Sun-Times
One of the more completely entertaining movies I've seen in a while--a well-crafted character study that, like a Hollywood movie with a skillful script, manipulates us but makes us like it.
Entertainment Weekly
Even when the catharsis we yearn for arrives, it's tinged with restraint. But then, the true romance in Shall We Dance? is more than personal. It's the spectacle of a nation learning to dance with itself.
Shohei's journey from unhappy worker bee - the early scenes are cleverly sketched to show his mundane routine without ever themselves being boring - to rejuvenated free spirit is credible, actually earning the film's final emotional wallop. Irresistible.
The A.V. Club
While the characters, situations, and gags are all familiar, Shall We Dance?'s gentle humanity and quiet exuberance are contagious.
Good in their individual scenes, Yakusho and Kusakari are magical together. They convey so much yearning -- not so much for each other as for that extra something to give real meaning to their lives.
A charming and moving film about a slightly racy subculture in a highly rule-bound society.
This is a film for anyone who prefers to leave the theater smiling.
USA Today
Has its moments - but far too many of them. It runs two hours and seems to end five times.
It addresses issues of stultifying routine and the small crises of middle-aged life, and deserves credit for not obscuring the simple story with a flurry of smoke and mirrors.

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